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  1. #21
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Indeed, sun ... City of Miami Beach has a good children's recreation program year-round. Here's some info on summer activities in South Beach.

    The Scott Rakow Youth Center accepts kids K-12 for summer camp. The facility also offers ice skating and hockey, which is really cool!

    At Flamingo Park, there's a cheerleading camp (ages 12-17) and a Surfing/Snorkerling Camp (ages 9-17).

    The general summer camp at Flamingo Park is only for kids K-6.

    To register your kids, you need to submit a current report card (or most recent available) and provide proof of residence. The summer camp fee for kids who don't live here permanently year-round is $750.

    North Shore has summer camps for kids K-12, but that's not in South Beach.

  2. #22
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    Thanks for the advice and information. After taking a look at some of Maria's posted links, it looks like I could get the kids involved in some pretty fun and engaging activities a few days a week. A nice mix of organized activity, time on their own, and time with dad would be a healthy mix.


    -Scott

  3. #23
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    Ok everyone, the new company called today to tell me they will pay for both of the kids to fly down with me on the 22nd. This is just what I wanted. The kids are excited and I knew they would be. This should help to lessen some of their uneasiness. They will play a big role in searching for a place to live. They will get to see where dad will work and get to see Miami up close and personal and feel the heat.

    Some of the key players on miamibeach411.com have been so helpful. One even took a couple pictures of a place near 7th and Jefferson that I am really interested in and sent them to me. Other's have given me some other places to look. Thanks and please keep it coming. Just remember I hate anything that feels like a hotel or resort or college dorm. It has to feel like home. If I choose to be in a tower, it will need to be on a low floor with a high ceiling loft open feel.

    We will look at Brickell, Mid Beach, SoBe, SoFi, and a few select places on Biscayne Corridor. My kids are 15 and 12 and will only be here for summers and school breaks. Ideal place for us to live will be at the beach where they can walk out the door and ride to Flamingo Park or the youth Center or the beach or to get something to eat would be ideal. Those places are out there, just have to find the right one.

    I will document our trip and subsequent house hunting and our entire Miami experience. My take on all the places we look at will be posted here on 411 on the off chance that it may help someone else who will have kids in Miami only part time.

    Can anyone suggest a good hotel? The company direct bills only the flight and reimburses for all other expenses, so I have to make the hotel arrangements. I will have final interview at the company's Blue Lagoon area facilities then will be rental searching the rest of the weekend. So I could stay at the Airport or Near Brickell or even out on the beaches. Suggestions?

    When I sign and accept the final offer, it's all gonna happen lightning fast people, so wish me luck. I'm still nervous about it all. I finished the IRONMAN triathlon last year yet this will initially be harder. Weird how things affect us isn't it?

    P.S. Anyone wanna buy a house in Ohio? Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.....


    -Scott

  4. #24
    Suzanne C
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    Ugh Scott- Memorial Day Weekend is the wrong time to visit Miami Beach. You'll get an absolutely WRONG impression of it.

    How long is the scouting trip?

  5. #25
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Good grief, Scott and good point, Suzy! I didn't realize you were coming for Memorial Day! Yes, unfortunately, you will have to see through it to get the right impression of South Beach.

  6. #26
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    Because of the invasion of a half million Hip-hoppers/rappers/gangbangers Ocean Drive is closed and Collins will be undriveable. hotels charge huge prices a huger (?) Security deposits and they are booked to the max

    Stay in midbeach there are lots of beach hotels there, Holiday Inn etc. I have Lincoln isn't great either

    Check out my neighborhood, West its great!

  7. #27
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    Wow, didn't even think of Memorial day weekend decadence. Can't do SoBe then. Arms would get tired from holding my hands over my son's eyes. Not a good first impression.

    Will call HR today and see if we can reschedule for the week after. Thanks for the forewarning.

    -Scott

  8. #28
    Suzanne C
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    That's a wise choice Scott.

    Your daughter might have had the coolest story ever at school-

    I think I saw Little Kim in a string thong and pasties get arrested while spitting a cop from a car- a bolck away from my dad's new place on South Beach!

    Wow! Little Kim for real?! Way cool!


    Your ex on the other hand, might not share your daughter's classmates' enthusiasm.

  9. #29
    Member Scott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suzy
    That's a wise choice Scott.

    Your daughter might have had the coolest story ever at school-

    I think I saw Little Kim in a string thong and pasties get arrested while spitting a cop from a car- a bolck away from my dad's new place on South Beach!

    Wow! Little Kim for real?! Way cool!


    Your ex on the other hand, might not share your daughter's classmates' enthusiasm.
    Playing devil's advocate just for a moment... this could really happen any day in South Beach.

    When I first moved down and told others of my desire to bring my kids here, some people said that this was the worst place in the world to try and raise children. That it was too decadent, sinful, whatever...

    My perception is that, kids are going to get into whatever, they're going to see whatever, they're going to do whatever. I don't want to introduce my kids into an unsafe environment, but I think SoBe is so far from unsafe it's ridiculous. And this place, to me, is just very comfortable. My kids and I have a very open relationship and talk pretty openly. I have limits for them, don't get me wrong, but I'd rather be here to tell them, "This is why you don't do something," or "this is an example of how badly things can go," or "this is okay and here's why." I WANT to be there for that. And bringing them here, in my eyes, gives me a greater chance of shaping their ideas and being around where they have a better chance of being exposed to something than not.

    What were we talking about?

    Drugs, sex, and rock and roll? It's all here. And it's all more readily available and more easily accessible than, let's say, Topeka, Kansas. (The rock and roll may come in the form of club music, and the sex may come in the form of... well, who knows in South Beach.) And your kids are going to be exposed to all of it by simply walking to the beach.

    You sound like a great dad, Scott. And it sounds like you've got a good relationship with your children. I would advise coming down as you planned and see what you think. This IS where you want to bring them, isn't it?

  10. #30
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    Hilarious Suzy!

    You are right, It sure would give my daughter big time braggin' rights back at her rural Ohio High School. Just great. "Hey mom check out our vacation pictures from Miami with dad"! The ex would see to it that they never come down again.

    Lil Kim in a thong and pasties? No thanks, I'd rather be running along side (no wait, strike that and make it "behind") Anna Kournikova in the Miami Triathlon. Love the pictures that Scott took of her during Matt M's triathlon participation. A model, a tennis pro AND she does triathlons? Marry me Anna.... Be my Russian mail order bride! Wow. No make that wow to the second power!

    In all seriousness Suzy you have saved my kids from what could be a devestating initial Miami experience. I am in your debt.

    This website is the best. Thanks again!


    -Scott

  11. #31
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    You sound like a great dad, Scott. And it sounds like you've got a good relationship with your children. I would advise coming down as you planned and see what you think. This IS where you want to bring them, isn't it?

    Scott thanks for the compliment. I do the best I can out of love for my kids. Yes it is where I want to bring them. But I do not want our first Miami Visit together to be during Memorial Day Party weekend. From what I read, it is atypical of Miami Beach as compared to daily life.

    While I agree that open communication adds to my kids willingness to talk about things they may otherwise lie about, I also think that they are still just that, Kids! As their father, I think they are not able to look at some situations and judge them objectively. Despite my input and presence.

    Yea, I know that they get the sex and drugs and other immoral influence anyway mostly from peers etc..and that is outta my control, but I don't want to purposely expose them to images and lines of thought that I feel they are not able to handle yet.

    Sorry to go on a child rearing tangent here. Suffice to say dad moving to Miami will be enough trauma as it is without adding on exposure to an abnormal amount of Miami um uh shall I say "activities" on Mem Day wknd..


    - "Sporty" Scott

  12. #32
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Adults have to be street-smart and a bit wily to deal with SB successfully, so it's not any different for kids and they're more vulnerable.

    There are two public elementary schools in SB. Mid-Beach has one public elementary, middle and senior high school. (Miami Beach Senior High is right on the edge of Mid-Beach/SB).

    Mid-beach is by far the most "family" style area of Miami Beach. By that I mean that the Jewish orthodox community influence is so great, you have a neighborhood that is designed for families zoned mainly residential/religious institutions/schools with very little tourism/commerce, with the exception of Collins Avenue.

    I found mid-beach to be more relaxed and laid-back than SB. If I had kids, I wouldn't hesitate to raise them in that neighborhood. I guess you could call it the "suburb" of SB. The best thing about the area is that you really have the best of both worlds, because SB is around the corner.

  13. #33
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    Great post Maria, I agree that for a Jewish family Mid beach is ideal, although as a non-orthodox Jew it would make me a little nervous to live there, like I said earlier, great for the soul, bad for the tan. Anyways, 41st street does provide a commercial area with some restaurants, drug stores, etc., so it isn't completely residential. I looked there when I was shopping for a condo and liked the area between Pinetree and Indian Creek, especially across from the Roney. I thought it was still a pretty short walk to Lincoln, the board walk, and the beach.

    Still Scott will be on his own most of the year and I think he might like living off West or Bay around Lincoln. There are even some town houses there amidst the high rises, and many medium rise buildings. Its a short walk to Lincoln, the theater, the park, etc., I wish him good luck and I am sure he will find something which will be ideal for him and for his children. I like to walk up to 41st on North Bay Road, and someday will bike up past Matt Damons house (show that to the kids!). Kids grow up in Manhattan and I think his kids will really dig Miami Beach.

  14. #34
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    Sun,
    Thanks for the advice. Sun can you or anyone post some pics of the West Ave area? Google earth just doesn't do it justice. I am going to have way too many places to search, but we will have time and it really is important.


    -Scott

  15. #35
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    I'll be on the beach tomorrow. I can live stream some video from my phone and then post a link.

  16. #36
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    I have a few pictures which I can try to post but I will be down for the infamous Memorial Day Weekend and will be able to take a few of the neighborhood. First photo is of new shopping center at 5 and Alton looking at 6th street view of future Publix market. This is 2 blocks from our condo and Whole Foods is one block.

    Second Photo is of Olivers Cafe at 9th and West. We love this place and it is next door to us. THis building houses a Starbucks, a new yogurt shop, a kosher healthy restaurant, a bank, video, dog hospital, casual cafe, etc., with lots of outside dining.

    I have more but getting them sized to fit this site is a pain in the a*s. Will try to give more local views when I am there next weekend. If there is anything you are looking for, ie the Park, whats on Alton, etc., let me know. Neighborhood also includes such necessary things as multiple laundrys, donut shops, 2 7/11's, McDonalds, lots of pizza, sushi, bars, and even places to get your car fixed.

    Lastly, have you considered Venetian Causeway? There are lots of places, between Miami and South Beach and islands closest to MB are within walking distance to Lincoln Road, etc.
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  17. #37
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    Hey everyone,

    Things are set. The kids and I are flying into Miami June 11th and staying through Sunday. The trip was re-scheduled perfectly because the kids will be out of school by then. I will be at the new company for a day and then rental hunting with the kids for a couple days. A lot hinges on their opinions of Miami and their choices of a place to call home. They would be with me summers and school breaks. So for just under ten months of the year, it will be just me. I have to find an area with a good balance for a single athletically active dad that at the same time lends itself well to an active 11 year old boy and 15 year old girl for the summer.

    The Biscayne Corridor has had some recent builds and improvements. I plan to look at Opera Tower and Quantum By The Bay. Quantum has all the amenities and Margaret Pace Park is right out the lobby front door. I will be working in the Blue Lagoon area so both the commute to work and the drive across 1-95 to mid beach would be tame by Miami standards.

    The right place out on the beach would also be ideal to run and swim and bike and also for the kids to do the youth center activities and meet other kids and ride bikes and swim and play tennis at Flamingo Park etc. We will also look at the West Ave area.

    Any other suggestions are always welcome. Seeing these areas live and in person will be the best. I will let everyone know how things go. Big life decisions to be made soon.

    Oh by the way does anyone know if the Hilton at Blue Lagoon/Airport is decent? Think that's where we might be staying.

    -Scott

  18. #38
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    Just jumping in to say that yes, the Airport Hilton is a decent place - nice, clean - you'll be fine there.

  19. #39
    Suzanne C
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    The Airport Hilton is pretty sheltered on a little peninsula in a man made lake. The only thing that is annoying is the constant airport noise but if you get a chance, this place is pretty close by.

  20. #40
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    Scott, I would like to know what you find out. My situation is much like yours. I have a 13 yo daughter who I have during the same periods as you do. I also train for triathlons and will need access to a pool as well as a place to run and ride.

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