Things I liked on my trip to Miami

I recently spent a week and a half in Miami with three close girlfriends from university—you know, those ‘5 years in the making’ reunion type of trips. We had a blast. Miami was definitely the right place for us. After the girls left, I stayed a few extra days because I was enjoying the place a lot for having all the three things I need when I visit a city.

The trip went really well considering we didn’t do much planning. We booked a condo at the Alexander Hotel and winged the rest. There’s so much to do and see in Miami that left us zero room to be bored. Even better, getting to do those things is actually easy. We booked our tours and day trips through the lovely hotel staff and dining was no problem, especially if you head to South Beach and just stroll along Ocean Drive. Brace yourself though when it comes to dining on Ocean Drive because you WILL be harassed by different sorts of promoters. You’ll have the restaurant staff who stand in front of the restaurants trying to sell you on their menu and get you to eat there. And the club/event promoters who will interrupt your meal to tell you that you should ‘go to Live night club because it’s T.I’s birthday and he’s having a big bash’ there. If you’re into clubbing and don’t know what’s good in Miami, forget Google, just grab a sit-down meal on Ocean and you’ll have at least a few options by the time you’re done your meal.

I really had a good time and loved Miami for its art deco, warm climate and coastal appeals. Here are my favourite things about the vacation:

YUCA Restaurant – we had been looking for a Cuban restaurant and settled for something less the night before. When we stumbled on Yuca while strolling around Washington and Lincoln Road, we knew it was the authentic Cuban delight we’d been craving. Reading the menu left us drooling and we couldn’t wait for the meals to come. I had the Plantain Coated Mahi Mahi and I don’t have words to describe how delicious it tasted. My friends were in love as well. YUCA stands for Young Urban Cuban-Americans.

Sheri Restaurant – I researched Nigerian restaurants in Miami before I left on the trip and Sheri was one of the popular results. I often look for Nigerian businesses in cities that I visit because I like to support my people wherever they are in the world. I was super pumped to try the restaurant. But things didn’t turn out as I had expected. First, the trip from Miami Beach cost us $48 on a taxi…one way. The taxi driver told us he’d pick us up when we were done for $40. We went with the deal. So that was nearly $100 to go to a restaurant where the total cost of our meal was about $50. I really wanted to go to Sheri so I made the girls take one for the team. To make things worse, I could only eat the pepper soup because I was sick throughout the whole vacation and didn’t have much of an appetite. I really thought I’d feel better and be able to meat a bit, but nope (stupid cold). My friends enjoyed the dishes for me. The food looked great and they had a lot of food choices, including suya. The staff were great and I had a nice chat with the owner, who informed me that we could’ve ordered and had it deliver for a flat rate of $50. Ooops.

South Beach – I enjoyed the South Beach area because I like being in that hustling and bustling kind of atmosphere…and the beach was two strides away. The area had a lot of restaurants and shops to choose from, and a great place to people watch.

Alexander Hotel – booking a place to stay was the only thing we did before we got to Miami. After thorough researching, my friend booked the Alexander Hotel. We booked it through a property management company and our loft was beautiful. It had water views on both sides (the bay on the right + ocean on the left), which you could see from the huge balcony and also from the bedrooms. There was a lot of space for four ladies to sprawl, including a full kitchen + living room. It was so beautiful that, of course, we didn’t want to leave. The staff at the concierge were very kind and helpful.

Tapas y Tintos – salsa dancing was another thing we were on the look out for in Miami. Our hotel concierge recommended Mango on Ocean Drive. We enjoyed the food at Mango but the music was far from salsa…it was too much of everything. One of the waiters told us about Tapas y Tintos so we paid our bills and headed to salsa our heart out on Washington + Espanola Way. Tapas y Tintos didn’t disappoint. They had mostly live music with a mix of some hits by the DJ. The staff and fellow dancers were very kind and willing to teach us. Fun was had by all.

Key West – at first, I was a bit disappointed with Key West because it lacked the long beach strip or even small cozy sands I had imagined. But I learned to love the place for what it had to offer. You might not find much of a beach in Key West but the amount of water sports is enough to keep you content. We all parasailed and I spent the remaining day trip on a tiny man-made beach with one of  my friends while the other two went snorkelling.

Private Boat Tour – one of my friends had been to Miami before and made a friend with one of the event/club promoters who now runs his own boat tour business. He gave us an exclusive tour of Biscayne Bay and Flagler Memorial Island. We stayed on the island for a bit and had a look around. We walked further into the island to see the monument and it was nice to see a few other people on the island, including two couples who were on a double date and had rented jet skis for the island. Our new friend also gave us a tour of the Millionaires’ Rows (home of the rich + famous). We continued the tour throughout sunset and it was such a beauty to see the Miami skyline from the water and during sunset. …and to think Biscayne Bay was on our list of tours we had plan to pay for.

Emeli Sande – Next to seeing my friends, going to Emili Sande’s concert was a huge highlight. The concert was unreal and she put on such a great show that after she finished and said her goodbye, no one moved. We all stood and sat there, waiting, clapping, and cheering for more. After a few minutes, the lovely artist came back on stage and gave us a few more minutes of her time. The crowd erupted. And you could see the long sad faces when Ms. Sande wrapped things up for good and people started to leave the theatre. I had a blast at the concert even though I went by myself because my friends left earlier that day.

Beach bumming – another awesome part of the trip was staying the extra few days after my friends left. Other than going to the concert, I did absolutely nothing but eat, nap at the beach and swim. It was the most perfect way for me to whine down after all the touring and walking about I did with the girls.

Miami is a beautiful city and I’m glad I got to experience the place. Have you traveled to Miami before? What are some of your memories?

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~ by omonaij on October 20, 2013.

One Response to “Things I liked on my trip to Miami”

  1. […] their taste buds have no boundaries. They’ve had Nigerian meals at my place and when I make us drive for hours just to go to a Nigerian restaurant when we travel. So I was surprised I hadn’t shared with them a link to All Nigerian Recipes […]

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