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flight to Miami, nice hotel, great deli, haircut, parents' 80th birthdays - Rounding up the Usual Suspects
Steve's Livejournal
steve98052
steve98052
flight to Miami, nice hotel, great deli, haircut, parents' 80th birthdays

I think I slept through most of the flight. I know I didn't spend much time doing anything, and I would have been pretty bored if I had been awake. "J" said she slept for half the flight or less. We arrived in Miami without incident, around 7 am local time (4 am Pacific Time). This flight was much better than last time I flew on American Airlines, quite a few years ago.

On the trip to the airport last night, I commented to our driver that there are a few airlines that are fairly consistently good (Alaska, Jet Blue), one that's consistently basic but predictable (Southwest), and several that drift up and down in quality. This time, American is either in an up state or down but got this flight right anyway. Last time was a low ebb, I think.

We retrieved our one checked bag without trouble, and puzzled over how to get up to the second level for the hotel shuttle waiting area. J was impressed by the number of traffic lanes through the airport; SeaTac is slightly busier than Miami, but it's quite a bit smaller. (I looked it up: SeaTac is 2700 acres, or 10.9 km2; Miami is 3230 acres 13.1 km2.) More visibly, we saw six lanes in the drop-off area here to SeaTac's four.

Hotel

The hotel shuttle was just fine, aside from both shuttles being at the hotel when J phoned for our pick-up. They were doing well to have room for all our stuff.

We started our day here in the hotel breakfast room, which was better than usual. I specifically praised it in my Yelp review. Because we arrived near the end of breakfast hours, the front desk woman let us park our stuff in the storage room rather than dragging it all up to the room and missing out on the breakfast. That was nice.

After the food, we went to our room for a nap, though somehow J still had trouble getting much sleep.

Later, we tried out the pool, which was as much as really large hot tub as a pool. The temperature was just right: warm enough to relax away some of the aches from sleeping on the long red-eye, but not so hot that we were unsteady on our feet getting out.

Cuban deli

For lunch, we walked to a deli with good Yelp, past lots of places that were probably also good, but not on Yelp. The neighborhood looked heavily Cuban, and poor but gentrifying.

The restaurant was delicious. I had a spinach wrap sandwich with chicken, cheese, spinach, tomato, and olive. J had a different spinach wrap, with tuna. We did a Yelp check-in, and got one free cookie from the check-in coupon and another just because the guy was in the restaurant was in a good mood. J got a smoothie for dessert.

Haircut bargain

I was overdue for a haircut, and I had noticed a barber shop next door to the deli. (I didn't want to pay cruise ship hair salon prices!) It wasn't on Yelp, but the deli guy said it was good. The place was cash only, so I went to a surcharge cash machine at the other shop next door to the deli, and returned for the haircut. It was a good job, and only $10.

Evening with parents

We walked back to hotel to relax some more. We took a different route, quite a bit shorter because we didn't misread the walking directions on our phones on the way back. One cool thing we saw on the walk was a nice looking child care place, with a large sign that said (in Spanish) that it's free, but space was limited. The little kids looked happy there.

Late evening addition:
My parents are on the trip too. In fact, it's our big gift to them for their 80th birthdays. They took a different flight and stayed at a different hotel. They arrived in the evening, and walked to our hotel. We hung around in the outdoor area by the pool, relaxed, and shared stories of the day.

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