Miami is only about 4 hours or so away from Tampa, yet it’s a city both Brittany and I rarely visit. So when I discovered I had to appear in person at the Italian consulate to secure my Visa to live in Italy this spring, we decided to make it a mini vacation. We found a relatively inexpensive little boutique hotel in south beach called the Townhouse (relatively, because everything is expensive down there), packed our swimsuits, and headed out early Saturday morning.
Miami is a strange place. It is nothing like the rest of Florida and you feel as if you have entered a foreign country when you arrive. It is arguably the most European city in the U.S., and for that I love it! The crazy fashion, however, I do not love… so, so many rhinestones and cut-away dresses! But the vibe of the city is intoxicating – the people watching is second to none, and the outdoor Cuban, Italian, and a myriad of other global cuisines more than makes up for the crazy traffic, hoards of tourists, and high prices. I mean it is the only place in the U.S. I have found fresh Burata, which is a special Italian cheese that is basically mozzarella mixed with cream!
|Our hotel had a roof-top bar and it was fabulous. Nothing like a tall glass of rosé overlooking South Beach.
After settling into our hotel Saturday, Britt and I hit the beach. We took a long stroll up and down South Beach, which is known for its length and crowds. This makes for excellent beach exercise and of course our favorite pastime in Miami – people watching!
After the beach, we headed to the rooftop bar for a pre-dinner drink and then walked to Lincoln Road Mall (a huge outdoor shopping and dinning area) for dinner and more people watching. It is so nice to be back in a city where you can walk to dinner and sit outside. In true European style, the eateries are small with ample cafe tables spilling outside into the large pedestrian area. There is a huge Italian community in Miami, so in addition to amazing Cuban and Spanish food, you can also enjoy authentic Italian food.
|My new favorite dress. It is perfect for travel.
We returned to the beach Sunday morning for another walk on the beach and quick dip in the ocean (it is the perfect temperature this time of year). Once I started frying in the sun, which takes about 20 minutes, we packed it up and headed back into town for some more exploring.
For lunch we walked to a hole-in-the-wall Cuban cafe, La Playa Cafe. We pigged out on meals we could barely pronounce and downed cafés con leches. To work off our lunch we walked south to the Wolfsonian. A museum dedicated to all things modern.
The museum explores what it means to be modern. It has a great collection of objects, pictures, pamphlets, advertisements, and technology that documents how society has changed since the Industrial Revolution (#historynerds). My favorite was the gallery wall of old Aids awareness and safe sex posters (you know me, I love a great gallery wall!).
For dinner that night, we kept it casual and tried a local French sandwich place that everyone raves about. And they were right, La Sanwicherie was delicious! While there is plenty of fine dining in Miami, we prefer to discover more unique local places. We may or may not have spent the rest of that evening relaxing in our hotel room and streaming the second season of the Jersey Shore (you know, because it was set in Miami and I had to get up super early the next morning).
Monday morning I woke up bright and early to get to the consulate and secure my Visa (I promise to share the full details of that process later). Afterwards we hit the beach one last time (and downed some more Cuban coffee) before hitting the road back to Tampa to beat the traffic. All in all it was a great little getaway and it made both of us wonder why we don’t visit Miami more often!
Anyone else been to Miami? What is your favorite thing about Miami?