I’m In Miami B!tch I

June 23, 2010

Location: Miami, Florida, USA
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The morning started earlier than most. I hadn’t packed yet. My alarm was set to ease into a welcoming morning melody at some ungodly hour. I stayed up online late the night before when I could have been packing, but alas, Facebook and Twitter kept calling my name. You can see where my priorities lie.

We gather out front of our apartment complex at 9:30am to load the car. I was in such a great mood; the sun was shining despite the weather mans gloomy forecast and the birds were chirping. A McDonald’s breakfast run was decided which sounded absolutely heavenly to my stomach . Today was going to be a good day.

A four hour drive from Orlando to Miami Beach await us. Mike has made a road-trip play-list to help ease the discomfort of being cramped up in a car for that long a time. I bop around in the back seat to a few new tunes. A group favorite, the Backstreet Boys ‘I Want It That Way’ comes on. I clear my throat and prepare to sing my heart out. We all sing at the top of our lungs with harmonization like you’ve never heard it before. Despite the early hour, our voices combine sound refreshingly smooth; almost enough to give the Backstreet Boys a run for their money. It’s barely 11am and I’ve already had McDonalds and a strenuous vocal workout; and to think, I’m usually still in bed at this hour.

As we drive toward the Art District of Miami Beach I am pleasantly surprised with the giant murals and sculptures on and out front of the buildings surrounding us. The colors are so vivid and radiant; they almost make you want to admire their beauty. It is amazing how something so simple can brighten up such a bland looking building, making it appealing to the eye. Something distracts my attention away from the art work for a second. Our car approaches an endless strip of palm trees. We have officially arrived at Miami Beach!
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We are booked into The Bentley Hotel on Ocean Drive, South Beach. As we approach Ocean Drive, I try to keep an eye out for the hotel but, at the same time, I try to sneak a peak at the lively area in which we are situated. The people walking down the street are gorgeous, the atmosphere; phenomenal; the scenery; breathtaking and the cars rolling on by; to die for.

I have a mini heart attack as well pull up, curb-side, to our hotel. We have valet parking take care of the car from here on in. The bell boy takes our luggage up to our room as we check in. I found The Bentley Hotel on Trip Advisor where it ranked #34 of 198 hotels in Miami Beach. After carefully reading the reviews and being quite impressed, I was convinced this was the hotel for us. We had booked a one bedroom suite which would comfortably accommodate four of us (two in the master bedroom and two on the fold out couch). Check in goes quite smoothly and we are handed our room keys. The suite is absolutely beautiful. We have a huge living space, a more than adequate kitchen area, the master bedroom is great and the bathroom area is huge, complete with a personal butt-washer! Bless Trip Advisor for its honest reviews (Click on the images below to enlarge).

We didn’t waste any time unpacking. Within a few minutes of settling in, we had our bathing suits on and went to suss out the roof-top pool and tanning deck. Although only five levels up, the view from the roof-top deck was truly beautiful. The different-shades of ocean-blue water shimmered as it caught the suns rays; the sand, so white and pure and the palm trees, gently swaying in the afternoon breeze beckoned a picture perfect post-card moment. I took a deep breath and inhaled the ocean-fresh air; so crisp and invigorating. I had already fallen in love with Miami (Click on the images below to enlarge).

After a quick dip and tanning session on the roof top, it was time to frolic on South Beach. I held my flip flops in my hand and sunk my toes deep into the warm, white sand. The crashing of the waves upon the shore whilst the sun, in all its glory, was shining down on me was so relaxing. I wish I could live this moment for ever. My thoughts are interrupted by the suggestion of a group photo in front of the ‘Miami Beach’ life guard hut. We ask a beach random to take our photo; he seems more than happy to do so. I snap away at the gorgeous aqua waters long enough to make me want to jump into it. I pack away my camera and frolic toward the shore. I cautiously creep in to test the North Atlantic waters temperature; it has been warmed by the suns rays. The next wave comes crashing over my feet and as it washes back toward the ocean, I scrunch up my toes as my feet sink into the wet sand (Click on the images below to enlarge).

Dusk begins to fall. We settle for dinner at TGI Friday’s which is right underneath our hotel. Once dinner is done, we head back to our apartment to pre-game, play some cards and get ready for a night out clubbing.


Today was an extremely long day. I’m finally glad when it’s time to rest my head and close my eyes. Tomorrow is a whole new day.

~ TO BE CONTINUED ~

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Thunder from Downunder I

June 15, 2010

Location: Orlando, Florida, USA
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They may look harmless and innocent, but please, do not let their angelic, semi-tanned (minus me who clearly matches the wood top) appearances fool you. They came from all over Australia; Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane with only one thing in mind. With their powers combine they were an indestructible partying, booze-consuming, and adventure-hungry force… a force that Carlos was not mentally prepared for.

CHAPTER 1
~ The Arrival ~

It was a sweltering summers evening here in Orlando; much like the one we are currently experiencing here tonight. All the Aussies had arrived safe and sound to Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. Check-in went as smooth as one could hope. The resort was nice enough; comfortable beds, an adequate bathroom for Gavin to beautify himself in and a nice pool with a water slide, that’s right, a water slide. Moving on up in the world, people!

It could not have been more than five or so hours after arriving that the bright-eyed, eager youth of Australia began begging and pleading with me to introduce them to the cheapness that is American alcohol. They didn’t have to ask me twice. After all, who was I to deny them of such a privilege?
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CHAPTER 2
~ Ale House ~

It would be a lie if I said I wasn’t nervous. I felt comfortable enough but I knew I was taking a risk by crossing cultural boundaries. I mean, it just didn’t seem fair introducing a country that is quite capable and at ease of drinking anyone and everyone under the table (this is just one of many Australian stereotypes, but one we stand by; one we are truly and wholeheartedly proud of) with a bunch of piss-weak Americans. I thought long and hard about this. I figured that at worst, we would just sacrifice Nicole; our one drink wonder, and that would make us even. This made  sense in my head. All seemed fair again. Enough delaying, bring on the buckets and pitchers.

Pitcher after pitcher after pitcher was consumed. It was a marvelous sight; the Australians and the Americans mingling together as if we were united as one (under the rulings of her majesty, the Queen, of course). Beer got the party started until shots just added a whole new definition to crossing boundaries. The saying ‘beer before liquor, never been sicker’, was completely blown out the window tonight. We were all just bouncing off the walls like one big happy drunken family that had just been reunited after twenty odd years of being lost at sea.  The alcohol slowly yet surely began to work its magic. Speech became difficult and the right words seemed somewhat troublesome to get out. Conversation quickly took a turn for the worse. Well, maybe not so much for the worse, but enough to send Gavin into a table-hitting ball of laughter and for me to fall to the floor while simultaneously hysterically laughing and crying at the one time. See, even when I’ve had too much to drink I can still multi-task. I should add that to my resume. This is where true love begins to blossom between Aussie Nicole and American Carlos. Will cupid pull through for the sake of us all?

When the night ends with the purchase of three shots and five beers as well as food for $25 and two car loads in a bar parking lot harmoniously screaming out a drunken rendition of Backstreet Boys ‘I Want It That Way‘ (while Carlos makes it his duty to mount me in the front seat, of Bryan’s car), you know you’ve had a good night (and perhaps too much to drink). This almost brought a tear to my eye. I felt at ease with my decision to introduce my Aussies to my Americans.
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CHAPTER 3
~ Magic Kingdom ~

A new, sober day. To be honest with you, I’m not quite sure how I got myself out of bed this morning. Today would be the first of four Disney park days.  Magic Kingdom is the only dry park on Disney property and just as well after our  ‘welcome to America‘ Ale House adventure last night.

Would it be Magic Kingdom without a cliched jump in front of Cinderella’s Castle photo? Yes, we do range from ages 19  – 25. Don’t you be judging now…

Magic Kingdom really is the place where dreams come true. No matter how old you are here, there is always that brief moment where you revert back to your childhood and let the kid inside of you come out and get excited. Now, whether you express this sense of excitement or not is totally up to you, but don’t go being in denial about it; it happens to the best of us. I dropped the tough girl persona within minutes of stepping foot into the Magic Kingdom almost one year ago to this day. And since we are being honest, yes, yes I did download ‘Celebrate You‘ by Corbin Bleu, the pre-tune to the Celebrate a Dream Come True parade and yes, maybe I do sing along and dance to it in front of my mirror when my room mate isn’t home!
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lo·sing ones shit (sht)
Vulgar slang
(verb)

1. The act of meeting Mickey and Minnie for the first time.
.. .. … .I’m going to lose my shit when I see Mickey and Minnie.
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Today was Gavin’s day to, as he’d loosely refer to it as, ‘lose his shit‘. This is a very simple process for one Gavin Thomas. It involved presenting him with either Mickey or Minnie Mouse. The two of them simultaneously would clearly be sensory overload for the young Mr. Thomas so it was much to my delight when we stumbled upon Mickey’s House and were greeted by the two of them in a separate building out back, possibly Mickey’s garage? I think Mickey and Minnie’s secret rendezvous meeting point seemed to be the more appropriate answer; these two were out of control all over every one. It was something like out of a reality TV show titled Minnie Gone Wild. I’m not sure what side of the bed Miss. Minnie woke up on this morning (or if she mistakenly popped a few of Mickey’s Viagra pills), but she was rather touchy feely; throwing kisses out left right and center then dashing mischief glances over toward Mickey in hopes to see him jealous after she’d smooch it up with all the boys. She was all about the hand action; hugging, poking, tickling, hands around everyone’s waist. Mickey could do nothing more than silently suffer and accept the fact that his girl was feeling rather whore-ish on this pleasant summers day. Who would have thought Minnie had a frisky side to her; definitely not me. All this hot Minnie action was, no doubt, causing Gavin to experience heart palpitations like no other. He shoved his camera into my hands while mumbling a quick ‘Oh my God’ under his breath and leaped toward Mickey for a long, loving embrace. Gavin had officially lost his shit.

I had not had my photo taken with Mickey or Minnie for some time now so I figured since we’d waited in line, I may as well take advantage of this situation (and of Minnie). The anticipation and all that sexual tension that was floating around the room proved to be all too much for the Aussies, because after all of this, we got wet. Very wet.  That’s right, we rode Splash Mountain and got drenched from head to toe. Not what you were thinking, right? Dirty buggers.

Our night at Magic Kingdom ended with a big bang. I can’t say I’m surprised if you suspect that Minnie had something to do with this, but fortunately for Mickey’s sanity and the longevity of Disney World, you are wrong. Get your mind out of the gutter, people. I’m talking about the Wishes Fireworks Spectacular! Since arriving at Disney World last year, Wishes has quite possibly been my favorite thing ever apart from the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor so I was ecstatic to be sharing this treat with my Aussies. This would be the last time that I’d be seeing Wishes as it is going on hiatus over the Summer and being replaced with the Pirates and Princesses Fireworks Spectacular. Knowing this, I felt a teeny tiny bit sad, but also eager and excited to experience what was to come. The lights around the park dim and a sweet, innocent little voice begins reciting the lyrics to Star Light, Star Bright as the first round of fireworks shoot their way up into the dark night sky. Pretty sure the Aussies are at a loss for words and I’m quite confident that Gavin is  discretely having one of his little moments. Oh Wishes, how I will miss you and the lingering memory of the extended Wishes Holidays Spectacular that I will hold ever so dearly in my mind. Somewhere between Wishes ending and us trying to exit Magic Kingdom through a stampede of guests, we ended up at Steak ‘n’ Shake. Today was a good day.

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CHAPTER 3
~ Let it Rain ~

Tonight, as promised, we had made plans to venture out to club Rain. Now, I will begin by being honest with you straight up. I really do not remember much from this night. It may or may not have something to do with the self-consumption of two shots and six beers in a short period of time; I’m just saying, this may have something to do with it. I can quite confidently tell you that the night began by pre-gaming with my Aussie and American boys (and girls).

From here, I can also confidently report to you that we made it into Rain, despite being somewhat tipsy at the door. I remember lots of dancing and drinking; Bryan handing me drink after drink. At one point I remember our Aussie and American crew completely owning the stage but the rest of it is just a blur; a blur of fun, none the less. Somewhere along the line, it ended up looking like the hot mess below.

I don’t know how we made it out, or how I ended up in Ali’s car, but what I do know is that I was ecstatic to hear that we were making a 3am Maccas run. Late night (early morning) Maccas runs are possibly one of my favorite things to do when drunk. Nothing makes you feel better upon waking up that next morning knowing that you devoured a McNugget Meal  only hours earlier and passed out on a full stomach. A good night was had by all, except for maybe Nicole who’s empty heart beat only for Carlos and perhaps Brendon who had been approached by another male and asked how much his services would cost. We got home somewhere between the hours of 3 and 4am. We needed to be up at 8am for another day of debauchery. This was going to prove to be quite the task, especially since Gavin was no where to be found.
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~TO BE CONTINUED~

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