Day 654 of Traveling the World, Miami Beach, FL. November 27, 2019.

Wild chair! Wild occupant! That is how we start today’s photos from Miami Beach, Florida.

Miami Beach is not situated on the US mainland, but on a sand bar three miles out in the Atlantic. Land here was first purchased by father and son Henry and Charles Lum in 1870 for 75 cents an acre. It was a sandy jungle at that time. After clearing it, deepening the channels, adding landfill, and planting coconut trees, Miami Beach grew from 1,600 acres to 2,800 acres. The great 1926 Miami hurricane wiped out a lot of the development, so (many) new buildings were constructed in the 1930s in the style fashionable at the time, Art Deco. We had forgotten about this until we were walking down Ocean Drive, but it felt like the Miami we knew from old tv series like I Love Lucy…very stylized and very fun.

The architecture has lots of spires, points, square angles, and circles, and with all the palm trees looks like, well, the Miami of old. Who would think a pink, orange, and lime green lifeguard station would….work?…..but it does, because this is Miami! Beach Patrol Headquarters is built like a boat, complete with portholes. The fonts used on signage on the buildings is…Art Deco. And, as you can see in the last photo, blue lights wrapped around palm trees were on in the middle of the day, and that felt perfectly normal. We took a bus to get to the beach, as buses here for any distance are $2.25 per ride. The MetroMover train and tram buses are free, surprisingly, totally unexpected in a metropolis like Miami. It is a fabulous place, and feels like we are back in time, to a Florida of almost 100 years ago…and we are, we are.