Sunday, May 3, 2009

Beach Bliss

As an Okie, the beach will always be a novelty. Every time we venture to Miami Beach it always feels like it's the FIRST time I've ever felt the sand between my toes and smelled the salt water (which is actually more of a stench than a smell to me). The neon lights on the Art Deco buildings, combined with the purity of the ocean and sand makes for an alluringly beautiful destination and fascinating place to live.

I'm in awe of the intensity of the waves and how they shape the shoreline. The creatures and objects found in the sand bring out my inner marine biologist-and 5 year old curiosity alike. The way that the color of the water changes from emerald green to deep blue makes me recall freshman biology, and ponder the plankton level and how it changes seasonally.

I must admit though, I'm not really a very good 'beach girl.' I get quite bored after 15 minutes of 'sunning' myself, and taking a nap in the sun isn't something that comes naturally to me. Maybe it's the ingrained fear that too much sun exposure results in the BIG C. After all, my skin lacks quite a bit in melanin-milky white would be a good description. I don't really tan. Rather, I become pink and acquire so many freckles on my nose that you can't even play Connect-the-Dots.

Miami Beach is as close as you can come to a melting pot 10 different cultures in ONE, very thin, strip of land. Each ethnicity prefers to stick together on different parts of the beach, with the Southern-most tip of South Beach being very mixed and the most risque, as topless tanning is just a part of the culture from sun-up to sun-down. You'll hear languages ranging from French, Spanish, Creole, Portuguese, Italian, Swahili, Russian, Polish and Zulu. You must prepare yourself before you visit-'everything goes' on Miami Beach. After a year and a half of living here-nothing shocks us anymore. You can use your imagination.

Something that you don't hear about is the crime rate and homeless population on Miami Beach-it's not a safe place. There are about 91,000 people that live on Miami Beach, and it ranks higher than Houston & Dallas in crime. Your chance of becoming a victim of crime is 1 in 71. Now, this shouldn't detour you from visiting Miami Beach, you should simply be knowledgeable of your surroundings-anything too far from Collins Avenue probably isn't a great decision. It's a VERY temperate location, so homelessness is vast. This was all quite shocking to me at first, as I had quite a 'Hollywood' idea of Miami Beach, but the facts are the facts-we're not in Oklahoma anymore.

As long as we live in Miami, I will continue to be shocked that we live as close as we do to something that I always assumed would be a conversation piece about a dream vacation. This place is truly something out of a movie-so gorgeous! It attracts a genre of people that I am familiarizing myself with daily. It also attracts a certain type of wealth that is flamboyantly displayed-reminding me of how important humility is in life. 

Here are a few pics from our most recent walk on the beach. It was a PERFECT day!

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