Thursday, December 29, 2011

Miami, Florida and Vizcaya--part 1

Altogether I spent 3 days in the Keys then drove back to the Everglades to spend a peaceful Christmas.  The weather was perfect and the campground was very quiet until Christmas afternoon when tourists started pouring in.  So on the 26th I  headed to Miami where I met nothing but traffic.  If the malls are any indication of the state of the economy then it must be booming.  Holy cow!  Where were all these people coming from?  Or going to?

Phew! A break in the traffic just in time to get a picture of the Miami skyline--which will be all I will see of Miami for the next two days.  I do not enjoy driving freeways!  I kept getting in the wrong lane and, 1/2 hour later, would finally get turned right. And then I would realize I was lost.  I tried to find some old haunts--The Miami River, Little Havana, etc. but finally got too tired of fighting the traffic.

But I learned that Vizcaya is located right off the freeway.  Wow!  I remembered wanting to see it from years past and now I had my chance.  The long winding foot path that is the entrance to the estate is a soothing respite from the traffic piling up right outside the gate.

The home was built in the very early 1900's by James Deering who was heir to the International Harvester fortune. He was a collector of antiques and his home is now a museum operated by Miami and Dade County.  The gardens were designed with Versailles in mind and the home is very Italian Renaissance with a beautiful inner courtyard.  The enormous estate sits on Biscayne Bay in the suburb of Coconut Grove.

The Front entrance.
The View from the back entrance.  I had to walk around to the back right away to see the view.  That is a granite barge that Deering built into the bay.  It is not accessible but holds many of his statues.

The back of the

The gardens have statuary everywhere...brought from Italy, Spain and France.

The mazes were inspired by Versailles.

This gazebo was tucked away at the end of a promenade along the bay front.

A view of the granite barge from the gazebo.

And one more of the 'back of the house' from the gazebo.

There was a birthday party (quinceanera) for this lovely young lady.  During my tour of Vizcaya I noticed that the languages of the other tourists were from many many different countries.  There were the Cubans, the Jamaicans and the Brazilians but there were also Germans, Swiss, Chinese, French and Japanese.  During that whole time at Vizcaya,  I met only one other couple that spoke English. Miami is definitely an International city.

She was one of the attendees of the  birthday party.  I expect she will be a stunning beauty when her quinceanera party comes due.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful mansion and grounds. One of those "I'd love to visit but wouldn't want to live there" places... can you imagine getting lost in the middle of the night trying to find the bathroom!

    Very cool pics. Thanks for your stealth camera skills and for sharing :)