Our novel, REBORN, starts at the iconic Delano Hotel on Miami Beach. We haven’t been back since we finished writing an early draft. So with edits almost done and the release scheduled for next month, we thought we should celebrate by returning for Sunday brunch. Joined by family members, we packed into the car and headed to SoBe (South Beach for the non-natives).
As soon as we entered the half-moon driveway of the Delano, a thick wall of hedges blocked out the street traffic. The valet was two-cars deep and a reserved spot sat empty and ignored. We exchanged glances. As usual, we were thinking the same thing. If it were evening, vampire Marie’s Bentley might be holding court in that space.
After we surrendered our car keys, we paused a moment to admire the main tower, stretching, white and majestic toward the sun, and the outdoor lobby with its niche sitting areas.
We stepped inside and after another glance at each other, sighed in unison. The impossible tall ceilings, enormous white pillars, and floor to ceiling sheers greeted us. Time had not failed us. Did the curtains billow you ask? Not only did they billow, they swayed with every passerby. And to prove it beyond a doubt, we took turns sashaying down the lobby. You know what they say, “write what you know.” So baby, we worked the walk and did our vampire proud. We all sashayed, even the brother-in-law (albeit with much prodding).
At the end of the lobby, the aptly named Bianca restaurant waited for us. We were starving by this point. The sun blazed, but we weren’t going to be this close to the beach and not eat al fresco! So the hostess led us to a table outside where the terrace opened to a fresh-cut lawn, private cabanas, azure pool, and beyond the beautiful Miami Beach, an amazing vista. We skimmed the brunch menu and ordered, all of us asking for classic American coffee that was like drinking heaven.
Breakfast arrived without delay. Delicious fluffy eggs that melted in your mouth, fresh squeezed orange juice, baked tomatoes, and yes…more coffee. It was hot. In fact more than one of us had beads of perspiration popping up oh so indelicately on our foreheads, despite the constant whirling of the overhead fans and blasts of cold air from opening and closing doors. We still guzzled the steaming coffee. Did we mention it was heaven?
Afterward, we strolled (some of us still sashayed) the lawn. The smell of coconut suntan lotion, such a staple of summer, drifted around us. Maybe we should have brought our bathing suits? Electronic music pulsed from the pool deck, energetic, but not deafening.
There was a private party at the pool so we couldn’t cut across to the beach boardwalk. It was just as well; we gave in to the weather and retreated indoors.
We did find changes from our last visit when we walked the exterior of the property. The construction site where our vampire fights rogues was now a completed hotel and the alley adjacent to the Delano was no longer dark and menacing. But enough was the same to draw us into the story and we scrutinized every nook looking for places where vampires and werewolves could lurk. Of course, it was too bright for Marie. Vampires don’t have brunch. But werewolves? They…could be anywhere. Anytime. Anyone.
Until next time,