I’ll admit, the day started off a little bittersweet for us. We’re so used to getting up early, driving to Joey’s parents and lining up for a parade by 8 am- all decked out in red, white, and blue. Back home, Joey’s neighborhood goes ALL out for the Fourth of July. Weeks before everyone goes out and rents golf carts to decorate and on the morning of the fourth, everyone lines their carts up for a parade, there’s even a contest for best decorations. For about an hour and a half, everyone drives their carts up and down the blocks and people who aren’t participating actual set up chairs on their lawns to watch and wave as people drive by. Below is a picture from our last Fourth in California, and I stand by the fact that our golf cart should have won an award.
So reflecting on how the Fourth of July usual goes for us, the morning was a little rough. But it ended up being such a fun, adventurous day filled with new experiences.
We learned about an event that the city of Coral Gables puts on out on the golf course of the Biltmore Hotel and decided to check it out. They offered free parking for the day and free trolley rides to and from downtown to the hotel. We drove downtown relatively early so that we could walk around and check out the area. Everything in the city is historical and the streets are lined with facts and dates about significant events that happened there. Being someone who enjoys history, I had to read every single thing. There’s a park across the street from Coral Gables City Hall named for the cities founder: George Edgar Merrick and there’s also a huge statue of him outside City Hall.
After a little bit of exploring we headed to the trolley station to set up camp at the hotel. Fun facts about the Biltmore Hotel:
- It was built in 1926 by George Merrick and John Bowman and when completed was the tallest standing building in Florida.
- During WWII it actually served as a hospital and housed 1200 beds.
- Some believe the grounds are haunted by the spirit of Thomas Walsh, a New York mobster who was later killed at the hotel in 1929 due to a gambling dispute.
- During his presidency, Franklin D. Roosevelt had a temporary White House office set up in the hotel for when he vacationed to Miami.
As you can see, as time passed, the lawn became more and more packed. The event was set up very well, there were food and drink trucks set up on one of the lawns, public restrooms were open, and they had a live symphony band playing the entire night. All in all, we had a great Fourth in Florida! Thank you for reading and hope you had a great Fourth of July this year as well!