Looking back, I'm so glad we booked into the place outside of Miami. The hostel was so quaint and laid-back, I absolutely loved it. It was a stones throw away from the beach and the boardwalk, in an absolutely picture-perfect location. My sister and I met great people the very first day. Among them was Kym, a wise Australian who’d sold his house and moved into an RV in Austin, and had never been happier; Kitty, who was on her way to meet her sister for the first time, and a jazz enthusiast, Don, from Chicago. We spent the day checking out our new surroundings, and were then invited along to the Taco Shack next door that night. We all spent New Year’s Eve eating tacos, sipping on bottles of beer and talking about life under the stars at that little Mexican place. Of all the 31st of December’s I’ve experienced, that’s my favourite. Just taking it easy with new friends and toasting to the New Year.
|Taco Beach Shack|
We ventured out of Hollywood a few times to check out Miami, of course. We became such good friends with Kitty, that we all drove down together in her car. En route there, we decided to stop off at an IHOP. I'd heard so much about this place that I just had to check it out. Wow. Yum. Coffee, orange juice, waffles, fruit, pancakes, pancakes, pancakes. It was amazing. We also discovered a drive-thru Starbucks - huh?! Americans obviously are big fans of their morning coffee en route to work.
Miami was filled with great little market stalls selling everything from jewellery to fruit. We spent time at the beach and checked out the great shopping scene, but I much preferred Hollywood. When my sister and I returned again, we went on an adventure to find Miami Ink. We found it, but it left much to be desired. I had been interested in getting the Red Hot Chili Peppers logo tattoo for a while, so thought it'd be quite cool to get it at the famous shop featured in Miami Ink. Unfortunately, we were met with quite a pompous, arrogant receptionist, so we promptly took our business elsewhere. The number of tattoo parlours we found around the area of Washington Avenue was overwhelming. After walking around and checking out some of the shops, we found one we were happy with and I got my tattoo. My sister also decided upon getting a simple and meaningful Beatles lyric, "Love is all you need."
I was quite sad to leave Hollywood, and sad to say goodbye to the great people we'd met, but it was time to take in the sights and sounds of fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada. We stocked up on food, ventured to Fort Lauderdale and slept at the airport to save some money in anticipation for our next adventure. The next morning we boarded our plane and lifted off for Sin City.