I don’t like travelling through US immigration. It’s always so serious and fraught with tension. Expecting the same, I was pleasantly surprised to find the immigration officer friendly and even a bit chatty. It made for a nice change. And rather than interrogating us about what we were doing in that country, we were told to have a pleasant stay. So it’s a standard line, but it’s still nice.

Getting out to the baggage claim area was a long way though. It felt like we were walking the entire length of the airport. We probably were. Entering into the baggage area, we were immediately thrust into a throng of people trying to find their way into the right carousel number.

Thank goodness for the bright orange Samsonite suitcase we bought. We could spot it a mile away trundling around the carousel. Yes, it was a lesson learned one year when I lost a bag in the US during a New Year’s day flight. Do you know how many black bags there are? Try spotting your bag in amongst a thousand other black bags.

Miami Airport was not built for international flights, particularly in this day and age of added security. The area between the carousels were narrow and jam packed full of bags and people. Making our way out was challenging. There was only one door out to customs, with 3 queues merging into a bottleneck at the door. One woman, who was dragging her 3 bags, dropped her duty free bag of vodka. So next we all had to avoid that too.

The heat, after England, is rather stifling. There was the option to catch a public bus into Miami beach, but we chose the faster option of a cab for $33. Just as well. I really didn’t want to be walking block after block trying to fond our hotel in the afternoon heat.