by Melinda Gallo

Final hours in South Beach

For our last day in South Beach, we decided to walk along the beach and take in as much as we could before heading to the airport. We woke up early and headed straight for the beach after breakfast. The weather was beautiful and there were only a few clouds in the sky. We walked down Ocean Drive, which we hadn't done much of because we kept going to Lincoln Road. At every restaurant, young women would try to hand us flyers and tell us of their specials. Initially I felt impelled to thank them and keep walking, but after it happened about five or six times, I just walked by and didn't react at all.

Living in Florence :: Final hours in South Beach

There was one guard standing outside of a beautiful building that Alessandro and I both noticed when we first arrived. One of the bus drivers told us that it was Versace's villa where unfortunately he also was shot back in 1997. The Casa Casuarina looked sumptuous from the outside, but the photos of the rooms that they rent looked amazing as well. They had tours, but we didn't end up taking one.

We couldn't resist hitting a couple of shops that we had seen when we drove by on the bus that were off of another street, so we headed to Collins and 5th.

After checking out of our hotel, we walked back down Ocean Drive and went to another hotel that had a large terrace with a bar and swimming pool. Because we were so hot from walking, we went inside to have lunch.

For my last American lunch, I had sloppy joe sliders. I obviously hadn't been in the US for a while because I had never heard of sliders before. Alessandro was impressed with the can of beer in the shape of a bottle.

After lunch, we headed to the beach once again and I stared into the water that went from dark blue to teal to white. I had become so fond of looking out into the water every day. Just knowing that the ocean was so close was my favorite part of the trip. I didn't have to be in the water, but I did like seeing it and hearing it when we walked along the beach. Even though I look forward to going back to Florence, I will miss the ocean that attracted me in the first place to Miami Beach.

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