My Trip to Miami

Garrett Webber, Reporter

This February, I was lucky enough to get an early spring break with my girlfriend and her family down to Miami Beach. We got to stay in the beautiful Hilton hotel with Art Deca architecture which was only a five-minute walk from the beach. The water was a bit cold, but the drastic change to hot temperatures made going in the water easy. I got to enjoy all diverse types of food from seafood to Cuban sandwiches. We did a lot of walking, but that gave me the opportunity to see more of the beautiful area. After a little over a week in South Beach, we went on a great boat tour, spent hours at the beach, and enjoyed wonderful food and drinks that we do not have access to back in North Dakota. 

Then our trip took an unfortunate turn. As our vacation in Miami was ending, we began to hear word from back home that a massive snowstorm was on its way to the Minneapolis area. On Wednesday, what was supposed to be the last day of our trip, we woke up as planned to make it to the airport for our flight at 2:00 pm. Around 11:00 am, we were notified by Sun Country that our flight was to be delayed one hour. This one-hour delay happened two more times, and our flight was then supposed to be at 5:00 pm. It was not too long before our flight, along with every other flight that was supposed to be coming into Minneapolis, was canceled that day. Luckily, we were able to get a room at a different hotel for the night. While we were moving into the new room on Wednesday evening, our flight was rescheduled to leave at noon the following day. I was not to upset about this because the new hotel was beautiful. Shortly after this happened, however, the new flight was postponed until Friday at noon due to further weather concerns. Fortunately, we were able to get the same hotel room for another day. 

That night, we decided to go out to eat at a fancy restaurant called Smith & Wollensky’s, located about 10 minutes from our hotel with a view of the ocean. The four of us ate seafood, steak, and appetizers, making the best of an inconvenient situation. We woke up on Thursday morning and went to breakfast and sat by the pool after to enjoy the extra sunshine that we had the chance to get. After catching the UV for a while, we went and ate at the hotel restaurant where we had eaten our breakfast. Once we finished eating, we went back up to the room to relax for a bit before hitting the hay one final time in Miami. As we sat around the living room, we received an email from Sun Country that was alarming. Our flight, scheduled to leave at noon on Friday, had left at noon, hours before we received any email notice about the changed time. After a long phone conversation with Sun Country, we got a refund for the missed flight. We still had a huge problem, though. There was a limited number of flights going from Miami to Minneapolis over the next few days, and the ones that were available had outrageous prices due to the short notice. We searched for flights like the original one, maybe flying out of Orlando or Tampa and into Grand Forks or Fargo. We settled on an Allegiant flight on Saturday at 2:00 pm. The flight was flying out of Orlando and going straight to Grand Forks. When traffic is accounted for, it is about a four-hour drive from Miami to Orlando on the weekend. We made plans to get a rental car from Miami and leave it in Orlando at the airport. Luckily enough, I brought my computer on the trip to be able to communicate with professors if necessary and read emails. Little did I know I would be spending significant amounts of time on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday doing homework. While the plan was to have been home on Wednesday, we were going with the flow, and of all the places I have done homework, the beach is probably my favorite by far. 

Just like that, we had been given one more day of our wonderful beach vacation. On Friday, the four of us followed the same routine from Thursday. We went and ate at the poolside restaurant, which was followed by three to four hours of soaking in the Sun. My tan improved greatly from the extra three days, which is something to be thankful for. Friday evening, we drove into downtown Miami to pick up our rental car, a Ford minivan. I enjoyed the minivan; it had excellent leg room and comfortable seating. Our three and a half-hour drive did not seem like it took that long, partially due to a brief nap I was able to take. As somebody who had never been further south than Nebraska, it was nice to drive through parts of Florida that were not on the beach and see what it looked like. It is certainly a lot greener than back home. We got to the airport with no hiccups, and after an hour or two waiting for our flight, we were on our way home. We flew into Grand Forks on Saturday evening, tanner than we left, colder than usual, and tired from the changing of plans. All in all, I had an amazing time on my trip to Florida and hope to return soon.  


Garrett Webber is a Dakota Student General Reporter. He can be reached at [email protected]