I tried to leave my basement to transition from the COVID Trip Report to the Punxsutawney Trip Report. It did not go so well. My first mistake was going to one of the worst cities in the world: Miami (contrast TPOL’s Travels: The Best Big Cities in the World). This brings me to my second mistake: staying at the Hyatt Regency Downtown Miami. There’s nothing Regency about this property. The third mistake was staying in downtown Miami for one night. Though it was close to my friends who were staying in Wynwood, there is nothing redeemable about this town.
Moving on from the Miami typewriter lashing, let me opine on what travel looks like these days.
Airport & Airplane
Those videos of people fighting used to be once in a while. Now, I can see why they happen more frequently. People are on edge about COVID over wearing the right type of mask (I didn’t know gators were not allowed) and over getting the hell out of the house. This anxiousness turns into quick tempers and rude travelers. While there were no incidents on my flight, it was tense from boarding where Group 6 was trying to board before Group 5. It was also tense on landing, where a passenger tried to jump up quickly and get off the plane while others were retrieving their bags.
Masks are not a political statement. However, enough is enough. Why are people wearing masks on the beach while running? Why did a woman put her mask on when she walked by me on the marina? I was definitely more than 6 feet away and even if I were closer, I doubt that COVID was going to fly out of my mouth and target her with pinpoint accuracy at the very moment she was walking by. This brings me to the restaurants where masks are required while waiting in line or going to the bathroom, but not when a person is eating or drinking. There must be an unwritten rule where COVID won’t bother someone when he is drinking but will swoop in once that last bite has been devoured. Of course, all these inconsistent policies become irrelevant when going to the SLS pool party and masks are nowhere to be found (see Where to Pool Party in Miami).
I wrote 11 Reasons Why I Still Don’t Want to Travel. Reason #10 was no partying. Miami is one of the few places where clubs and bars are open. The one night I went out, I ended up at a club where there were no masks required but, for some reason, the music could not be played at a high level. It was like an Emirates A380 Silent Disco without first-class service. Obviously, I’m getting too old for this shit. However, I was not sold on the waitresses being paraded on the shoulders of bartenders delivering overpriced bottles of champagne (free on Emirates) while pretending to be excited.
No Value, No Service
Miami is one giant W Hotel. People come to show off, receive terrible service, and overpay for everything. Somehow everyone is ok with this.
I’m Not Going to Ducking Tulum!
Visiting the US is not my idea of traveling, but with all the uncertainty it is more convenient than going to a place not on my Country Count List with the naive hope that somehow life is normal there. Everywhere is dealing with this COVID crisis and the adventures I usually undertake would be difficult and unnecessarily stressful to do. Seemingly, the only exception is Tulum, a place that every person I encountered had either visited during lockdown or was going to after Miami. I got so sick of hearing about Tulum that I vowed never to go, even if it is the Garden of Eden as it was described.
For these reasons, I am retiring from travel. I’ll come back with the 4-5 when the world realizes that nothing will be normal until the rich share with the poor. Until then, it’s retirement life in Puerto Rico. Luckily for me, I just took up tennis.