Hello, hello! I’m fresh off a trip to Miami and had to sit down to write this and share our experience there. This was my first time to Miami but Jamie had been about 15 years ago. He didn’t know anything about this trip! I started planning for a surprise vacation for his 40th when he turned 39 last year. He’s not one for parties or being the center of attention so I figured money on a getaway would be a much better way to spend it. I arranged time off for him with his awesome boss. He was so excited to hear I was planning this surprise and was great about working with our travel schedule to make sure Jamie would not be needed those days. I revealed the big surprise the night before we left. It was fun keeping this secret but SUPER stressful!
We are beach lovers so I knew Miami Beach was where we needed to be when I started planning. I found a great boutique style hotel in South Beach called The Plymouth. It is beautifully decorated and I was so inspired being there. In fact, I was buying stuff on Amazon for our house to make changes when we got back, haha. The staff were wonderful from start to finish.
We had the first flight out in the morning and we flew direct so we were at the hotel by 10 am. We were offered a complimentary beverage of water, espresso or rosé when we arrived. A sweet bellhop, Manny, immediately relieved us of our bags. Since it was so early, our room wasn’t ready, but the front desk staff offered us a complimentary hospitality room where we could shower and change. We loved that! We changed into our beach gear and walked the block and a half to the beach.
At the beach, we were given 2 complimentary towels and beach chairs each day of our stay. We opted to rent an umbrella for $15 (daily), which was well worth it because the sun was strong. The beach staff were just as friendly as the hotel staff. We really couldn’t have asked for anything more.
During our trip, we spent a lot of time beachside. When we weren’t working on our tans, we did some sightseeing and a lot of eating! The nice thing about The Plymouth was that it was a quiet neighborhood but there was so much to do within walking distance. If you’re familiar with Miami Beach, the hotel is situated between Collins Ave and Washington Ave. A quick 2 block walk and you’re right in the hustle and bustle of Collins. We walked to dinner there most nights and did some shopping during the day a few times. We had dinner at Maxine’s, Taco Taco and Dolce. I love dining al fresco and people watching. We grabbed lunch another day at Liquor Lounge where we had giant Long Island Iced Teas and the best burger.
We took a lot of walks up and down Collins and down to Ocean Drive. The weather was perfect every day so we really lucked out with getting lots of outdoor time. We also took an Uber over to Little Havana. Visiting Cuba is on my bucket list so we figured until we get there, why not see the next best thing? We had a great Cuban breakfast at El Cristo. The fresh squeezed orange juice and café con leche are both a must!
Directly across the street was the Little Havana Visitor’s Center. It’s actually more of a gift shop than anything else. We bought some shirts and a jadeite rooster and even got to try some complimentary Cuban coffee. If you’ve never tried it, it’s sweet and STRONG!
On my Miami bucket list was a trip to Azucar for ice cream. I’d seen a lot about it when I was looking for things to do in Miami on Pinterest. I sampled the Elvis but ultimately went with Samoa. Yum! Jamie got pistachio and it was delicious too.
We also went into the coolest cigar store. I was so inspired by the decor at Little Havana Cigar Factory. From leather furniture to a vintage typewriter and lots of plants, it was a very cool vibe. There were so many different types of cigars to choose from. We don’t smoke cigars, so the staff helped educate us to pick out perfect ones for a present.
My favorite meal was on our fancy night out. I’d read about The Forge a while back. I’m a huge Burn Notice fan and learned about the restaurant when reading an article about Gabrielle Anwar (Fiona), as her husband is the owner. We took a nice, 6 minute Uber from our hotel to the restaurant. I’m still drooling over the decor in there….especially in the bathroom! It was the coolest restroom I have ever been in. I was in there so long admiring everything, Jamie thought I’d been kidnapped, haha! I came back laughing hysterically because I could tell from the look on his face he was wondering what I had been up too.
Our meal was nothing short of amazing. The portions are great sizes. I ordered a baked potato as my side and it was pretty much the size of Rhode Island. I’ve never seen a potato that big! Our waiter, who turned out to be from a few towns over from where we live (such a small world), even surprised Jamie with a birthday dessert. We left there stuffed and happy.
On the day we were supposed to fly home, we had a 9 pm flight. It was great because it gave us another whole day to hang at the beach. We checked out of our hotel at 11 am. They were kind enough to hold our bags. Our plan was to come back and use the hospitality room again before we headed to the airport. A few hours into our beach time, I got an alert on my phone saying our flight had been cancelled. There was a big snowstorm coming that night at home. I wasn’t upset at all that we had to stay another night! While I quickly worked to book us on another flight the next day, Jamie called the hotel to see if they had a room for us. Once again, the staff went above and beyond to accommodate us. Special thanks to Nicole at the front desk and our new friend Manny for taking such good care of us. We were able to spend the rest of the afternoon at the beach before checking back in and heading out for one last night (for the second time, ha!). This time our room was slightly different but just as cute as the first!
The next morning, we headed back to our new favorite spot, Joe & The Juice. It was just around the corner from The Plymouth and I was so excited I got to go there for a third day in a row. The Power Shake is EVERYTHING!!! Seriously, we loved it so much, we talked about looking into franchising one just so we can have it all the time. It’s that good. Try the Avocado Sandwich. You will not be disappointed.All in all, we had a fabulous vacation. It was great to get away and escape the cold and dreary New England winter weather. If you have any questions about our stay, feel to drop me a line. I’m happy to give more recommendations!