The World is Our Oyster!
I am so blessed to have grown up as a young girl in such a beautiful environment as these sunny beaches along the Florida coastline. And I am forever grateful that my European parents landed here, after so many travels along their path, from Europe to Shanghai, and from New York to Miami Beach. It became my ‘home sweet home’ in my youth. Every day I count my lucky stars!
Miami Beach was a haven of natural wonders and every day of my life, I was either in the ocean or on a boat. Water skiing, surfing, sailing, swimming, diving, fishing, speed boat racing, or just exploring the coastline and the beach, gathering shells that washed ashore the night before. Some nights I would sit quietly and just listen to the ocean. It soothed my soul.
Small beach coastal communities connected to bridges that brought you to the mainline…from Golden Beach/Sunny Isles to Surfside and Coral Gables, to Key Biscayne, and to the inland waterways. You could drive by boat or car from Miami Beach to Ft. Lauderdale, up and down the coastline. These were my favorite drives as my hair blew wildly in the wind. On the boat, or with the top down in the car, I felt completely free! Recently my friend picked me up in Palm Beach and drove down the coast to Ft. Lauderdale. I loved every moment of it. . . so many memories came flooding back to these precious times of my youth.
I love the Ocean and I’m never far from it. I’m grateful for the extraordinary gifts it always offers. . . Peace. Quiet. Calm. Warm waters to swim in. Crystal clear oceans. Water sports. Happiness! I thank God and the heavens for the gift of growing up along these beautiful ocean shores.
The water…always blue, green, and aqua colored, and so clear and clean you can often see small fish in the water beside you. And sometimes jellyfish that sting!
The piers were always lovely!
The Hotel Pools. . .
From the Deauville to the Fontainebleau Hotels , the Castaways and further north to the Beachcomber and the Golden Nugget, these Collins Avenue hotels were the pools and cabana’s I grew up in and spent most of my summers. When I met the Beatles at The Deauville one summer, it was quite a spectacular moment in a young girls life! I was quiet at first, and then I squealed like every other young girl did.
The High Dive – the great risk to do it, or not…and I did to my amazement!
This was the scariest thing of all… besides being in the deep blue sea so many miles off shore, and feeling something in the ocean you were not very sure of. But on land there were these lovely hotels and motels with high dives and shuffleboards and Tiki bands…everyone danced to Caribbean music and steel drums. There was also Luau music, Calypso music & Junkanoo: a mix of Afro-Bahamian music and dance. And of course the Limbo. I loved it all! So many waves of influence from the Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago. These were the best days of my youth and my summers in Miami Beach with aunts, uncles, cousins, and European friends.
And then there was this. The development of high-rises on these beautiful, pristine beaches. Years later.
Even though one of my best friends at the time lived in one of these high-rises with her parents not so far from me, I hated visiting her in such a superficial environment. 20+ something floors up from the natural coastline and beach I grew up on. I thought it was an obstruction of justice, as the environment was destroyed by these high-rise monsters and the natural beauty of what once was…and was now gone.
And then I left…moving onward with my life to Europe and New York. I never looked back and I never returned to Miami Beach until my Beloved Father passed away. It no longer felt like home.
…and more of the same.
Once upon a time there was this…
And then this…
The beaches of Bakers Haulover.
There was also Eastern Airlines…once upon a time.
and The Miami Beach Times…
Frank Sinatra & Ava Gardner honeymooned in Sunny Isles – Miami Beach, long before traffic and high-rises appeared on the beach. Not long after that romantic holiday and celebration, the Press announced their honeymoon on Sunny Isles, and that changed everything. Within a couple years larger hotels and motels started buying and building on the beach. Several years later the high-rises came and so did people from the Northeast, mainly from New York & New Jersey, who started buying condo’s and houses as they desired sunshine, warm weather and a place they could call home during those cold winter months. It was never the same after that. Miami Beach lost its true Glamour, its natural beauty, and it sold its soul to large real estate developers who could care less about nature, the natural environment, and preserving the beauty and dignity of a coastal community.
And then there was this… John F. Kennedy at The Deauville Hotel
The Beatles at The Eden Rock Hotel. . . rehearsing for the Ed Sullivan show.
I was the lucky one who met them at the swimming pool…
A magical mystery tour of my youth…
The Deauville, The Eden Roc and the Fontainebleau were the most significant hotels along the coastline in Miami Beach where all the best of the best musicians, rock stars and politicians came to visit, speak, and perform. The energy along this Florida coastline and Sunny Isles was magnetic. You could feel it in the air.
Across the street, on the inland waterway of Miami Beach were docks that housed beautiful houseboats. It was there that my father would take me for a chat. One of his friends owned a 3-story houseboat that was magnificent. I loved the setting …much more quiet than across the street on Collins Avenue. I still remember that precious night with my father, across the street from the Deauville Hotel. Precious memories indeed.
Yes! The world is our oyster! And sometimes our most beautiful memories are those held inside the oyster shell of our youth. This is one of mine.