I brought a small chopping board and a very sharp knife with me, so I would have no excuses for not preparing fresh fruit.
We began the day with slices of orange and red grapefruit, both of which were so juicy they were impossible to eat without slurping noisily.
We glugged some water and set off for an early morning stroll around the neighbourhood. This area has lots of Banyan trees which are incredible structures.
They do not have a central trunk like the trees I am used to seeing. Instead trunk like structures grow in all directions and new trunks grow over the existing. Or under. Or between.
They grow in all directions and create dramatic tree tunnels over the roads.
Their buttress roots are extensive and these trees are huge.
Coral Way was busy but beautiful; the moss covered trees created a tree tunnel.
The beautiful houses here are beginning to put out their Halloween decorations.
This road has ghosts hanging from the trees.
It seems strange to not be doing a pumpkin this year.
This is such a beautiful neighbourhood. The City of Coral Gables was built in the 1920’s and you quite often come across these charming old walls.
I really enjoyed the tropical foliage
Harvey enjoyed seeing the children going to school, knowing he was on holiday. I think the school bus is a fantastic idea and one we should import.
Back at the hotel,
we headed to breakfast.
Yesterday we sat inside but today we had a table in the fountain courtyard.
This is a stunning 2 storey structure, where, as with the rest of the hotel, the attention to detail and decoration is very good quality. We are seeing it in its prime as it has just been redecorated and we are very appreciative.
I started as I did yesterday with a plate of fresh fruit, some cheese and ham.
I then succumbed to bread and had 2 small rolls with some more cheese and grapes. The cheese was amazing so I couldn’t resist.
I also had more of the delicious granola with yogurt. We all ate heartily as it is a buffet so you can help yourself and we are only eating twice a day, in an attempt to eat well but save money. This place is fabulous but not cheap.
The service here is faultless. The staff are all polite but friendly. Not in your face but there when you need them. Glasses of water or juice and coffee are constantly refilled and no request seems too much. I could get used to this! Everything is such lovely quality with attention to detail.
Having walked and
gorged eaten, we headed to the pool to relax. Would I like a chair cover Ma’am? How many towels would I like? Could they get me a glass of iced water? Oh, yes please :-). This was the view from my sun lounger. Bliss.
I swam quite a bit. Easy to do as this is the largest hotel pool in Continental USA. After swimming and relaxing and being waited on, we retreated to our suite to relax even more. Did I say suite? I seem to have clicked on the Junior Suite button rather than large bedroom when I booked it. Oops :-).
The small but perfectly formed sitting room is a welcome addition to the generously sized bedroom. Plenty of space to add an extra bed. The central console which divides the bedroom area from the sitting area has a tv on both sides which is fab so you can watch tv from the sofa or bed or both at the same time.
Harvey thinks this is his bed as it has his initials on it.
Early evening they provide a complimentary chocolate chip cookie – I confess I couldn’t resist and ate it.
For dinner we went to Ortanique,
a Jamaican restaurant on Miracle Mile. I was amazed at how busy the restaurants and bars were for a Monday night. The menus had little lights on them which I have never seen on a menu before. Similar to the one on a Kindle.
I started with a cherry, orange and rum cocktail and complimentary garlic bread. For appetizer I had corn and conch fritters served with black beans and a roasted pepper sauce.
For a main I had a steak with “broccolini” (tender stem) and yukka fries. The portions at Ortanique were quite modest but sufficient. I prefer to eat like this as I eat what I am given. Eating small portions makes me realise I should do that more often.
Dessert was a mango milk cake which I was not too keen on. This was a great restaurant in the heart of the shopping and restaurant district on Miracle Mile. Unfortunately the youngest member of our group was too tired to want to walk about so we called a car from the hotel. I would have liked to stroll back to the hotel but he was just too tired tonight.
So we are back in our lovely room at this amazing hotel, relaxing and enjoying the peace and quiet. We are leaving tomorrow for a hotel and area of Miami James has chosen. Those of you who know him will guess correctly that it is somewhere much cheaper! I put my foot down at the budget motels he initially proposed and while I am reluctant to EVER leave this little bit of paradise on earth, we have to as it is beyond our budget. It has been an amazing treat and much needed. Thank you Biltmore hotel and all the wonderful staff, for healing and restoring me so I feel like a human being again.
Wow, it sounds wonderful! Those houses are so pretty, think I could live there 🙂 Enjoy the rest of your holiday. Is Lara not with you? xx
Wow! And thank you Bennets for sharing that magical corner of the world with us! I CAN’T BELIEVE you carried a sharp knife through airport security, however!!!! Gorgeous gorgeous…I look forward to the next installment – I feel as though I’m out there myself! xxx
As usual, your photography and writing make me feel like I am right there. I am glad you were able to treat yourself back to feeling human again. We all deserve to be pampered for our hard work in life. Hopefully you will enjoy more of the Florida weather and have lots of time to be outdoors.
Stay clear of that darn tropical storm Sandy. It looks like she will miss you as of today. You missed the last one in Barbados, and they are expecting this one to turn into Hurricane status today, so miss this one too okay! Sending NO HURRICANE vibes your way.
We saw the news about Hurricane Sandy on the TV in a Liquor Store just now – rather alarming. We were happily oblivious in the Biltmore. Hope everyone is OK in Jamaica and Cuba. Cuba was my first choice for this break but I was talked out of it due to it being hurricane season!
Hi there. I sure hope you stay safe and it misses you like it looked like it would. Jamaica is 70% without power now as I post this.
My thoughts are with them all – it must be terrifying.
I think I’d get on just fine at the Biltmore. Well chosen. Can’t wait to see James’ choice. Hope it’s not in a dodgy area – you might need the knife for more than just slicing tender fruit!
Aren’t those banyan trees amazing!? Do you think they’d grow in Sissinghurst? xxx
Well, we walked to the supermarket and became so scared we had to get a cab back! And we are at the coast with aHurricane on the way. I am dreaming fondly of the Biltmore 🙂