We are not cool enough for South Beach (but we had fun anyway)

The day after gorging ourselves on a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with the kids, Husband and I departed LGA to MIA bound for our Norwegian Getaway cruise.  Thanks(giving) to his Million Miler status,  one of our tickets was upgraded to First Class.  This is why Husband is awesome:  he gave me the seat.  Does he know me or what?  Happy wife happy life! The flight was short, so I would not have used miles for a first class seat,  but I have to admit it was comfortable and I enjoyed the flight.     Thanks honey!

We Ubered from MIA to our hotel, the Cadillac Miami Beach, located oceanfront in the mid-beach section of Miami Beach (about 1.5 miles north of the famed South Beach strip).  The hotel was newly purchased and renovated by Marriott as part of the Autograph Collection,  having opened about 8 weeks prior. The staff had a wonderful energy about them.  Thanks to Marriott promoting the new hotel,  we got a fantastic deal on a 2 night stay in an oceanfront room with a balcony.  We immediately enjoyed that ah-I’m-finally-on-vacation drink at the pool bar:

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Cadillac pool deck bar/restaurant
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Husband wears Sunglasses at Night

We’ve both had our share of stress over the past year, and this was our first lengthy getaway in quite awhile. Our cozy room led to a great night’s sleep after a hectic day.  I’m an early riser, and was greeted the next morning with this view:

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We greeted the day with a brisk walk along the oceanfront boardwalk on top of the dunes.  Other than that little burst of activity, we lounged by the pool and beach the rest of the day and were generally very lazy.  The pool was small,  but we had no problem finding a lounger.  We liked the artifical grass – it was less hot & slippery than pool tiles can be.

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We had a 7pm reservation at Gianni’s, the restaurant at the former Versace Mansion in South Beach.  The mansion, now called The Villa Casa Casuarina, has been converted into a hotel,  but anyone can dine at the restaurant in its courtyard.  To give you an idea,  a room at the hotel in January runs upwards of $700/night. This is a high-end experience,  so dress up and enjoy the service – it’s a great place for a special celebration, and we saw no less than 3 proposals take place!  Husband and I?  We’re just celebrating life and getting away from the daily grind!   We made reservations on OpenTable exactly 30 days prior to our preferred dining date – this is recommended during Miami’s winter high season.

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Gianni’s Courtyard with lit fountains in the background.
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Guests mingling in the central atrium of the mansion.

Now we come to the best activity there is in South Beach:  PEOPLE WATCHING. With its latin, party vibe,  South Beach is chock full of beautiful people doing beautiful things.  There may have been some fake boobs,  lips, and tummy tucks involved.

The Versace Mansion was just the start;  we made our way up fabled Ocean Drive to the Breakwater Hotel,  in front of which was a open-air  Cuban cafe with sidewalk tables called Havana 1957. The pictures below don’t really capture the vibe –  music coming from every direction;  open-top Ferraris coasting by;  couples (of all orientations) holding hands; scantily dressed dancers, bright colors and an endless energy.

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street life South Beach, view from our table at Havana 1957

We enjoyed a couple of “Ultimate Mojitos” –  these were very, very large and delicious drinks.  And we had a couple.  So the beautiful night was, shall we say, a little fuzzy  the next day.  We did get a kick out of a street performing magician,  who in addition to some great card tricks managed to remove both of our Apple watches without us even realizing it!  Glad he gave them back 🙂

Tomorrow:  We board the Norwegian Getaway!

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