The picture is fuzzy at best, but you may be able to make out the Arc De Triumphe backdrop on the stage in background. As I made my way into Hollywood Florida there happened to be a free concert on the boardwalk with Jimmy Buffet (he was there to promote his Margaritiville Hotel). With Paris on everyone’s mind Jimmy changed his set list to include his 1973 song “He Went To Paris” and the thousands in attendance were thoughtfully moved. Although I was exhausted, I stayed to grab dinner on the boardwalk Joe and enjoy the concert. My accommodations for the night turned out to be perfect!
Isabela, pictured above, was a fabulous host, and her Surf Inn Hotel is perfectly situated right off the boardwalk! So after dinner and the concert I checked in and got a quick shower before passing out for the night.
After entering Miami Dade County the next morning I quickly realized just how big the Miami metropolitan area truly is. There are a bunch of little beach communities that line the coast leading to Miami Beach and then there is the city itself. On Sunday I was set to arrive in South Beach and another Hostel
Even on a Sunday night, and with high winds and rain threatening, South Beach does not sleep…and my Hostel was right in the thick of it. Arturo, the late night director of chaos at the hostel, was particularly impressed with my journey and introduced me to a bunch of other travelers. A number of us talked deep into the night about commitment to causes, social justice, and of course the situation in Paris.
After a few hours of sleep it was back to the roads and a significant test of my own commitment, and discipline. As it turns out my route for Monday ran directly below the elevated metro line that runs from downtown Miami all the way to (and through) South Miami. With rain threatening again all day it would have been easy to simply hop onto a train at any one of the many stations I past throughout the day, but that’s the point….people with MS can’t take the easy way out, and neither can I. It took a tremendous amount of discipline to take the high road (or actually the low road in this case), but I have come too far to start changing the rules now. So, even after it got dark, and started raining, I persevered knowing that it was the right thing to do, and knowing that I had a place to stay when I finally stopped for the night.
The fine staff of the Quality Inn were equally impressed with my intestinal fortitude and rewarded me with a great rate and a fitting end to my Miami experience.
Next up is my last stop before the keys. I will end the day today at Florida City “gateway to the keys” and then hit Key Largo on Wednesday as I start the last leg of my journey…104 miles of Florida Keys 🙂
Stephen “Forrest” Moyer