Day 1 – 24 February – Boy, what a storm

Virgin Atlantic, as always, were a tremendous airline to fly with. Despite having to fly economy as all other classes were fully booked [probably due to BA’s impending strike] it was just easy. I think they understand passengers so much more than the competition. The interesting part was flying through the storm that hit the north-eastern seaboard of the States late in the day. We had the longest descent and the most turbulent sixty minutes through dark grey cloud I can remember. The plane was thrown about wildly and poor guy just along from me was noisily heaving nothing but air by the time the plane touched down. It was dry on the ground and chilly, but by dinner the heavens opened and all of South Beach was inundated by a tropical rainstorm. Maxine’s Bistro in the Catalina Hotel came to the rescue with burgers and cold beer.

The Richmond Hotel needed some serious upgrading when we first stayed there nearly ten years ago and the impression today, based on the lack of service at the door and the the shine on the worn carpets, is that its aging owners haven’t done a thing since. Well, apart from raking in the room charges, that is. The bed is comfortable but the place is sad and run-down. Pleasant enough staff but little or no facilities or service. A move is called for and The Richmond will remain just another Art Deco heirloom as far as I’m concerned.


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