Sunday, February 4, 2007

AA 1818 MIA to SFO

The thing about South Florida is if you don’t clean things they get dirty real fast.

That’s the view from my room at the FAAAAHHHBULOUS Deauville Beach Resort in North Miami Beach (which is a long ways away –both literally and figuratively -- from the stylish art-deco scene down in South Beach). The last event of significance at this resort was the Beatles performance there in 1964. I think there may have been some gristle under my bed that Ringo spat out after the show.

Maybe if they cleaned the roof on this place they’d be doing better business?

Look -- if your idea of a good time is hanging by the pool with a bunch of 90-year-olds and a few confused people from South America with really bad travel agents, and waking up every morning to Hassidic families pushing screaming babies in strollers down the hallway outside your room, then by all means book yourself a vacation at this place.

I had to be there for a conference so I had no choice. You can go off and make your own mistakes, but please don’t let this place be one of them.

We did manage to get over to Joe’s Stone Crab for dinner. If you’ve never had the Stone Crab then you gotta go to this place next time you’re in Miami. It’s a crab that only grows in the Gulf of Mexico, and they only harvest one claw then throw the crab back in the water. It grows a new claw just to start the torturous process anew, but man is it ever the sweetest crab meat on the planet. And I used to be a vegetarian.

Stone Crabs don’t freeze well, so you need to get them fresh, in season, and Joe’s is the place to go (they’re only open when it’s Stone Crab season so if you go there in the summertime you’re outta luck). If you’re not spending big at this place the waiters can be downright rude, but try and get yourself seated in the waiter named Michael’s section (it’s near the front) and he’s gonna take care of you.

The flight back home was the old-school American Airlines experience that I’ve come to know and loathe. MIA is a cluster f*** of an airport if there ever was one, and I try to avoid it at all costs, but it’s the only option if you want to go non-stop from SFO to South Florida without taking a red-eye. The place felt like a zoo as we tried to check in while thousands of folks just off of budget cruise tried to make heads-or-tails out of the most confusing major airport in North America. Everywhere I looked there were sunburnt couples wearing matching Hawaiian shirts, and preteen girls with bad cornrows that they were really going to regret on their first day back at school. Not pretty, folks. AA’s check in kiosks were all broken (typical) and the line at First Class check in basically didn’t move at all.

American’s crews seem to be getting really friendly these days, what happened there? Not what I’ve come to expect in recent days, and since their overall product is such a piece of crap it’s nice to get some of that thing that doesn’t cost the airlines anything to provide – POLITENESS!!! Keep it up AA flight attendants, it really DOES make a difference!

That whole Super Bowl thing is going on in Miami right now (let’s see if the NFL sues me for writing “Super Bowl” without licensing the name).


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