Saturday, 9 February 2013

Caribbean Dream


Hello here we are!

THURSDAY AFTERNOON
This is the beginning of 14 days in the Caribbean. A holiday with a difference! As Sian heads out to Granada with friends to a 42-foot catamaran, I am heading to Miami to join a cruise ship. On board with 75 other people I will be moderating their company conference. The compare.

We are headed to a warmer place.

Terminal 3 is solid with travellers most of whom are dressed for cold places.
I make a Starbucks last a long while before boarding flight VS 005. Mistaking myself for someone with priority boarding I am welcomed by cheerful Bransonettes. The chirp chirp of Estuary English echoes with a smile around seat 50C

Off we go for nine hours on a Boeing 747-400.
At the other end getting 55 people through the airport into the dark neon of the parking lot was struggle and the 'line' for immigration was brutal, quite one of the longest passport control journeys ever.

We arrive at the Shelbourne Hotel, its all white is strewn with architecture books in the lobby, high up in white shelves. All is good and white in Miami to better show off the tans.

FRIDAY
Downtown Miami, South Beach, warm breezes and little cloud, American flags atop the hotels point in land. Team cheerful and happy with their camera photos of the sunrise coming up at around 0630.  A trip to Walgreens for a nails brush is followed by an easy stroll with joggers and property tycoons on their cell phones making deals and disputing figures:

"Oh, OK, so I'm today its worth fifty-two million
It’s costing me thirty-four million
PAUSE
You tell me. Are you willing to put up?
No, yes, right, I am getting it for four-eight million I'm telling you.

Tans on wrinkled skin and fluorescent pinks greens and yellows. Palm trees rustle, conversations drift across the terraces of the beachfront hotels. Beyoncé plays continuously on a piped music system.

Downtown Miami, South Beach, warm breezes and little cloud.