neon-palmI’m reluctantly going to watch my daughter play in the volleyball Junior Olympics next month in Miami Beach.  When I try to find a place to stay or things to do, I’m confronted with ads of happy drinkers in bikinis or hugging happy grey hairs.  Do I want a hotel with free afternoon cocktails at the pool and art deco/iPod rooms, or a quiet bed and breakfast with shuffleboard?

It’s not that I don’t know the area.  My family escaped Detroit for a few warm weeks for several winters.  Later I Spring Breaked there, and then did dressy conventions in fine hotels  and tromped around the Everglades with my kids. Oh, and I’ve seen “CSI Miami” and danced on Calle Ocho.

After working with many CVBs (Convention and Visitors Bureaus) I know that I don’t fit the demographics of the desired tourist.  Just looking at the ads makes that pretty clear.  Still, it would be nice to hang out in some cool neighborhoods with some of those Gore voters who never got counted.  I’m not afraid of conga lines, but 3 am is a little late these days.

I just can’t figure out how to fit in now, as a thoughtful, casual friend.  Any ideas?

Suz Korbel

Susan Korbel

Graduating in '71 from Cornell gave me a few unencumbered years of protesting, followed by 4 happy hipster grad student/worker years at U of Michigan, completing a Ph.D. in public administration. Followed a comedian to San Francisco, then my heart to Austin Texas to learn the TV business, dabbled in hot&heavy politics in DC, and returned to Austin & San Antonio, Texas to hone my political/media skills. I make my money conducting consumer and political opinion studies.