|Sailing out of Miami|
|One of our favorite hang-outs was the beer bar with a lovely waiter from Grenada. Once he heard that Elise had been to Grenada, he became fast friends with us for the duration!|
Another favorite hang-out was this wine bar, especially the area out on the deck.
|Salvatore & Newt|
|Elise, in pink, loving the water|
|A gang of pre-historic looking iguanas lurk in their own 'hood' on the island|
Crazy Eights card game
Three Music Trivia games held in the beer bar: 'Motown;' 'One-hit Wonders' (I'm the only one who knew "Afternoon Delight"!); and 'Michael Jackson,' which we almost won!
|Texas Hold'em - Jake & Newt|
|Newton, Jake & Larissa did the ropes course|
|Newton dangling though the zip-line portion...out over the water!|
|Jake & Larissa, before Larissa got way ahead!|
Everyone but me defied the varying degrees of panic and tried out one or more of these crazy aquatic tube slides.
Our second stop was at St.Thomas in the US Virgin Islands.
|We rode a cable car up a good look-out hill|
|I found a view of the island without our cruise ship clobbering it!|
|Larissa as a piratess, Jake as Grumpy Cat - as a swashbuckling rum runner|
We had two specialty dinners during the cruise, the first being Japanese. The Teppanyaki chef was funny and highly skilled with his knives!
|This is a photobomb, not just by the chef, but by Elise snapping the posted commercial photo surreptitiously that we were supposed to buy!|
Our third stop was at Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. The approach promises such beauty, but it was a long haul to get past the intense shopping.
Again, how lovely Paradise Island looked as we sailed into Nassau, Bahamas. We didn't bother getting off the boat for the shopping traps. Jake & Larissa had recently been there for a poker tournament at the huge Atlantis resort.
|Our handsome couple, who celebrated their second anniversary on the ship!|
We all spent the next three days in the South Beach neighborhood of Miami. The entire neighborhood is lined with pristine Art Deco buildings and palms...just stunning. We liked our hotel, the Kimpton Surfcomber.
|Cabanas lined the pool|
|A gorgeous beach was just beyond the pool area. Elise's toes!|
|More pool fun|
|I couldn't get over these stunning textiles in the cabanas|
|Here I am like tropical royalty in my flip-flops!|
Our wonderful longtime friend, Pierre LaBelle, met up with us from Fort Lauderdale, where he lives. He is a native of Montreal, but we know him from years spent together in New York. In-between he graduated from the California Culinary Academy and served as a chef to the glitterati of Beverly Hills! He lived in South Beach for five years as a personal chef, and is now an astute dealer in antiques and the finest treasures.
First Pierre showered each of us with some of those rare treasures he comes across in his professional scavenging. It was like Christmas morning in August! Scarves, jewelry, leather, ties, exquisite boxes, even a Florida flamingo Christmas ornament! There were too many gifts to name, but all were wrapped and labeled for the five of us - a monumental effort alone - and all of such interest and quality.
On our way to lunch, Pierre led us into the neighboring Delano Hotel. It is owned by Ian Schrager, Steve Rubell's old partner from Studio 54 days. Philippe Starck designed it. We marched though the sleek, avant-garde lobby as if we owned the place, then trespassed into the elegant pool area. Quite the place.
We went around the corner for a delicious lunch at Yuca, a chic Cuban restaurant. Note the fine turquoise, coral and silver ring on my finger...just received from Pierre! Guess who sneaked out to nab the waiter and pay the whole bill...just when we really owed him lunch!
|This restaurant makes these amazing green mojitos.|
|Pierre walked us around his old neighborhood along the beach.|
It had been far too many years since we had been together. Never such a long spell again, our Great Love, Pierre! See you in Brazil next time. (Elise has already seen him again in LA!)
Back on our own, the five of us had a couple of good meals: we recommend the Greek restaurant, Poseidon, as well as Rosa for Mexican food.
Being true Trekkies, we all went to see the new "Star Trek Beyond." It's got some humor!
Elise and I had a long walk through the Art Deco residential neighborhood. We ended up on Ocean Drive, where we returned that night to celebrate Elise's upcoming birthday.
Elise's local friend Christy, who worked with her in New York some years ago, joined us for the festivities.
Newton and I said good-bye to Jake and Larissa - planning a trip to California, and to Elise - visiting Christy in Miami for a few days before returning to LA; we rented a car and we headed off to Key West. We thought we'd have a short road trip without any set plans before returning to Brazil.
Once we arrived and found this marvelous hotel, aptly named "Eden" and its perfectly delicious partner restaurant, Azur, next door, we decided we really wanted to just stay put in Key West!