South Florida Beaches

Topeekeegee Yugnee (Top-ee-key-gey  U-knee) Park is sort of a tongue twister, even the staff and literature refers to it as T.Y. Park.  Once we accepted big city traffic patterns, Topeekeegee Yugnee’s location was fantastic for getting to the beaches.  It didn’t matter what beach we visited.   It was about a thirty to forty-five minute drive to the beach, and due to late day rush hour traffic, a forty-five minute to an hour drive home.

T.Y. has a two-mile paved path through the massive Live Oak’s.  More than seventy-five percent of the path is in the shade.  This, is by far the most active county park we have camped in.  Families picnic, and walkers are everywhere getting in their miles.  There is a large water park for the kids, but closed due to Covid-19.  The RV pads were designed by someone who doesn’t do much camping.  The standard RV utility hook ups are on the driver’s side of the rig.  It’s uncommon, but some sites have the utilities on the passenger side.  Here at T.Y. the hook ups are on the correct side, but the sewer hook-up is at the farthest end of each pad.  My guess is the local Wal-Mart sells a lot of RV sewer hose extensions.  It’s all good, we had enough length.

Deb had read the T.Y. reviews before booking it, including the mention of train noise.  Train noise amounted to a commuter train that traveled southbound twenty-three times a day, and of course northbound twenty-three times.  The Amtrac ran twice a day, and a heavy freight train four times.  Yes, there was train noise.  The entire campground was next to the tracks, our site was two hundred feet from the track.  It’s true, you do get use to train noise.

The Miami Beachwalk is the most upscale boardwalk we have seen so far.  We visited it several times. We walked it on a weekday and seen many people blading, skate boarding, riding bike, and they were all getting around pretty good.  The water at South Pointe Pier is very clear considering massive cargo ships, and cruise ships depart from here.  We did see a number of ships anchored outside the canal entry.

Sunday was our last day in the Miami area and we thought riding bike on the Beachwalk would be a great way to see more miles.  Wrong!  It was sort of stressful.  It reminded Deb of being in a roller rink and having to avoid children darting sideways right in front of you, and not pinching off their little fingers.  I had a problem with the spandex speed racers.  The must-see South Pointe Park and Pier is located on the southern-most tip of Miami Beach.  Sunday, we stayed a little too long in the South Pointe area, and needed to get back to the truck before dark.  In order to do so we rode our bikes on the roadway.  The entire right lane of roadway “A1A” is a designated bike lane shared with vehicles.  That too was nerve wracking.  Going from zero to twenty MPH, within a heard of vehicles is something we had not done before.

Topeekeegee Yugnee

Our travels took a turn this last week.  Travels – turn,,,,, see how I did that?  <very small ha, ha here>  Searching out hard to find campsites, tire blow-outs, appliances quitting, high winds, tornado and tropical storm warnings, freezing temperatures, are all now checked off in the “so what” column. Here’s a new one.  It happened after I successfully downloaded an app, uploaded some data, and am now paying for parking with my phone, only because the parking lot credit card readers had been disabled.  Ta da, getting around in the big city of Miami has gotten easier. I was feeling pretty good with myself.

This is a heads up for travelers to the Miami Beach area.  Paying for a dining experience has actually gotten a little trickier.  Trickier than parking.  Restaurants here are now automatically adding a service charge to our bill, and at the Pink Taco, nothing was itemized.  (2) $16 taco bowls totaled to $41.28 and also left space for a tip.  We questioned this and the server pointed in two different directions, saying, “Their bill is $100, and theirs is $200”.  I’m thinking, “So what?”  Most establishments do itemize all the charges, but an explanation of service charges is nowhere to be found.  I get it, Covid-19 has been hard on everyone, especially the restaurant industry.  I would simply, and easily like to know what I’m paying for.  It should not be the server’s responsibility to explain away a new set of charges.  Google tells me a Miami-Dade restaurant may legally charge an eighteen to twenty percent service fee, then city tax, then sales tax.  Maybe it’s time to dig out the small igloo cooler, and buy Subways.

Beach Crew Memorial Park

The column memorializes five Fort Lauderdale beach maintenance colleagues, (Joe, Mark, Ken, Tim, Don) who were gunned down by an enraged co-worker in the trailer where they waited for dawn so they could rake and dress the shoreline for the day’s sunbathers. The door opened. Filling the threshold was an angry Clifton.  After 17 years on the beach crew, he had been fired by the city 14 months earlier for his volatile behavior and verbal abuse of co-workers and the public. The previous day, he turned up at the city’s Parks & Recreation Department office, seeking his old job back. He was turned away.

Hugh Taylor Birch State Park

Hugh Taylor Birch State Park is a Florida State Park located in Fort Lauderdale, between the Intracoastal Waterway and SR A1A.  It was a fun place to walk, and see one of the intercostal waterway canals.  We were surprised to witness how rough the water was in the canal.  Not a good place to kayak, but a great place to sit in the shad,e and watch boat traffic.  The entry fee to Hugh Taylor Birch State Park is six dollars.  Parking along “A1A” is four dollars per hour.

 

Fort Lauderdale Beach

It was great fun biking the Fort Lauderdale beach area.  Even driving along the beach on “A1A” was a kick.  The cross walks are made with pavers and the design creates an optical illusion so that when approaching they appear to have a dip.  It’s to the drivers benefit to slow down.  NICE!!  The down side of swimming in salt water is the need to shower off when exiting.  It was wonderful to see a shower station installed at almost every street intersection.

 

Miami Beachwalk & Art Deco

The Miami Beachwalk is the most upscale boardwalk we have seen so far.  We visited it several times. We walked it on a weekday and seen many people blading, scate boarding, riding bike, and they were all getting around pretty good.  The water at South Pointe Pier is very clear considering massive cargo ships, and cruise ships depart from here.  We did see a number of ships anchored outside the canal entry.

Sunday was our last day in the Miami area and we thought riding bike on the Beachwalk would be a great way to see more miles.  Wrong!  It was sort of stressful.  It reminded Deb of being in a roller rink and having to avoid children darting sideways right in front of you, and not pinching off their little fingers.  I had a problem with the spandex speed racers.  The must-see South Pointe Park and Pier is located on the southern-most tip of Miami Beach.  Sunday, we stayed a little too long in the South Pointe area, and needed to get back to the truck before dark.  In order to do so we rode our bikes on the roadway.  The entire right lane of roadway “A1A” is a designated bike lane shared with vehicles.  That too was nerve wracking.  Going from zero to twenty MPH, within a herd of vehicles is something we had not done before.

Beginning first in Paris in 1925, Art Deco architecture is also found on the streets of South Beach, Miami.  A typical Art Deco style building features structural pieces like fountains and ornate statues, porthole windows, chrome accents, and terrazzo floors.  I’ve always liked building architecture, even downtown Minneapolis, MN I liked taking photos of the buildings.  I’m sure, to many folks, I come off as a country bumpkin seeing the big city for the first time.  That’s never been a problem for me, Deb has gotten use to it.  The majority of the buildings we saw had rounded edges, and soft pastel colors.  We limited ourselves to Ocean Drive and the Beachwalk.  There was so much more.

 

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