Where were we?
Ah yes, after a good night’s sleep, J woke up and phoned the movie theater, and, to our shock and amazement, they had his wallet in their possession (minus the $7 in cash he’s had left, but whatever). Since we were already in Aventura, we stopped at the local Archie’s Pizza for lunch with R’s girlfriend, who lives in the area. Archie’s served up a mean mojito, and its patio furniture included cushy armchairs and square beds, BEDS!, along with the more traditional stuff, so no complaints here.
When we dropped R’s girlfriend at her apartment, R insisted we take a quick stroll along the channel that runs behind her building, home of the mother of all yachts, The Adriana III (to be honest, the daughter of all yachts, because the Adriana II is even more immense). Apparently the couple that owns the Adrianas lives in the islands and pays a staff to live in the apartments and maintain the docked yacht. Miami excess makes your stomach turn at first, but strangely (or sadly) you start to get used to it after a few days.
We arrived back in North Beach in the late afternoon, changed into swimsuits, grabbed a bottle of wine and headed down to the pool deck to relax as the sun set. The view was stunning: colorful sunset, crew teams at practice gliding past, the great Tikki Beach (a Polynesian-style party barge) meandering through the bay. A couple of hours here was enough to recharge our batteries, and a good thing; that night we’d be experiencing South Beach nightlife…. for 6 hours straight.
After getting all dolled up (right, so the guys didn’t so much doll up as they did pimp out), we were ready to hit the town. R recently retired from the nightclub scene to launch a new brand of flavor-free vitamin water called Basix (which saved our lives, btw, this entire week). Before his departure, though, he’d been the manager of several clubs, including the famed Mansion, for a number of years. For this reason, we’d be getting a much more extensive (and much LESS expensive) experience.
Our night included visits to 5 clubs: Love/Hate (a tattoo-inspired dive), La Fois (the latest addition to the strip, and probably my favorite, it should be noted that no one remembers the correct spelling of the club’s name), Hedkandie (a modern Euro club featuring house music), Mansion (a monolithic dance club, possibly the longest-standing in South Beach) and finally SET (a slick, mid-sized dance club where we spent most of our time trying to sneak onto the go-go elevators).
The average Miami clubber would pay a $10-$30 cover just to ENTER these clubs. Drinks on top of that are pricey, and parking is $10 on average. There’s no way we could’ve afforded this kind of club-hopping if we hadn’t been under R’s wing for the evening. There was no waiting in lines, no covers, no paying for drinks. It was a crazy night of V.I.P sight-seeing (and occasionally even dancing) and by the time we returned home, my head was a little spinny, I couldn’t feel my feet (stupid hot shoes) and the clock read 5:00 a.m. I don’t even recall falling asleep…
Just waking up the next afternoon.
(To be continued…)