Friday, October 12, 2012

Out and About outside of Philly: Miami, FL

Stretching my Summer at the Beach
It has been forever since I've posted. September blindly flew by without me. I think I'm in denial of the seasons changing and I swear I tried to prolong those last few days of summer, squeezing the very last bit of patio brunches, tropical drinks, enjoying outdoor fun, and soaking up the sun before we can officially deem it fall here in Philly.
I gotta say, I am kinda $&%* bummed to see summer go so soon. It honestly felt like the shortest summer in history. However, one of my favorite times of the year is here... Fall!
Apple Martini in B'more Airport 

So now I'm switching gears in preparation for these shorter days, chillier nights, making soups and stews, wearing jackets, hats, knee boots and of course snuggling up with something warm to drink in the evenings.
Also, I'm contemplating switching up my "do" to get done back into a short style. Yeah, I know, its ass-backwards: long hair in the summer and short in the winter but, hey that's what I like to do :-) But before I get to all that, I'd thought I would share with you my last hoorah of the season....a weekend in Miami just as I wanted to do all summer long but didn't get to do, so better late than never, right?

Small Plane from B'more to MIA
The trip started out rocky. My flight straight to Miami got delayed so I had to take a small plane from Philly to Baltimore and then from Baltimore straight to Miami so I got there a little later than expected. *Sighs* I always count on airlines to pat all of your goodies down, strip you of your clothes, shoes, belongings and dignity, then of course they'll delay and/or cancel your flight and screw you over just to remind you how much they actually care. But there was no need to get bent outta shape over it though. I was headed for sun and fun so I had a drink....or two while waiting.

After safely touching down safely, things smoothed out. The weather was great and I switched gears into party mode immediately. My hotel, the Harrison Hotel in South Beach was literally footsteps away from the beach. It was a tucked away, hidden gem away from the crazy noise, hustle and bustle of the more populated parts of South Beach. It was modern, relaxed, clean, quaint, nicely put together and perfect for me on this mini vacation. If you do decide to stay at the Harrison, make sure to see Valentina. She was an absolute doll!

Courtyard Lounge

Bussin a Grub
The Harrison Hotel also was sweet enough to provide me with 2 complimentary glasses of prosecco at this italian restaurant called La Locanda which is basically a quick stroll right around the corner from the hotel. They happen to make pretty good authentic italian pizza. I ordered sweet sausage, basil, mozzarella on mine, couldn't finish it all so I had to take it along with me.  La Loconda also had some eye catching, chalk art work on their walls.

Party never ends here
A quiet lunch at La Locanda was just what the doctor ordered to get me back on track from some late (as hell) night of fun at the Clevelander that I had the night before. *I owe a lot of this fun to a new found friend by the name of Kym who knew all the hotspots and really jumpstarted my night in Miami. Thank you luv!* The party never seems to stop there and thats why I ♥ them so! Good music, nice atmosphere, crazy drinks, lots of fun and a sexy crowd...what more can you really ask for....accept for more fun at both Cleavlander locations. I also got to party it up at the Cleavlander at the Marlins Ballpark.

DJ Genius & Khai
Pina Coloda w/ Extra "Luv" in it
DJ Khai spinning on the 1 & 2's
House Sparkling & Passion Fruit Puree
And...... I was stoked to see that even in MIA a piece of Philly comes along with me! Friend and I decided to get some vittles at GiGi's in downtown Miami, which I've never spent anytime in downtown Miami before so this was a bit of a change from South Beach.
I have a love affair for GiGi's in Philly. (I am 100% sure they are not associated with each other in any way) But I have to say the food and atmosphere in GiGi's in Miami was pretty kool too. I enjoyed the seating. It allowed you to watch the cook's every dish, move and preparations. I already knew that I would steal a few recipes for my own demises. Watching them make a variety of dishes made us seriously want to order everything we seen them make. 
When visiting GiGi's Miami, you MUST try the brussel sprouts and cauliflower with bacon and soy. It was really, really good and as soon as I got home from the trip I tried my damnedest to make it, in hopes that it  would be as good as I remembered it. 
GiGi's Cooks

Art Deco Tour Pics. So because my flight was delayed I was unable to execute my original plan of going on the Cocktail Tour around South Beach and takes you to different bars to drink. Christine Michaels which runs Art Deco Tours was kind enough to let me hope aboard the Art Deco Tour that took place the following day. It was most informative, the tour guide was kool and fun and I got to enjoy a libation along the way teehee!