A Triathlon on Miami Time

The first time I attended church in Miami the service started about ten minutes late. The pastor walked around the sanctuary letting those of us who were visitors know that things would be started soon, but they operated on Miami time.


Well, last week we completed our own version of a triathlon, and we were certainly competing on Miami time. First, this was not a competition. No registration fee or course to follow. We simply chose a water event, biking event and an event on foot in which to participate making it a nearly perfect day.


The very hot morning started on Biscayne Bay where we rented a Hobie Getaway and sailed for two hours in the waters where John first introduced me to sailing. We raced from the causeway past Vizcaya entertained by the brightly colored parachute pulling parasailing tourists across the bay and the fire department helicopter practicing rescues in the waters near the Seaquarium.

We left the water ready for the bike leg, but instead of jumping in the saddle in dripping wet bathing suits, we changed clothes and drove down Rickenbacker Causeway to Key Biscayne and mounted the bikes at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park.


We rode through the park along the bay toward the Cape Florida lighthouse photographing iguanas scurrying across the trail or posing on the rocks.


Instead of eating a meal designed for athletes, we stuffed ourselves with barbecue sandwiches, fries, slaw and tea…the diet of the laid back triathlete.


The third leg of the day took place in Coconut Grove after sunset. A relaxing stroll from our hotel to Cocowalk and vicinity eyeing lights, fountains, painted peacocks and walls entangled in banyan roots. Even though the pace was leisurely, we did cover a little more than two miles making it a worthwhile final triathlon leg.

I’m sure those who train for these events would be appalled, but looking for opportunities to spend time on the water, bike, and by foot to enjoy the outdoors is always a treat and challenge.


Another Baseball Stadium

In February on our way to Gainesville for the Hurricane vs Gators baseball game, a friend asked John how many major league ballparks we’ve visited. John quickly responded that the only park he’d been to was in Denver where we’d watched the Marlins play the Rockies.

Gary asked, you’ve never been to a game in Atlanta? John said, oh yeah, we have gone to a Braves game too.


I listened to this exchange not believing what I was hearing. Finally, I asked, didn’t we go to a Yankee game in the old Yankee stadium? And what about the Mets game we watched at Citi Field? And I remember going to a game in Fenway Park where we watched in Red Sox play the Rangers.

John said, I guess we’ve been to five major league ballparks.


Well, after seeing the Marlin’s Stadium for years, we went to a Marlin’s game last week and added a sixth stadium to the list. We took advantage of a Marlins’ promotion giving free tickets to seniors, and since we’re both slightly older than 55, we qualified.

The stadium which is not particularly attractive from the outside is a comfortable and fun place to watch baseball. We appreciated the air-conditioned facility, but it’s great to watch a game played on grass instead of an artificial surface which is possible since the stadium has a retractable roof providing plenty of sun for the turf.


In addition to dozens of food and drink concessions, The Clevelander, of South Beach fame provides a club with pool and patio with direct views into the visitor’s bullpen as a unique way to enjoy baseball in Miami.

The Marlins hit two homers in the second inning on the night we watched them defeat the Phillies so we saw the rather Marlin jumping over the tacky sculpture with palm trees, flamingos and sun in center field.


The stadium is also home to a tribute to the Orange Bowl which occupied the site prior to the opening of the stadium in 2012 as well as a Bobblehead Museum. Even those who aren’t interested in baseball can find plenty to do in this stadium.

TBT Lesson #50

Last May Sarah and Daniel joined us for a weekend trip to Miami where we visited Wynwood Walls, a community of warehouses transformed by street art.

Wynwood was created as a center where pedestrians can experience graffiti and street art produced by artists from sixteen countries including the United States, as well as countries in South America, Europe and Asia. Fifty artists have covered more than 80,000 square feet of walls making Wynwood a destination for art lovers.

IMG_0056TBT Lesson #50: There’s a little Hulk in all of us.

Wandering Through Wynwood Walls

“Wynwood’s large stock of warehouse buildings, all with no windows, would be my giant canvases to bring to them the greatest street art ever seen in one place.” ~Tony Goldman

IMG_5285The idea of Tony Goldman was to create an area for people to explore street art in what started as a complex of six separate buildings between 25th and 26th Streets in Miami.

Murals have covered the walls of the Wynwood Walls complex since 2009, and in 2010 the Wynwood Doors opened on the roll up gates to reveal a portrait gallery.

Today, the murals extend in all directions surrounding Wynwood Walls with many of the business in the area developing their own unique creations.

The art has transformed an historic part of the city that was once run-down, with many abandoned buildings into a must-see destination.

Art on the Beach

IMG_0149Perched on Miami’s South Beach you’ll find lifeguard stands which house the members of the Miami Beach Ocean Rescue. Besides serving as lookout towers for lifeguards, beach goers rely on the stands as first aid stations, information centers, and the place to go to find out about the day’s surf conditions. In addition, the fun, whimsical designs infuse art into a walk on the beach.

After Hurricane Andrew leveled most of the lifeguard stands in 1992, the city seized the opportunity to enhance the beach with a project designed to be not only functional but eye-catching. Artists created over twenty designs that add a little extra pizazz to the beach. Most of the structures standing today are not the original ones from the post-Andrew project since many were badly damaged after Hurricane Wilma in 2005. Nevertheless, the artistic structures bring a smile to the face of beach goers. What a fun way to get a dose of culture!