When I first announced to my friends that I was going on holiday
to Miami one said,
'Do you know how hot it is?' and another,
'Top Miami hotels are very elegant, Liz.' Hmm.
I do not like the heat. I owe my almost pale blue skin to my Irish ancestry. When it's cold and wet most of the time it does not equip you for oven temperature muggy heat. Also I can be called a lot of things but 'gym bunny' and 'sun worshipper' are not among them.
There were other older people at the hotel but not many and hardest of all for me is that no one in such a place appreciates my Eeyore impression. I learned very quickly that bouncing up to people and speaking to them does not mean a positive response. I got a good many stares.
A great many people here speak Spanish as their first language so a very pale woman with a weird British accent is worrying.
Miami is all about money. Even in Cheshire I have not see such an abidance of enormous flash and shiny cars.
The other thing is that you tip everybody. If you don't get this right they might, as one ill advised gentleman, run after you as you leave the restaurant, complaining that he needs a bigger tip as he get so badly paid.
One of the joys of a hotel like the one we went to was that nobody until the age if seventeen was allowed.Handbags dogs however are cool here. I blame Reese Witherspoon,
Alcohol is not a good idea with weather like this. Lots of water is the only way forward. I hate water! The food is mostly good for you so I did not put on weight even though I ate for England.
'Hey, you guys'. Two countries divided by a single language.
The culture here is as foreign to me as anywhere I have been. I would hate to live in a place where there are no seasons but what the hell - the sky was blue and white with fluffy clouds, the sea really is aquamarine, there's nobody about and I spent most of my time lying on a sunbed in the shade by one of the loveliest views I have ever seen across the bay. I saw a school of dolphins one day like this.
I went to a fantastic sushi bar twice and saw that lovely part of Miami where the buildings are art deco.
We never ate before nine pm which I love doing, the later the better. Every meal was outside and I wore long dresses, with thin straps and diamonded sandals. Gorgeous hotels had lights outside reflected in pools.
Back at the hotel iced water is brought to my shaded sunbed. My room is air conditioned, my bed is bliss and I am so slick with sun cream that small insects can skate down my legs.
Snobby person that I may be, I might write popular novels but I rarely read them for pleasure. I make money, not history but I was on a beach holiday so I read Funny Girl by Nicky Hornby - good ending, The Heat of Betrayal by Douglas Kennedy, good, but could have been shorter and The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters. She writes well and I might pinch the basic idea.
One day I had a mud bath, covered in pink gunge and plunged into a huge ornamental bath of tepid water and hosed off. Iced coffee to follow. Lots of wallpaper music to chill one further.
Back at home now I am still in recovery but happy because I've been away. I missed good music, cool mornings and I feel as if the summer is only just beginning.