Wednesday, March 21, 2018

This is 39 (Month 5, Check-In 1)

One of my This is 39 goals is "to travel some place new" and I'm happy to share that at the end of February and into the beginning of March, I found myself in Miami- a destination I hadn't been to before!

Miami isn't realllly my scene (beach life and warm weather isn't really my thing- yes, I know where I live seems to contradict that). But I was there for a work conference and since I'd also get to cross off another goal, I decided to embrace it whole heartedly.

I had the opportunity to go to Miami a couple of days before the conference and rent a cute little bungalow in the Coconut Grove section of Miami with Jill (Schmoopy) and Erin. Thanks to Jill for doing the legwork on the accommodations and to Erin for having the good sense to rent a car, even though we thought we'd be able to bike/walk/use public transportation/Lyft around Miami. We ended up in a cute place and with a hilarious car that will keep us laughing for years at the absurdity of the size of the back seat.

Immediately upon landing and stepping outside, I was met with the dreaded muggy and humid weather that plagues the East Coast and caused me to flee for a climate that doesn't experience those crazy things. I really admire those of you who can adapt to a warm, moist (sorry if you're one of those people who hates that word!) climate; I just don't happen to be one of them. I kept my complaining to a minimum (at least I think I did) but also didn't spend anywhere near as much time outside as I had hoped either.

While the main reason I was in Miami was for work (and it'd take up nearly 1/2 of my time there), I was determined to get in some sight seeing and ultimately landed on: Little Havana, Wynwood Walls & an art deco walking tour of South Beach.

First up was Little Havana. Jill & Erin scooped me up from the airport and off we went to walk around Little Havana and get a bite to eat. Here are some photos from our first excursion: 

I should have bought one for Steve-o! 

Little Havana was filled with a few different tourist traps and some pretty amazing touristy "gifts". I couldn't help but snap a photo of this tacky hat! 

The highlight of Little Havana was Domino Park where we got to see people of all ages playing the game
We also stopped for a bite to eat at a local restaurant, where I got some Cuban food (it was alright) before heading back to the bungalow. I was glad we got in a bit of sight seeing because as soon as we got back "home", I had to catch up on a few hours of work.

On our second day in Coconut Grove, the highlight was going to a super funky hipster neighborhood called Wynwood Walls. You can read all about them here. But first- we stopped by The Salty Donut to fuel up for our walk to and around the walls. And that was quite an experience.

Although we got there at the end of the day, we managed to snag the last gluten free donut and we had some mini donuts that were poked with syringes so you could infuse your donut yourself. Pretty fantastic if you ask me.

There was plenty to look at while walking to the Wynwood Walls with graffiti All Over The Place. Here are a couple of my favorite photos I took on that walk:

I couldn't have timed this better if I had tried!

After a little bit, we ended up at the Wynwood Walls where we walked around and marveled at people's incredible talents. The space itself was very cool- a wide open area where you walked from one building to the next with every inch of indoor and outdoor space utilized for featuring another unique artist. It was a bit of a sensory overload, but here are some of my favorites:

After the Wynwood Walls, we went to a restaurant nearby where I enjoyed a FLIGHT OF EMPANADAS (which were delicious) and then we topped off the night by hitting Vicky's House where I got an oreo milkshake with a hot fudge and captain crunch rim while playing Mario Bros. on an old school Nintendo #heaven. It was as amazing as it sounds! The milkshake was a bit much and I threw most of it away before I even left the store. But holy hell, what I did consume of it was delicious. See:

On day three we had to say goodbye to our cute little bungalow and Coconut Grove so we could head to the hotel where the conference was being held.

Cute little bungalow!

As seen in Coconut Grove
The rest of day three and all of day four were spent inside the Hilton in downtown Miami where I didn't go outside until early Friday morning when my company hosted a pre-conference run throughout parts of Miami. Here are a couple of cool photos I took on that run:

Me and Schmoopy- all sweaty and smiley!

Sunrise in Miami 
The sunshine. A yacht. And a cruise ship. Very Miami. 
Friday night had me catching up with a dear friend I haven't seen in a reallllly long time. It was great but by 8:00 p.m., I was toast! We said our goodbyes and I went up to my hotel room where I got all my things pulled together.

On my final day in Miami I was truly blessed with a perfect day. Zero humidity (PTL!), sunshine, a light breeze and beautiful blue skies. It was a perfect day for an art deco walking tour of South Beach!

A friend and former co-worker joined me on the adventure and I'm so glad she did. I learned some very interesting things about Miami in the process. Like what? I'm glad you asked. Like this:

  • Miami was founded by a woman and is the only major U.S. city to be founded by a woman (Julia Tuttle). She convinced the co-founder, Henry Flagler, to extend his railroad from central Florida to Miami, to build a luxury hotel and develop a new town.
  • It's nickname for many years was "God's Waiting Room" because the average age was 68
  • Yiddish was the primary language in the 1920s
  • The Versace Mansion is the third most photographed house in America (behind Graceland and The White House)
  • Miami is home to the largest cruise ship port in the WORLD (I drove by and got anxiety just looking at the size of some of the cruise ships- no gracias!)
The tour was perfectly fine and they peppered in some interesting facts throughout which kept us engaged. But even if the tour guide did no talking, it would have been fine. Because there was a lot of pretty things to look at. Here are a few of my favorite photos I took during the tour: 

After the art deco tour, I hopped in a Lyft, booked it back to the hotel, grabbed my stuff and headed out for the airport. I had a miserable day of travel as it turns out with FOUR HOURS on the plane before we finally took off. I couldn't complain too much, though, because I got upgraded to First Class and it made all the difference. But still. I kept thinking "I could practically be in Ireland by now."

Overall, Miami was perfectly fine. I truly enjoyed going some place new and exploring some of the main highlights of the area. (Bad on me though, I never actually stepped foot on the beach. Oops!) I really enjoyed hanging out with my friends before the conference and seeing more of my friends and colleagues at the conference. And I'm glad I got to cross off two of my goals (travel some place new and use my real camera 1x/month).

Thanks Miami! While I don't feel the need to go back again anytime soon, there are certainly much worse places to go and there are more things for me to explore if I do find myself there again.


What's Already Been Said


  © Free Blogger Templates Photoblog III by 2008

Back to TOP