I am suddenly jerked awake. Dreary eyed I realize I’m on a plane (where else can I be??). The pilot reminding me (not personally of course) to not leave my seat just yet. Succumbing to exhaustion from the cross-Atlantic flight and the five hour wait in Raleigh airport, I slept through the flight to Miami. I emerge from arrivals to see Olivia waiting for me, armed with her customary cheeky smile and infectious excitement for the most mundane things. “Oh my God Tonito! You’re in Miami!! This is going to be awesome!”
I didn’t do any planning for this trip(which basically involves buying a guidebook and looking information up on Wikitravel), as I felt that Olivia should bear this burden of planning as punishment for not letting me sleep in Guatemala and I would be visiting her city! Her domain. Her stomping ground. Therefore it is only justified she was in charge of keeping me entertained (which doesn’t involve much to be honest). Before we even set-off from the airport I’m presented with a bottle of Zacapa Centenatrio Rum and the long awaited Guat Squad bracelet specially commissioned by our Chapin friend Karl. Both of these gifts presented with recounting of our adventures in Guatemala, which had us in stitches throughout the drive to South Beach Miami where we would be spending the night in a hostel.
Our hostel in South Beach had the feel of an English Castle as it was surrounded by unexplained water (There had been no rain, Olivia tells me) which mean my first few steps in Miami were taken barefoot in the slightly suspect smelling waters on the streets of South Beach.
So the plan for the evening was simple. Catching up as much as possible aided by ritualistic consumption of ‘haram’ substances. The first stop of the night would be at a housewarming party of Oli’s friends Molly and Alex, where we would once again recount the story of how Oli and I met ; of how my foot was sacrificed to the Mayan Gods and how we almost died on a volcano. It was also here where we discovered the reason for the water on the streets of Miami South Beach. Apparently the Fall Equinox causes the tide to come in much further than normal, hence the water on the streets.
This brief stop, was followed by a trip to the financial district, where I meet some of more of Oli’s friends and the consumption of drinks would continue until exhaustion once again overwhelmed me. My usual low tolerance for alcohol once a again manifesting itself as I have very little recollection of what time we got back.