Hey, y’all! I’m back, didja miss me? I’m sorry if you’re a new reader and I didn’t get a chance to respond to your comment love (thanks!) but I was on vacay down south in the good ol’ M.I.A.
Ah, sun, sand and my in-laws, what could be better (wink)? Seriously, though, Miami is a fun-ass city, especially if you get off the (in my humble opinion) over-priced, skeeviness that is South Beach.
Since Pete is Miami-born-and-raised (leave it to this girl, the biggest Latinophile ever, to somehow find the like, one white boy in the entire city) and I lived there for a year, we tend to seek out things that are a bit more off-the-beaten path.
I rarely do this kind of “What I Did On My Summer Vacation”-type post but I figured every now and then, it could be fun.
We were there for six days, rented a car from our local Enterprise (you have to have a car in Miami, the public transportation is pathetic. That subject alone might get it’s own post in the future) and did all sorts of fun things. Here’s the run-down of our time…
Food and Drink
Knaus Berry Farm
Although it’s a bit of a drive south (technically in Homestead, FL), it’s totally worth the trip! In addition to picking your own strawberries here, they have the world’s best cinnamon rolls. I ate three for breakfast and washed them down with a strawberry milkshake. Gotta love being on vacation!
This is a local chain that makes “Chop-Chop” bowls with a variety of fresh ingredients, most notably chicken (duh) right off the grill. I like the “Deluxe,” which include chicken, yellow rice, lettuce, tomatoes and a healthy dousing of their mustard curry sauce (the sauce is the best part, don’t skip it!)
Deering Estate’s 7th Annual Seafood Festival
The options here are limitless and the setting is perfection. Tell me what’s better than fresh stone crab claws eaten on a wooden plank with a cold brewski to wash it all down while the ocean breeze tickles your neck? Nothing, that’s what. In addition to the stone crab claws, we feasted on the fried seafood platter, shrimp paella and fish tacos. And Cold Stone Creamery. YUM.
Our half-eaten platters of deliciousness
The setting- Deering Estate
This is a local haunt in Coconut Grove, conveniently located right next to the marina. It’s got a thatched roof, open-air seating and a DJ on Friday and Saturday nights. Dress code is cazch (you’ll often see people in bathing suits and cover-ups) but you can’t beat the raw bar during happy hour, where oysters, clams, peel-n-eat shrinp and stone crab claws are cheapy mcheap! Happy Hour is from 4:00 pm- 7:00 pm and all drinks are half off, as well. This means that pitcher of beer that’s normally $13 is only $7.50, which probably means you’ll have to order a second one
Things To Do
We managed to hit up three different beaches in Miami, none of which were South Beach. First, there was Matheson Hammock, which is a 19th-century, man-made pool on the coast. There’s trails in the mangroves for walking and it’s fun to watch the wind-surfers fly over the waves. We also went to the Key Biscayne causeway because it’s dog-friendly (but Perri still hated the water. Siiiiiigh.) Finally, one our last day, we made it up to Bal Harbour to visit some co-workers who were also on vacay there and pay our final homage to the sun god (It worked too well. I look like a lobster. Boo.)
Sony Ericsson Open
It was my first time at a professional tennis tournament and I had a blast! Even though I didn’t know any of the players we saw (we opted for the cheapie tickets that didn’t allow us into the Grand Stand where the top seeds played) it was still exciting. We saw a great match where the unseeded American James Blake upset No. 27 Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil in a tie-breaker. It was good, clean fun for everyone involved.
James Blake in action!
I dressed the part, with a white “tennis” skirt and classic, wide-brimmed visor.
Miami Heat Game
While most people would go to see Lebron James play, I love Heat games for my future husband, Dwayne Wade. I’ve been a fan since I lived in Miami back in 2005 and I know, in my next life, we’ll be perfect together. Plus, the American Airlines Arena is right next to Bayside Park, which has lots of shops and outdoor restaurants to catch a quick drink before heading into the game.
C’mon, tell me that face and those muscles don’t make you weak in the knees!
As you can tell, we went for the cheapest seats possible here as well…Story of our lives.
Let’s go HEAT!
The neighborhood is definitely my favorite in Miami. It’s got tons of cute boutiques, outdoor restaurants, a comedy club and multiple bars, ranging from shady to posh plus a marina and beautifully-maintained public park. I could spend a whole day wandering around.
It also has my all-time favorite restaurant ever, The Knife, which is an Argentine steakhouse with a pre-fixe price that includes a bottle of wine. PER PERSON. Win!
In addition to all these activities, we managed to see lots of Pete’s friends from high school who still live in the area. On Saturday, our friend invited us to her mom’s 60th birthday party. Envisioning chips and dips, sports on the telly and perhaps a board game or two, we showed up to find this instead:
In case you can’t tell, that’s tented a dance floor, complete with a DJ and a photobooth in the right-hand side, plus themed furniture rented for the occasion (the party was 60′s/70′s themed.)
Now, there is nothing I love more than a good theme party so I was bummed we didn’t dress up but not to worry because there were awesome favors that helped us to fit right in!
There was also a tikki hut with a hosted bar, passed appetizers, a coffee bar and cake. Yeah, Miamians know how to party and we salsa’d, mambo’d and shook our dang patooties off.
This is my “dancing-is-serious-business” face.
And this is my “I-really-really-like-cake” face!
Needless to say, I was not a happy camper the next morning but a few hours laying out by the pool left me refreshed and feeling much better.
Whew! No wonder I’m still pretty wiped because after reading this over, I realized that we did quite a lot in six days.
Anyways, hope you enjoyed my recommendations and summary of our trip, I’ll be back to running stuff tomorrow!
Read Full Post »