I very seldom take what most would consider a vacation. I take what I call “trips”, with packed itineraries. This was my first mini vacation in quite some time.
At the start of the year I made a 2019 bucket list of 6 items. At the top of my list, along with completing my Master’s degree, was to see Marc Anthony in concert. For those who don’t know, I am a HUGE fan and have been for many years. With a Puerto Rican best friend, how could I not be? I grew up hearing his albums playing constantly at her house.
He came to CT while I was in DC. And he wasn’t going to be back in my area until January! Which was too late. So I saw he’d be in Miami this weekend. And as if orchestrated by God himself, the flights were only around $150 round trip from my home airport. I’d usually have to fly from NY for that kind of price. I booked everything immediately. Like I’ve said, sometimes you can get lucky and catch a flight deal close to your departure date. In my case, it was booked only 15 days in advance.
This was a quick 3 day, 3 night, mini vacation. Much like my first visit to Miami this past January, I really didn’t plan any activities. But that’s okay. The purpose of this journey was to see Marc Anthony and to relax. And that’s really all we did.
We arrived Friday just after 23:00. So by the time we got to South Beach Hotel , it was already early Saturday.
We’d already scoped out Pizza Bar for late night dinner before bed. It was less than a mile walk from our hotel and the prices were reasonable. We ordered a couple HUGE slices of pizza for $8 each, and some wings. I must say, for a late night pizza joint, the food was pretty impressive. We weren’t expecting the slices to be so big and so tasty. The wings were tender, well fried, and flavorful.
Included with our hotel stay was a complementary breakfast at Orange Blossom. Though we wanted to sleep in, we had to be there by 10:30 to claim our free breakfast. This place had a nice modern vibe. Definitely somewhere I would’ve chosen to dine regardless of the affiliation with our hotel.
The complementary breakfast menu included yogurt with fruit and granola, pancakes, waffles, and a couple other continental breakfast items. I wanted something a bit more hearty, so I ended up ordering a made to order omelette from their regular breakfast menu. But they also let me add on the yogurt and fruit from the complementary menu free of charge.
After breakfast we changed into our bathing suits and headed up to the rooftop pool. A lot of the reviewers for this hotel didn’t like the fact that the amenities such as the pool, gym and bar were at the adjoining hotel, Boulan Hotel It didn’t bother us at all.
We relaxed and tanned under the cabana for the afternoon. Until we were ready for a late lunch.
When booking this hotel I had no idea that our favorite cafe from our trip to Iceland was right next door! We went to Joe and the Juice for lunch. So refreshing and so nostalgic. We headed back to the hotel for a nice afternoon nap before getting ready for the concert.
The whole purpose of this trip was to see my man Marc Anthony. The concert venue, American Airlines Arena, was only about a 20 minute car ride from the hotel. I’ve never seen such well dressed concert goers. The concert was everything I needed it to be and more. He sang all of my favorite songs from his first album. Songs I remember hearing played in the background at my bestie’s house when we were kids. I loved every minute of it.
Heading back we were in search of someplace nice to eat. We went to Ramen Burger but they were closed. The hotel concierge directed us to Sweet Liberty. I will say this place, though providing a full menu, was really more of a bar than restaurant. The DJ was poppin, but definitely not the type of place you go to sit and eat. I felt like the waitress was rushing us the entire time. No one else was sitting and eating. Everyone was up dancing or at the bar. I had a delicious beet salad, that was too massive to eat in one sitting. We headed back to the hotel, 1 block away, and watched some HGTV before falling asleep.
Our second full day in the city, we had no plans other than to head to the beach. After breakfast at Orange Blossom, we went back to the room to change into our bathing suits. The beach was only 2 blocks away. And our hotel stay included towels and free chair rentals at the beach. We made it half way there, and it started raining. Cold rain at that. We went back to the room to wait out the weather. But after about an hour we both fell asleep. We woke up to a grey sky with only about 90 minutes to spare before sunset. Darn you daylight savings!
Since we’re budget conscious travelers, we thought to check Groupon for any dinner deals that may be close by. There were several. It was really just a matter of deciding how far/close we wanted to travel, and what kind of food we wanted to eat.
We decided on The Front Porch Cafe. They had a $50 voucher for $25. We had an appetizer, entree and dessert. The service was also excellent. We dined on the patio in the early evening. It was exactly what you’d picture a vacation dinner to be. Just steps from the beach.
After dinner we walked around Collins Ave, popped in a store and redeemed another Groupon at an Italian Bakery for a sweet treat at Rosetta Bakery before heading back to the hotel for the night.
Monday morning we packed and headed to our last Orange Blossom breakfast. Our flight wasn’t until 15:55, so we had the hotel hold our bags while we headed to Lincoln Road Mall for some browsing. We spent a little over an hour popping in and out of stores. Just walking around and enjoying the 76 degree sunny weather. We then spent our last hour hanging poolside on the roof of the hotel before heading to the airport.
Minus the concert this was a very uneventful mini vacay. I’m only 1 month post graduation. I’ve got tons of resting and relaxing to catch up on. This was a great start. I can see why people from up north spend the winter months in Florida. The weather is perfect. Not too hot or humid. Sunny, and with a nice breeze, it feels like heaven.
Two more eventful trips coming in the next couple months. Until next time.