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Sunday, January 07, 2024

Our Holiday Trip to the Orange Bowl and Miami


Lulu in front of the Loews Hotel
on South Beach

The Orange Bowl Game at Hard Rock Stadium

We stopped by to see the Orange Bowl Trophy.

This year we spent an early Christmas and Thanksgiving with our family in Paris. We were home for Christmas Day in Tallahassee. Then on Dec 27th - we left on a 6 night trip to Miami and the Orange Bowl. We love Miami and South Florida - we honeymooned there in 1971. We attended many games with the kids in the Orange Bowl - Drew spent 5 years in Miami Beach getting his doctorate at the University of Miami. It is truly a magical place to us. 

We left Tallahassee in the red Tesla at 8 am on Wednesday. We planned to stop in Sebring - in the present citrus growing area of Florida south of Orlando. Sebring is world famous for the Formula 1 Race - 12 Hours of Sebring. Also one of the first modern electric cars - the Citicar - was built there. We stayed in a hotel on an isthmus between 2 giant lakes on Route 27.  Route 27 goes past the front door of the State Capitol - then thru Sebring - then all the way to Miami. 

Sebring's history museum was in the old home of a local school teacher and song writer. It appears the home is furnished just as he left it. 

Thursday morning we had a short 3 hour drive to our hotel at Hollywood Beach. It did rain the whole way and the temperatures were not tropical - low 60s. Our hotel pool was warm but empty of people when we arrived. The FSU football team was staying just up the beach in The Diplomat. 

We roamed around the area - walking - driving - and using our two folding bikes that we brought along inside the car. Hollywood Beach has a lovely long Boardwalk reminding me of the Jersey Shore. It was populated by working class folks from Canada and South America. There were lots of small restaurants and shops right along the boardwalk on the beach. I think Lulu would be happy to move right in here. Now - Jet Blue just opened a straight flight from Tallahassee to Fort Lauderdale - and this beach is the closest to the airport. 

We walked Miami South Beach - and went to a pep rally on Lincoln Road. 

The game was December 30th - Saturday at 4 pm. We drove to the game without tickets. We have had a lot of luck buying tickets at the Orange Bowl. In 1993 - the kids and I drove from Tamaqua PA to see FSU win the National Championship over Nebraska. We got in for $10. Then we drove home the next day. We had to hurry home for school. 

This time we were lucky. I posted on Facebook that we did not have tickets. Someone emailed us 2 tickets. They were great seats on the 200 Club Level ($500). Weather at game time was nice - clear - no rain - 60s. Georgia beat FSU pretty badly. FSU ended the season 13-1 - so did Georgia. 

We went to the Hard Rock Casino - run by the Seminole tribe - for New Years. They also have a sports betting room there - to gamble on games. People were dressed up nicely for New Year. I like all the instruments and clothing once owned by famous rock musicians. Mick Jagger - John Lennon - Buddy Holly. We only gambled and lost $20. Parking was free. 

On January 1st - we started the drive home. Our friend Joan Varner lives in Nocatee near St Augustine. We drove there listening to sports on the internet. Joan had a lovely New Years dinner for us. We watched the two college playoff games there. On January 2nd - we drove the last 3 hours home. 

It is fun traveling long distance in our electric car. The autopilot and smart cruise - make me a much better driver.  There are plenty of fast chargers along the way. You just plug in - and Tesla bills your credit card. A 200 mile fill takes about 10 minutes - a 300 mile fill takes 20 minutes or so. Most of the Tesla charges are at WaWa Markets. They make a lot of nice Pennsylvania foods - hoagies - pretzels - soups - etc. 

The car and folding bikes served us well on the trip. The last couple of days in Miami it reached 70s. The highest the ocean water went was 76 - too chilly for me. 

It was a lovely trip down memory lane for Nancy and me. It was sad to see the Seminoles great season end in controversy. 

The electric Mini-Moke is made in Miami.
$22k - 60 range - 45 mph. 

The Hard Rock Casino.
A laser makes the green light.

Seminoles run the Casino. 

Our hotel at Hollywood Beach

Hard Rock Stadium and we had no tickets

We parked here and facebooked for tickets.
Parking was $50.

Apple Store on Lincoln Road

Friend Sally polished the 
oranges one year

Neon signs at Skechers - my shoes

Christmas tree at South Beach

Supper at South Beach

Bike path at South Beach

Truly tropical South Beach

This 6 foot long turtle was lost

Apple Store at Aventura Mall

Our Doubletree Hotel pool

Race track at Sebring

History Museum Sebring

Old Florida Kitchen - Sebring

In 1930s Florida home - Sebring

12 Hours of Sebring trophy

We took the quiet back way to Sebring

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