What a weekend. Seriously, even though the Miami Yule Ball was kind of a smaller show (compared to conventions and stuff) I think it was one of my favorite wizard rock related trips I've ever gotten to take with my friends. It was just so nice to see everyone in the middle of our crappy weather season in such a beautiful, fun location -- and to have the extra days to sightsee and experience Miami. That's generally my biggest annoyance about all the traveling I do, actually. We go to all these fun cities but then spend most of the time in a hotel and don't really see what the city has to offer.
But this time, I definitely feel like we got a taste of South Beach. :)
Last night after all the hostel room Ke$ha dancing, we took the local bus (it only cost 25 cents!) down to this shopping area to meet with Erinn and Aaron for dinner. There were so many fun shops to see, and the walkways were decorated with these fancy fountains and modern art. We ended up eating at this Thai place that was delicious, and then walked around and shopped for awhile afterwards, like girls do.
Everything was going really well until we saw these two women walking out of a clothing store... with a puppy. They told us "we bought it in there!", which immediately set off mental alarms to all of us. We went inside and sure enough, amidst the dresses and shoes and shirts there was a small area with dog beds and water bowls and three adorable, sad, moderately sick looking puppies for sale (and everything smelled like pee). The worst part, aside from the obvious, was that above the puppies there were these shelves, where they were selling puppy sized coats and puppy sized dresses and puppy sized sunglasses and purses big enough to put a puppy inside... these poor animals were being sold as accessories and it made all of us sick. Ariana was seriously considering buying one just to get it out of there.
After at least twenty minutes of playing with the puppies and fantasizing about rescuing them, we finally had to tear ourselves away because it just wasn't practical. But I don't think any of us are going to get those puppy faces out of our memories for awhile.
That night we sort of took over the hostel kitchen and pooled all the collective snacks we'd purchased over the course of the weekend for party food. It was really nice just spending our last night in Miami hanging out and talking (even though the night beach swimming we'd done the night before was fun too. xD) We were having a super relaxing evening, just reminiscing about old tv shows we used to love, until these Swiss guys showed up.
Apparently they weren't even staying at our hostel, but just come back now and then to try and pick up girls. I have never met a ruder bunch of guys - they kept trying to steal our food and one guy kept trying to shove money at us (suggestively, if you know what I mean) and I didn't realize this right away but another one was lurking in the back taking creeper pictures of us, which was just the last straw. After they started calling us vulgar names in their language, we left and made sure they were no longer welcome at the hostel. I hate that these places are such a great tool for people to travel and meet other interesting people from all over the world, but a bunch of dicks like those guys can really just mess it up.
Luckily they DID leave, and we got our kitchen back. Another guy came in later (named Simon) who was super nice and he told us his life story which was fun and interesting, so that kind of renewed my faith in hostels.
This morning we got up moderately early, and while most of our friends had left already, Ariana, Eia, Kayley and I still had the morning to spend in Miami. We had one last hurrah at the beach, I got some pretty funny tan lines (I still have my wrist band on from the show and it left a HUGE white stripe around my wrist.. so that's gong to be fun at home) and then we headed off to the airport.
This is the heartbreaking part of the story. When we were going through security, we realized Eia's ticket had been booked under "Eia" and not under her real name. We aren't even sure how it happened, but since that isn't the name on her ID, they wouldn't let her through. We were already kind of running late, so we sent Eia to complain at the front desk while we headed back to our gate and told her to call with updates.
Well, apparently this name business is a much bigger deal than we thought, because they couldn't get it sorted out in time for our flight. So, feeling extremely terrible, we had to board our flight without Eia. :( I'm sure she'll get on the next flight or something, but I hated leaving her behind, and the whole situation was stupid, and it sucks not being able to call her for an update until our layover in Denver. So that's been the saga of my last day or so in Miami. I'd LIKE to say I can't wait to return to the quiet life at home, but I have an incredibly busy week waiting for me to jump into it. Never a dull moment. I feel like I say that a lot.
Flights taken: 8
Gym badges in Pokemon: 7
Oshawott level: 38
19 hours ago