Monday, April 10, 2017

Welcome to Miami

There's nothing like the feeling of going back to work after a week off. If I'm staying positive though, it was a very relaxing and well needed break, to which I am very grateful!

One of my best girlfriends and I took off on a vacation to Miami last Sunday. Hopefully you were able to follow along via my Instastory! If you missed it, today I'll be recapping our highs, lows and all the great restaurants in between! 

We decided that staying on the beach was a priority, as we knew we would be there the most. We got a hotel right on Ocean Drive in South Beach in order to be seconds from the water.


In regards to the hotel itself, it's in GREAT proximity to the beach! It's right in the heart of the partying scene in South Beach. The music from nearby "clubs" goes strong until about 3 a.m. If you're looking for a family friendly hotel, don't stay here. It also has a rooftop pool and bar, neither of which were impressive. Needless to say, we spent most of our time on the beach and away from the hotel. The room in which we stayed was great, with a good bathroom and full sized kitchen. If you're looking for something close to the beach, and you don't mind the crazy party people, then it's a cool place to stay.

Here's a view from the roof, which gives you an idea how close it is to the beach.




When we first arrived, we took all of our things to the hotel and immediately changed into bathing suits and headed to the beach. The first day was a little cloudy but we didn't mind at all because #vacation.

After spending some time at the beach and exploring, we headed back to our hotel to get ready for dinner and drinks. 


Our first dinner was at Nikki Beach Miami down near 1st Street in South Beach. The atmosphere of this place was super cool with palm trees and string lights everywhere. We dressed up a bit since we knew we would be going out afterwards, but people were dressed in anything from bathing suits to nice cocktail attire.

The food was super good. Allison got the pizza and I got a chicken wrap. One thing to look out for anywhere in Miami, is that gratuity is already added to your bill, so check that before tipping anything extra. We planned on getting a few drinks here but they were highly overpriced and the crowd wasn't ideal, so we went elsewhere. I bet this place gets super fun in the summer months though!

Our adventures in finding cool, low-key bars was unsuccessful the first night. We're both very laid back people, and the bars in South Beach are anything but laid back. We called it a night and headed back to the hotel.


The next day we woke up and headed to Starbucks to grab a coffee and some food before hitting the beach. The best part about going to the beach in Miami is that the super partiers don't head out until the afternoon (I'm assuming they're sleeping off the drinks from the night before). If you're not part of that crowd, you'll have lots of beach space in the morning! It was our favorite part of the day!


After several hours of laying out, we headed to Taquiza for lunch. Oh my goodness, you must go here if you're visiting Miami. Everything here tastes super fresh and authentic. The carnitas taco was my favorite, along with the blue corn chips and guacamole. It's making me so hungry just thinking about them! Highly recommended!


More beach time after lunch. Those colorful lifeguard stands got me every time.


Dinner on night two was super delicious too! We had a reservation at Cibo Wine Bar in South Beach, although we didn't really need it. It was surprisingly empty. The decor and service here was amazing. 





I got the Seafood Linguini (mussels, clams, shrimp and calamari) and Allison got the Pesto Pasta. Mine was one of the best pastas I've ever had, and Allison said hers was good but had too much pesto. 

After wards we headed to a dive down the road, and had a few drinks before heading back to the hotel.




The next morning we ate at Shepard's Artisan Coffee, which once again was super good! 








Spent our morning on the beach, and then did some shopping on Collins Dr. We found a couple cute new items to take home with us! More on that in a later post!



Lunch this day was at Cafe Del Mar! I got a turkey, ham and avocado wrap, which was to die for. I also snagged a freshly squeezed orange juice which was amazing too. The theme of this trip was definitely good food! We had nothing that was disappointing! 


After shopping, we needed a nice cold drink, so we stopped into one of the 1,000 cafes along Ocean Drive for a drink. Most of these places offer buy one, get one free fishbowls for happy hour. Still not really a good deal, but when in South Beach, do as the tourists do. They were at least cold, refreshing, and an excuse to people watch. 

We spent some more time at the beach before heading back in to get ready for dinner. 


We decided to head into Brickell this night. We wanted away from the people on South Beach, and a more laid back scene of people. We had dinner at Sushi Siam which was some of the best sushi I've ever had. To be fair, I think I say that about every single sushi restaurant that I eat at. 



The view was amazing in Brickell! We had a few drinks at a couple places and then ended up at a really cool bar called Blackbird Ordinary. This was MUCH more of our crowd and we had a blast there! Definitely the best night of the whole vacation! If only we had done that from night one. 

Our last day in Miami was spent at Lincoln Road Mall and the beach. For some reason, we didn't get many pictures from that day. #bloggingfail



We did have another amazing dinner that night though! If you're into Cuban food at all, you MUST go to Havana 1957! I got their most popular chicken plate, which was unbelievably amazing.

I loved everything about this place, from the lights, to sitting outside and watching all the people! After we ate, we walked around a bit on Espanola Way and took in the sights.


The next day, we woke up at 3:30 to catch our flight back to ATL. Little did we know that it would be the most stressful/ridiculous day EVER. As we were checking in, we were made aware that our flight home had been canceled.

We were then directed to a "special" line in order to rebook to the next flight. The nice man let us know that there was room on the next flight at 7:30 and we had been the first ones to check in from our canceled flight. So far, so good.



Yes. This is us waiting for pizza at 5:00 in the morning. 

After eating our DELICIOUS pizza, we head to our gate only to find so many people standing around looking frustrated/concerned. We spoke to some, and found out that there were many people who had been at the airport since the previous morning at 9:00 trying to get a flight back to ATL because their flight was also canceled. They kept getting bumped to the next flight, as there was no room on any of them.

At this point, we knew we weren't getting on the flight and that we would possibly be waiting at the airport ALL DAY, and possibly ALL NIGHT. We decided that instead of sitting at an airport all day, that we would rent a car and road trip it home. 


We look happy, but we were not. 9 1/2 hours in the car is not our style. Especially after having paid for the ease of flying home.

A road trip with your bestie isn't the worst thing that could happen, but still stinks when you're in the mindset of arriving in the morning and having the rest of the day at home.

We stopped by the ATL airport in order to claim our luggage and that ended up being a mission and a half. At one point the Delta employees handed us information on how to file a claim for missing luggage. #nomaam #betterfindthatsuitcase



Here we are SO happy to be reunited with our things. Delta was slightly overwhelmed and we finally found out that we were only one of hundreds of canceled flights.

I finally made it home 12+ hours after our originally intended arrival.

Thankful for a super great vacation with a super great friend. If you're headed to Miami soon, visit at least one of the restaurants I mentioned and you won't be disappointed! 

XO,
Leslie














2 comments:

  1. Oh no! I'm so sorry about your travel problems- that's no bueno! Glad you had a good time with your friend and made it back safely!

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  2. Thanks for all of the great tips! My bestie and I are headed to Miami pretty soon, and your recommendations are perfect. Sounds like just the kind of vacation we go for - good food, beach time, a little shopping and a casual bar scene! Sorry your return trip home was such a mess - I'm in the Atlanta area too and let me tell you the weather was CRAZY here last week. At least you missed all of the storms and tornadoes!

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