Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Welcome to Miami

Hello friends! I know I'm seriously overdue for a post, and I have a lot to share with you. Last Thursday I came home from a work day in the city and started furiously packing for my girls weekend in Miami for Nicole's bachelorette party. I thought about bringing my laptop and blogging throughout the trip like I did for Lindsay's bachelorette in New Orleans, but at the last minute I decided against it. In New Orleans I sometimes felt like I was missing out on fun times while sitting in the hotel lobby cursing at the spotty WiFi trying to blog about the trip rather than just enjoying the trip. So this time, I ditched the computer and decided to just live in the moment. It was a great decision, but now you'll be getting the trip update in a few doses over the next several days. :)

I left my house at 3:45 am on Friday morning, met up with a few of my best girlfriends, hopped a plane in Atlantic City and found myself in sunny Florida by 9:30 AM. Palm trees!

Talk about a great view. Heather, Cathleen, Lindsay, Abby and I all landed a bit earlier than the rest of the group (there were 13 of us total), so we took a cab to our hotel in South Beach, dropped off our luggage and snagged an outdoor table at the hotel restaurant overlooking the pool and beach.

First things first, fruity cocktails!

We stayed at the South Beach Marriott, and the service, food and drinks were all amazing. We wanted for nothing the entire time, and enjoyed pretty much every fun beachy drink they had to offer. The "Pineapple Smash" pina colada was one of my absolute favorites. Perfect for a welcome drink after a flight from cold New Jersey.

They were still serving breakfast when we arrived, but after being up since 3 am we all wanted lunch, so sat and sipped our drinks in the warm breeze until the lunch menu came out. I ordered the Miami Cobb salad with seared Ahi tuna, and it was delicious. I loved how light and refreshing it was.

The rest of the afternoon was spent laying by the pool enjoying the gorgeous weather, and then eventually we all meandered up to our rooms to get ready for dinner and a night out. The view from our room didn't disappoint either.

The Marriott is a little further down from all the action of South Beach, which I actually loved. We were within walking distance of a bunch of stores and restaurants, only a 10 minute cab ride from the nightlife and city lights, but right on the beautiful beach. So perfect.

We had 7:30 dinner reservations at a local Cuban restaurant, Havana 1957. Most of the restaurant is outdoors on a cute little cobblestone street with tons of shops and cafes, and they play Cuban music and have super friendly waitstaff.

They also serve a killer mojito. We all chewed on our sugarcane sticks like they were candy.

A few of us girls decided to order a couple appetizers and one entree to share, which ended up being a great idea since we could try a few different things but not get too full. 

First up was a shrimp dish with tomatoes, peppers and onions served with rice and sweet plantains. We also tried crispy plantains with a cilantro garlic sauce, which was SO good. We could've eaten the cilantro sauce plain. And we pretty much did, finding anything to spread it on until the dish was empty.

We also ordered tostones, which I've had in Puerto Rico and absolutely loved. They're plantains pounded out thin, then baked (fried?) into cups, and these ones were stuffed with shrimp and vegetables. Everything was tasty.

After dinner we hopped in and out of a few different places enjoying the Friday Ladies' Nights around South Beach, including a typical pub scene and then a "clubby" ping pong bar. Weird, right?

We had so much fun. How could you not with a group like that?

Our last stop of the night was The Clevelander rooftop bar for dancing. I am not a good dancer, but I love it anyway, and I spent hours out on the dance floor with my girls checking out the great view of Miami.

My friend Abby and I found a sweet spot to take pictures near a rooftop fountain, and were obsessing over the backdrop. Love those colors!

It was one great girls night out. 

And thus concludes Miami Day #1. More to come, but this chick is off to bed to get some much needed rest. Night!

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