The following are words to the wise from Kikita.
Mami has certain rules when it comes to being in Miami.
1. Eat ONLY Cuban food.
2. Little or (preferably) NO black amongst your wardrobe - White & Bright Colors ONLY
3. Red Lipstick is a MUST.
These are in no particular order and all are considered a sin if broken.
If you will remember my trip last year, I DID break them. One at a time.
Being older and more mature and having learned from past mistakes, when I was alone in Miami THIS time, I followed the rules.
Day 1 - At a cousin's house. I made the cafecito, primo made the pan tostado.
That night, I did what every good Cuban is supposed to do their first night in Miami:
Yes, that is Versailles on Calle 8, also known as El Epicentro (I don't know WHO calls it that, but I like it), arguably the BEST Cuban food in Miami and (since Miami is the best place in the U.S. to get Cuban food) therefore the U.S.
(Note the brightly colored teal shirt!)
Day 2 - Amanda's house. Her wonderful husband, Eric, made delicious waffles and the best Cafe con Leche I've ever had!
I spent the rest of the day at Cuba Nostalgia where I had no choice but to eat more Cuban food. ;-)
Day 3 - It got complicated. But I do believe that I had at least two coladas and then Amanda made an awesome pork chop dinner with "crispy potatos." (Maybe, if we are really nice, we can get her to post the recipe on her blog!) I'm telling you, THEY. WERE. AWESOME.
Day 4 - BACK to Versailles, but this time for Cafe con Leche and tostado with my cousin Yllien.
(Yes, the dress DOES have black on it, but it was a white dress with black, not the other way around AND I'm sporting the red lipstick, so all is right with the world)
That was the day I made it to Man Camp for Beer Butt Can Chicken.
Man Camp was all kinds of fun. After dinner (aside from the chicken, all the food was prepared by Maggie) while we were sitting and enjoying each other's company, the little tune of what sounded like an ice cream trunk came from outside.
"It's the viandero!!"
(to me, this seemed like the closest I'd ever come to seeing something akin to "El Manisero")
It was EXACTLY like an ice cream truck, except that instead of ice cream, they were selling fresh fruits and vegetables and other choice items like sodas and cooking oil.
I couldn't let him leave without buying SOMETHING. I mean, it doesn't get more Cuban than this! Maggie suggested "Real Florida Oranges" and they ended up being just as yummy as you could expect.
The next day it was time for the journey home.
The Miami Rules, when properly adhered to, can only elicit one response (albeit cheesy):