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Miami, the Mandarin Oriental and Russians Behaving Badly

A few weeks ago, the husband and I stayed at the Miami Mandarin Oriental in a room we couldn’t possibly afford during the “season.” Our idea was simple: it’s hot as rhino’s wrinkles here, so what’s the difference in Miami? Might as well take advantage of the low rates.

During our travels, we took “roaming gnome” type photos of the United States Naval Academy goat, Bill, to send to our niece, who is currently suffering through plebe summer.

Here he is, comforting Mike during takeoff…


As he tries to steal Mike’s drink…


Getting sloppy and trying to make time with the flight attendant…


We’d never stayed in a Mandarin Oriental before and sadly, now it will be hard to stay anywhere else. That is, if they let us back after Bill the Goat’s antics…


With the exception of one episode that wasn’t the Mandarin’s fault, we had an amazing experience.

And that one episode made Bill look like an angel.

Russians Behaving Badly

Azul is the Mandarin’s super high-end, five star restaurant. We like to pretend we’re foodies, so we were really looking forward to dining there. (it’s one of those places you don’t eat, you dine.) Below is my gnocchi.


The food was delicious, there’s not getting around that. You can immediately tell the place is a cut above. Unfortunately, our entrees came out lukewarm, which at a restaurant like that is particularly disappointing. We should have sent them back, but we were too busy listening to the nightmare brewing beside us.

A Russian couple and their young daughter were at the table to the right of us.  They had finished their meal and the waiter asked them if they wanted dessert. That’s when the woman, I’ll call her Olga, lost her freaking mind.

Waiter: Would you like dessert?
Olga: I want cheesecake.
Waiter: Oh, I apologize, our deserts change and we don’t have cheesecake today.
Olga: (screaming) I want cheesecake! (repeat this phrase in a heavy Russian accent approximately 400 times at the top of your voice to get a feel for the experience.)

Olga had already appeared on my radar because she was six feet tall, weighed eighty pounds, had 40ft long legs and had borrowed her seven year-old daughter’s skirt for the evening. Her husband looked like a normal guy in expensive clothing who was deeply unconcerned that his wife was about to blow an aneurysm in her brain.

The waiter tried to make Olga understand that the desserts were made daily, but she continued to rant: “I want cheesecake!! Why do I come here if not for cheesecake!?”

I don’t know Olga… to ruin my evening? To film a realty show about which I haven’t been informed?

The waiter said he’d see if they could make her a cheesecake and scurried away.

I felt like I was in a cartoon.  Two minutes later the waiter tried to skate by her but she grabbed him and and asked at volume 11, “Where is my cheesecake??!” because apparently in Russia you can make a cheesecake from scratch in two minutes.

Olga, dahlink, he said he’d see if the chef could make you a cheesecake. What more can he do?

Will someone please get this woman a gallon of vodka and a bag of diamonds to play with and shut her up?

We woofed down half our meal, cold, got the check and left.

Thanks, Olga.

PS: I tried to drag Mike to the Madarin’s other restaurant, La Mar, every day of our stay. I had no idea how much I loved Peruvian food! Nice atmosphere, good staff and food was delicious. No Russians! Am planning on spending the next month figuring out how to make causa. (This is causa… looks like someone’s small intestine, tastes delicious.)



PPS: My novel, Slightly Stalky, is 99 cents this week, just FYI!
Amy Vansant

Amy Vansant

Author Amy Vansant enjoys long walks on the beach, anything to do with her Labradoodle Gordon and frantically getting nothing useful done.
Amy Vansant

10 Responses

  1. Vincent ferrigno

    To find such class you usually have to dine at a White Castle. I will be having my rich weekend at South Hampton at a relatives house. No going out. Beach during the day and Poker at night.


  2. Suzy

    I think you meant ‘wolfed down’ instead of woofed down, unless you were barking to get the waiter’s attention? It happens.



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