Vacation the beginning

laila plane

So Friday night we headed to Atlanta to stay at our heavily discounted digs, the Hyatt Regency Atlanta. Like I said in an earlier post we only had to pay $29.83 due to a Priceline promotion we received when we booked the cruise. Of course it cost $27 plus tip to valet park the car , still a deal though.

Looking for dinner we headed over to one of our favorite pubs in Atlanta, Gibney’s Pub. For starters we ordered the Southwestern nachos (I think that is what they are called, their website is a jumbled mess). They had chicken on them and I think were the best nachos I’ve ever had.


They have a very loud jukebox. When it played Depeche Mode “Enjoy the Silence” I happened to mention to Laila that I like Depeche Mode. Laila let me know that she thought it was the “gayest” song from the 80s. I let her know that there were many songs way more gay. Thinking of it, anything by Wham or Madonna comes to mind quickly. She persisted though. Then the next song came on. It was Aha’s “Take on me”. I think my point was proven. The funny thing was the Aha song was on a loop, and would play on one of the cruise ship cabin’s TV channels every evening.

The next morning we got up and headed to the airport. Like I said in previous post we upgraded to first class and it was worth it!

We got to Miami and took our first expensive cab ride to the Hyatt Regency Miami. Every cab driver we had, except maybe the last was from Haiti. Of course we spoke of the earthquake. The amazing thing is how much they all mistrusted the Haitian government and did not believe the money raised would end up in the proper hands.

We checked in the hotel and enjoyed our view.


The room was very nice but it was actually a handicap accessorized room. While we had a couple of beverages on the way down, I don’t believe it rose to those heights.

Laila had heard about a restaurant on the food network that was a don’t miss destination (Bobby Flay said so).  So we took another expensive Haitian taxi ride down to Joe’s Stone Crab.

The place was quite ritzy and we were a little under dressed. So maybe I can’t blame the waiter for directing us to the “value wines” on the menu when I asked what was good. I took it as an insult and ordered something mid range to show him. It was a Swanson Merlot from 2005. Looking at that link, they marked it up quite a bit for the ambiance, but it was quite good. We had a couple of orders of crab cakes as an appetizer. They were the best we have ever had. We followed it up with some Jumbo Stone Crabs. It was my first time eating crab like that, but it won’t be the last! We then decided since we were so close to the Keys we should have some Key Lime Pie. I usually don’t like Key Lime Pie because I always think its cheesecake and get surprised. Even when I know what it is, I don’t like it. Not this time, it was awesome.

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Next to the meal we had at the Chicago Chop House a few years ago, it would have been the best meal I have ever had.

It was time for another $60 Haitian cab ride as we had tickets to see the Marlins and Nationals. We got there in the bottom of the second inning, and oh boy,  it was thunder sticks night! I would sure like to meet the guy who invented them.  We had decent seats and I think we were the only people in our section who didn’t speak Spanish. The Marlins won and everyone left happy.

Quite a busy day, I couldn’t wait to get on the cruise so I could relax.




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