Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Memorial Day Weekend, Miami

We woke up and carried our cups of coffee out to the balcony. It was long before dawn. Miami sparkled with lights. City sounds drifted up from the streets below. The cat wandered around our feet, peering through the balcony grating, monitoring the movement of traffic and early morning pedestrians. We sipped coffee and planned the weekend ahead. And there was a lot of planning to do. We were spending the Memorial Day weekend in Miami. Three days of biking and enjoying our beautiful city.

History trivia: Memorial Day originated in the years following the American Civil War. A day to honor those who died in military service. Back then it was called Decoration Day. On one of the very first Decoration Days, 5,000 people gathered to decorate the 20,000 graves of Union and Confederate soldiers buried in Arlington National Cemetery. It is hard to wrap one's head around the huge number of soldiers killed in the American Civil War: 620,000. That's around half of all the American soldiers killed in all conflicts and wars up to the present day. This in a time when the country was just ten percent of today's size in population.

Fast forward to the present day. Memorial Day is still a holiday honoring those who died in military service. But it is also a three-day holiday filled with gatherings of families and friends kicking off the start of summer: Enjoying the freedom won by all those who died protecting it.

We had bike rides with friends each of the three days of Memorial Day weekend. We had a road bike ride both Saturday and Sunday with the West Side Sunset Bandits (WSSB). Monday we did a road bike ride with some friends from Everglades Bicycle Club (EBC) and WSSB. And we found the time in between to try out a new restaurant near our home in Brickell.

A red, white, and blue weekend in Miami.
Photo by Alex Pruna