south beach bringing the heat
I had every intention of writing a new blog post on Sunday to post today. That did not happen as I spent the day devastated over the news of Kobe Bryant’s tragic death. Kobe was one of my childhood idols, as a kid who grew up in Southern California, he was everything. The greatest Laker to have ever played. An icon who was more magic than Magic even. Kobe Shaq early 2000s was the most dominating Little Big duo of all time, and I’ve had many great memories watching those games and championships.
We broke down all the games, bought the jerseys, reveled in the parades. I always imagined Kobe as an elder NBA statesman, ushering in young talent of the league, he had seemed untouchable and invincible. And the unexpectedness is maybe what hurts most, because he had so much ahead of him. His daughter and the other victims as well. It’s senseless, it’s so sad and it hurts. RIP Kobe.
Based on Kobe’s philosophy, the Mamba Mentality, he would’ve probably said well, life goes on, let’s get to the next stage. And that stage happens this weekend in Miami at Super Bowl LIV. And perhaps that’s what we should do, LIV it up because tomorrow is certainly not guaranteed for any of us.
Welcome to Miami…
Indianapolis is a place you hear about constantly if you’re a sports fan. From the Indy 500 to Larry Bird (Reggie Miller, if you’re in my age group) and Peyton Manning SB team of 2007, the “Hoosier State” capital is hallowed sports ground. It has been the bullseye of the news cycle lately, notably for the retirement of Colts QB Andrew Luck.
I can honestly say beyond sports, I didn’t know much about this city, other than the fact that it seems like I know a million people from there. Impossible, since it is the 17th most populous metro area in the country with about 2 million in population, but their residents certainly infiltrate everywhere else in the Midwest. Indy is about the size of Kansas City, and similar in many ways. There are great neighborhoods, a friendly sense of community and an unmistakable pride in their hometown.
Gentlemen (and gentle ladies), start your engines…
Coral Gables is the leafy suburb of Miami that will remind you of one thing: Golden Girls. Yes, this was the likely backdrop of Dorothy, Blanche, Rose and Sophia’s adventures in the beloved sitcom, although their exact location is never expressly stated.
All of the houses look like the house the four women shared, ranch style and marvelous with palms and monstera and banana leaves everywhere. But, Coral Gables is more than a very affluent suburb. It is where the University of Miami Hurricanes (the U) are located and surprisingly, a lot of cultural gems. It’s also the home of del Monte and Bacardi.
traveled down the road and back again…
Love a good pun. Pronounced hway (not really exactly right don’t @ me) not hugh like the color or Grant, this very proud city was the former Imperial capital of Vietnam until the end of the Nguyen dynasty in 1945. I’m sure you’re familiar with what happened next. Vietnam has three regions, and this is the largest city in the central region (see previous posts on Hanoi and Saigon/HCM).
Hue was the stop after Hoi An, my favorite on the Vietnam itinerary, and I think I would have enjoyed it more had I NOT GOTTEN SICK on the way there. I made a rookie travel mistake that you will read all about after the jump. Hot tip: don’t drink foreign beverages.
right hue, wrong hue
south beach bringing the heat
I may be the only person who goes to Miami for the architecture. Context: Miami is not my favorite place. I don’t enjoy nightlife (I am a million years old), scantily clad people (I will never own or wear a body stocking, no one wants to see this) or loudness (both in sounds and personalities). I get you, Miami, but you’re not always my type. When you’re still, you’re lovely, but you can get crazy so fast. Too temperamental.
I think when you’re young and you go there, it’s a lot of pressure to go out and party, but you know what? In your 30s, you no longer give AF. And that, my friends, is growing up.
Welcome to Miami…
Man, it seems like Minneapolis is getting all of the sporting events because of their fancy new stadium. Of course, the NCAA tourney will be played there on Monday, April 8th. For those of you heading to the game this upcoming week, here’s a little Minnesota refresher.
you’re gonna make it after all…
In the words of the great Jose Feliciano, I want to wish you a Merry Christmas from the bottom of my heart! Feliz Navidad is one of the all time great Christmas songs, and Mexico is one of the all time great travel destinations. The culture, food, history, people– everything about this country is amazing.
La Ciudad de Mexico (CDMX) is one of the foremost cosmopolitan areas of the world, with bustling energy, a lively arts and fashion scene, inventive and traditional food culture, and architectural gems galore. There are well preserved alhambras and monuments reminiscent of the grand plazas of Europe amongst a sea of modern skyscrapers and high rise hotels.
Fun fact: I won the Spanish language award my senior year in high school. Another fun fact: my Spanish is terrible. Like muy terible. I have the worst American accent when I attempt to speak, but I do try, y es la intencion es lo que cuenta? Un poquito (read: oohn poke-ee-toe)? En acualmente, escribo mejor que hablar, que lastima! Lo siento, yo se mi espanol no es bueno, pero me humor por favor.
Nota: Todas las photografias en esta blog post son cortesia de mi hermana.
CDMX is having a real moment right now, so brush off your Paso a Paso book from high school…vamos a Mexico! HOLA y Bienvenidos a Mexico!
Remember Home Alone 2? That’s a holiday classic that never gets old.
New York is my favorite US city when it comes to the holidays, and really for lots of people — that’s why it’s featured so heavily in many movies around this season, Elf, Miracle on 34th Street, Scrooged. From the Rockefeller skaters to the Rockettes, this city comes alive during the most wonderful time of the year. Even though it’s colder than Jack Frost, there’s something very magical about rockin’ around this enchanting city while it snows. Happy Hanukah and here’s to dreaming of a white Christmas!
Tis the season!
It completely broke my heart to see the massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday. It’s just so sad and the vitriol so unnecessary, and I don’t have any more words to describe it other than that. The Pittsburgh community is one of the most down home, genuine cities with the best people and the actions of a hateful individual will not change that.
The city is strong like its Steelers, neighborly like one of its most famous former residents, Fred Rogers, and a horrible act of violence and hate will not change that. Pittsburgh strong.
Let’s channel a little Mr. Rogers and be good neighbors to all our friends in Pittsburgh.
Boston has had a pretty good past few days with the Pats beating my Chiefs on SNF and the Sox defeating the Astros on Sunday. But today is a new day, and we’ll see if Boston can continue its streak against Houston. Starting with Beantown, here’s the first in the series of the ALCS/NLCS cities.
One if by land, two if by sea…