Day 8 – Jacksonville to Miami

NOTE to readers – SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM (if you are on the main blog page) and work your way up if you are the type of person that likes chronological order. The first post is “The Backstory”. ALSO –forgive any grammar, spelling, or whatever other writing mistakes you will find in my posts. Yes I love to use dashes and dots – I write how I would speak! Since I am writing from the road my first focus is enjoying the sights and trying to record them as best I can. Therefore, in regards to proof reading  – Ain’t nobody got time fo dat!

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Just before 6am my phone started ringing and it was Erin. She had fallen asleep and didn’t hear her phone and was like AHHHHHHHH! I let her know I truly didn’t care and I was sorry I had messed up my arrival time – stupid time changes! I met her downstairs at her condo and we went up to her place… we hadn’t seen each other in a year so we chatted for a bit, I threw some laundry on, and both of us decided to lay back down for a bit.

It was almost 10am when she came back out and we had some awesome french press coffee and breakfast and continued catching up and chatting. She had been a sailor and was sharing with me these amazing stories from college! I absolutely love hearing other people’s travel stories and adventures. 

She had a convention to go to for work at 12:30 which was just the time I needed to leave to head to Miami. I went to a local coffee shop to get a bit of writing done before trekking it down to Miami (which was about a 5 hour journey). My friend was scheduled to land at 6:20 in Fort Lauderdale. 

I made my way down the coast pretty easily. The 5 hours seemed like nothing compared to the two previous day’s 8 hour long hauls! I picked my friend up and we were on our way to Miami baby! A few nights prior she had called me saying she was a bit overwhelmed with all the accommodation options… vacation rental? hotel? I told her if anything just book the first night in the hotel but to not commit to anything. We would just learn the lay of the land and figure out where we wanted to stay. 

Later, she had shared with me that a friend she rides horses with has a friend with a yacht and we were invited to go chill with them. Obviously having LaRoo, I had to make sure it was ok BUT we didn’t really get a clear answer. We decided to just go for it and stopped off in a CVS parking lot. My friend went to the bathroom to freshen up and I painted my nails in the parking lot while I waited. If there is one thing I don’t like doing its waiting around…therefore I usually find something to do to make my time productive. That’s one thing I’ve been working on while on my road trip. JUST CHILL. Slow down. It’s find to just BE sometimes. 

Once she was back at the car we had the address to the marina… which took us a bit of time to find as we kept turning into the wrong parking structure. Once we were finally parked we were waiting to get a word on which dock the yacht was at. Once we met up with the one guy (who was a brother of the person my friend knew) he said he wasn’t sure if the dog would be ok because they didn’t get permission from the dude whose boat it was… but he said to not worry and just come aboard. Now.. I hate being put in situations where there could be conflict so I asked them to go ahead and get permission first while I waited on the dock. A few minutes later I had the go ahead to come on board so I carried LaRoo up to the top level where everyone was parting. LaRoo was an instant hit! The girls came over to pet her and everyone was loving on her. PHEW ok. All is well.

From what I could gather most of the group was from Mexico City and came out to party for a long weekend. Everyone was welcoming and nice and within moments one of the crew was serving me a drink. The guy whose family owned the boat was quite intoxicated but came up and jokingly said he was going to throw LaRoo overboard…but then proceeded to love up on her and get in her face. Now… my dog is super duper sweet and friendly but like most dogs, doesn’t like people grabbing her snout and getting up in her face. She growled and snapped at him but luckily he found it amusing before he wandered off. HOLY SHIT. haha. Throughout the night multiple people commented on how well behaved and sweet LaRoo was (which she totally is… when she is WITH ME. more on that later).

There was about 15 people on board…some in the hot tub…some enjoying drinks at the large table and loud music was blaring over the speakers. Drinks were flowing and it was just a gooooooooood time. A few hours later some of the group decided they wanted to head out to the club. CRAP – what to do with LaRoo. Having not been on board the boat too long I didn’t want to leave her there… hell if she ends up scratching something!  So i decided to take her back to my car in the parking garage. NOW NOW NOW you animal activists…before you go lecturing me I am WELL aware of leaving dogs in cars and whatnot. I checked the temperature in the garage and it was in the low low 70’s so I cracked the windows of my car. Sat in there a few moments with her. And when she wasn’t panting at all and seemed comfortable, I figured this the best option for her while we went out for a bit. It was somewhere she had been for hours upon hours, all the smells were familiar, and she had her car seat and blanket. 

I tried to seem like it was all good to my friend and the guy because given the circumstances, it was my only  real option at the time. In the back of my mind I knew she would be ok and given all the activity during the day I thought she would just sleep. BUT I was still a bit worried nonetheless. 

We headed to meet the group (they left a little before we did) at Sushi Samba on Lincoln Rd in South Beach. They had already started eating but we joined them and ordered more food. I didn’t even really look at a menu but food just started showing up. The one guy ordered these little crabs… apparently they are imported from Japan, flash fried, and quite the delicacy. Only two restaurants in the USA serve them! I liken it to eating a very crunchy potato chip. I’m pretty adventurous with food but i think the drinks I had on the yacht helped me out on this one. Nothing like what your eating staring right at you when you put it in your mouth! 

We finished up dinner (which was absolutely phenomenal) – the two guys picked up the check like it was nothing (THANKS BOYS!) and we headed out to a club. We made our way to Barrezzito which is a restaurant/lounge. Drinks were served and a few minutes later a waitress came up to me saying the gentleman at the other table wanted to buy me a drink. From afar he looked older, kind of out of shape, and sooooooo not what I would be interested in so I politely declined as I didn’t want to send the wrong message (AND I already had a beverage in front of me. Not trying to double first over here!). She came back a few minutes later and said he insisted. FINE THEN. CHAMPAGNE. Now i’m not trying to sound like a brat here… it’s just I don’t like being put in situations like that. Especially when it comes to men and them thinking they can buy you a drink and that gives them an automatic ticket to talk to you. NOTE TO MEN: Don’t do this to girls… its just creepy!

My champagne arrived – I looked over at the guy and smiled and airs cheered him. Then turned my attention back to my table. 10 minutes later and another glass of champagne arrived. DAMNIT. I don’t want to talk to this dude! Grrrrr. He waved me over and I went and sat down at a chair next to him. I was introduced to his brother and wife who were in town visiting. Mr. Champagne lived in Miami and wanted to take me out….handed me his card… and that was that. LUCKILY, my friend noticed I needed some saving and pulled me up to dance. 

Moments later another table to guys waved us over and we went to say Hi. They were more our age and having a good time. We were about to leave the place so the one guy got my number and I was out the door. 

The thing I find so amusing about this scenario is I had NOT showered, was still in my bathing suit, wearing a coverup that hadn’t been washed in a week, had a fedora on, and had zero makeup. Hahahahaha – perhaps I was just dripping in pheromones. I should bottle that shit up! Damn!

We walked a ways down and were in another club called Mint. This place was ALIVE! It was the wee ours of the morning and I was completely donezo so we stayed a short bit until making our way back to the yacht. 

We got dropped off in the taxi by the parking garage and as I walked up I noticed a police car. He said something that I didn’t hear but then he repeated himself again and asked if I was the owner of a black Saturn. OH SHIT. He said someone had called because the dog was barking but that he “couldn’t tell me what to do with my dog”. I explained the situation which he probably didn’t give two shits about. I apologized for the complaint and quickly went to retrieve my little barking friend. She was fine and sleeping on her car seat. OOOOH did i feel like a bad doggy mommy at that moment. All was well her but she tends to be quite the protector of wherever she is. The cars around me were gone so I’m assuming when they approached my car LaRoo was like AWWWWWWWWWW HELL NO step away from this vehicle. Don’t judge. My dog is my baby!

Once on the yacht, I was shown downstairs into a room with two twin beds (much like a cruise ship), made myself comfortable, and was soooooooooooound asleep within minutes. 

Last night I slept in my car…tonight sleeping on a $15+ million dollar yacht (just an estimate based on some google search of comparable yachts).

Life on the open road.

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