MIAMI BEACH (CBS4) – The phrase “home for the holidays” didn’t hold true for many of the people who spent Christmas in South Florida.

Many of the visitors to South Beach Wednesday night were from out of town, tourists from South America to Saudi Arabia. There was plenty of holiday cheer, despite the wet weather.

Santa managed to track down Portia De Olivera thousands of miles away from her home in California.

“I got Milk Duds and a Monster High doll,” Portia said.

For Bruno Fedirici, visiting from Italy, he was still hoping Santa would deliver, a girlfriend perhaps?

“I like the beach and the girls,” Fedirici said. “Very nice.”

It was wet and windy on South Beach Wednesday, but most people didn’t mind.

In fact, they said they preferred the rain to snow.

“Even with the rain, it’s lovely. It’s hot,” said one man visiting from Richmond, VA.

Eva Fedirici said it was freezing back home in Italy, a much different scene from the one in South Florida.

“It’s different because you have fake snow, fake Christmas tree,” she joked.

The tourists have kept businesses busy this holiday week.

“We’ve been very busy,” restaurant manager Olga Zuhtiaova said. “There’s a lot of action.”

“It’s alive,” Laura de Olivera said. “I thought it would be quiet, dead, but it’s not at all.”

The spirit of Christmas was alive and well, too.


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