This was the first time in 14 years that we traveled during the Ontario March school break, and our cruise ended on the day that all the students would be coming home from vacation. The airport in Ottawa would be jammed and prices for flights were very expensive. We elected to extend our holiday a couple more days and come home on Tuesday instead of Sunday.

We were disembarked without incident, customs and immigration was a breeze and we soon found ourselves back at the old familiar Holiday Inn. Of course, we could not check in but we were able to store our luggage. We headed off to explore the Biscayne Ave area.

Didn’t expect these guys in downtown Miami but there ya go.

There was a big concert planned in the seaside park so the kids’ favorite playground was off limits. Very disappointing.

Sarah and Maria discovered a Marshall’s nearby and immediately went into shopping mode. Dave and the kids were not as enthusiastic. Everybody was hot, tired and hungry. The Marshall’s was crowded with ships’ crew on turnaround day. We escaped to a burger joint.

Back at the hotel, we crashed until we were able to check in.

Our ship was ready to go on the next cruise. After a bit more shopping we called it a day. The kids had a McDonald’s picnic in our room that evening.

Next day we were up bright and early. Sarah, Dave and kids went to the science museum and aquarium. Maria and I opted for a bus tour.

We took the city tour first. Got a spot up top where it was breezy but cooler. Watch out for those palm branches though!

Coconut Grove.

Little Havana. We remembered this spot.

We headed downtown and back to the hotel area. Then we took the second tour which went to Miami Beach.

We went over to the port to pick up a few cruise passengers who were in for the day.

On our way to the Beach.

Miami Beach has some very interesting buildings ranging from the art deco 1920s to the 1950s. Before 1955 there was no air conditioning – so the “better” places had eyebrow shades over the windows to keep the sun off. A good way to spot the older stuff.

Some real beauties around 11th St.

The taller 1950s buildings are very impressive as well.

Even the newer stuff has that South Beach vibe.

It was nice and cool along the water – if the bus was moving.

A look back at the Beach.

On our way back downtown.

Back on Biscayne, we went to visit the J. F. Kennedy Memorial.

We wrapped up our holiday at the Bayside Mall. Can’t miss the Disney Store, now can we?

The next day we were up at 3:45 AM and our of Miami by 06:30. We arrived safely back in Almonte by 3 PM, picked up Mr. Oates and got back to a normal life. It was a great vacation and I’ve enjoyed sharing it here.