The last few days have been a whirlwind.  We had a few stops in Orlando.  Beta and Covert were two of them.  Tommy owns both stores and is a real solid dude.   Both spots are amazing in their own ways Covert is a core skateboard shop and it shows the second you walk in the door from the clothing they carry to the displays that are coped like grind boxes. Beta is literally two doors down and has some really cool custom built displays and has more of a streetwear feel to it.

After our meetings with Tommy we had a few hours to kill so we walked next door to this record store that sells beer.  We grabbed a couple of cold ones and chilled in the parking lot, drank and spun tales.   It was a beautiful day.

We left Orlando for the trek straight through Florida to Miami.  The road was straight and fast.  The speed limit was 70 mph so averaging 80 mph was pretty much standard.

After passing through nothingness for what seemed like hours we stopped at a rest area to grab some food and stretch out our legs.  Bathroom trips were the first order of business.  On the way into the bathroom I was in such a rush I didn’t notice the uniqueness of this particular rest stop.  There were way more little shops and stands inside than any rest area I have ever been to.  The range of merchandise and stores were as diverse as a gypsy town.  Everything from belt buckles to sunglasses and crazy trinkets unlike any rest area merchandise we have seen the whole trip.

We stayed in Miami with my good friend Walsh.  Walsh is a good friend of mine from Pittsburgh and it was great to catch up with him and introduce him to Fubz.  I have been trying to get the two of them together for a while now.  We relaxed at the crib for a couple telling stories of the good times and bad.  After a beer or two and our usual smoke we all decided it was time to get something to eat and take in some of the Miami culture.

We were trying to go to an art gallery crawl that was going on in the art district.  As we pulled into the art district we realized that things were starting to wrap up so, we took off for this rocker bar somewhere in Little Haiti.

Parking around the venue was ridiculous it looked like people were just abandoning cars on the side of the road and in shady looking parking lots.  (I wish I could have taken photos but, Little Haiti isn’t exactly the spot where you just start snapping off flicks.)  It didn’t take long of us to get approached by a shady looking character directing us where to park.  Of course where there is one shady character there is two and a second guy came over and there was a “discussion” about where we could park and which one of the shady characters we would pay a few bucks to watch the car.  We went with the less shady looking of the two guys and threw him few bucks to “protect” the car.

I have come to the conclusion that all “rock bars” look exactly the same anywhere that you go.  You could take any person that was in that bar and transplant into a rock bar in any city in the world and they would fit right in and feel at home.  We downed a few beers and listened to whatever local band they had playing there that night.  After a run in with an aging cougar who was in her last few days of attractiveness we decided it was time to find more attractive environment…. off to South Beach.

Parking in South Beach was terrible. We circled the blocks for what seemed like an eternity finally finding a spot a few blocks off of the beach.

We wandered around taking in the women and the insanity that is the South Beach club scene and then walked down to the beach to dip our toes in the water and just bull shit on the beach for a while.  It was a great night.

We didn’t have any meeting scheduled for Sunday so we hunted down this spot called Jimbo’s the Walsh had clued us in on.

I have never seen anything like Jimbo’s in my life.  It is located on a National or State Park on one of the keys.  Jimbo apparently started squatting on the land illegally years ago and has been there ever since forming what they call a swamp community.  As far as I can tell their primary source of income is the beer and fake dollars they sell for a dollar.  I would try to describe it better but honestly only the pictures are going to do it any kind of justice.

While there we met a dude that lives there named Diego who dropped knowledge on us about how they live.  We were humbled.  Miami proper lost its appeal.  It is amazing that right next to all of that decadence is something so natural and pure.  Truly a moving place.

We left Jimbo’s and headed back to Walsh’s crib to catch the Steelers playoff game.  The Steelers won the game; we grabbed some food and then went to bed.  This was the last good part of our time in Florida.

The next day there were issues with our meetings and parking and a light run in with Johnny Law.  Little did we know this would be an omen.

On our way out of Florida someone saw Bobby rolling a blunt in the passenger seat while we were on the highway and called the police on us.  Which lead to us getting pulled over and harassed.  The cops in Florida are ruthless.  The words Police State come to mind.  We got lucky.  We didn’t have that much weed a little less than three grams.  I coped to it immediately figuring that for less than an ounce they would let us go.  Standing on the side of the road while the looked through the car we knew one of two things were going to happen.  Fortunately no one went to jail.  They left us off with a ticket for some traffic violation that never happened and made us dump the weed out and stomp it into the ground.  Which kept all three of us out of jail.  Relieved to not be going to jail drove to South Carolina with much less respect for the residents of Florida and the same bitter taste for cops in our mouths that we had in high school.  Eight weedless hours later we were in Charleston, SC just happy to get out of the car.

Jimbo’s MIA.  People live in all of these shanties and trailers.

Miami proper is that close.  Two totally different worlds.

More Jimbo’s

Jimbo’s

This is the little shack that you buy can buy beer and smoked fish in.

More Jimbo’s shanties.

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