As James Bond would say, “I love a drive in the country, don’t you?” In Doral, (a place where chain restaurants and cow pastures collide)you can learn to move like the 007 himself at the Miami Freerunning and Parkour Academy. Spend the day learning the tricks of these amazing street performers and visiting some original places in this Miami neighborhood.
Here is your schedule:
9 a.m. Breakfast: The Original Pancake House
9901 NW 41St. Street, Miami, www.originalpancakehouse.com
I don’t know what James Bond eats for breakfast, but knowing that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, I am sure he embraces it. And, I have a feeling he likes pancakes on his days off. Whichever breakfast food you prefer, you can find it here at The Original Pancake House. Both the outside and inside make you feel like you’ve stepped into a true southern-cookin’ restaurant (which may be ironic since it was founded in Oregon). The staff is super friendly and the food is delicious. I recommend either eating light, or eating early. But either way, eat. You’ll need fuel for what you’re about to do today.
11 a.m. Miami Freerunning and Parkour Academy
1498 NW 78th Ave, Doral; 305.733.3995 or www.miamifr.com
Estimated cost: $15-$50
If you missed the first scene of the newest James Bond movie, watch it. That’s Parkour in action. Parkour is the physical discipline of training to overcome any obstacle within one’s path by adapting one’s movements to the environment. Freerunning is adding theatrics to that, using freedom of movement and creativity, like flips and spins. The Miami Freerunning and Parkour Academy teaches you how to get from A to B and overcome any obstacles, with a lot of flair.
We made it to the academy early enough to see the Intermediate Adult Class in action where students were catapulting themselves off of a vault onto a wall and doing back flips off of training blocks. We also watched them do running starts towards a wall that they ran up - devying gravity - and did flips off of. It takes a lot of training to make it into this family. We wanted to be one of them.
Join the Intro or Beginner Adult class or make your first lesson a private one and figure out where you place from there. We did a private session that covered all of the basics of an Intro class. Before you start flipping off walls, you need to start at the beginning: safety. Don’t underestimate this class. You will get an extreme workout just learning how to land and roll safely. We jumped from one training board to another - all looked impossible, but with encouragement and practice we mastered the first step. We ended the class doing a running start and jumping from a floorboard onto an almost waist-high training cushion, feet flat, crouched position. It was hard, and we were sweaty, but we all succeeded, and had a blast doing it. Oh, and we could barely walk after but it was a true adrenaline rush. You’ll know why James Bond never settled for a desk job.
6 p.m. Arabian Nights
10200 NW 25th Street, Doral; arabiannights.homestead.com
Estimated cost: $20-30
James Bond gets to travel the world, so why shouldn’t we? Welcome to Arabian Nights. This place is legit. They have a ridiculous amount of hookahs to choose from, wooden camels to pose with, and amazing food (and Turkish wine, if you’re interested). Sit under silk drapes and lean back into soft colorful cushions and you’ll feel like a Sultan being fed a wondrous feast. Start with the hummus, tabouleh and grape leaves, follow with a your kabob of choice, and end with namora, baklava and ice cream (why choose only one dessert, when you are already eating like a royal?). If only a magic carpet ride were included…
8:30 p.m. Tina’s Original Cakes
8601NW 58st Suite #103 Miami; www.tinasoriginalcake.com
Estimated cost: $4-8
A little off the beaten path, you can find this locally owned cake store. It is worth a stop to grab a piece of cake for later, or at least to get a look at the beautiful cakes for future orders. It’s kind of like walking around Alice-in-Wonderland. One taste of a Tina’s Original Cake, and I am sure it would leave Bond saying “Shocking, positively shocking.”
9 p.m. Champions
Doral Golf Resort & Spa, 4400 N.W. 87th Avenue Miami; www.doralresort.com
Estimated cost: $8-15
If you want to end the day with a drink – go to the bar with the most obvious fitting name. You’re a champion. Drink like one. And why not drink up the views of an amazing local resort while you are at it? You made it through a rough training today. A training that can one day lead you to save the world. So, you live to die another day. Cheers to that.