Welcome to Miami!

May 26, 2011

Why am I in Miami you ask?  Well the short answer is work.  The company I work for is doing a job in St Maarten the first week in June and my job was to make sure everything we need to complete the job made its way from Denver to Miami before it sets sail on a boat to the island.

I arrived late in the afternoon on Sunday, got checked into my hotel and was headed for the beach.  I got to spend a little bit of time at the beach, did some shopping on Collins Ave and then got ready to meet a new friend for dinner.  Dinner and drinks were in a very cool spot, Lou’s Beer Garden.  Check it out if you are ever in the area, it’s behind the New Hotel, which also would be a very cool place to stay.

Monday rolled around and our supplies hadn’t hit the warehouse yet, so I had the day to play.  I took a stroll on the beach in the morning.

Lifeguard Stand on the Beach!

Ate breakfast and checked some work emails on my balcony.

View from my balcony!

Then I headed back to the beach, in hopes the sun would emerge, so I could work on my tan and possibly take a dip in the ocean.

Trying to soak up the sun!

The sun did finally come out and I actually did take a dip in the ocean!  It felt like a warm bath!  Next stop was Las Olas Cafe, for the best Cuban sandwich on the beach.  Las Olas, is somewhat off the beaten path, bodega like and a cash only kinda joint!  All the signs of a great eatery, and I was not disappointed.  I had a cuban sandwich and an iced coffee, it was delicious.  Next I was headed to South Pointe Park.  It was a nice walk after eating since this park is at the very southern tip of Miami Beach.  It has undergone lots of renovations and has lots of really nice walking paths.  Once I got down there I was ready for a swim, so that’s what I did.

The pier at the very tip of South Pointe Park

After swimming I headed back to my hotel to get ready for my spa treatment at The Standard Hotel & Spa.  I had read rave reviews about this place so I just HAD to see what it was all about, so I booked myself a holistic bath and a Turkish Hamam rub and scrub.  I didn’t know much about Hamam, but am so glad I decided to try it.  During the Turkish Hamam rub and scrub you are bathed with hydrating coconut milk and gently exfoliated on the heated marble of the Hamam.  It was such an amazing experience.  Once complete with the scrub you are allowed to stay resting on the Hamam as long as you like and I took full advantage of that!  Then I moved to the cedar sauna and the sound shower.  After that was complete I was ready for my citrus detox soak.  It was perfect.  The whole Standard experience was an amazing two plus hours.  I highly recommend it to anyone needing some serious relaxation.

THe Turkish Hamam inside the Standard Hotel and Spa

After my spa experience I headed out for a quick bite at STK, which is located in the Gansevoort Hotel, then I decided to take a long stroll home.

One of the many art deco hotels on Collins Avenue

Once arriving at my hotel, I ordered some Pizza, ate and then headed to bed.  I had to be ready to actually work bright and early.

Tuesday morning I was headed to the Port of Miami to meet a guy named Mauricio at gate 3…..sound a little sketchy to you?  Yeah me too!  Turns out everything went well, but I was a little nervous the whole time I was out at the port.  Our equipment was in tact and ready to be shipped on Friday.  Next I was headed to another warehouse to check on the remainder of our supplies.  Once I arrived all was in good shape with that too, so by noon I was free for the rest of my trip.  All that wishing and hoping things would go smoothly paid off I guess.

I checked some work emails and again headed to the beach.  I swam and sunbathed and then decided to go do some more exploring.  I grabbed lunch at News Cafe, right on Ocean Drive, and then made my way to the Lincoln Road Mall.  I was on the hunt for a store called Books and Books.  Found it and wasn’t too impressed, maybe because it was 90 degress, sunny and I had just walked well over a mile and a half.  Sooooo, what did I do?  I found the nearest dessert I could and ate!  I had read some things about this place called Ice Box Cafe, so I thought I should see what it was all about.  I walked in, saw the most delicious looking strawberry shortcake and ordered it on the spot.

Yum! Strawberry Shortcake at Ice Box Cafe!

After dessert, I strolled the outdoor mall and started to make my way back to my hotel.  It was approaching 5 pm and I was exhausted from all that walking in the heat.  I made it back to the hotel just in time to catch and hour or so of relaxation before heading back out to grab some grub.  I read some reviews on the best dining in South Beach and hands down Prime 112 was on practically every list.  It was only 4 blocks form my hotel so I thought I may as well go see what all the fuss was about.

When I walked into Prime 112, I immediately felt out of place, but decided to just go with it, and sat at the bar.  Much to my surprise, the fist thing I noticed was a wine glass full of bacon for bar patrons to snack on.  Now that’s my kinda place.  I orderd a drink and then perused the menu.  Many many good looking things on the menu, but I decided to go with a tomoto basil soup with a fancy grilled cheese served alongside.  Two things, first I am probably the only person that could walk about in 90 degree heat all day and crave soup, and second I had not expected the serving to be as large as it was so I had also ordered truffle mac and cheese.  Both were to die for.

Bacon at the bar and a bucket load of parmesan truffle fries that my neighbor had ordered.

Since I was so stuffed when I finished I headed straight back to my hotel afterwards to crawl directly into bed, I needed a good night sleep. 

Wedensday came, and it was time to head home, my flight didn’t leave until 5pm so I had some of the day to kill, so first I grabbed some yummy breakfast.

Beachfront Breakfast
Then I rented a cruiser bike and rode all over south pointe park, by the pier, past the marina and back, it was beautiful.  Lastly I took a stroll down Ocean Drive before I had to head back to my hotel to pack and get to the airport.  I thought this picture was a perfect display of the art deco district in South Beach.
That pretty much wraps up the trip.  Hope you enjoyed reading!  This weekend I am headed to Sand Dunes National Park with some friends.  Can’t wait to tell you all about it!