Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Top 10 Things You Should Know About Miami

So in the span of two weeks (give or take) here are a few things I've learned about Miami:

1. Although we are still in America, people will speak to you in Spanish first. Even after replying to them in English, they will still continue in Spanish.

2. Customer service does not exist. Try getting the internet here - we still don't have it!

3. Everything is generally expensive here - groceries, gas, road tolls. We just may need to take out a loan for our everyday stuff :)

4. Hurricane season = down pour of rain everyday! Aaron got stuck in the middle of one just crossing the street to his office and I had to bring him another set of clothes to change into.

5. Our ward is half English and Spanish. We have wonderful interpreters we hear through a set of headphones for lessons and talks spoken is Spanish. During the Spanish hymns we do our very best. Who knows, we might pick up a good amount of Spanish while we're here!

6. The jellyfish are taking over the beach! We ventured out to South beach but quickly found out it was taken over by these jellyfish. Surprisingly nobody got stung despite several near misses.

7. Drivers are crazy. There is a whole new set of driving rules out here and I'm pretty sure they're illegal.

8. There are a lot of fun things to do out here, especially water-type things. Driving down to the Florida Keys, snorkeling ( which Aaron's convincing me to learn), crocodile hunting, cruises,etc.

9.  Miami is very culturally diverse. Many people in the area immigrated from Cuba and other Latin countries. We had our first taste of Cuban food on Sunday when were invited over to eat at the Herrero's, our bishop's parents. The food was yummy and the family was so kind to us.

10. Miami is no Utah. For real. Although I miss Utah for so many reasons, I know this year will be an adventure for us, to say the least. We hope to make the best of it and remind each other that it's just for a year.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Moving In

We arrived in Miami on a Saturday, looked at a few horrendous apartments Sunday and Monday and settled on an apartment we both agreed on. It's in a quiet part of Miami in an area called Dadeland. Despite some of the other apartments that were rank, dank and smelled highly of cigarette smoke, our place had good AC and was very clean. From Monday to Thursday (our official move-in day) we found and picked up all of our furniture from craigslist. It was quite the extravaganza! Aaron had to drive the Uhaul through the busy streets of Miami which was quite nerve-wracking. Here are the before and after shots from our naked to clothed apartment.

Before pictures:
 Living Room
 Dining Room
After Pictures:
 Dining Room
 Living Room

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Roadtrip: Day 4

Last and final stretch from Georgia to Miami. Again, a very beautiful drive. We had a little bit of car trouble about half an hour away from Miami so we had to pull over and find an auto place to get things checked out. With it being a Saturday it was quite tricky but we got it everything taken care of quickly. Apparently the weird fumes coming through our air conditioning was from the humidity! We felt like dummies after that (well I did at least).
This is what driving for 40 hours does to you...

We arrived in Miami and found the guest house we would be staying in for the next five days. The family there was really gracious to us and had us over for a bbq Sunday night. We talked for hours as they gave us some information about good areas we should look for an apartment and lengthy a crash course to the area.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Roadtrip: Day 3

Onward and Upward!
 The drive from St. Louis through Illinois, Kentucky, and Tennessee was really beautiful. It was nice to see a change from blah (driving through Nebraska) to GREEN with tons of trees. We stopped for lunch in Nashville at the Hard Rock Cafe and strolled around a bit as well.

 He lives!

After Nashville, we hit Georgia and eventually stayed in a town called Tifton. Nothing too exciting about that except that we only had one more day of driving and it would only be an 8 hour drive instead of 12!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Roadtrip: Day 2

Our next stop was from Nebraska to St. Louis where we stayed the night with Adam, Aaron's older brother. he took us to a restaurant called Pi, where we had some really good cornbread-crusted pizza.

Of course we couldn't be in St. Louis without seeing the Arch.

It was so fun spending time with Adam and getting to see St. Louis again - since I was a wee one.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Roadtrip: Day 1

40+ hours of driving in a car from Utah to Miami, with all of our worldly possessions crammed into and on top a Honda Civic? I'm going to hope this was a once in a lifetime sorta thing. I'm not saying it was awful, because we definitely made some fun stops along the way.

Our first stop was Lincoln, Nebraska. We were lucky enough to stay in the exact hotel and room where Jack Nicholson and Shirley MacLaine filmed Terms of Endearment. The room was cheapo, except that had the largest indoor miniature golf course and swimming pool.

If you ask me, there was nothing endearing about this hotel...