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.