Tag Archives: photography

A Weekend in Miami

 

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Miami is like New York.  It is full of culture and history.

Miami is like Pattaya, Thailand.  Beautiful beaches lining its coast.

Miami is like Denver.  There are bars and restaurants on nearly every block.

Miami is a tourist dream paradise, it is a city well-connected by flights, the food is delicious and there is plenty to do no matter what time of day.

The city is dominant by Spanish language which wasn’t a huge surprise to me given the geographical location to Latin America.  I was surprised how many people spoke Spanish to us in Spanish and not English first.  The majority of the drivers and a few restaurant workers spoke to didn’t speak English which made it difficult at times to get around.

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Ocean Drive

Miami Beach is an entirely separate city from Miami proper.  To reach Miami Beach you travel over a bridge.

The heart of Miami is undoubtedly South Beach.  Home to clubs, restaurants, hotels, shopping and the occasional celebrity sighting, the community provides something for anyone visiting.

The southern tip of South Beach is home to Ocean Drive.  There you have the legendary Art Deco buildings, the late Gianni Versace’s mansion and multiple locations that were featured in Hollywood motion pictures.

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The Birdcage staring Robin Williams and Nathan Lane was filmed at The Carlyle.  Bad Boys and Scarface filmed scenes along the area.

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728 Ocean Drive was the location of the Sun Ray Apartments in Scarface.  Here the legendary chainsaw scene took place at the back of the property before Johnny Rockets occupied the location.  It is currently being remodeled into a new CVS.

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Expensive mixed drinks are available at bars and restaurants with views of the beach across the street.

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Espanola Way

Tucked in a palm tree lined pedestrian street, Espanola Way is a throwback to Old World Europe.  Take your pick from Cuban, Italian, Japanese and Mexican food.  Walking up the street, hosts from every restaurant greet you outside with menus readily in hand.

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Havana 1957

Transporting you to Havana in the 1950’s, Havana 1957 allows you to relive the glory and glamour of Cuba.  I was treated to my first and long overdue experience of Cuban food.  I ordered Vaca Frita, a dish  with grilled shredded beef, onions in Cuban mojo. Served with white rice and black beans.  I paired it with local fresh red Sangria that was the perfect compliment.  While I cannot recall the name of our server, he was a very classy and knowledgeable fellow who shared stories coming over from Cuba and his artwork created.

Hosteria Romana

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My last evening in Miami began with a return trip to Espanola Way at Hosteria Romana.  The interior of the restaurant held the essence of central Rome that provided you with a brief trip to Italy.  From traditional music to exquisite plates of Roman Jewish cuisine, Hosteria Romana brings South Beach the culture of Rome, Italy.

We ordered an appetizer of freshly sliced prosciutto ham and melon.  Unlike traditional meats found in delis, this was the freshest that I have come across.  For dinner I ordered Bucatini o Rigatoni Amatriciana.  The name is lengthy but the dish boasts robust flavors of tomato, romano cheese and an Italian bacon (pancetta) sauce.

I can be rather picky when it comes to quality Italian food.  Other than the restaurants that occupy Little Italy in New York, Hosteria Romana is the most authentic and appealing Italian restaurant I have come across during my travels.

Take Away

For my first experience in Miami, despite the humidity it truly lived up to its expectations of a party city and full of culture.  While I am not sure when I will return, it has earned a return someday..

 

 

The Bright Lights of Los Angeles

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High above the bustling streets of downtown Los Angeles, Sky Space offers its guests an opportunity to experience the city 69-stories from above.  Panoramic views of nearby Hollywood and legendary Dodgers Stadium, this is the must-see attraction that is gaining popularity among locals and tourists on vacation.  Located on the 54th, 69th and 70th floor of the US Bank tower, visitors enter the building from the 2nd story and proceed through a security check point prior to boarding the high speed elevator.

Once you reach the 54th floor, guests exit into an interactive lobby showcased by a continuous video and a photo opportunity with a stationed photographer.  Once you have taken the elevator up to the 70th floor, guests who purchased the combo Sky Space LA and slide ticket have the option to proceed to the enclosed slide over the city and onto the 69th floor observation deck.

Much similar to the observation decks in Las Vegas, New York City and Seattle, Sky Space LA provides panoramic views of the city, Dodger Stadium, Hollywood and the LA basin.  For those who may experience vertigo, there are multiple couches located along the observation for ample views.  I’ve had the opportunity to experience this location during the day and late at night.  Each experience was very unique and provided a different perspective of Los Angeles.

Horseshoe Bend

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By: Robert Fayette – March 29, 2017

Arizona is primarily known for it’s vast desert, professional sports teams and the Grand Canyon National Park.

Horseshoe Bend is a natural wonder carved out over a million years by the Colorado River as it’s way down the Grand Canyon.  The sweeping panoramic views from the outlook 1,100 feet above the Colorado River are for travelers of all ages and fitness levels.

Getting To Horseshoe Bend:

Horseshoe Bend is located south of Page, Arizona.  From Page, head south on Highway 89 for 5.1 miles.  Coming south towards Page, turn left into the dirt parking lot once you see the sign for Horseshoe Bend Overlook sign.

The conditions at Horseshoe Bend can be very dry and warm depending on the time of year.  Before departing your vehicle, it is recommended to wear proper footwear and bring along an adequate amount of water for the hike.  The trail departs from the parking lot uphill for several minutes until you reach the gazebo halfway to the overlook.  The remainder of the trail is downhill quickly providing views of the canyon.

Depending on the time of day, the overlook can be very busy with foot traffic coming and going.  If you’re looking to avoid large crowds and warm weather in the summer, it is recommended to visit the overlook early in the morning.  Afternoon is the ideal time for capturing the overlook as the sun sets.

There are plenty of areas along the overlook to view Horseshoe Bend, but please remember that there are no railings along the end of the cliff.

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Heading downhill from the gazebo to the outlook.

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