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Where are you going next?

 Africa86 votes
76.11%
 South America3 votes
2.65%
 Europe3 votes
2.65%
 Eastern Asia5 votes
4.42%
 Carribean9 votes
7.96%
 Safeway5 votes
4.42%
 Australia2 votes
1.77%
total votes: 113
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WheresCherie.COM Quote
"I don't think of all the misery, but of all the beauty that still remains." -- Anne Frank

283--Florida: Miami Beach & the Conch Republic
@ CherieSpotting     Mar 24 2005 - 15:11 PST
cherie writes: When I joined forces with Greg in Miami, he put a big “CG” smack in the middle of his boat, a 41-ft Morgan Out Island named “Scirocco.” How charming! I thought it stood for Cherie and Greg. Later, Greg confessed the CG actually stood for “center of gravity”, a leftover mark from Scirocco’s last haul-out.

I may not have a boat named after me, but living on a boat isn’t a bad life. We wake up to a different ocean-front view every morning—from mangroves and mansions, wild birds and wild parties. We’ve left Miami Yacht Club and the high-rise buildings and low-rise bikinis of Miami Beach. Now we’re spending our days in the Florida Keys exploring hidden beaches, searching for sunken ships, snorkeling on pristine reefs, dining at quirky bars and drinking enough rum to make any pirate proud.

While most know this area as the Florida Keys, some still refer to it as the Conch Republic. (The islands actually seceded from the Union and established their own country--the Conch Republic.) In history books the country lasted a few hours, but locals remember it with a passion. You can still buy a Conch Republic passport today!

Click on each picture to see it full size.

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Welcome to the soft pastels of Miami Beach.

Welcome to the soft pastels of Miami Beach.

Here I am in St. Thomas with Marius the mouse--it was my last stop before slipping my feet into the smooth sands of Miami Beach.

Here I am in St. Thomas with Marius the mouse--it was my last stop before slipping my feet into the smooth sands of Miami Beach.

A patriotic pup in Miami Beach.

A patriotic pup in Miami Beach.

Cherie, back on Scirocco (a 41-ft Morgan Out Island.)

Cherie, back on Scirocco (a 41-ft Morgan Out Island.)

Here I am in front of the historic Miami Yacht Club, where Scirocco is moored.

Here I am in front of the historic Miami Yacht Club, where Scirocco is moored.

Hold on, I think we're in for a wild ride to the Keys.

Hold on, I think we're in for a wild ride to the Keys.

Architecture by the sea.

Architecture by the sea.

Greg and Cherie in Miami Beach.

Greg and Cherie in Miami Beach.

Maybe this guy had too much to drink?

Maybe this guy had too much to drink?

Miami Beach, there's no place else quite like it.

Miami Beach, there's no place else quite like it.

Spring break?

Spring break?

Nicki the monkey is the king of this sand castle.

Nicki the monkey is the king of this sand castle.

Miami Beach is a mixture of high rise buildings and low rise bikinis.

Miami Beach is a mixture of high rise buildings and low rise bikinis.

Cherie between two classic cars.

Cherie between two classic cars.

Balloon-animal guys always inspire big smiles.

Balloon-animal guys always inspire big smiles.

Dorothy, we're not in Kansas anymore.

Dorothy, we're not in Kansas anymore.

Greg and John.

Greg and John.

Chillin' the Miami Yacht Club.

Chillin' the Miami Yacht Club.

No Pets?  What about little Nicki?

No Pets? What about little Nicki?

Cape Florida Lighthouse, saving sailors (and their vessels) since 1825.

Cape Florida Lighthouse, saving sailors (and their vessels) since 1825.

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Recreation Park on Key Biscayne.

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Recreation Park on Key Biscayne.

Always sail away from the jetty.

Always sail away from the jetty.

The view from the top of the lighthouse.

The view from the top of the lighthouse.

Stilts-ville--not the place you want to be during a hurricane.

Stilts-ville--not the place you want to be during a hurricane.

Cherie at the top of the lighthouse.

Cherie at the top of the lighthouse.

John and Greg, father and son.

John and Greg, father and son.

Cherie near a canopy of palms.

Cherie near a canopy of palms.

Cape Florida Lighthouse, she's saved thousands of ships from being riped open and sunk.

Cape Florida Lighthouse, she's saved thousands of ships from being riped open and sunk.

Greg takes a walk on shore, getting his feet wet in the Altantic.

Greg takes a walk on shore, getting his feet wet in the Altantic.

Cool wheels.

Cool wheels.

The Florida Keys are a bird-watcher's dream-come-true.

The Florida Keys are a bird-watcher's dream-come-true.

Sunset sailor.

Sunset sailor.

The last few minutes of sun; the close of another perfect day.

The last few minutes of sun; the close of another perfect day.

Polution at its most beautiful.

Polution at its most beautiful.

That "CG" stands for Center of Gravity (not Cherie and Greg.)

That "CG" stands for Center of Gravity (not Cherie and Greg.)

You never know what kind of boat you are going to sail past when you are drifting through the Florida Keys.

You never know what kind of boat you are going to sail past when you are drifting through the Florida Keys.

Mansions nestled in mangroves.

Mansions nestled in mangroves.

The wild colors of a mangrove sunset.

The wild colors of a mangrove sunset.

Exploring!

Exploring!

The mangroves upclose.

The mangroves upclose.

I told you the view was better from up here!

I told you the view was better from up here!

Look over there!

Look over there!

One pole per bird, please.

One pole per bird, please.

Cherie with the Conch Republic Flag.  The Keys succeeded from the Union, and we actually their own country for a few hours!

Cherie with the Conch Republic Flag. The Keys succeeded from the Union, and we actually their own country for a few hours!

Sometimes you stumble upon terrain that makes you feel like you've entered another world.

Sometimes you stumble upon terrain that makes you feel like you've entered another world.

This is how the Keys began, the oceans lowered and the coral beneath broke through the sea.

This is how the Keys began, the oceans lowered and the coral beneath broke through the sea.

You never know what you will find lurking in the mangroves...sometimes a mansion.

You never know what you will find lurking in the mangroves...sometimes a mansion.

Under one of the many bridges that connects the Keys to mainland Florida.

Under one of the many bridges that connects the Keys to mainland Florida.

Is this where the Conch Republic Trolls hang out?

Is this where the Conch Republic Trolls hang out?

Scirocco anchored in the mangroves.

Scirocco anchored in the mangroves.

I think he is stalking us.

I think he is stalking us.

Where are all the birds going?  They are already "South" for the winter.

Where are all the birds going? They are already "South" for the winter.

They may be peaceful, but the mangroves certainly aren't quiet.

They may be peaceful, but the mangroves certainly aren't quiet.

Greg getting beaten (again!) during dominoes at sunset.

Greg getting beaten (again!) during dominoes at sunset.

Sailing is about appreciating simple beauty, like the beauty of a cube of ice in my rum and Coke.

Sailing is about appreciating simple beauty, like the beauty of a cube of ice in my rum and Coke.

Miami Beach, the land of itsy-witsy bikinis.

Miami Beach, the land of itsy-witsy bikinis.

Tie up between the mangroves and the flowers.

Tie up between the mangroves and the flowers.