Joyce is a dear friend. I admire and respect her greatly. We’ve known each other for about 16 years.
Our friendship began when she and her late husband Michael moved to Pittsfield, MA and became involved at St. Stephen’s Parish in that City.
Joyce and I last saw each other some three years ago when my Brasílian friend Gabriel and I flew out to Phoenix (where she now lives), and spent a few days enjoying the Arizona desert, and basking in Joyce’s hospitality.
She’s in Miami, FL this week for a conference related to her work (with Hospice of the Valley, Phoenix AZ). So she flew in a day early, and I drove from SRQ to MIA so that we could enjoy each other again.
It was a brief enough visit, but I would not have missed it for the world! We hooked up at a La Quinta Inn near the Miami Airport, and scarcely stopped talking for 18 hours! (Well, we did each manage to get five hours of sleep!).
Last evening (19th June) we drove into South Beach, Miami. There we oohed and aahed at the Art Deco buildings, and enjoyed dinner at http://www.mayatapasandgrill.com/ where we sat at an outdoor table, admired all the beautiful people*, and ate very good food.
Maya is hardly a classical tapas restaurant. It serves larger portions than the “tapas” tradition would dictate. Nonetheless we ordered and shared four dishes, each was utterly delicious!
1. Beef Carpaccio. 2. Spicy Calamari. 3. Chorizo with Garbanzo beans in a tomato sauce. 4. Avocado salad. * The people around us were indeed beautiful and cool.
South Beach is reputed to be very gay, but you’d hardly have known it. We saw only one young gay male couple who walked by, all unabashed and holding hands. We goggled at gorgeous young women in very skimpy clothes:- perhaps they were “would be models”.
We saw many lovely and handsome couples, in town to celebrate Juneteenth and/or Father’s Day. In the midst of all this energy and beauty, Joyce and I were delighted to be together, and to enjoy good (but pricey) food. I have a number of after-thoughts:
1. La Quinta Inns deliver a good product at a fair price. I recommend them.
2. The “Greater Miami” area is hopping and filled with energy. It makes Sarasota feel like a funeral home, (but I still prefer Sarasota – only because it seems to be more manageable.).
3. I hate driving alone, but the over 500 miles round trip (tiring as it was) was so worthwhile – cos I got to be with my dear friend Joyce.
4. I was away from my home for just about 30 hours. But I missed my dog Penne so much. I am grateful to Jill who “dog-sat” for me.
5. Sorry – no photographs. The battery in my camera was exhausted.
Last of all: I met the most pretty and friendly cat, who hangs around at the La Quinta Inn (East) near the Miami Airport. It seems that she was abandoned there by her former “owners”. [The La Quinta chain is very pet friendly]. Members of the La Quinta staff make sure that this abandoned cat is well fed. But “Lord above” I would have brought this lovely “stray cat” home with me save that I already take care of two formerly abandoned cats: my dearest Ada and Adelaide.