Patrick Muff

Web professional living in Switzerland. Interested in software engineering, design, and motor racing.

January 09, 2020

Wrapping up the 2010s in Sunshine State


We decided to spend Christmas and NYE in Florida, USA! Our flight was leaving on December 23rd from Zürich and included a layover in Chicago before finally arriving in Miami. By then it was already 10 pm so we spent the first night in a hotel close by the airport. The next day we took an Uber to MIA Rental Car Center and picked up a car that I always thought was super cool ever since watching The Fast and The Furious as a kid.

Me standing in front of our rental car

The first thing we did was stop at a T-Mobile store to get a prepaid SIM with 10 GB of data (and some free minutes, but who needs that lol) for like $40. Then we started our journey to Key West!

Key West

Beach in Key West

In Key West we stayed three nights at The Southernmost Inn, which as you might have guessed already, is literally one of the southernmost hotels in the US.

We started by visiting Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park, which was reasonably interesting. Ernest Hemingway House was next where I bought 1952 short novel The Old Man and the Sea, a great read. Key West was also the first time we saw dolphins in real life!

Fort Zachary Taylor

Me in front of a large tree

Two dolphins

Homestead

After three days in Key West we drove up north to Titusville, which is right next to Orlando. We stopped for one day in Homestead and went snorkeling in Biscayne National Park. In the evening we went on to have the best lobster I ever had in Yardie Spice Restaurant, because of a random recommendation by our boat captain in Biscayne.

Titusville

There’s nothing in Titusville, but it’s really close to Kennedy Space Center, which was so commercial and crowded that I’m not even going to include any pictures.

Blue Springs State Park

Blue Springs State Park is home to a spring that is one of the largest winter gathering sites for manatees in Florida. It was fascinating to see these huge animals moving seemly weightlessly through the water.

Manatee

Manatee moving through water

Clearwater

Hiking in Clearwater turned out to be a bit tricky due to large pools of water on the trails. But there was an enormous bald eagle nest, so that was cool.

Pool of water on trail

Bald eagle nest

Miami

Miami was dope. We spent seven days and nights in SLS Brickell, one of the nicer hotels I had the pleasure of staying in. If you’re into art you need to go see Pérez Art Museum Miami designed by Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron. Wynwood Art District is a great place too.

Padi in front of a cool wall at Wynwood Art District

Miami at night

And don’t forget to drive to the Everglades to see some gators! 🐊

Alligator chilling