Miami heat

Miami reminds a lot of the Gold Coast, and South Beach is pretty much just like Surfer’s Paradise – flashy and ostentatious. Even the mannequins here have obscenely enhanced breasts!

With glorious autumn temperatures of at least 28C every day and clear blue waters, the beach is the main appeal here. The cuisine, on the other hand, is not so appealing though unless you live on pizza and sushi, in which case this place would be your idea of culinary heaven. I would estimate that 80% of the restaurants here on South Beach would be pizza joints and sushi bars, with the remaining 20% made up of burger joints. This is not the place to be craving a chicken pad thai (how Australian!).

The men here are very forward and a bit leery, and I get a lot of stares (perhaps I just look like a complete tourist??).  Men beep the horns of their pickup trucks at me as the drive past.  Guys will say, “oh, you are beautiful” as I walk past them in the street. I certainly don’t get this sort of attention in Australia or in the UK – I don’t know whether I should be flattered or embarrassed! I keep checking to see whether I have toilet paper hanging out of my skirt.


Easter by the beach

Easter is my second favourite time of the year after Christmas, purely for the four consecutive days I have off work. And every year I make the most of it by getting away somewhere and putting my feet up.

This year I spent the weekend in the lovely seaside resort town of Brighton.  Everyone from London comes here, because it’s only a little over an hour away by express train, but I still managed to find myself some cheap accommodation and was looking forward to seeing the ocean for the first time since Malta! (It’s hard after living in Sydney – withdrawals!)

I arrived on the Saturday morning and spent a snowy and blustery day wandering down along the shore and around the Lanes, which is just packed with fantastic little boutiques and cafes.  I’m not much of a shopper really, but even I could have gone mad here with my credit card! I ended up restricting my purchases to one really nice silver ring and a haircut (first one in about a year – it was about time!).  It was very strange to stand and sit on a pebbled beach. Not very comfortable at all, and walking along the beach is just hell! No sand to squish between your toes. Just all very alien and bizarre.


Brighton Pier is just tawdry and tacky, filled with arcade games and poker machines. I’m sure it would be a place that kids would love – it reminded me of The Entrance during the holidays back in the old days.

On Sunday I met up with my mate Kevin and for a fantastic lunch at The Gingerman.  Three courses and a glass of wine each for £50 is a bargain in my book, particularly when the food was as good as this! Then on Monday I visited the Royal Pavilion, which is really almost beyond description.  To put it simply would be to say it is unique, but really it is a huge building that looks Indian on the outside but is decorated on the inside in a Chinese style.  I think that George IV was supremely ostentatious; that would be my summary!

It will be interesting to come back here in summer, when there will be a lot more people.  Apparently there is more of a buzz, plus who needs an excuse to come back down here for an excellent meal and fantastic shopping?