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  1. #26
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    Earlier in this thread I referred to the Mary Brickell Village (Mary Brickell Village in Downtown Miami) as a place you should consider visiting if you come to Miami (Southeastern edge of Downtown Miami).

    The girlfriend and I took a friend to the area for dinner a couple of weeks ago and we revisited it again last night for dinner, because of that last experience. I used to visit the area because it was close to the house, but after this trip I believe we’ll be visiting the area even more. 8 – 10 years ago when I was going down there the crowds were small in comparison to what they are today. With Brickell’s large growing condo community and it being so close to downtown Miami it draws a nice group of people.








    The Herald had a write about dinning in the Brickell area yesterday, if you would like read it: Brickell dining scene comes to life

    Gabriela Rodriguez has lived on Brickell Key for more than a decade, but until recently a night out invariably meant trekking over the causeway to South Beach.

    Now Rodriguez sticks much closer to home, enjoying the influx of restaurants and nightlife that have turned Brickell Avenue, Southeast First Avenue and the surrounding area into a hot spot of its own.
    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

  2. #27
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    Florida is awesome place for vacations. You can enjoy the beaches of south Florida. No doubt itís one of the hottest tourist destinations around the globe.
    ______________________

  3. #28
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    This year (2012) we had a chance to visit Key West, Florida during Fantasy Fest. If you would like to view the thread you can do it here: http://teakdoor.com/travel-the-world...st-2012-a.html (Key West, Florida - Fantasy Fest 2012 with the Thai girlfriend (NSFW))

    This thread is not safe to open in front of children or while at work.


  4. #29
    Thailand Expat
    robuzo's Avatar
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    ^Did you fly into KW? Anyone thinking of driving to KW for the first time should know that if you time that drive incorrectly it's a nightmare- a scenic nightmare, but still a nightmare.

  5. #30
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    ^we did fly in and out using American Eagle (there are many other airlines that do travel there) and in the thread (about 2012 Fantasy Fest) I did give the readers a small warning about driving to the Keys during Fantasy Fest.

  6. #31
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    The girlfriend landed in Miami about two weeks ago (for a three month stay) and after a couple of days and only one Thai meal (in Miami) we left for the middle of the state for a couple of weeks. She started looking for Thai food in the area and ran across Wat Mongkolratanaram (also known as Wat Tampa) which is still a two hour drive. We went to visit the Wat today (Sunday).

    Evidently every Sunday they have a Sunday Market with plenty of Thai food available. If you have a Thai spouse (or are looking for some Thai food) and are in the Central Florida area (Disney World/Universal), it might make for a nice half day trip out to the Wat.

    Nice grounds








    Plenty of guests






    Their Thai temple dog (this one looks to be in good shape)


  7. #32
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    south florida 1992 Andrew

    after living through the worst hurricane to hit south florida everr anything that comes thailands way would be a walk in the park

  8. #33
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    robuzo's Avatar
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    SL, nice to see that Tampa has something going for it- not as if Ybor City is any great shakes nowadays.

    How does Wat Mongkolratanaram compare with the one in Homestead Welcome to Wat Miami | Gallery ? Perhaps to my discredit I didn't take my son there during our recent stay, saving it for when Mommy comes was the excuse that we agreed to use when Mommy asked.
    ďYou can lead a horticulture but you canít make her think.Ē Dorothy Parker

  9. #34
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robuzo View Post
    How does Wat Mongkolratanaram compare with the one in Homestead Welcome to Wat Miami | Gallery ?
    Like night and day. This one on the south side of Tampa is so nice compared to the one in South Dade. I was expecting the typical Thai Wat (nothing special) way out of town (because of property prices) which it was. But the view this Wat has along the Tampa Bypass Canal was impressive, to say the least. Benches, tables, a dock, the Oaks and a designated meditation area for guests to enjoy while at the Wat is something Homestead is lacking.

    Knowing your location in Florida; if you do visit a Wat, you might want to make the extra drive and visit the one in Tampa on a Sunday (between 10:30 am Ė 1:30pm). Expect a nice crowd (and a variety of Asians).

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by S Landreth View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by robuzo View Post
    How does Wat Mongkolratanaram compare with the one in Homestead Welcome to Wat Miami | Gallery ?
    Like night and day. This one on the south side of Tampa is so nice compared to the one in South Dade. I was expecting the typical Thai Wat (nothing special) way out of town (because of property prices) which it was. But the view this Wat has along the Tampa Bypass Canal was impressive, to say the least. Benches, tables, a dock, the Oaks and a designated meditation area for guests to enjoy while at the Wat is something Homestead is lacking.

    Knowing your location in Florida; if you do visit a Wat, you might want to make the extra drive and visit the one in Tampa on a Sunday (between 10:30 am Ė 1:30pm). Expect a nice crowd (and a variety of Asians).
    My aunt has a ranch near Tampa- she taught my son to ride during our last visit. We'll check it out next time we are in FL, cheers!

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by S Landreth View Post
    The girlfriend landed in Miami about two weeks ago (for a three month stay) and after a couple of days and only one Thai meal (in Miami) we left for the middle of the state for a couple of weeks. She started looking for Thai food in the area and ran across Wat Mongkolratanaram (also known as Wat Tampa) which is still a two hour drive. We went to visit the Wat today (Sunday).

    Evidently every Sunday they have a Sunday Market with plenty of Thai food available. If you have a Thai spouse (or are looking for some Thai food) and are in the Central Florida area (Disney World/Universal), it might make for a nice half day trip out to the Wat.

    Nice grounds








    Plenty of guests






    Their Thai temple dog (this one looks to be in good shape)

    The wife and I used to go here about 5-6 times a year as we lived in Sarasota just about 1 hour south. The next closest Wat was in Orlando.

    It is a really nice place. The food market on Sundays is great but usually very packed and busy expect a long line to get anything. I have waited a half hour just to get some fried bananas before.

    If you really want to experience this Wat go on one of the big Thai holidays they do a really nice job of bringing the Tampa Bay areas Thai and Lao population together.

    What I found amusing was watching all of the Thai's there acting like they are all Hi-So from wealthy families around Bangkok instead of Ex issanites! Just check out the cars in the parking lot. More bimmers and Mercs than you can count.

    Thais know how to make a life for themselves in other countries that is for sure most end up as business owners and rather wealthy.

    It is a nice day out and it helped my Wife with her homesickness in the beginning.
    I'm not saying it was Aliens, but it was Aliens!

  12. #37
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    If youíre ever in Coconut Grove (the Grove is a neighborhood/town in the Miami area) while in Florida you might want to try out the Peacock Garden Cafe, for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Great food.


    Hers was a red snapper and mine, crab cakes and mashed potatoes.

  13. #38
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    Nice pics and updates, S. Thanks.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrAndy View Post
    Florida is not Americans, it is part of the USA
    I thought it was part of Cuba.

  15. #40
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    Ahh, my home town Wat Tampa when I'm in FLA .....oh ya ....if ya go to
    the sunday market, plan on getting there by 9:30 am it fills up fast
    Chok Dee

  16. #41
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    Earlier in this thread I made a comment. I said, I thought South Beach had been changing and not for the better. Well the girlfriend (and most tourists) does not know the difference and thinks itís nice so we decided to stay out on the barrier island for a few weeks.

    I will post a series of pictures (some with descriptions) to show all of you, South Beach. But before I do I would like to share what it used to be like.

    Growing up in South Florida there were a few beaches we; as kids, would frequent. South Beach; First Street Beach is what it used to be called, was one of them. However when we used to visit, there was a pier that would separate our beach from their beach (older folks, their families and tourists). The pier is no longer there. Itís like a free-for-all now. You have tourists (some old people) and locals sharing the same beach. Itís not that bad if you figure some of the people it attracts, now-a-days. There are some beautiful women that show up here.


    South Beach used to be a quiet neighborhood, filled with old snow birds living out their final days in the beautiful weather (snow birds cannot afford the property now and were pushed/bought/taxed out). But now and on most weekends it could take you as much as a half hour to drive 15 blocks along Ocean Drive (from 1st street to 15th street). Bumper to bumper with cars, showing off what they are driving, looking for a parking space or girls). Another thing I miss is the Dog Tracks parking area at First Street (the Dog Track is no longer there). The tracks parking lot was open to the public and where we could easily find a parking spot, for a 1.50 all day (two story parking area overlooking the beach where you could get out of the sun and the place most kids would congregate). Itís no longer there and trying to find a place to park on the weekend within a few blocks of the beach is next to impossible. But if youíre staying in a hotel along the beach, a lot of them (higher end) have valet parking. If you went searching for a parking spot more than a few blocks from the beach you have to have a special decal on the car (for property owners only) to park along the street.

    In the early 80ís I saw the change coming with nice; but quaint, new restaurants opening up along Ocean Drive in the old hotels (a lot are protected under a historical site ordinance and cannot be altered too much from their Art Deco design). Still it was considered a local spot with few celebrities making their way out or purchasing up property. During the mid-80ís there was a boom and the place took off. But it was new and not many people knew of it. Now most all those people/owners have left and we now have the late comers visiting and buying up property (putting up hi-end shops/restaurants/hotels/apartment buildings), which is nice for Miamiís tourist industry.

    Itís still a nice place (I hope the pictures below will convey that message) and the weather is great most of the year, but itís hard not to be reminded how it used to be.

    The high tourist area of South Beach is considered the 10 blocks between 5th and 15th and from Ocean Drive (runs parallel to the beach) west for 3 blocks to Washington Avenue.


    I am going to start off with pictures with the two Thai restaurants that are worth visiting if you enjoy Thai food and the south and west sides of South Beach, that are not seen by most tourists. Most tourists stay within the limits I described above [10 blocks between 5th and 15th and from Ocean Drive (runs parallel to the beach) west for 3 blocks to Washington Avenue].

    The first; and recently opened, Thai restaurant is the Khong River House along Lincoln Road. Good food and nice atmosphere, but the music can be a bit loud if youíre trying to carry on a conversation.








    The second Thai restaurant; better food according to the Thai girlfriend, is the Thai House (http://thaihousesobe.com/ThaiHouse/) along Washington Avenue.


    Both the south and west sides of South Beach (Miami Beach) rest along the water. Government Cut (leads you into the Port of Miami) abuts the south and west abuts the intracoastal waterway/Biscayne Bay.

    Thereís a picturesque walkway along the entire route that makes a great place to walk/run/skate/dog walking/cycling/etc. with two restaurants (Monty's Raw Bar at South Beach & Smith & Wollensky's ) and the Miami Beach Marina along the route.


















    Next week, I'll show the beach and surrounding area/s.


  17. #42
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    Thanks for the great pics and recommendations again, S. Greenage if I can.

  18. #43
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    ^Thank you Natalie

    South Beach and the few blocks from the beach.

    Most tourists who come to visit South Beach will find themselves along this part of the beach (in Miami).











    Ocean Drive runs along the beach and is also the most active spot on the beach with its nice restaurants, bars and hotels.














    Just one block west of Ocean Drive is Collins Avenue where youíll find most of the higher end shops, some restaurants and hotels.


    One more block west of Collins Avenue is Washington Avenue. Washington Avenue isnít as nice as either Collins or Ocean, but there are still a few nice shops, restaurants and bars along this stretch of road.




    Most people consider South Beach (the tourist part) running from 5th Street to 15th street. 15th Street is Espanola Way (https://www.facebook.com/dineespanolaway just west of the beach). Itís a little out of the way and most tourists donít know about it but there are a very few but nice restaurants and shops here. A nicer area just a couple of blocks north is Lincoln Road (17th street) which is within walking distance and worth a visit. They have some very nice restaurants/clubs and shops at the Lincoln Road Mall.










    And one last shot; to end this part of the South Beach posts, of the sunrise today while at South Beach.


  19. #44
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    If youíre ever in (Downtown) Miami and you want to get away from the tourists (but not the crowds) for a good meal, Garcias Seafood Grill and Fish Market is a nice place to visit along the Miami River.










  20. #45
    Look!!..... a train!!
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    Jeez some of those pics look like Beach Road Pattaya but through rose tinted glasses

  21. #46
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robuzo View Post
    Was at the wat in Tampa, Florida yesterday (Sunday, early Father's Day)
    Well? What did you think of it? Any pictures?

  22. #47
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    Today we received a bit of an education about Floridaís Everglades Nation Park.

    Iíve taken the girlfriend on airboat rides into the glades but today was the first time she was taught about the glades in a way I couldnít explain to her.

    If you would like to get up close and an education about the park you (your kids) might want to do a Swamp Walk (there's a gift shop at Clyde Butcher's place). But watch out, the park isnít the place it used to be when I was a growing up.








    It might be a good idea to check the season before you decide to take a swamp walk. There is a season which they are not offered.

  23. #48
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    ^An English friend of mine recently did the Shark Valley bike ride and was very impressed- said the nearest thing to it is safari in East Africa. The wildlife in the Glades is amazing (for birds and large reptiles- you'll see more large mammals in Yellowstone).

  24. #49
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    During my son's spring break we visited Wat Tampa, which offers quite good Thai food at reasonable prices on Sundays, as well as a copacetic place to dine along the river.

    My son is a bloody Arsenal supporter and happened to run into two other bloody Arsenal supporters at the wat. I didn't take their photos, but here he is with my delightful niece.




  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by S Landreth View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dirtydog View Post
    Now Florida is quite nice, if I had the money all those years ago thats where i would be living,.............




    Start of Hurricane Season 09

    Why it’s a good idea to vacation in Florida and not live. From the front page (on line) of the Miami Herald today (August 16, 2009).
    Rubbish, the sky is falling, the sky is falling, lived here my entire life plenty of notification to take action and the chance of getting a direct hit is less then winning the lottery, only a long time native would know that of course.. Take hurricanes over tornado's, volcano's, Tsunami's or earthquakes any time.. For the short and inconsistent threat relative to the surroundings and weather, Florida is unmatched..

    2013 was supposed to be busy and was lowest the hurricane season on record..

    Hey Rob, why didn't you come by and say hello!! Just across in Orlando..

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