By Fred Gonzalez
Gloria Estefan might as well be Miami's first daughter.
We caught up with Estefan before she headed to Europe for another leg of her tour.
How have you seen Miami change?
Well we have grown by leaps and bounds, needless to say, since I was here when I was two years old. At the beginning, the influence was very Cuban-American, and now we see from all over Latin America and Europe. It's a very international city and a city that I love and adore. I think it's a very unique city anywhere in the
world, not just because of our beautiful weather, but just because of the combination of so many different cultures that we have, and that get along very well together. Having traveled the world, I know sometimes you tend to look at the negative things in the community, and we are not that way at all. We have a fantastic community that gets along very well, despite our differences.
What are your favorite places to go and hang out when you're here?
Oh man, the beach, c'mon! I am a nature girl and I love the water, so anything that has to do with outdoors and the water. I love to walk on the beach, and I think we have some fantastic places. Of course now we have a new residence, a little further north, in Indian River County, which I love so much because of their focus on the environment and nature and protecting that environment. They really have some hard laws protecting that and protecting the turtles, which I love. My friends call me Doolittle One.
We know you are playing at The Hard Rock, but would you ever consider a Vegas show like Celine Dion?
Oh, you know what, I did Celine's gig for a little bit, right before my last tour, and hat's off to her. That's a desert. I am a tropical girl, I need humidity and I need some water. It's fun to go out and do a couple shows once in a while, but I think I would shrivel up and die in the dryness.
How often are you here in Miami because you seem to be bouncing all over the place?
Yeah, we have been traveling alot in the last couple of years, we really have. We haven't spent much time in Miami at all or in Vero Beach this year. That hopefully will change. But you have to go where you're working and touching your fans again and I am going to be out in Europe for the next couple of months. We have done a lot of vacationing, which is great, because for 25 years we didn't do that. All we did was work. So we also have fun.
You are looking great, so what have you added to your diet/excerise routine?
I added Pilates to my routine, so that's been something new. I really didn't think I could add anymore, but I did. It's been great, especially for my condition, because I have hardware in my back and I workout usually five days a week, although I have been bad this summer.
Do you love being a Miami icon?
I love Miami. I love this place. This is my home, you know. Even though I am still considered a Cuban exile, the only home I have ever had, really, has been Miami. I can't imagine life elsewhere. I really love this place, and they love me and have given me a lot of support over the years, so I can't imagine going anywhere else.