• The Road Warrior Report - December 28, 2015 - Orange Bowl Travelogue #1

      SOMEWHERE OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO – Why is it never easy? All we wanted to do was get to Miami. Get out of the cold and sleet and wind. But the weather didn't really want to cooperate. At all.

      As a result, a 6:56 am Monday departure to Dallas was cancelled about 18 hours before takeoff, mostly due to the anticipated “record breaking overnight snowfall.” The choices after that? Leave (maybe) at 6:00 Tuesday night. From Lawton, of all places. And get into Miami at midnight. No thanks. We didn't even remember that there was commercial air service out of Lawton.

      And as surely as we’d have done that, the “record breaking overnight snowfall” would have happened, and the airline people would be telling us Tuesday that they might be able to get us there by Friday – flying out of Amarillo. No thanks.

      So, the only sure thing was to rent a car in OKC and drive to Dallas Sunday night to make the connection to Miami Monday morning. And that's how we find ourselves, at this moment, relaxing on an American 767 somewhere over the Gulf. Gonna arrive on time, even. Just as planned.

      And – spoiler alert – our front walk in OKC was just as clear this morning as it was when we shoveled two inches of sleet off of it Sunday afternoon. So much for “record breaking overnight snowfall.”

      MIAMI, FL
      – So, on the ground in Miami and checked into the hotel, and the first order of business is food. So off we go, only about a mile from our hotel, to El Palacio de Los Jugos. It’s kind of a covered food/fruit stand with an eating area off to the side. All of it is open air, and nobody there speaks much English. It’s Cuban/Caribbean food, and lots of it. Arroz con cerdo, luscious pork ribs, black beans and rice, fried plantains, juice smoothies, and more. About six cash registers at all the different stands, and a guy with a machete lopping the tops off coconuts and serving them with a big straw. Very cool and very delicious.

      For about $25, we got enough food to feed probably six people. All of it in Styrofoam containers with plastic forks. We blew our diet terribly with the carbs, but we don’t often get real Cuban food. So good. If you’re in Miami, we highly recommend the place.

      We drove around Coral Gables and Coconut Grove a bit this afternoon. It reminded us of one of the weird things about Miami – that posh and poverty often reside on adjoining blocks here. Run-down apartments right down the street from trendy hipster shops and restaurants, and high-rise megabuck apartments.

      While cruising around, we ended up picking up some dessert at LoKal, a burger joint in one of the aforementioned hipster-type areas. We didn’t try the wife’s Key Lime pie, but she enjoyed it. Personally, we had the Tres Leches cake, which was pretty good itself. Might as well go all out if you’re blowing the diet.

      It’s been a long day of travel, so we’ll probably just chill out in the hotel tonight and get rested up for fun tomorrow. More later.
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