So, Patrick and I are on our way to Miami to visit the U of Miami. They have a good audio engineering technology program and he wanted to take a college visit. I’m not a huge fan of Miami, but it will be lovely to enjoy the 80 degree weather for a few days.
Patrick is a globetrotter now, having just returned from Paris on Friday of last week, jet-lagged, wore slap ass out, and entirely sick of French people. His school trip lasted for seven days, two spent traveling and the other five spent maniacally racing around Paris, soaking up every cultural nuance imaginable. Apparently, it was Paris Fashion Week! I would have given anything to have stowed myself away in his luggage to see such splendor!
In dramatic response to a less than friendly reception by the natives, Patrick assigned himself a mission—obtain hundreds of selfies with random people, regardless of their open hostility. On the metro, one particular irate Frenchman threatened to beat him up. Which all had to be translated, of course. Patrick speaks very basic French…like “vous est jolie” and “bonjour”. I highly doubt the guy understood that Patrick’s posse was rolling 26 deep up in that train. Despite the rancor, Pat is endlessly tenacious, outgoing and engaging. My favorite shot is him with a bunch of Japanese girls. They all look marvelously happy, crowded around him for a selfie (throwing up peace signs).
It really dismayed me that he was so off-put by the Parisians. I love the French language…it rolls off the tongue so fluidly, with inherent style, sophistication and romance. I have never been to France though, only dreamed of it, so I could not prepare him for the chilly reception. Oh well.
Miami trip still in progress…we toured the campus on our own today. Patrick doesn’t think that it feels like his kind of place. I’m a strong believer in finding the best fit for college, and, yeah, this isn’t his style. We got back to the hotel, hit the pool, took a siesta and then headed for a larger mall (Pat was in search of Heat gear). We found a stellar mall! It even had a Tesla dealership inside! And a Vince Camuto shop! (I checked out both–I have a fetish for those sexy electric sedans, and gorgeous shoes, of course!) I took home a pair of studded, crystal embellished flat sandals, but sadly, no Tesla (my VISA would go POOF!). Patrick found more spectacular socks. And then we had a less than edible meal in the food court (Damn you, grilled barbecue chicken purveyors! You tempt me with the good stuff, then sell me gristle and giblets! Arrgghhh!)
We took a cab back to the Holiday Inn (we at the hotel, motel, Holiday Inn!), rested, showered and then ventured back out for dinner. I wanted an elegant, chef-prepared dinner. The desk clerk recommended The Oceanaire and called us a cab. When we arrived, Patrick’s brainstorm struck…the Heat game versus the Nets had just started. I debated the situation with my growling stomach. A single glance at Patrick giving me puppy dog eyes, and, well, you know the rest. After a brisk twenty minute hike, we reached the AA Arena, found a scalper, and barely made it in the doors before they stopped letting people in! Whew! I spied a cantina while we rode the escalators up to our level. We got seated and I ventured back downstairs to find food. Two beef tinga tacos, stacked nachos, a Corona Light and a large Pepsi (they have no Coke here…blasphemy!) all precariously perched on top of each other on a flimsy cardboard tray. Suddenly, it’s half time and the narrow hallways fill with fans while I’m trying to wind my way back to the seats. I actually cawed at someone like a bird—he was blindly stumbling towards me, looking at his cell phone, and not paying attention. This guy was about to wear our dinner and beverages.
Our seats were up in the third level, just a few hundred feet shy of Denali’s summit, shoved way off in a corner. Perfect…no one could see me snarfing down tacos and nachos like Kobayashi going for the world record. By the third quarter, my black-hole-level hunger sated, we were ready to leave. Before departing, we felt compelled to purchase some wacky memorabilia. Patrick settled on a Fathead of Chris “Birdman” Andersen (if you don’t know, a Fathead is a huge foam board photo cutout of an athlete’s head). Then, we snagged a cab and headed back to the Holiday Inn. Fifteen minutes along, the traffic came to a standstill with several miles of construction. Google Maps said the hotel was 33 minutes away on foot. We paid our cabbie, hopped out and started our trek. Patrick attempted to get folks to honk at him by waving the Birdman head. We had a captive audience of hundreds, trapped in their cars. Three people honked, smiled and waved! Success! Patrick has an uncanny ability to bring joy wherever he goes. He had me rolling in laughter all the way down South Dixie Highway (and making curious whooping bird noises).
I’m a little bummed we are flying home today. What a trip! Patrick is the best travel companion; hardy, unflappable, spontaneous and hilarious. No offense to the French folks, but you missed out on a great cultural exchange opportunity with him. C’est la vie.