Archive for June 2nd, 2020

June 2, 2020

Coconut Grove, FL!!!

Ok beat me ,I am getting nostalgically old nowdays, maybe its the confinement lol! But heck I need to put this piece in my blog, it is just awesome memories and this is the time to do it. Memories forever in my State of Florida. Bear in mind photos are old and from paper photo so for me just for the memories!!

Let me tell you a bit on a special spot there for me and my family as we were there almost every weekend for years. Let me tell you about Coconut Grove! the Grove!!!

Coconut Grove is the oldest continuously inhabited neighborhood of Miami in Miami-Dade County; State of Florida. The neighborhood is roughly bound by North Prospect Drive to the south, LeJeune Road to the west, South Dixie Highway (US 1) and Rickenbacker Causeway to the north, and Biscayne Bay to the east. It is south of the neighborhoods of Brickell and The Roads and east of Coral Gables. The definitive spelling “Coconut Grove” was established when the city was incorporated in 1919.. The area is often referred to as “The Grove” and many locals take pride that Coconut Grove is one of the greenest areas of Miami.

Landmark of hippies in the 60s, home of Flower power and then a favorite quarter of intellectual artists, the village of Coconut Grove then became considerably quieter. If it now shelters a wealthy but discreet population, an extraordinary greenery and small motley shops, it retains traces of this originality and a Bohemian spirit that make the Grove a unique district of Miami.

Official webpage dedicated to the Grove: Coconut Grove all info needed

One of the nicest spot there and we went for it each time just to unwind from our day before getting to eating and drinking away was the Barnacle! Nestled in the middle of a dense forest of tropical plants and trees, the Barnacle is the oldest house in Miami Dade  County. The building was designed in 1886 and now it is home to the Barnable Historic State park at 3485 Main Highway. More from the FLorida State Parks here: Florida State Parks on Barnacle

coconut grove

CocoWalk is currently under construction and is set to reopen in the early 2020s. Actually this is as old as I can remember and the main reason we came here. It had a cinema, discothéque, several restaurants and a great library not to mention a nice Mediterranean architecture to just spend a day with the family. I would be glad once it reopen and see the new layout. Probably delay due to the virus. It was very popular.

coconut grove

Coconut Grove

What is still there is The Streets of Mayfair. For your shopping moment, this is where it happens. This small neighborhood located between Grande Avenue in the south, Virginia Street in the west, Oak street in the north and Mary street in the east is ideal for pedestrian walks, with its small restaurants, its bookshop and its rather motley shops.

The villa Vizcaya  castle and museum at 3251 S Miami Avenue already written on it in my blog (see post).

The maze of winding streets, the queen vegetation, the architectural freedom of the houses, a stroll through the residential districts, even by car, will reveal the “artist” character of the Grove. Wander the alleys shaded by banyan fig trees, get lost in the flowery paths to feel this special atmosphere , but only during the day. Because at night, between the lack of street lighting and the leafy trees, you may not see anything at all. Lose yourself between: East of Lejeune Road, South of Loquat Avenue, West of 37th Avenue and North of Ingraham Highway. Indeed superbe one of the nicest spot in South Florida me think and I worked and lived there for 11 years (total of 18 in Fl).

Take a walk by 37th avenue, between Charles Avenue and Franklin Avenue, to take a look at the Charlotte Jane Memorial Park Cemetery where it was filmed the scene of the living dead of the music clip Thriller by Michael Jackson .. In the film Scarface, Manny lives in an upscale home in the Grove yes saw the movie? In the TV series Dexter, based on the book series by Jeff Lindsay, Dexter Morgan lived in Coconut Grove.oh yeah! And and Coconut Grove was the location for the 1985 Burt Reynolds film Stick. Yess! Also, the 2008 film Marley & Me with Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson, based on John Grogan’s book, was filmed on location in Coconut Grove. Oe oe oe!!!

I found a very nice youtube video that show you more of the place, credit to it.

Additional webpages to help you plan your trip here and it is recommended when in Miami are

The tourist office of Miami and the Beaches on Coconut GroveMiami and the Beaches on Coconut Grove

The State of Florida tourism on Coconut GroveState of Florida tourism on Coconut Grove

It was magical and we love to be there, even came back on a visit in 2009. Always in our heart and many family moments. Hope you too can one day enjoy Coconut Grove. 

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

June 2, 2020

Nha Trang, Vietnam, I !!

So looking at the blog old posts realise some are not seen the light as I hope for , not too many but this one falls into the category of forgotten posts. So I am reviving and redoing it completely. Bear in mind the visit was in 2016.

This was Nha Trang, and what a surprise, the best stay in Vietnam after several trips in the last few years. Of course fun wise, no time for sightseeing just fun night time. Of course I have written before in other posts but more on the history of it.

Nha Trang is a seaside town, also the capital city of Khánh Hòa Province on the South Central Coast of Vietnam. It has a 6 kms long beach front that is superb, and a Bay of over 400 sq kms and 19 small islands. Nha Trang is known as the famous entertainment center of Vietnam; which I just found out lol!!

I arrive on Vietnam Airlines from HCMC (see posts) and landed at The airport is nice been a former military base ,and is about 30 kms from the city, call Cam Ranh International Airport , the entry in and out was simple and easy. An easy to read webpage on it is here: Nha Trang airport

nha trang airport taxi stand mar16

And I went straight to check in at the hotel, Paris Nha Trang Hotel, tuck in an alley off the main beach boulevard Tran Phu. It is a very nice hotel with as you notice Paris motifs of the Seine river and Eiffel tower; rooms are nice spacious bath, good breakfast resto and the most is walking distance to the beach and Entertainment!! More here: Paris Nha Trang Hotel

nha trang

nha trang

nha trang paris hotel to right beach mar16

And I immediately went out with some local friends that guide me thru it all gloriously. First business of the night was to check out the huge big Best Western Premier Havana hotel where on the top floor there is the Skylight Skydeck & Rooftop Beach Club , a super club highly recommended loaded with locals and tourists alike having great fun with the most beautiful views of the city below even at night. I stayed here until the wee hours and was all fun clean and safe.  Here is the hotel page with beautiful shots of the Bay and the club; Havana Hotel Skylight club

nha trang

nha trang

nha trang

Of course ,the night continues into the Zima Club, this is a classic club and we had lots of fun here, they consider the largest dance floor in Nha Trang, I can vouch for it, loaded action. If you want fun ,then come here. While there it was loaded with Russian tourists wild drinking and partying.  The location is at Basement Level, Eland, Tran Phu Street.  Here is their Facebook page :Facebook page of Zima Club Nha Trang

nha trang

nha trang

Anyway , I finished at the Sailing club a more relax ambiance right next to the beach and part of a diving club. You can dance and the beach is next to you with sandy long stretch very nice, the pace here picked up after 2am or 02h!!! The official page for it is here: Sailing Club Nha Trang

nha trang

nha trang

nha trang

Of course, next day we had lunch at Biển Hồng New – Hải Sản Tươi Sống  typical Vietnamese resto with live crabs and fish to eat fresh; good food but you need to be brave like me ::)  Here is a foody review in Vietnamese but take from me the food is awesome raw and fresh and of course cook to order. Foody Vietnam

nha trang

And of course, do not forget the beach , glorious into one of the world’s best bays. 6 kms long beach with best by 13h. This is to unwind after a loong night of entertainment of course, food for the soul and mind. Here is info on it from World Bays on the Nha Trang BayWorld Bays on Nha Trang Bay

nha trang

Here is the Vietnam Guide on Nha Trang very informative, hope it helps: Vietnam Guide on Nha Trang

The tourist office of Vietnam on Nha TrangVietnam tourism on Nha Trang

Now excuse me but the trip was done while carrying a blueberry phone and the pictures at night did not turn out good but still is the souvenir of the trip. Hope you enjoy the post nevertheless and do visit wonderful Nha Trang in Vietnam.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

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