We passed through Miami Beach — stopping briefly to eat lunch and wander into the shops as it rained. People are very friendly here — even in Benetton! I made Presley take off her shoes and pop into the surf… rain or no rain. One odd thing we noticed about South Beach was the copious numbers of scooters motoring around. Very odd indeed, but it makes perfect sense to own one here, in the sun, where the streets are relatively small and slow. No helmets!
We then headed down towards the Keys, down that crowded strip-mall heaven that is Route 1. We passed by the University of Miami, and I briefly considered what college in such a place would have meant. The strip malls thin out a bit heading south, but they really don’t stop until you cross into the Keys, only to pick up again as you approach Key Largo. We checked into our room at the Westin Key Largo, at MM 97. It’s a beautiful resort in the middle of a sub-tropical forrest. Presley remarked that it was the nicest hotel room she has stayed in.
Consulting our guidebook, The Florida Keys, Joy Williams guided us to Ballyhoo’s, a little shack in the median of the highway near our hotel. Clearly not as attractive to tourists, as it’s not on the water, Ballyhoo’s serves excellent fish. I had the fresh caught Mahi-Mahi, prepared Mensiuere-style, and Presley ordered the Caribbean pan-fried Scallops. And both were two of the most delicious dishes I’ve ever tasted.