Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Homestead: Magic, History and Wine.

Like I said in last Saturday’s entry, why do we live in Miami if not to enjoy the weather? Especially during the fall: when the sun starts hitting from the side and changes the color of everything and the breeze reminds you that there is a life under 80 degrees and that it is also beautiful.
I have said before that we Miamians don't like to drive North.
Which is why I headed South on Saturday.
I went out with family and friends, abuelita and everything included, to Homestead and beyond. We couldn’t do everything there is to do even if we wanted to, but we tried hard.

To start the trip with a full belly we went to the famous Tea Room. Located inside the beautiful gardens of Cauley Square,

a 1902 pioneers village that will take you to the place you dreamed of when you were 6. Little wooden houses, giant sculptures made of grass, blue jays and cardinals make the song of the paths that get you lost in a world of gnomes and fairies.

We went into a few of the antique stores before having a delicious lunch in the overly-decorated, also dream-like Tea Room. This Tea Room is the only one left in Florida of what used to be a tradition for the snow bird old ladies or the wives of those who came to work for the railroad. It is still a tradition among old ladies, but it really is a delight to have a cup of spice tea in the butterfly room or the dining room, while eating a quiche or one of its famous cakes and overhearing the conversations of the Miamah ladies with their big sunglasses and funny hats.

We headed roof-down to Schnebly Redland’s Winery.
You can pay for tours of the winery or for tasting. You won’t find wines made out of grapes here but you will find some made out of: avocado, one of the top choices, passion fruit, guava, mango and more. Sparkling wines and everything. After we did the tasting and bought a bottle of the winner avocado wine, we sat outside in the pleasant gardens, by the waterfalls and shared the wine in the glasses, which you get for free after the tasting.

It was time to go to the real Homestead. Always taking the back streets, never the highway or US 1, to appreciate the nurseries, the farms, the horses and the No Hay Trabajo signs, we drove South in hopes of finding Robert is Here open, but it was closed.

We got to the Historic District of Downtown Homestead and found a Music in the Park event. As we walked down the old streets that take you back to a time of simpler things, of Saturday night movies, strolling up and down the street with a milk shake we noticed we were hungry.

And, although Mexican restaurants did not exist in Homestead in those times, they do now and they are a Must.
Where else would we go but to El Toro Taco?
If you have never been to the Mexican restaurants in Downtown Homestead then you probably don’t know that you have to bring your own alcohol, yes you have to.
That’s the tradition, since they are too cheap to pay for an alcohol license, customers take coolers filled with beers and wines and even a bottle of tequila to settle the food. And, that is what makes the trip fun as well as cheap The food is great even though the owner is a jerk and if you are lucky a group of lady mariachis will go in and play for tips.

If we would’ve had more time, and la abuelita weren’t so tired, we could’ve gone to the go-carts, also on Krome Ave., which I have done before and although I was the last one in the race it was fun; horseback riding, is also great, it is just hard to find the right place, the Coral Castle or a redneck bar.


eldesaparecido said...

You know what's crazy-- its the complete opposite in my opinion, I'd rather go up "Nawf" than down into the boonies on the south end. I've had the wine before, not the avocado but the rest are definitely an experience-- de madre. Maybe I should give Homestead a try since I applaud their policy of BYOB to the restaurants por ahi.

Geoffrey Anderson Jr said...

Great pictures. Homestead has a lot of cool stuff that people don't know about. I've been dying to visit the winery down there.

On that note, I can't believe you'd drive all the way to homestead but won't drive to west Miami to see me. :'o(

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading about your daytrip. You sure packed a lot into one day! I guess because I live right in the middle of it, I tend to put off enjoying the things the area has to offer, although I am always up for enjoying the weather and the scenery. Thanks for the reminder that I have to get back to Cauley Square!

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