My first trip to Miami will be a short one, book-ended by long drives! Paul has color correction to do here (that's post-production for his Coke film--not some Michael Jackson thing), and I'm tagging along so I don't leave Florida without ever having been to the big city. So we drove down yesterday, 3pm-11pm, (stopping at the Cheesecake Factory in Boca Raton. Amazingly Tallassee, land of all chain restaurants, does not have this one, so it was my first time back since L.A...and not too different.)
We are staying at the Clinton Hotel in South Beach. It's right on the street, and so has valet parking. For the entire time I have known him, Paul has avoided valet parking like the plague, and I always thought it was just because at restaurants,he hates spending money on anything that isn't his food. But last night he confessed that it was because he is uncomfortable with the tipping structure: When do you tip? Upon giving them the keys, upon getting the car back? Both? I have always been one to tip upon return of the car, but at a restaurant, it is likely that the same valet will still be there when you return--not so at a hotel, so it seems you should do both.
So I found a buck and gave it to Paul, but then the valet came into the desk as we were checking in, instead of waiting for us to come back out, and when Paul reached into his pocket, he couldn't find the money! So our man went tip-less. And we got in the elevator feeling embarrassed and guilty.
Later, we went for a walk on the blocks around our hotel--at least four different sushi places, all open after midnight on a Monday night! As were a couple of clubs, and two corner pizza places. It was just like a real city that you read about! (not one that I've ever lived in of course.)
And of course, the whole going on a walk thing was also a ruse to have an excuse to walk by the valet again, and give him his tip