We land in Miami and immediately learn important lesson number one – to save important ‘next step’ information outside of an email and into a calendar or note that does not need wifi.
Once we get over that blip and find the address and directions to our friend’s house, we’re on our way. Tired and wearing far too many clothes for Miami, we head to Coral Gables. I love our friends, especially the ones who have a spare house at the bottom of their garden! A gorgeous two bed guest house is to be our home for the next two nights. Oh – and they have a pool.
Our children and their children have met before but a while ago – it doesn’t matter – they all hit it off and then hit the pool. We have the luxury of enjoying time with lovely friends, almost child-free, and enjoy a wonderful, easy first night.
We now realise that a house at the bottom of someone’s garden is the perfect choice for our first night as we were all *WIDE AWAKE* at 4.30am. Trying to disguise the noise of five very awake people in the same building as anyone else trying to sleep would have been almost impossible, however good our bribery and distraction skills may be. We make it to 7am, thankful for the fruit our friends suggested we take with us to bed the night before.
We head over for breakfast and get ready to start day one of home school. It’s clear to the pair of us that we’re bluffing/acting at being teachers, but trying desperately to look like we know what we’re doing. To the kids, it’s a great game and they find it really amusing that we are teaching them – so for today at least, they follow along. I shudder to think what our teacher friends would have to say about our performance – but we make it through reading, writing and maths. The kids head to the pool and we are left exhausted.
Sushi for lunch and then to the beach. I observe a new shade of ‘tan’ we’ve never previously come across and get re-introduced to micro swimwear (it’s safe to say, we’re not in Qatar anymore Toto). We also spot a man with a metal detector wading chest high in the sea, believing he has struck gold right in front of us, he digs and sieves for about 30 minutes and then moves up the beach. Quite bizarre.
On the way back I spot a reasonably seedy hotel that my sister, brother and I stayed in about twelve years ago. My sister received free flights with her company and they were about to expire, so we organised a last minute trip to Miami for three days. I remember my brother burnt to a crisp on day one, we inadvertently stole a pair of board shorts and later that night, we were asked if we were related to Princess Diana. We were then cajoled into a prank call to this same person’s sister to try to convince her that her sister had indeed met royalty and that we had just moored our yacht in a nearby harbour.
Back to our friend’s house for another chilled evening and everyone’s jet-lag is subsiding. A more reasonable start time the next day, farewells to their children at breakfast as they head to school and then home school: day two. Hmmm, not so successful today. A few more stressful moments, a bit more vocal pushback from the children on the realisation that this is not a game and is going to happen five times a week. Today, I think it’s fair to say we all ‘get through it’.
We leave Miami, happy for having the time to catch up with lovely friends, over the worst of jet-lag, clean, rested, laundered and naively unaware that this would be the last decent wifi for the next month. Next stop Quito, Ecuador.
Items lost: 3
– 1 kids watch
– 2 pairs of swimming goggles