The Vermont Cynic

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One impromptu winter vacation in Florida

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The first time I was in Florida was a 2001 family Disney trip. At this point, I was around 5 years old and unaware of the aggressively raging “club” scene of Miami or the rampant racism found everywhere else in the state.

Now that I’m older and more aware of these parts of Florida’s culture, I didn’t intend on returning.bhu

Over winter break, after spending time with genuinely unpleasant family friends and the high school friends that, yes, were still assholes after all this time, I blindly chose to accept my friend Kimia’s invitation to take a trip to Miami.

We would be staying with her family as well as spending time with a girl we sort of knew in high school who now conveniently goes to the University of Miami and would know where we could go out at night.

We arrived at a beautiful Georgian style house in Coral Gables where James, Kimia’s uncle, ushered us inside. To Kimia’s surprise, we learned that her aunt was actually in Ghana working at an orphanage.

On the first night we successfully went to all the Spanish bars along South Beach.

Easily persuaded by the class and decadence of the bar that offered us a 64-ounce margarita for the price of a single, safely-sized one, we settled.

The sugar itself made me stop drinking about five sips in, but my friend, who is 5-foot-1 and weighs 95 pounds, drank about half, got the number of every sleazy club promoter in the bar and danced to every Spanish song, despite the lack of a dance floor, before suavely passing out across the backseat of the Uber ride home.

A beautiful first night in this tropical haven.

The next night we sat outside at a restaurant and drank a bottle of wine. I sat swaddled in my cashmere wrap next to the heat lamp we had the waiter bring to our secluded table like the white, upper-middle class housewives we all are on the inside.

Our final night we went out with our UMiami friend, and Kimia found something wrong with every place, insisting on leaving each one.

At the final destination of the night, I found a horse mask and had both of them take several photos of me in it to ensure they came out well.

On the plane ride home we hit some fun turbulence that made us land in Baltimore instead of New York. A kid next to me threw up in a bag.

Florida, I learned, is the place to go when you’ve realized you’ve moved away from your childhood days in Disney to your adult days wearing horse masks in Spanish bars.

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One impromptu winter vacation in Florida