The sweet smell of gardenia, constant whiffs of salty sea, dense humid air that hangs on you like a wet blanket, and the warmth of a day that radiates down but also up from ground. These are the pleasant surprises that awaited me upon arriving in Miami this morning.

Sleep, it is overrated right? The night before I left, I don’t know why, but I guess I was ready to start relaxing, and I stayed up to watch a movie…till three. Couple that with last night’s sleepless red-eye flight, and I was ready to crash on the beach chairs today.

But first I had to get in the water. I must say, it is soooooo nice to have the salt of the sea drizzle across your lips, always unexpected in its potency, but calming in its familiarity. It treats you like an old friend welcomes you home.

My cousin and I parked are butts in some pool loungers, sipping ice cream based beverages with umbrellas. Drinks with names like “Banana Cream Blush” and “Plum Pillow” were the aperitif du jour. Under the awnings we bravely bared our Pacific Northwestern white carcasses and waited for the call of “Beached Whale!” that we were sure would echo shortly. To our delight, the paparazzi didn’t arrive, and everyone else was watching us just as much as we were watching him or her…that is to say seldom.

Falling pray to slumber, in this sleep induced walking comma that I had besieged myself with, is normally a trifling problem that can be easily rendered innocuous. However, when one prepares to make reparations to the gods of slumber and at the same time prostrating yourself before the Sun god Ra…something has to give…and it is usually a flesh offering.

I escaped my punishment better than my cousin who is now in the ICU of our hotel room that we have affectionately dubbed the Burn Unit. But, be not worried for our state–for our spirits are high. The idea that we both have nothing that we have to do is well…magic in and of itself.

We are staying literally on the southernmost point of the continental United States. Our hotel juts out into the convergence of the Atlantic, Caribbean, and Gulf seas, and as such is subject to their currents, winds, and beauty.

There is something to be said about southern hospitality, time, and lifestyles; all compliments and stereotypes do apply. That being said, I haven’t really been able to take in much of the environs, but this week promises to be a menagerie of jet skiing, snorkeling, and sunbathing. Stay tuned.