Trip to the Florida Keys and Rusty’s 41st Birthday in Maimi

Happy Birthday Rusty! You’ve got to celebrate your birthday in some cool places! I’ll let you take it from here:

Rusty here–

We got into Miami pretty late Friday night. We got our stuff and made it to the car and out of the airport no problem.. Which is something to be grateful for as I’ve heard rental cars can be nightmares right now. We got our pick of all the full size cars and the kids picked a nissan altima because they said it had the most room in the back seat. Having three kids in the back seat was a big worry because there was going to be a lot of driving but for the most part they did great and handled it like champs. Although blake said “I can’t wait till we have our highlander back!”. We were HUNGRY so we pulled into a dive drive through (Josh got the mother clucker or something like that) and we ate fries and onion rings and late night burgers. Josh was so nice, he watched the clock and it turned midnight he shouted “Happy birthday”!
Our place in Miami beach was TINY. Blake slept on the floor in our room. Halle and Josh had to basically share a pull out couch. But again they were all great about it. Halle had to share some tiny spots this trip and she didn’t complain at all. The kids giggled for a bit and then we were off to sleep..
My birthday morning! 41 years old. TAra and I snuck out and went for a walk along the beach. It was just 2 blocks from our house, the HUGE miami beach. SO BIG. Way bigger than I thought it was going to be. Tara and I walked along the beach for a bit then the boardwalk then to the store for groceries and breakfast. Miami beach was so diverse. I think I heard more foreign languages than english, it was nice. We woke up the kids, ate yogurt and granola (I stopped and got an acai bowl from a hole in the wall smoothie place, well then he pulled out the same acai that we get from costco! It was just okay). The kids all made me cute cards. Each was a perfect reflection of their personalities, so fun. I feel very lucky I get to be their dad.
Packed up and made our way to the beach. The place had an umbrella and beach towels for us so that was nice. Just a short walk and we were there and claimed our place in the sand and jumped in the water (while our umbrella then almost blew away). The water was warm, like bath tub warm. We swam and bobbed in the waves which was great because this was the only place that had waves the entire trip. Halle and Josh loved to jump and flot in the waves. Blake loved to take a mask and dive for shells. He had quite the collection before he was done. We played until our heart was content. We picniced on the beach and then packed up and came home and showered (which takes a long time when there was just one shower).
Now it was time to explore Miami. First a stop at the Wynward Walls in the hip new part of miami. It was certainly hip and cool and worth seeing, but we were kind of worried about dash the entire time so that part was not great (so glad he was doing better by the end of the trip). Then it was time for little Havana. Little Havana was cool. Blake was not happy that we had to park so far away. But it was a party vibe and full of life. We checked our first pick of cuban restaraunt but the wait was too long so blake and I went across the street and found a place where they seated us in the ally in the back next to the fan. It was fine. Blake got to play my phone while we played heads up. It was a great cuban feast full of steak sandwhiches, skirt steak with chimicurri for me, a cubano, was good food. Then a few doors down for some ice cream. I got some kind of cinnamon something like a churry and it was fantastic. We drove past the downtown on our way home. We were all surprised with what a big city it was with its massive skyline and super tall skyscrapers.
All in all it was a great birthday. I had many birthday wishes from family and friends, some (like neighborhood friends) I hadn’t heard from in a very long time.

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