Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Ode to Miami

Ah, Miami in summer. Warm, tropical breezes, mosquitoes buzzing, frigate birds wafting gracefully on air currents, swarms of gnats, mojitos under the stars. Did I mention mosquitoes?

Miami in summer is paradise, almost. The hot, humid air is cleansed daily by rains that arrive in the late afternoon. The showers cool things off and make for delightful evenings. And lots of mosquitoes. Plus quite a few gnats. Did I mention ants?

For a northerner like me, there's something wonderfully predictable about Miami's summer weather pattern, so unlike Boston's ever-changing climate. After the cooling rains, as the sun sets, there couldn't be a more perfect place than Miami for eating dinner al fresco. But remember to wear long pants, long sleeves, and socks. Probably a good idea to bring along bug spray, too.

Even in the heat, South Beach beckons. So what if the sun on the sand glares so brightly I feel like I'm going snow blind? No bugs on the beach. BIG advantage. And the water is nice and warm. Especially if you like hot baths. Seriously, it's gorgeous. And that lightheaded feeling just before heat exhaustion sets in is kind of special. I haven't felt so spacey since the Woodstock era.

One evening, my husband, Eric, and I decide to try a hot (no pun intended) new restaurant in Miami's Design District. Our son, Aaron, a University of Miami grad, is visiting and we want to show him how hip we've become since we began spending time in Miami. We arrive at Michael's Genuine Food & Drink just as the rain is letting up, a few minutes early for our reservation. All the tables inside are occupied. But outside the air smells fresh and the wood tables under black umbrellas look inviting, so we decide to go for it.

My black mesh chair is comfortable and only a little wet. It's still drizzling lightly but the umbrella protects us, for the most part. Aaron fits right into the scene, with his tee shirt, shorts, and flip flops. I feel edgy in my fitted black tee with the word "courage" lettered in gold across the front. I have on capris and a cute pair of sandals. Eric is sensibly dressed in long pants and socks.

Maybe it's the cosmo that dulls my senses, maybe the fabulous salmon dish, or perhaps just the heady feeling of being in trendy Miami. I don't really notice anything until, just as we're finishing our main course, Aaron complains he's being bitten. Really? In the middle of the Design District? I realize I'm itching a bit around the ankles myself. Eric claims to be fine. Nevertheless, we decide to skip dessert and ask for our check. Aaron insists we stop at Walgreen's for some Benadryl. Still, I refuse to be concerned. Even when I see the massive swelling on my wrist and the nest of bites under my arm. Not to mention the numerous welts around my ankles. After all, that West Nile Virus thing is way overblown, isn't it?

Ah, Miami in summer. The perfect place to be. Especially if you love mosquitoes.


Kim Mosley said...


In my blog
I spoke too of the yin yang of life, with perfection being countered with frustrations.

Years ago in New Hampshire we were being attacked by flies. Knowing that they liked our dog better than us, we started training him to stay away from us to divert the beasts.


Anonymous said...

Makes me itch just reading about it! Hope the aftermath didn't last too long. Reggie has the timing right! Judy

Anonymous said...

Your story reminds me of a time in Hawaii when some friends and I decided to sleep on the beach. In shorts. After several Cuba Libres. We have lots of mosquitos out here on the Olympic Peninsula, but I've never been quite so poisoned by them. No fun.


Anonymous said...

Great work.