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December 21 - 23, 2019:   South Beach Miami, Florida

Although we are staying in Marathon, Florida from December 13 - January 13, 2020, we took a weekend trip to Miami to see a Miami Dolphins vs. Cincinnati Bengals game!  Craig is a Bengals fan and saw many games as a kid, but we have never seen one together.

We decided instead of making it a lloonnngggg day trip, we would go for a couple of days and stay in South Beach so we could get a feel for the area.

As you can see driving in, we are now in the city and the cruise ship ports.  Each time we drove by, there were probably 6-10 cruise ships in port.  As you can also see, the skies were a little cloudy most of the time, but the weather was perfect for exploring.  Not too hot or too cold!

We stayed at Hotel Shelley in South Beach and found a totally cool hidden gem!  We were one block off the beach and the main street of Ocean Drive. 



Of course, once we got settled into Hotel Shelley, we set out to find a Cuban spot for dinner and wander around the streets.  One thing we loved about this whole area is that it is the Art Deco Historical District.  We both love Art Deco, so it was really fun to see some amazing architecture and design.

One thing we noticed immediately is the variety of tourist visiting the area!  Of course, you have the locals which are easy to spot, and the tourist were mostly European which were also easy to spot. 

Below are a variety of pictures from two days and nights of walking around the area.  These include our favorite Diner for breakfast and coffee shop for dessert!

As we wandered around at night, it was amazing how the 'party scene' comes out.  Almost every restaurant had hookah smokers on the tables and the margarita glasses were GINORMOUS!  I did not get a picture of one of them, but let's just say usually 4 people split the margarita!  And look...Charlotte Bakery - named after my Mom  ; )  hee...hee...

Yes....only in Miami or South Beach will you see the gold painted cars...and...what a name for a restaurant!

And yes, we visited the beach.  As you can see the weather was overcast, windy, and cool. 


Also, notice my toenails?  Since we visited our cousins in Littleton, Colorado and 3 year old Brynn painted our toenails, I don't like to use one color anymore.  Cindy in Punta Gorda had these colors, so...of course, I had to paint my toes with all of the colors.  Love them!

Well the whole reason for our visit here was...the Miami Dolphins vs. Cincinnati Bengals football game  on Sunday.  It was a 1pm game which was great because that gave us time before and after the game to still explore South Beach. 

Craig is a Bengals fan and has seen many of their games as a kid.  Even though we were in 'enemy territory' there is just something about watching a game in person, the energy of the players and fans, is really spectacular to get caught up in!

The Hard Rock Stadium just completed a large remodel in preparation for the LIV Superbowl on February 2, 2020.  So there is not a bad seat in the house.  We had awesome tickets on the Visitor 50 yard line!

Below are random pictures from the game:

The half time show honored the 1972 Miami Dolphins team who are the only team in NFL history to win the Superbowl with a perfect season.  Many of the players from 1972 took the field and it was also close to Coach Don Shula's 90th birthday, so they celebrated with a cake ; )

Yes, with 29 seconds left on the clock, the Bengals scored and sent the game into overtime!   The Bengals did not win, however, they put up a good fight and made it an exciting game.


Although we wanted the Bengals to win, we were glad the Dolphins did since it was a home game.

That evening we found a neat little place for dinner and wandered around town some more. 

What was also cool was where we parked for the weekend.  There is very little street parking in the area, so you choose between surface lots or parking garages.  We parked in the South Beach Police and Courthouse parking garage which was right around the corner from Hotel Shelley.  The area is safe to park anywhere, but the Police Garage was the largest that could fit the height of the truck.  I think most people drive tiny vehicles and don't need to worry about their clearance.  We...however do!

One of the really cool and fun things we did was visit the Wolfsonian Museum.  This is an art museum, library, and research center.  

Wow...what an incredibly place!  It is a 7 story building, but you can only visit 4 of the floors.  Craig and I took so many pictures and spent about 3-4 hours in here.  Amazing pieces and history!

Below are just a few of our favorite pieces!

The staircase below is a piece of art and was roped off so you could not use it.   Incredible!

We had a fabulous time in South Beach and would definitely go back again and stay in Hotel Shelley!

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