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Wanderer Of The World: Miami, Florida

I lived in Orlando for six years, and yet, I rarely ventured to the beach. I should be tried with some sort of crime, no? My defense would be that when you live in a climate that lacks proper seasons, you get exhausted and begrudged by the heat, just like I do now with the snow. Although, if my punishment were to involve some sort of beachside confinement {hmmm...The Fontainebleau?} well, in that case your honor, guilty as charged. 

Funny enough, since I've pointed my compass due north now, I find myself craving my old backyard. South Beach. My first time visiting I was like a child trying a cookie for the first time. Hooked. Infatuated. Addicted.

We jetted down again last Saturday for a little family vacation. {Between our trip to Pittsburgh just a few days before, and this one, CJ ended up flying four times in one week! Entry into the mini frequent flyer program: approved!} Driving from the airport down I-95, the buildings rose like the Emerald City, the hue of the bay and ocean ricocheting off the glass. Sailboats sunned themselves in water, that at certain glances under the sunlight looked more like a watering hole full of crystals. The air was warm. The sky was blue. The trees were green. Does one coming from a snowcapped city need much more?

When we were looking for our hotel there were two necessities. One, it had to be on the beach! Obviously! Two, we wanted a suite, so that after putting CJ to bed at night, Greg and I could stay up and sip chilly beers and watch the Grammys. Bonus: the cabana kept complimentary orange- and lemon-flavored water out all day. Super important for little boys that need hydrated after being in the pool from sun up until sun down. And super refreshing for the mommas that chase after them, too! It worked out perfectly!

Funny story: the last time Greg and I stayed at a hotel in Miami it turned into a club after 11 p.m. The hallways outside of our room filled with techno music and disco lights! We checked ourselves out after the first night. Eeek!

Our daily docket of things to do was simple: beach then pool then switch! Taking a beach vacation with kids is, I believe, one of the best options. They are endlessly thrilled with the water and sand and sounds. It is so laid back and there isn't any one particular place to be, so it's not stressful for them or, ahem, the parents. So we decided not to overload ourselves with activities that didn't involve A) pick-up games of sand volleyball, B) searching for brightly-colored seashells, C) splashing in the foamy waves or D) all of the above.

And yet South Beach still managed to quench our thirst for a vacation. So what did we do for five days?

I drank a lot of margaritas. How many is a lot? Well, I think I'm going through lime and salt and slushy margarita withdrawal!

I lost track of days and hours and minutes reading books in this spot...

I chased CJ from sand dune to sand dune...

We waited for the sun to rise at dawn...

Watched yachts and dolphins and surfers from our perch in the sand...

We built sandcastles...not snowmen...

Scoped out super snazzy art deco architecture...

And in true South Beach style CJ took his first shot! Just kidding, of course. It's just watermelon and mint. Yum-o!

We did venture out from the beach sporadically to do a little shopping at Lincoln Road Mall, which is an outdoor shopping area . Think Fifth Avenue, but about 60 degrees warmer. We sat at fountains and scoped out everyone's tattoos, watched artists paint palm trees, noshed on a burger at Shake Shack {watch out NYC!} and ducked in and out of lots of little shops.

Most of our meals were reduced to picnics on the beach and room service, {hello vacation with a toddler!} but we decided to eat out our last night in town. We landed at this enchanting outdoor oasis...


That is the name of the restaurant and, honestly, I wish I'd never left! It is at The Hotel of South Beach. The frozen mojito was delish! And it glowed! The service and setting was divine. And the menus were like iPads! Neat!

Turns out, a toddler + South Beach = fun! Who knew? 

And just like that our five days baking in the sun was over. We are now back at home staring at miles and miles of white outside of our window. And, sadly, this time it isn't sand. 

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Reader Comments (1)

LOVE these oics!!!!!

February 21, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersara

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