The idea was brilliant. Four days and three nights on South Beach for one final hurrah before saying, "I do." I didn't think of it, but I was more than happy to participate. Miami was a different world I couldn't wait to explore. Beautiful people, high end stores, outrageous nightlife. Preparation began months in advance. I saved, I shopped (it is possible to do both), and even adopted the South Beach diet. I didn't want to feel inadequate in the midst of greatness.
The day I left, I was 11 pounds lighter with a chic new wardrobe. After four hours of traveling, I arrived at Miami International Airport at 2:30 p.m. I met up with the weekend's masterminds near carousel 2. My luggage wasn't forthcoming, so we found another way to pass the time.
My overstuffed suitcase arrived 25 minutes later and we hustled outside to catch a cab. The day was young and we didn't want to wait another second to experience the city. Our driver was sure to point out the celebrity mansions and other points of interest on the way to the hotel.
"You are very beautiful women," he told us in heavily accented English. He had emigrated to the U.S. from Pakistan 9 years ago. He was also married with a 4 year old son. "So can I have some fun with you ladies?" he asked. After failed attempts to hit on the two committed women in the car, he threw some attention my way. "You're single? Yes, I will take you to the strip club." 5 minutes later he offered to help me convert to Islam. What a guy!
When he dropped us off at the hotel, I stayed behind to pay, while the other two ladies checked in.
"You really should be Muslim. It's good religion from black woman."
"No thanks. I'm cool with Christ." I sign the receipt and watch him head off to proselytize some more unsuspecting tourists.
When I walked inside The Clinton Hotel, I soon forgot the cabbie from hell. It surpassed my expectations.
We chose our beds, half unpacked our bags, then headed out for food and exploration. A fourth friend would be arriving later in the evening. We ate, found an ATM, and then I went back to the hotel for a nap before the night's festivities. They spent the afternoon walking along Ocean Ave and finding a good club for later.
"We're going to Mansion," the matron of honor said when I awoke.
"Cool, how much?"
"The concierge got us on the list, so it should be free."
Free is my favorite word. For the next three hours we showered, fixed our hair, and got sexified. We wanted to live up to Miami standards. The final member of our team arrived and was club ready within minutes. We were good to go.
When we got to mansion, the line was ridiculous and stagnant. There was no way in hell we were going to wait on that line. We were on the list and going to use it to our advantage.
"Excuse me, excuse me," the matron of honor called to the bouncer. "We're on the list, so can we get through the rope."
"What's the name?"
The matron of honor told her.
"Nah, it's not on here."
Huh? The bride-to-be saw the concierge type the names into his computer. Unfortunately, he didn't send those names to the club's promoters. The line was looking longer and longer. While waiting for the others to concoct a plan B, I noticed the crowd. To my surprise, all the women looked extremely ordinary. I didn't see amazing outfits, flat stomachs, and perky boobs. I saw clunky platforms, love handles, and thick bra straps. I felt like quite the supermodel in my black dress and stilettos.
We finally managed to gain entrance into Mansion, but since we weren't on the list, it was $20 more than free. Three rooms, featured three different DJs. We stuck to the hip hop room. I was a bit taken aback when the DJ started playing Mariah's greatest hits, but overall he made me shake my ass. In fact, when my feet started to hurt, I just took off my shoes and danced on top of a large speaker. So what if the whole club could see up my dress.
Three hours of dancing and drinking (them, not me) made us famished and on the way back to the hotel we stopped at a diner for some 4 a.m. breakfast. God smiled on us and blessed us with the best waiter ever: a cute Nicouraguan named Dref. We loved Dref!! He took our picture.