Wednesday, October 17, 2012


My good friend Melinda and I recently got back from a 5 day vacation in beautiful Miami. It was my second time visiting and Melinda's first. We did some planning in advance for what we wanted to do while there so we wouldn't waste any of our time.

We spent our first afternoon in Miami on Biscayne Bay on a chartered sailboat. It was absolutely amazing. Melinda had sailed a few times before but this was my first time. We sailed with Captain Nino and his wife Mabel from Sailing on Biscayne Bay. They are just wonderful people. I can't tell you how much we enjoyed our sailing and visit with them. If you have ever wanted to go sailing and are in the Miami area I definitely recommend sailing with them!

The boat we sailed on.

One morning we spent walking around South Beach. I needed to find t-shirts to bring back for our boys. We walked along Lincoln Rd, Ocean Dr, and Collins Ave and window shopped. I eventually found my t-shirts! These are great areas to people watch too! We also found the lovely little area on Espanola Way. We happened upon this cute little store owned by the sweetest Indian man. We spent well over an hour in the little store. They were having a sale and they had such beautiful clothes. He also offered us some Godiva chocolate while we shopped! We both bought a few things and were very very happy with the prices!

Our fav little shop!

Espanola Way at night.

On Wednesday night we took a food walking tour of South Beach with Miami Culinary Tours. We visited 7 or 8 different restaurants and sampled 13 different items. We had a group of 8 so it was nice. We walked and ate for about 2 1/2 hours but only walked 1 mile. It was very relaxed and easy to keep up. We also learned a bit about art deco. It was fun and we met a really nice mother and daughter from Wisconsin that had just gotten back from Cuba. They happened to be staying at the hotel next to us and gave us a ride back. We had walked so much over our first two days we were happy to rest our feet for a bit! This was a great experience because we ate at a lot of places we wouldn't have known about and hope to go back to!

This was at Bolivar. One of my fav stops on the food tour.

Another stop on food tour. He's making ice cream with liquid nitrogen. It was yummy!

Our last stop of the night at Milani Gelateria. I had the pistachio!!

A few other the other stops included some delicious ceviche, cafe cubano that was just the best coffee I've ever had, and a few other things I don't remember the names of.

On our last morning we visited Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. It was just a beautiful place! It was built back in 916 by James Deering. It almost feels like you are in Italy. It was a gorgeous sunny day while we were there. We saw a few brides getting their photos taken. You can walk all over the gardens.


Looking towards the house. You can tour the inside but no photos allowed. It is beautiful.

On our last afternoon we spent some time at our our hotel's spa. They had 1/2 price spa treatments that day. We had booked our times before we arrived to be sure there was space. I had a massage, while Melinda got a facial, and then we both got a manicure and pedicure. It was so relaxing.

After our fun time at the spa it was time to hang out in the lounge area outside. They were having 1/2 price appetizers which were just delicious!! We spent our last evening visiting with some friendly sisters from Ireland. Good food and good conversation make for a great way to end a vacation!

Ceviche from Essensia Lounge at The Palms Hotel & Spa

We stayed at The Palms Hotel & Spa. It was such a nice hotel. We had a superior ocean front room and had a beautiful view. We ate breakfast and dinner at the Essensia Restaurant located in the hotel. The food there is beyond delicious! Also the staff in the lounge and restaurant are top notch. They were so friendly and helpful. On their name tags they have the country or state they are from. So many people from all over the world. That was one of the best things we found on our trip. We met so many wonderful people. We used the bus and metrorail system and found people to be very helpful. All the people from the ones on the food walking tour, the couple also on our sailing afternoon, to the sisters from Ireland- they all made our trip so fun! It was such a good trip and I enjoyed having some girl time with my dear friend but it was nice to be back home with hubby and our boys! Can't wait to go back though! :o)

I do want to mention I won the 4 nights hotel at The Palms and the 2 plane tickets on Delta from a giveaway Orbitz did on facebook a few months back. Our breakfasts and dinners were also included at the hotel. All our excursions were paid for by us. We arranged all of them before our trip by finding coupons and discounts by searching the web.

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