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25 March 2005

from sun to snow

so, finally... the miami details...

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i realize that to some people hotel amenities (room service, pools, continental breakfast, turndown service (which always seemed completely bizarre to me), etc.) can be important considerations when choosing a hotel room, but as far as i'm concerned, as long as there aren't cockroaches crawling on me as i sleep, the sheets have at least the illusion of being clean (here's a fun story), and there aren't crack dealers in the lobby, i'm pretty much able to sleep anywhere. whereas in the past my germaphobic ocd has necessitated full clothing body armor (pants, socks, long sleeve shirt, optional hooded sweatshirt) whenever i slept in a hotel bed (yes, really), i'm now able to forget about the thousands of other people who might have slept on those sheets and convince myself that hotels use industrial strength washing machines with boiling hot water to kill any little beasties which might be lurking in the fibers. i figure i'm not going to spending a lot of time in the room anyway... why spend hundreds of dollars on a room? price is high on the priority list.

my internet searches for hotels were extremely frustrating... march is heavy spring break month in florida and it seemed like all of the moderately priced hotels were already booked and those with vacancies were all at least ten miles from the beach. sarah generally wakes up hours before me, and we really wanted something within walking distance of the beach so she could wake up and head out in the morning. most of the hotel rooms that fit our criteria were over $150 a night... i'm told that's a normal rate for a hotel room, but to me, that seems ridiculously high. i was pretty much done with searching for hotel rooms. enter sarah. after some extensive online research she really came through in finding us a relatively inexpensive hotel right on north miami beach. we ended up staying at the ocean way hotel at 7430 ocean terrace in miami beach.

while we didn't have much of a view out our window, the room was generally clean and the staff was friendly. it turned out that the hotel was doing some maintenance on the room adjoining ours and so they reduced the nightly rate from $80 down to $70 (i'm assuming because there was a chance of some early morning racket). i wasn't complaining. the hotel was right on a beach (this is the view from the front door) and was within walking distance of several restaurants, convenience stores, and public transportation.

so what did we do? i didn't really keep track of the daily activities because i really considered this more of a vacation outside the scope of the global reconnaissance project. to say that i'm not much of a beach person would be an understatement, but i was actually looking forward to just lying around on the sand and enjoying the sites and sounds of the ocean. the day after we arrived, sarah woke up early and went down to the beach and i joined her a few hours later coated with a thick layer of spf 45 sunblock. i've been through the sunburn experience before and i know it's not fun... figured i'd work my way down from spf 45 to 15 throughout the week and maybe turn my skin from gleaming white to just a bright white. sarah on the other hand went straight for hawaiian tropic's 'dark tanning lotion' with spf 4 and by early afternoon she was already sporting a nice red "no, i'm not from around here" tan.

caught some nice pictures of the sunrise on thursday: 01, 02, and 03. i'm going to be creating a gallery page for all of my trip photos... still not sure what software i'm going to use, but i hope to have it up soon.

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on monday we went salt water fishing on the therapy iv, a 58' twin diesel engine sportfishing boat... something i've wanted to do for a while... just have never had the time in boston. obligatory stupid head shot shown above... sorry joe, no fisherman hat. sarah and i both reeled in a fish. sarah pulled in a bonita and i hauled in a two foot long king mackerel. the catch of the day however was a three and a half foot long barracuda reeled in by two young boys, emmitt and mitchell, who had joined us on the boat along with their parents, betsy and mick. it's hard to get a sense of scale from the picture, but this wasn't the kind of fish you just reel in and pull right onto the boat. chris, one of the crew members, had to haul this monster out of the water with a hooked spear (yes, that's a technical term). check out the choppers on this guy.

what else? we rented a scooter and drove into downtown miami. i was hoping for the lime green model sitting in front of the rental place... alas, we had to settle for the red. important note to readers: when contemplating driving a scooter with a top speed of 30 mph into the downtown area of a major city with no previous scooter experience, please reconsider. i'm not sure where we took a wrong turn, but remininscent of our adventure down to new orleans last august, sarah and i soon found ourselves in a fairly shady part of town where we witnessed a mob of police frisking a lineup of questionable gentlemen. suffice it to say that our scooter adventure into miami consisted of driving into the city, getting lost and freaking out, and then driving out of the city. sad, i realize.

i think that covers the highlights of the trip. less than two weeks before i leave for london and i still have a ton of stuff to do to get ready. i spent the entire day today rebuilding my laptop... i think it's pretty much ready for the trip.

posted by paul on Fri 25 Mar 2005 at 02:22:15 est (-05:00)

comments

I LOVE the view from your hotel window. Classic!

posted by Jen on Fri 25 Mar 2005 at 09:12:58 est (-05:00)

Hey Paul! Your website is great, but I would like to see more pictures. I didn't know you went deep sea fishing....you are so lucky! Where are you going to get your last vaccination here? Do you want me to find a place? Will you please please please play at my wedding? I don't care what you play (as long as it is not too heavy)...I just want you and Brad to strum something while people are sitting and when I come down the aisle. Love you!

posted by little sister on Fri 25 Mar 2005 at 12:00:21 est (-05:00)

Ok big brother...I posted a comment and you have not responded. What's the deal? haha. Anyway, I wanted to know if you got my email about the tux place. Also, I wanted to wish you a happy Easter! I love you!

posted by Jennifer on Sun 27 Mar 2005 at 22:39:09 est (-05:00)

Hola Pablito!
Very cool blog site!!! I could not resist... had to go back and read from first to last post. The PharMetrics pictures were too funny!!! I am sure they will miss you greatly. So let me know if you want to have lunch before you leave for your big adventure. Talk to you soon!

posted by Javier on Tue 29 Mar 2005 at 01:47:00 est (-05:00)

**chris, one of the crew members, had to haul this monster out of the water with a hooked spear (yes, that's a technical term).**

The *actual* technical term for that instrument is a "gaff". But that's okay, you've got plenty of time to brush up on your fishing lingo as you troll the mighty seas hopping and skipping your way around the globe like the conquistador that you are.

I look forward to checking in every once in a while just to make sure you don't wind up in a Shanghai prison. Good luck with the journey.

posted by redpath on Tue 29 Mar 2005 at 02:36:50 est (-05:00)

a gaff? nice! learn something new every day. thanks redpath.

posted by paul recon on Tue 29 Mar 2005 at 03:35:14 est (-05:00)

Hey Paul!
I was searching for 'blog and pharmetrics' and got to your site! Thanks for the free entertainment! I imagine you are winging your way eastward - through Europe by now?
PharMetrics keeps rolling along, and with less personality as we miss your fashion influence and all the festive black!
Enjoy your great adventure!
John

posted by John Westman on Sat 20 Aug 2005 at 22:02:46 est (-05:00)

Paul,
when i wrote the prior email i had not visited the recon board.... WOW!!!!! I loved looking at your photos --- the viking museum, and park of human statues brought back great memories - i made a visit to my ancestors home town north of Bergen (i think)in Andelsnes, so may have travelled down a few of the same paths.... a few decades ago. Congratulations on great photos and an unforgettable trip!
Cheers,
John
P.S. I will wear all black on Monday to PharMetrics to celebrate your travels!

posted by John W on Sat 20 Aug 2005 at 22:19:23 est (-05:00)

thanks for the compliments john! glad you like the photos. hope all is well at pmtx!

posted by paul recon on Wed 24 Aug 2005 at 18:58:21 est (-05:00)

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