Oh, Miami. What an adventure. We spent the better part of a day driving from St. Augustine down the coast in the sunshine, only to be greeted by a tropical storm as we finally neared our destination. It was not just any storm, either. When we arrived in North Miami, where we were staying, the surrounding streets were so flooded that our low-riding Subaru almost couldn't make it. When we started to pull into our hotel, the parking lot had several inches of standing water and the rain showed no signs of stopping. I ran into the hotel to ask if there was somewhere else we could park, but the road to the overflow parking lot had even deeper water, so we ended up having to pull into a Home Depot parking lot to wait out the storm (even though it was right across the street, we didn't want to risk walking through the foot of water to our hotel). We were there for over five hours, and most of that time was spent standing under a shelter watching people try (and often fail) to drive through the water. We met a really cool older gentleman named Sam (who we nicknamed the Night Watchman because he owned a watch shop downtown and ended up saving us from a late-night fistfight with a drugged/drunk bigot who made offensive comments about the population of Key West and got very agitated when we expressed alternative views, took off his shirt to prepare for a fight when Sam took his phone out to call the police even though he had just gotten out of jail and couldn't afford "another battery," and was finally scared off when Sam took his belt off and wrapped it around his hand, saying "I've lived in Miami long enough to know how to take care of guys like you." SUCH a badass.) About an hour later, the water finally receded enough for us to drive across the street and park. We learned later that our area got 15 inches of rain that night.
The weather forecast for the next day was more rain, and we were exhausted, so we ordered room service (ha! what a joke) and went out to sit by the pool while the sunshine held out. It didn't actually end up raining, but I got the pool time I'd been craving, and then K consumed an entire chicken on our balcony. The next day we finally felt up to seeing the sights. We drove out to South Beach to visit the historic Art Deco district and see where the rich and fabulous spend their time (and money) in Miami. We had $7 breakfasts (incl. mimosas, which ultimately sold me) at an incredibly touristy restaurant on a strip of sidewalk where we were so harassed by every hostess we passed that I finally just caved. It worked out. We walked around taking pictures of all the colorful old Art Deco buildings and watched a fellow collecting coconuts in the park, and then drove off the island just as it--you guessed it--started to rain.