- Chantez et vous trouverez votre chanson -

Life isn't about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.
     -George Bernard Shaw

It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves- in finding themselves.
      -Andre Gide

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Finding Paradise in Miami

New York City is an awesome city to live in, and I'm so lucky that I've been able to go to school and work here over the past 7 years....but sometimes you have to get out.

By mid-March, the stressful and frenetic pace of life here combined with the 'spring that just wouldn't come' was making me grumpy. Good thing I have friends in warm places willing to let me visit! Though I was born in Florida and still have a ton of family there (in the Tampa/St. Pete area), I had never been to Miami. It was time.

For just being a quick weekend jaunt, it was action-packed. I got in around Happy Hour on a Friday night and we immediately went to a bar in the Brickell area - all the cool kids go there apparently. Right after we parked in the garage I got my first true taste of Miami - a guy wearing red suede Ferragamo sandals and white linen pants got on the elevator with his girlfriend wearing leopard pants. Ha! After hopping around to a few bars, we finished the night eating Cuban pizza, which has a softer dough and is filled with bananas and carmelized onions. I think I like NY pies better, but it definitely had a unique and interesting flavor!

Saturday morning we drove out to Homestead in the "country" of Miami and went to a Amish farm to pick strawberries. Who knew I'd be put to work on my vacation? The farm stand also had delicious milkshakes (raspberry-chocolate, mmm), amazing breads and jams. My favorite purchase? Hot pepper guava jelly - makes a perfect rub for beef, pork chops or chicken!

Then we were off to Schnebly Redland's Winery (pictured above), easily the most unique winery I've ever been to. No grapes here - instead they create wines from tropical fruits native to the region....avocado, mango, passion fruit, star fruit, lychee...the list goes on. I bought the Lychee Wine, which was sweet with a hint of carbonation and reminded me of a Riesling, and the Avocado Wine, a smooth white wine with a buttery, creamy aftertaste.

After hitting up a rooftop pool party and relaxing at home for the evening, we decided to go out on the town. Did you know that there is no set time for bars to close in Miami?! What a wonderous thing! I thought we went out late in NYC, but we left the house at 1am that Saturday and still had plenty of time out and about. I'm not really the South Beach-long line-huge cover charge-grimy bouncer kind of girl, but we did stop on Lincoln Rd. at Segafreda for drinks before hitting up Bardot, the bar everyone was talking about all weekend. Bardot did not disappoint! We got there around 2:30am and danced til 6am, easy. The music was so much fun, and switched in and out from awesome song to awesome song. We finally called it quits when we noticed people starting to mop the floors and clean up.

Did the night end then? NOPE. Time for after-hours breakfast! Instead of your standard diner, we went to a Spanish 24 hour restaurant (when in Miami...). Yep, the menu was in Spanish. I left it to my friend to order, and we stuffed our faces with Columbian hot dogs. So delicious! I woke up with heartburn, but it was worth it.

My final day in Miami was spent on a pontoon boat off the Biscayne Bay looking at views like the one at the top of this post. Gorgeous! It's weekends like this that make me wonder if I could picture myself living in another city. I can. Not sure if it will be Miami (although I'd visit there again anytime), but I don't think I'll be a New York City girl forever. There's just too many other parts of the country that I want to get to know! I'm not willing to settle down until I find my perfect-fit city. It's out there somewhere!

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