Phish NYE Miami Tour - Day 2

by Holger 27. December 2009

Got up around 8am, breakfast around 9am. Thank god its Sunday so the serve breakfast until 10. We stayed one night at the La Quinta Miami airport east just because it was the closest hotel (besides red roof and embassy suites) to the Alamo car rental station and was average in price and ok in ratings/reviews. A one way street made it a little complicated to get there though and it was already dark.

Once we entered the lobby and breakfast room we immediately recognized that it was totally overcrowded by a wild mixture of nationalities and colors. You got Hispanics, Asians, Europeans, Americans and Afro-Americans. Breakfast selection was the usual bagels/toasts and cream cheese, cereals, juices, fruits and coffee which is fine with me for a couple of days although I usually prefer a good selection of italian cheese and sausages. at home. I helped myself with slices of hard boilded eggs on a medium toasted bread with butter. Good choice!

It seemed like a miracle but after returning from the buffet style selection a table for two was just waiting for us. Each of us had approximately 3-4 orange juices as we didn't have anything to drink the whole night and we were totally dryed out. The reason was that I couldn't change any money in advance and we forgot to do it at the airport as we were too tired I guess. 20 USD were still in my wallet since the last Phish trip to Deer Creek and Alpine Valley in June this year but the vending machine seemed not too trustworthy to give it my last cash and hope for the return of change.

After the breakfast we checked out and got to our car on the parking lot - a silver Jeep Patriot with Florida license plate. After waiting on the phone for the Alamo roadside assistance over 15min I decided to keep the car and see what happens (if anything) due to the required oil change. Like in Indiana I will put a Phish logo sticker on the bumper to brand it the right way! Outside the weather was just brillant: sunny and warm like you imagine Florida to be. Its so cool to walk outside in December wearing nothing but shorts, t-shirt and flip-flops.

Next stop was a bank to withdraw cash and a pharmacy to get sun cream, contact lense fluid and a Revlon make up for my sister. Seems banal and not worth to mention but I looked up 2-3 stores in Indiana back in June to get it for her and I couldn't get it. Its the only thing she was asking for so I want to be a good brother and make her happy (I know she reads so blog so please forgive me to bore the rest of you on this one). Silke, I got it this time! ;)

Around 11.30am we reached our final destination - the Best Western waterfront Hotel which is located on the small island of North Bay Village between Miami and Miami Beach and is about 6-7 miles from the American Airlines Arena where the Phish NYE run will take place like in 2003 (our last time in Florida by the way). Our room with king size bed is located on the second floor with a view on the pool which looks a little bit like an 8 (coincidence after "festival 8"?). We could't restist and jumped in our bathing clothes to take a swim in the mid-day sun. Man, what do I have to say? Swimming under palms on Dec 27th and 4 Phish shows just one day away - what a great feeling. Now I know again why we took the long trip. My wife (we are only married since a week) is swimming like a dolphin and sun bathing like a lizard. We can't stop to smile. I know she's a little bit worried that 4 shows are too much for her as she likes some Phish but is not a fan. I am really grateful that she always supports my obsession. I guess that's unconditional love and what else can one demand? On the other hand there are worse places to be right now and if she gets beaches and palms and shopping malls all day long and I get rock'n'roll all night long evrybody is more than happy. That's the simple deal. Plans for the rest of the day are to walk the beach in North Miami beach and to drive to the Aventura shopping mall before having dinner at Shuckers Bar+Grill. That's all folks for the moment...

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Phish NYE Miami Tour - Day 1 Part 4

by Holger 27. December 2009

I am officially dead! It's 4am (Berlin) time, 10pm here in Miami and we are finally at our airport hotel for the first night. After standing up at 6.30am yesterday this is almost 22h of travelling. No fun so far.

The Alamo choice line didn't bring us luck either. We picked a Jeep and once we left the Alamo station I recognized a blinking "Oil Change Required" sign. I will either exchange cars tomorrow after breakfast or ignore it for the rest of the week. We are not touring whole Florida this time and within Miami it should last for a couple of miles - maybe hundreds of miles. Its not my car and they better should give people proper vehicles.

Anyway, right now I am too tired to complain about anything and hey, we are in Miami after all. From tomorrow on everythings gonna be alright. The weather will be nice, the beaches and palms lovely, the shopping malls are waiting only for us, Phish will play a 4-night run beyond imagination, my Deer Creek / Alpine phriend arrives soon, etc....


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Phish NYE Miami Tour - Day 1 Part 3

by Holger 27. December 2009

Puh, that new security rules are really boring. I mean, come on - 1h you are not allowed to read a book, a magazine or a news paper. Hey Mr., put away the evil "financial times", stop reading this dangerous "rolling stone" magazine. You are not allowed to have your pillow on your lap or listen to your iPod. For what reason? I don't get it but what I know for sure is that you don't argue with US flight attendance or sky marshalls or police officers or customs agents under any circumstances - you get the point ;) after landing it took almost 2h to get off the plane, get queued at immigration, get the bags, go through customs, re-check in the bags, go through security check for departure, go to the gate, board.
This is the second time this month (besides getting my Joy Box set out of customs in Berlin) where I get the feeling that one need to be a very big fan to do this.

Next off to Miami from Charlotte. Phish, we are coming... ;)

Phish NYE Miami Tour - Day 1 Part 2

by Holger 26. December 2009

Landed in Frankfurt, stucked in Frankfurt.

Getting from Terminal 1A to 1C by airport train was easy but don't you hate it if they take you throught passport, boarding card and security checks over and over again? Our LH boarding pass wasn't sufficient to get on board so we had to exchange it. As a result we ended up in a huge waiting line. Only American travellers seemed to have the right boarding pass in hand. Coincidence?

The airline crew did not only double-check passports but also took us through an intense security questionaire. Felt like an interview with the homeland security department. Now we are sitting in the plane on the ground for over an hour because they need to clean up a "substance" which was found in the cargo of the plane. There are also brand new security rules on the plane due to the incident on the Delta flight. Passangers have to stay in their seats for the last hour of the flight. Hand lagguage and all personal belongings need to be stored, nothing may be placed on the lap during the last hour of the flight.

What else? I am expecting more surprises.

End of day 1, part 2 as I am going back to flight mode for the next 10h.

Phish NYE Miami Tour - Day 1 Part 1

by Holger 26. December 2009

Well, today's the day I have been waiting for since months (besides marry my girl after 10 years of course which already makes me the happiest man on the planet). We got up early in the morning after just returning from christmas with the parents last night.

Packing for Miami was easy: Lots of Phish t-shirts (12 to be exactely so 2 per day). I've been a little nervous about the flight schedule during the last week as there was heavy snow and ice on most German and European airports which led to the close down of Berlin and Frankfurt 2 days before christmas for example. Temperatures are up again and everything seems to be back to normal. Taxi came quick and the streets in Berlin were almost empty as all shops and offices are closed. Check-in at the airport was also quick and we got some decent seats for the long distance flight. Its my first time with US Airways. Hopefully the Americans don't freak out completely because there was a (thank god failed) terrorist attack on a Delta plane to day where some Nigerian tried to set some explosives on fire but was tackled by crew members and passangers.

Ok, end of Day 1, Part 1 as I need to switch to flight mode.


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