Details of Sundays Ride
We left the house later than planned; it was 11:20 AM, over the Hillsboro Blvd Bridge to the A1A, then south to begin the journey. Leaving Deerfield Beach you enter the small town of Hillsboro Mile. A beautiful tree canopy covers the road with the Intracostal waterway on the west and many magnificent homes bordering the Atlantic Ocean on the east. The pace is slow, 35 MPH enforced, as we ride up over the inlet at Hillsboro and on into Pompano Beach. Here we encounter high-rise condos and hotels for several miles with short glimpses of the ocean from time to time. As we approach Lauderdale-By-The-Sea traffic slows, as most know it is very easy to get a ticket for speeding in this little seaside village. Commercial Blvd is the hub of excitement here, people walking about in their beach attire, ready to soak up some Florida sunshine. Scooter sightings have been rare so far, but lots of motorcycles are out today.
Now we enter Fort Lauderdale, Venice of America. Just thought I would throw that in for your information. Galt Ocean Mile is 6 lanes and all condos, nothing to see, so we zip right by. On the left the Atlantic Ocean appears. For the next 3 miles there is an unobstructed view of the beach. The west side of A1A consists of condos, houses, shops and restaurants. Oh, did I mention the thousands of people, scantly dressed, roaming the area? The ride is a bit slow here as we follow the young lads cruising in their cars watching and TRYING to pick up young ladies. Onward over the 17th Street Bridge, but wait, the bridge is up. You don’t see this often anymore. Since the new bridge is so high only the tallest sailboats require opening. The view is great while we wait, the cruise ships to the south and all of the pleasure boats passing underneath us. At US1 we head south past the airport and turn back toward the beach on Dania Beach Blvd. This bridge is one of the few curves experienced on this ride.
Back on A1A we travel through Hollywood Beach, a quiet seaside town with low-rise motels and fun little hangouts. There are some good restaurants and views of the ICW here. By the way, I spent most of my youth on this beach. As we pass through here Laura announces she is having a wardrobe malfunction and we need to stop for a safety pin. It seems the wind and her shirt buttons are struggling and she doesn’t enjoy the exposure. The Hallandale 7-11 to the rescue! We break for something cool to drink then onward to Miami.
In Golden Beach we pass 461 Ocean Blvd, the house Eric Clapton rented while recording the album of the same title. The houses are getting face-lifts, but many still have kept the style of the 50’s when they were built. Continuing on we pass through Sunny Isles then Haulover Park. Overhead there are huge kites waving in the breeze, welcoming boats back from the sea. It’s a wonderful site. This is the perfect place to stop for a picnic, but that’s not on our agenda for today.
Continuing south we pass through Bal Harbor and Surfside, traffic is light, then by the 82nd Street Public Beach. Now we are approaching the hustle and bustle of Miami Beach with huge high-rise condos on the east and tranquil water backed by beautiful old homes on the west.
Then we slowly enter Lincoln Road and South Beach. Traffic is thick and hectic. Parking is at a premium. Scooters are everywhere. People are everywhere. We look up and see a huge black cloud looming over us. A quick discussions ensues. Do we stop here and have lunch or continue? The vote is in. Onward! The cloud blew away and we didn’t get the rain anyhow. Turning right on 5th Street took us over the MacArthur Causeway back to the mainland. The views are spectacular with the cruise ships, sailboats, multi million dollar homes and the Miami Skyline.
South on Biscayne Blvd takes us into the heart of downtown Miami. We pass the Port of Miami, Bayfront Park and the Shops of Bayside. This is another great place to stop, but we still have our plan. Winding your way through downtown was easy on the weekend even though there was road construction. Once across the bridge over the Miami River US1 becomes Brickell Avenue. New buildings mix with old on this calm tree lined street as we approach Rickenbacker Causeway. A quick stop at the toll booth and we are on our way. The views are breathtaking, Miami Beach, the city skyline and Key Biscayne, it doesn’t get any better.
Our lunch destination is now in sight and just in time. Turning left at the end of the bridge we pull into the parking lot of The Rusty Peliquin. And it starts to rain, then stopped just a suddenly. Quickly we stow our gear under the seat, lock the wheels and made our way past the valet parking to get inside. I ask the hostess if there was a wait. She replies, “No, we don’t have a wait, just give me ten minutes and I can seat you.” They must learn to say things like that in hostess training. We had time to wash up before getting a table at the window overlooking the bay and downtown. There were lots of boats and an ultra light plane that could land in the water. I forgot that lunch on Sunday is buffet only, pricey but worth every cent. The only draw back is we had to forgo the free Mimosas since we were driving.
With our tummies full, it was off for a loop around Key Biscayne. Past the Seaquarium and the Marine Stadium, across the Bear Creek Bridge we entered Crandon Park. As a small child I spent many weekends skating at the outdoor arena and visiting the zoo. Now the zoo has moved, but this is still a nice beach and picnic area. We did a pit stop to buy a disposable camera then another stop for pictures before the return trip. There is a lighthouse in Cape Coral state park at the end of the road, we decided to skip the tour. Key Biscayne always has some kind of event going on at the beach. It was very contained this Sunday with police controlling the parking lot entrances and exits.
For the return trip we changed our route and used the Venetian Causeway then north on Alton Road. There were lots of signs in the area warning for delays starting on Monday for filming. I’m not sure what will be filmed but there were equipment trucks parked everywhere. As luck had it the tolls were suspended on this causeway due to renovation of the tollbooths. This route is much quieter with less traffic, avoiding the whole South Beach/Lincoln Road area. At 41st Street/Arthur Godfrey Road we connected with A1A to finish the journey home.
One last stop was made in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea. This was just a short rest and refreshment break then homeward bound. We were out for about 7 1/2 hours including lunch and other stops. It was a long day and we would do it again in a heartbeat. Next time I might drive the Vespa and have Pedro drive the Burgman, we’ll see.