Friday, January 25, 2013

Tripologue: Miami Beach (the city) & Naples (also the city)

We've recently been going to and fro in the state to check out a few places we'd heard about and to take quick little day trips. A few weeks ago, we headed up to Miami Beach, which is a fairly big city in the Miami Beach/Ft. Lauderdale/Miami strip of big cities that all run together here in South Florida. Of the 3, Miami Beach is by far the nicest (cleanest, richest, fanciest). But we weren't headed there for ritzy shops or even the beach. 

We were looking for 'reclaimed wood.' 

Reclaimed wood, if you haven't heard of it, is like this weathered kind of wood that has been used for something else that you take and turn into something like furniture or some kind of home decor. Everything today is reclaimed this, reclaimed that. And since Jan and I have kind of been on a DIY-furniture kick lately since everything worth having is too expensive, we decided to head up and check things out at a salvage-type yard called "Adam and Eve's" that specialized in aged wood and doors and furniture, etc.

We got there and found that few things were marked with prices. Then we looked closer and found that they were marked with prices. They were just really expensive prices that our brains apparently blocked out, because most of the stuff there was basically old and decaying. Neat, but decaying. Unfortunately, this place knew that seemingly crafty DIY'ers from Miami would come up there looking for some gullible dopey salvage yard guy to sell them cool old doors and stuff for a song, not knowing what he actually had. 

This weird thing? $750.
Weird, huh?

Cool cement knight. Wasn't as expensive but where would I put it?

A 90 year-old door. This was $1,500.
They had a lot of these. We loved them. I have no idea what they are.   
We really wanted this one but it was like $350 or so.

After striking out at Adam and Eve's the guy (assumedly Adam) told us that we should go to the 'green market' downtown, that they would have cool antiques and stuff we might like. I had no idea what 'green market' meant, but it was close by.

There was this very cool tree there downtown. It was cooler than this picture makes it look.

We stopped at an ice cream store and used the restrooms. The doors were completely glass see-through, until you went in and turned this little knob, which instantly made them fog over somehow. I have NO idea how this was accomplished.

Cool sink in the bathroom.

Allowed to drink "Mountain Dude" for some reason.
The downtown area

A movie theatre downtown

This place was cool looking. Notice the cow on the roof.

Day of the dead stuff!

Some palm trees. Because these are so rare in South Florida.

 OK, so that was the Miami Beach trip. We probably should have taken better pictures and gone to more exciting places and stuff, but, well, maybe next time. But today we went to Naples, which is this cool little retirement city on the opposite side of Florida from Miami. It's about 75 miles away or so and thus was an ideal day trip. I arranged the day off from work because January continues to still be going, and we headed over.

The first stop was The Original Pancake House, in Southwest Ranches, FL, which is about 2 miles south of us. We've driven by this place several times and there is always a line of about 20-30 people outside milling about, waiting to get in. We figured it had to be good based on that, and I vowed to take us there on a day off on a weekday, because weekends would be a very bad wait.

This proves that we made it there!

So does this!

The food was absolutely excellent, and not in ways that you would expect at all. The flavors were very strong and very unusual. I couldn't figure out what my pancakes tasted like, when Jan sat up and exclaimed "banana! banana!!" Indeed, it was banana, and it was REALLY GOOD. Her french toast? Massive almond flavor-it was also excellent. And the hot chocolate was one of the best I've ever had in a restaurant. A definite stop for any family members that visits us out here.

Next up was heading through I-75 to Naples, straight through the Everglades. The road is called 'Alligator Alley,' although as you can see there was fencing along the sides of the road the entire way, and most of it had barbed wire at the top, in case the alligators decided to scale the fence.

The first place we went to was called Tin City, and I'm not sure why. It's this eclectic shopping area on the waterfront. It was full of fun little stores with cool things in them.

She tolerated this, at least.

Tin City was built just 2 weeks after I was born.

They had these little things all over. Click on this to get a closer look. It was cool.
Happy girls

Enjoying some 'Superman/Superwoman" ice cream at the very PC ice cream place.
Checking out the pirate coconuts. She was a little wary of them.

Lots of fun wood carvings all around in Tin City.
Maddie ran away from this carving .0000001 seconds after this picture was taken.

Crazily, she actually requested this picture. Not like her.

Cool things like this were on the roof.
After Tin City, we went over to Naples Beach. It was the softest, whitest sand we've ever seen, and it was all very very nice. A great breeze to cool it off (it was about 78 degrees today) and 90% of the beach patrons were retired couples, so it's not the skank-a-palooza of the Miami beaches at all. Much more our speed. 

It was difficult to resist hopping in the water. We'll have to pack our beach stuff next time!

A view of the fishing pier.

After the beach we went to some antique stores but didn't find anything, and we stopped in at Trader Joe's to see what all the fuss was about. We left about 2 minutes later. If I want overpriced gerbil food I'll go to PetSmart. And we wrapped things up with a visit to World Market, which is not present in our neck of the woods. We bought a new dining room table, which was like 30% off on a year-end close-out. It's awesome! Too bad I didn't take a picture of it. But it's like 12 feet away and I'd have to get up and walk over there and you can see my dilemma.

Until the next trip...probably later. We'll likely stay put and be boring for a little while to at least catch our breath. Too much excitement, all this traveling around...


Hillary said...

When you visit us in Utah, I'll take you to the Original Pancake House in SugarHouse that's been there for like six years.

Christian said...


Christian said...


Anonymous said...

My name is Amy and I'm with Dwellable.
I was looking for blogs about Miami Beach to share on our site and I came across your post...If you're open to it, shoot me an email at amy(at)dwellable(dot)com.
Hope to hear from you soon!