Tag Archives: Miami

howiGit Cruises Florida and the Bahamas

Nassau, Bahamas

Nassau, Bahamas

So every now and again I must leave my precious laptop, turn off my cell phone, and leave you all temporarily without the best blog on the web. Vacation vacation vacation, the word is music to my ears. I went on my first cruise, aboard Royal Caribbean’s Majesty of the Seas. I must admit, I was a bit of a skeptic about cruises at first, and many of my hesitations were in fact true. Cruises are a bit tacky, a bit artificial, and the boat was filled with fake gold railings and several chain-smoking seventy-somethings that never left the confines of the bar. That said, there’s not a cooler way I know of to bounce between Caribbean destinations. You’re on a floating palace, fully equipped with bars, hot tubs, all you can eat food, great views, and plenty of fun people looking to have a good time. I’ll break it all down for you, one stop at a time.

Miami, Florida

That’s right ladies and gentlemen, I started my trip by taking my talents to South Beach. I didn’t see Lebron or D-Wade, but I heard they were out on the town looking for me. South Beach, on a whole, was pretty much what I expected except it was a touch less flashy and a touch more dirty. The beach itself is gorgeous, and wasn’t too packed. Oh, and apparently it’s topless? Surprise surprise. The strip on Ocean Drive is awesome. It’s filled with great outdoor restaurants, bars, and clubs. You’ll be harassed by hostesses trying to get you to enter their establishment, and they all seem to be offering “2 for 1” drinks. Well, here’s what the drinks looked like. Yes,South Beach Drinks they were big. Yes, you needed to order a 4 drink minimum. And yes, the drinks cost….drumroll please….$25 bucks a pop. Ouch.

Now, I was only going to be in South Beach for one night and got a great deal on a hotel through Expedia. The hotel where I stayed, The Clay Hotel, is no 5 star hotel. We’re talking probably 3 stars, but the room was cheap and the hotel is located on Espanola Way smack in the middle of South Beach. The location is awesome, and Espanola Way is filled with awesome outdoor restaurants that stay open all night. I must admit the hotel knew that I was coming and would be writing them a review on howiGit’s blog, but nonetheless kudos to the folks at the Clay for putting their best foot forward. The staff was very helpful, and they upgraded my room at no cost to a suite. The room was great, far better than I expected, and definitely added to my good time. If you’re looking for a suitable, simple, and inexpensive place to stay in South Beach I’d recommend it. Like I said, the location is awesome.The Clay Hotel

Key West, Florida

In a sentence, Key West is a bit sleepy but otherwise pretty awesome in all ways. The downtown section is gorgeous, the people are super nice, and there are some spectacular residential streets filled with awesome houses. If you were looking for a great place to own a vacation home simply for the sake of relaxation, this would be a hell of a place to start. As advertised, the Key Lime is a big deal. We went to Kermit’s, and it was pretty damn good.

Nassau, Bahamas

Oh, Nassau. Where do I begin. As I left the boat I decided to rent a moped from a young Bahamian gentlemen was more than a little sketchy. He asked me if “I was a smart dude,” and when I replied in the affirmative he dropped the keys in my hand and off I went. Come to find out, they drive on the opposite site of the road in the Bahamas. Yup. So that was the first obstacle I had to encounter, all the while trying my best not to kill the young lady riding on the back of the moped with me. We cruised up the coast to Arawak Cay, where we had a beach with spectacular water all to ourselves. After a brief swim we

Arawak Cay, Bahamas

Arawak Cay, Bahamas

decided to leave, and the moped decided to die sporadically and accelerate as it pleased. We broke down several times, but each time a local Bahamian came to our rescue and helped us out. They are some nice people, for sure, when they aren’t harassing you to buy their crap with some scheme or another.

That night, we planned to have dinner then hit up the nightlife downtown. Good plan, right? Wrong. Apparently everything is Nassau shuts down at 6pm. “It’s the island way,” is the explanation we were given. I kid you not, nothing was open. The place was a complete ghost town aside from 2 bars that remained open — Senior Frogs and a local bar, the Green Parrot. In an attempt to be non-touristy, we chose to Green Parrot. Aside from semi-expensive drinks by island standards, it was a great choice.

Let’s talk about the Green Parrot for a moment. As the only local bar open in downtown Nassau, the place was filled with locals whoThe Green Parrot Pub had little else to do for entertainment. There was a highly competitive darts tournament going on, apparently something of a pastime for semi-bored islanders. The owner of the bar, Craig, came over and chatted us up, noting that we were the only non-locals in his establishment. He talked to us for a while and was a good guy, and although we were a bit weary of the lack of nightlife in Nassau at first, we ended up having a great time. His bar gets filled with some all-star alcoholics, but they added to the fun. We left having made several friends, and feeling as though we got a full dose of the local flavor. If you find yourself in Nassau, ditch Senior Frogs and head over to the Green Parrot.

CocoCay, Bahamas

CocoCay is a Royal Caribbean owned island that caters to cruise vacationers. That immediately made the island as lame as possible in my eyes (or as lame as any tropical island could be). When we pulled up to the

CocoCay, Bahamas

CocoCay, Bahamas

island it was as cheesy as I expected, but come to find out, the island was pretty damn huge. We did some snorkeling, seeing a whole bunch of tropical fish, a stingray, and a barracuda, all of which was cool. But then we decided to walk down the beach for quite a ways. Before you knew it, we were essentially on a deserted Caribbean island and it was absolutely spectacular. Very cool, winning CocoCay back in my eyes.

Overall, what can I say, it was vacation and I had a blast. It was 79 degrees and sunny everyday, further reminding me that you can order NESN from just about anywhere in the world if you wish.

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howiGit’s Outta Here — Vacation Time People

Nassau, Bahamas

Next stops: Miami, Key West, and a couple of places in the Bahamas. I know, I know, you’re week won’t be the same without me. You’ll have to make it on your own. You can expect an epic post next week when I return.

Think of all the fun your going to have watching the Patriots whip the Jets. Seriously though, I give the Pats a 71% chance of winning. The thing that nobody is mentioning is simple — the Jets have absolutely nothing to lose. Nobody expects them to win, and that’s a great mindset to have going into a big game. But I expect Tom to take care of business.

It’s going to be nice being the one sitting in 80 degree weather for once while the sky dumps on Boston and everybody sits around racking it up to “being a New Englander” and pretending they love it. Later, suckas.

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The Jersey Shore Miami — Must Watch TV

The Jersey Shore CastThe Jersey Shore Miami premieres tonight, the follow-up to the first season that introduced America to the disaster that is Snooki and the brilliance that is “The Situation.” As someone who went to college within an hour of the Jersey shore, I had the unfortunate privilege of dealing with these sorts on a regular basis — I definitely get particular amusement out of this gem of a show. MTV may have gotten lucky to some extent with this one, but they are merely employing a strategy they have now used many times before — capitalizing on America’s love for trashy TV.

You’ve got to think Miami will be great for Pauly D’s DJing career as well as the ladies — can they avoid grenades this year? I doubt it, but I’ll be watching. The show premieres tonight at 10:00pm EST on MTV.

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Will the Real Lebron James Please Stand Up?

Despite Lebron James accumulating over 250,000 followers on Twitter in his first two days of having an account, one huge lesson we have learned out of this year’s NBA free agent circus is this — few people truly know the real Lebron James and the things that motivate him. This might be a worthwhile realization, as clearly the world felt as though they knew Tiger Woods while they believed his golden boy persona. But the regardless of how many articles, tweets, or ESPN interviews revolve around a celebrity athlete, it’s still best to except that the general public (and often the insiders) really know jack about these superstars as people. That being said, the free agent plot thickened substantially today with both Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh committing to the Miami Heat. With this move, the general public finally will get a glimpse of the real James — should the following situations occur.

1) Lebron signs with Cleveland — If Lebron signs with Cleveland, we’ll learn that he is a hometown boy and loyal as shit. Pardon my french. How likely is this to happen? I’d say 10%.

2) Lebron signs with the Knicks — This will tell us that Lebron is all about the money. Sure, he’d have a great new teammate in Amare Stoudemaire, but this flat-out is not his best chance to win. This says, loud and clear, “I want to be the King of New York and make zillions in endorsements.” Likelihood: 20%.

3) Lebron signs with New Jersey — This move says, “I’m receiving millions under the table from the Russian mob.” Likelihood: 5%.

4) Lebron signs with the Clippers — This move says, “I’m a dumbass.” Likelihood: 1%.

5) Lebron signs with Chicago — This is still an option that has been downplayed to some extent. This move would allow Lebron to play with the best, most dynamic point guard in the game — one that will not be taking possessions or shots away from him but will compliment him wonderfully. This move makes pretty decent sense, but I don’t think Lebron wants to live in Michael Jordan’s shadow forever. Likelihood: 24%.

6) Lebron signs with Miami — This move says loud and clear, “I want to win more than anything.” Sure, Wade and Lebron aren’t completely complimentary players, but with that much talent on the floor I think they would win a NBA championship in their first year. This move would show us that Lebron, as Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh have already shown, doesn’t care about money — in terms of his salary. This means that he is A) not greedy or B) intelligent enough to realize that by joining Wade and Bosh in Miami he’ll make zillions of dollars in endorsements anyways. He might even make more money in this scenario than if he was going to New York. Likelihood: 40%.

I know if it was me, I’d be in Miami in a heartbeat. Regardless, the world will be watching tomorrow at 9:00pm. And the world will be learning a lot more about who Lebron James really is.

Check out http://www.chrisross91.wordpress.com

Also, check out: http://bit.ly/cdPArc — I must admit it’s stupid as hell, but the headline definitely made me chuckle.

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Why the Knicks Need Lebron and the Man that Can Make that Happen

A Guest Post By: Jimmy Cunningham, New York, NY

Look for guest posts from writers around the country, coming soon to http://www.howiGit.wordpress.com.

While watching the recent 30 for 30 on ESPN, I watched as OJ Simpson tore up the highway in his now infamous Ford Bronco. While it was captivating, the story that really caught my attention was the Knicks versus the Rockets in Game  5 of the NBA Finals – the game that was interrupted by the OJ chase. I was eight years old at the time and that series remains one of my first Knicks memories. Watching that documentary bought me back to when I cried as the Knicks lost, and reminded me of a time when the Knicks were relevant – something actually beyond the punchline they have been for years now. I loved the Knicks, idolized John Starks, thought Allan Houston and Latrell Sprewell was the best combo in the game, despised the Heat, and hated Michael Jordan. That’s a lot of basketball emotion wrapped up in one New Yorker. Since the Finals appearance in 1999, the Knicks, for lack of a better word, have sucked. And not only have they sucked, they have been a comical mess. As a huge basketball fan, I have found myself over the last eight years just not caring about my home town team due to the ineptitude from their front office down to the play on the court. But hope is still there. I went to a Knicks game last year and Madison Square Garden is still an electric venue. You could watch a 7th grade girls’ basketball game in the Garden and get a feeling you cannot understand until you experience a game there. And if this electricity was experienced during an early season game again the Golden State Warriors, one can only imagine the electricity in the Garden if King James himself was on the court in a Knicks jersey.

The Knicks need LeBron because this off-season has been what Knicks fans have been told to look forward to for the last four years. All the Knicks front office has said is, “Be patient we are setting ourselves up for 2010.” As a fan of a team that has not had a winning record, has not sniffed the playoffs, and has traded away talent for this off-season, patient or irate were your only two options as a fan. The Knicks have set themselves up to have the second most cap room of any team in the NBA, and more importantly, will have the opportunity to sign two max free agents during the upcoming free agent signing period. With all the hype surrounding this upcoming free agent signing period, if the Knicks don’t sign LeBron and Chris Bosh/ Dwayne Wade, it could be described as nothing but a colossal disappointment to Knicks fans. As a Knicks fan myself, I have not suffered through the atrocities that have been the last few season to take the consolation prize of Joe Johnson and Amare Stoudemire.

Yet the pipe dream of landing James isn’t likely to happen in New York. The Bulls and the Heat have set themselves apart from the pack as the front-runners if James decides to stab his hometown in the back and bolt from Cleveland. If he goes to Miami, he will be making the same salary as he would in New York, yet he will be playing with All-NBA guard Dwayne Wade, and likely another superstar of the likes of Bosh or Stoudemire. In signing with Chicago, James will be teamed with former NBA Rookie of the Year Derrick Rose, former lottery pick Joakim Noah and another max player, most likely Bosh or Wade. Yet in signing with the Knicks, James gets the pleasure of playing with Danillo Gallinari, and hopefully another max contract player. While dollars to cents it seems like a can’t lose situation for the King, in a basketball sense, New York is a distant third in regards to his championship aspirations. New York is a great town for endorsements and expanding the “LeBron” empire, but if he wants to win a championship, it is not going to happen in New York within three years. There is no way that King James will wind up in New York, unless the one man who has the power to make it happens pulls the trigger on the loaded gun that is the LeBron James free agency circus coming in the next few weeks.

The afore-mentioned man is none other than William Wesley aka “World Wide Wes”. In the LeBron James free agency fiasco, “World Wide Wes” has remained a ghost like figure. Some people know who he is yet very few are sure what the hell he does. His nickname is appropriate because he is everywhere. He is friends with everyone, attends every important game from the high school to the pro level, and can get his clients anything, anytime, anywhere. He is the trusted advisor of the budding stars of tomorrow, and the current phenoms, such as James. Wes has pull with players, coaches, and owners. Wes has delivered Derrick Rose and Tyreke Evans to John Calapari at Memphis, and when rumors of Calapari coaching in the NBA began to fly Wes was behind it. When players like Allen Iverson are in trouble owners turn to World Wide Wes to get him back on the right track. One could only assume that his profession is something similar to an agent, yet they would be wrong. “World Wide Wes” does not receive compensation from his friends, no matter how high the status they hold. As James said in a recent interview about his good buddy, “Wes has not asked me for anything ever.” How does Wes make money? I have no idea. What I do know is that he has more pull than anyone in the NBA and he is the only man capable of shocking the NBA by putting LeBron in a Knicks uniform and filling that roster with the talent they need to win a championship with James.

This sounds a lot like an X-Files conspiracy, and certainly like collusion if you were in the NBA’s front office, but in reality, the following scenario is not too farfetched. Imagine a line-up of, Chris Paul 1, Wade 2, James 3, Stoudemire 4, and Bosh 5. Four of those five are free agents right now and Chris Paul reportedly wants out of New Orleans. No one in the NBA has the money to sign these players with the current salary cap. However what if these players took less money from their future NBA teams and could make that money elsewhere, i.e. advertisements. The first place to look would be with their sneaker deals; all of the aforementioned players wear Nike on their feet. Dirk Nowitzki and Joe Johnson, two other prized free agents, also sport Nike’s on a game to game basis.

Guess who is very good friends with Nike owner Phil Knight? None other than LeBron’s buddy “World Wide Wes.” Is it possible that “World Wide Wes” can have those 4 free agents sit down at a table with Phil Knight and say pay us “x” amount of money and we will become the best team in the biggest market in the United States? The amount of money that the “super-team” and Phil Knight could make in New York is unfathomable. The Knicks can then offer Gallinari, a David Lee sign and trade, and some draft picks for Paul. Now will this happen, probably not. The Knicks will probably sign Joe Johnson and Amare Stoudmire and get knocked out of the playoffs in the first round for years, but we will find out at some point over the next two weeks. At the very least, this is an intriguing option – whether you’re a Knicks fan or not. If this were to happen, David Stern, the iron fist of the NBA, will make sure that it will never happen again – but for now it is 100% legal and 100% possible. Imagine the electricity in MSG with those five being announced every game.

Also, check out http://www.chrisross91.wordpress.com.

Read more on “World Wide Wes” here: http://bit.ly/8JDfz7

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