I’ve previously been to Florida about fifteen years ago and it was a Disney World trip in December with the girls. This time, it was with the guys for a martial arts seminar held near Fort Lauderdale & Miami in July.
Day 1: Miami Beach – As we arrived early in the morning after a sleepless red eye flight, I took the wheel in search of Puerto Sagua Restaurant where I planned our brunch/lunch to be at that day since one of the items on my personal list was to have great Cuban food, specifically a Cuban sandwich. Their Cuban sandwich did not disappoint and neither id the rest of the food we shared family style. The strong iced coffee really helped perk us up. And the Quattro Leches (four milk) dessert was a wonderful treat to top it off –>
The next item on the list was for me to go check out the architecture of the hotels the Art Deco District so we continued to walk along Ocean Drive where we stopped by the beach. I had one of the guys take a shot of me posing to showcase the vibrant pink watch tower that I had also spotted in post card photos earlier inside a souvenir shop.
We then came across Effusion Gallery. It was such a fun place to take a break from the heat. Posing in front of the store, it reminded me of the shots I took in my blog entry At the Grand Opening of Redemption (in case the outfit I was wearing looked familiar!)
Like Effusion Gallery, many of the deco style hotels have converted to souvenir shops and restaurants.
From there, I drove the boys out to the alligator safari (another item that was on my list to cross off) farther west into Miami. Here’s me on the safari boat on the everglades at Everglades Safari Park. I will say that staying covered + application of sunblock did help prevent sunburn!
It was a bit tricky photographing the alligators because they do swim fast! Here’s one I managed to take of one that was swimming with a portion of its head partially visible above the water surface:
After washing off the sweat from the daytime events, we headed out to Hollywood (the one in Florida) to scope out the Hard Rock Cafe there since one of the guys collects pins from various Hard Rock Cafe locations. Being the fashionista I am, I had to pose with this display of costumes of Lady Gaga + Michael Jackson + Madonna.
Another item I was able to cross off my personal list that night was having good key lime pie in Florida. We had dinner at the Bahama Breeze Island Grille where we ordered Rebecca’s Key Lime Pie. Even the guys (who were wary of trying it and ordered the rum cake as a plan B alternative) loved it and said it was better than the rum cake.
Day 4: Sunrise + Coral Springs + Coconut Creek – I did get to see the sunrise in the town of Sunrise, Florida early morning when I went to the 24 Hour Fitness Gym there with one of the guys. Quelle coincidence! Lunch was at the Falafel Bistro & Wine Bar in Coral Springs where we ordered their hummus + quinoa salad + Homemade Vine leaves.
The last item I got to cross off my list was visiting Butterfly World. I have definitely never been surrounded by so many butterflies flying around me. It seemed like it was even trickier than the alligators to capture them in photos. I did get a bit of an action shot when the butterfly I was trying to photograph started flying off but was flying towards me and startled me as a result.
I was able to purchase packets of seeds of the purple flower Passiflora Edulis <to the left> at the souvenir shop and seeds of another flower Passiflora “Royale” was also available and are rare seeds that can be purchased at Butterfly World.
There were other flowers whose names were a bit more straightforward-sounding like these yellow lucky nuts flowers! Though I don’t believe I saw seeds for them inside the souvenir shop…
The birds I visited were a bit intimidating as I thought about the possibility of them also flying at me while photographing them. Luckily, that did not happen!
Another great souvenir item I bought at the very end of this trip at the airport was boxes of Coconut Patties. I got a box of the Mango ones and the Almond ones. I liked them both and was glad I got them at the airport as I don’t know how they would have held up in the Florida outside temperature being covered in chocolate and all.
Since they came in boxes of nine patties (each patty individually wrapped) per variety, I took them out of the box and packed them in bags to give out as souvenirs so that I could include different flavors in the bunch rather than subjecting the recipients to only being able to enjoy one flavor.
To share some items I had on at some point during this trip:
I prefer larger lenses on my sunglasses personally and this one
does the job while staying classy! I was a bit hesitant at first to purchase these because I was used to wearing black tinted lenses but the world does look kind of romantic in sepia.
I had mentioned in one of my previous postings where I was wearing this cardigan that it was no longer available in the yellow color, but it’s actually now back in stock!
I know it seems illogical to wear this in the hot humid Florida weather in the summer time, but I strongly feel that wearing cardigans on this trip helped prevent me from getting sunburned and I cannot advocate it enough!
Click here to buy the cardigan
I feel comfortable but regal in this dress whenever I wear it. The color of the pattern also allows a bit of flexibility between pairing it with deep purple or blue colored accessories.
Surprisingly no bug bites on this trip – Just lots of bruises that look like bug bites from the seminar! I was also fortunate that someone discovered on the plane ride home that my phone had slipped out of my carry-on bag and to the very back of the plane as it took off Florida. It was of course announced over the loudspeaker and I did not notice the phone missing until I did check my bag to see if it was by chance mine.
Wishing everyone else fun & safe summer travels,