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  1. #21
    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    Awesome. Kalamazoo411.com.

    Maria is 100% right, on everything she said. Even with the extra fees, renting a car and staying at a cheaper hotel by the airport is your best bet. If you end up staying in Sobe, for whatever reason, a rental car is probably NOT a good idea, since parking can get really expensive over there. Especially if you are going in and out of a garage multiple times each day.

    Also, if you stay in the beach, and have no car, you won't really get to see much of the city. And, perhaps the overriding theme here, other than how we know Michigan, is that you need to see the whole city before you decide to move.

  2. #22
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Yes, Matt, and besides even staying off the beach, you can still spend a whole day there, without having to stay in a hotel there.

    You can drive to the beach, park in a garage (just bite the bullet and pay the day rate), then get around with the mini bus, which is 25 cents.

  3. #23
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    Hey everyone,

    Thanks for the great advice everyone has given me.

    I have deceided I am going to get a rental car, and I will stay in a hotel 1 night on South Beach, and 2 nights near the airport.

    So here's my tenative itinerary:

    Monday, Jan. 5th
    1:00pm-ish--Arrive at Miami Int. Airport, pick up rental car

    2:00pm--drive around the Miami area, taking MacArthur Causeway into South Beach

    4:00pm--Check into SB hotel

    4:30pm--Go swimming in the ocean, explore SB on foot, Flamingo Park, etc.

    6:30pm--Eat at a nice restuarant on the Beach, maybe go to a club or bar

    Night--Stay at SB hotel

    Tuesday, Jan 6th
    9:45am--Take City Bus tour

    1:30pm--walk around Lincoln Rd Mall

    Afternoon--maybe a job interview or two, if not more exploring of SB

    Night--Stay at a hotel on the main land near the airport

    Wednesday, Jan 7th
    All day--job interviews, maybe check out the Coral Gables/South Miami/North Miami area in the rental car if I'm in the area and have a delay between interviews

    Night--Stay at the same hotel near the airport

    Thursday, Jan 8th
    Morning--more job interviews

    2:00pm--arrive at the airport

    4:30pm--Depart for Detroit

    I am figuring spending at least $1000 on this trip. $300 for flight, $300 car rental, $400 hotel, all of which are rough estimates. Also add on food and whatever else.

    Eventually as I nail down what time and where each interview will be, I will add that to my schedule and plan the best route.

    This is just tenative, nothing is set in stone. So if you have any suggestions please let me know.

  4. #24
    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    I think your figures are right on for your set expenses, maybe figure another $300 or so for food and entertainment. Since you did say "Nice" restaturant" on there. When you coming in again?

  5. #25
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    Check out flights from DTW to Fort Lauderdale. We like the airport much better especially if you are renting a car as all car agencies are in same building located in airport. Flights are also often cheaper because of Spirit Airlines competing with NWA. You can get a earlier flight out and a much later flight back if you want to get a longer first day in South Beach and a longer last day before heading back home. Good Luck and Go Blue.

  6. #26
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    FLL airport is not a bad idea, but you'll still need to stay in a Miami area hotel if you want to make the most of your time in Miami proper.

  7. #27
    Gus
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    I like your itinerary, Jake.

    When you arrive, feel free to stop by our office so we can give you a lay of the land.

    Have you found a hotel?

    The rates look high the week you're here, but that's not uncommon for that time of year.

    Since you'll have a car, it's not mandatory that you stay in South Beach.

    My first trip to South Beach, I stayed at the Motel 6 in Dania, which is about a 40 minute drive north of Miami. Doug also stayed there, last time he was in town.

  8. #28
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    I'm hearing a lot of great buzz about Dania Motel 6, but our friend must now that it is not actually in Miami.

  9. #29
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    Gus, I will definetly stop in at the South Beach office. I will probably stop by Monday afternoon, how late is the office open that day? Also, were you still gonna PM me a free tour?

    Thanks for the advice on what airport to fly into, I'm still looking at prices and will probably buy my tickets tomorrow.

    As for hotels, the one on South Beach I think will be either the Colony, Bel Air, or the Catalina.

    As for the second hotel, I would prefer something more central to Miami so I can use that as my "home base" for internet and such. I'm gonna be going to interviews all over Miami so I'd rather spend the extra money and have something closer to where I'm going to be around.

  10. #30
    Gus
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    Cool. We'll be open Monday until 7pm, but meeting between 1pm and 3pm is best.

    I'll PM you the tour details, later today...I Promise. =)

    IMO, the Catalina is the nicest of the hotels, followed by the Colony.

    For centrally located lodging in Miami, check the airport hotels near the freeway. The Courtyard Marriott has good freeway access.

  11. #31
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    Hey everbody, just thought I'd post an update.

    I have postponed my Miami trip a couple weeks and will now be in Miami January 18-21. I just want to take some time and set up a few more interviews to make it worth the trip, and it was pretty hard to get a hold of companies to set up interviews during the holidays.

    I'm really excited to come down, it's soooo cold up here.

  12. #32
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Hi Jake, thanks for keeping us posted! Sounds like it was worth postponing the trip! The weather is great right now. You're going to love it!

  13. #33
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    Well I bought my plane ticket today, and paid for the rental car, so I will be flying into Fort Lauderdale on Sunday Jan. 18th.

    So the only thing left to square away is the hotel situation. I was looking at the Avalon or The Tropics (for a cheaper option) to stay at my first night. Then just a Holiday Inn or something similar on the mainland for the next 2 days.

    Also, what are the bars like on a Monday or Tuesday night?

    I'm not a big party-er or anything, and I'm not coming down to party, but I figured since I'm there I might as well check out a club or two if I get a chance.

    I realize Friday and Saturday are probably the most popular nights to go out, but what should I expect on a weekday night?

  14. #34
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Hi Jake! Congrats on getting everything squared away.

    We're in the middle of tourist season so you should expect places to be pretty animated at night, even during a weekday. I definitely recommend Lincoln Road ... you can sit down and have a $3 beer at Zeke's and do a lot of people watching (or some here would call it gawking) :-)

    There are numerous other bars on Lincoln Road as well.

    The Playwrights on Washington Avenue is a cool place to hang out, especially if you are on your own. People are generally very friendly.

  15. #35
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    For saving money on hotels, have you contemplated using priceline or hotwire? You might get a better deal and save yourself some money!

    I'm just over in South Bend (where I bleed blue & gold LOL) and am planning on moving to Miami in mid-May! Good luck with your trip (we're flying down in mid-April to look for places) and let us know how you liked it! I'm dying to get down there and out of this crappy snow (15" alone this weekend)!

  16. #36
    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    Yeeeah, Twiggers. I'm sure you are excited to get out of the bad weather, but Miami is not an easy place to live at all. Just please be prepared that this is not like normal America with better weather. that might be Tampa. You'll see what I"m talking about when you get here.

    You ever hear of a town called Goshen?

  17. #37
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    Booked my South Beach hotel yesterday, I will be staying Sunday night at the Colony. For the other 2 days, I was thinking the Days Inn by the Airport.

    As for parking at the Colony, I'm assuming I just find somewhere to park at a garage or something and then walk to the hotel? They don't have customer parking do they?

    So far I am way under budget. I was planning on spending about a grand on this trip but have only spent about $500 so far with only the airport hotel that I still have to pay for. Plane ticket ($220), car rental ($160), Colony ($120).

    I am planning on taking the city bus tour, does that offer of a free tour still stand Gus?

    Also a weather update here from Michigan: High today of 4, with a wind chill advisory until 1pm tomorrow and wind chill as low as -20.

    Needless to say, I can't wait to get down to Miami.

  18. #38
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Hi Jake, the Colony hotel offers valet service at $24. If you find a meter nearby it'll be $1.25/hour except from midnight to 9 am. I think you have to refill those meters every two hours (not absolutely sure, but either way, they're probably not long-term meters). The nearest parking garage is 7th and Collins and it costs $20 a day to park there. You might as well use valet!

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Meltzer
    Yeeeah, Twiggers. I'm sure you are excited to get out of the bad weather, but Miami is not an easy place to live at all. Just please be prepared that this is not like normal America with better weather. that might be Tampa. You'll see what I"m talking about when you get here.

    You ever hear of a town called Goshen?
    Hey Matt,

    Oh I know! I lived in CA for quite a while...and am well aware of being unable to communicate because my Spanish sucks, being stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic for no apparent reason, commuting 2+ hours each way to school, crazy and insane drivers suffering extreme road rage from the traffic (why does the Bay Bridge go from 17 toll booths to just a couple lanes within a hundred feet???), and hot hot weather. I'm well prepared for the culture shock...and am ready to embrace. I'll only be there for 2 years!

    And yes, I do know Goshen. One of my fellow grad students went to school there and I've driven through it a few times.

  20. #40
    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    Jake, that walk from the 7th St. Garage to the Colony is only a couple of blocks. So if you don't need to bring a lot of bags it's worth saving the $15 (assuming valet costs you $30 with tip) and parking there. That's like a drink and a half most places in SoBe.

    And don't worry that you're under budget. You will manage to blow that other $500 very fast here. Just seems to happen when people visit.

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