On this adventure we discovered that Miami is so much more than sun and sand. We ended up with so many amazing photos from this trip that I decided to spit it into 2 posts. One about the beach, and one about the Wynwood neighborhood. Here is post one on the beach.
During the last two weeks of August you can usually find us in Florida on our annual trip to visit GB’s parents. Usually on these trips we like to take two days as a family escape to explore some place new. This year it was Miami. We kissed GB’s Sarasota family goodbye and spent the 5 hour drive across the state, daydreaming about all the beach time fun we were going to have. Months earlier, we had booked a beach front hotel in Miami’s Mid-beach area. You know the type of place with two pools, a poolside bar for the tropical drinks, and the chair and umbrella rentals right on the beach. It even has a guy who will set up the umbrella for you. Yes, we were driving across Florida, dizzy in our daydreams, on our way to the ultimate beach vacation.
Well… when we arrived, we found this; rain, thunderstorms, and an empty beach.
Not exactly what I would call our dream beach vacation. And not long after arriving SB started whining about what a drag this was going to be. It was clearly time to pull out a plan B. Thankfully, I had spent hours surfing TripAdvisor months ago researching the area. So we kissed the idea of lying around on the sand goodbye, and purchased three of the most boring umbrellas we could find to head out for a different kind of Miami vacation. Rainy day walks on the boardwalk, running around the Wynwood street art park, finding inspiration in Miami’s Art Deco building, and searching for amazing Cuban food. Let’s not forget finding a small piece of hidden paradise when running for cover from one of Florida’s monster downpours. Have you ever experienced one of Florida’s downpours?
Rainy day family walks on the beach with a beach bag full of umbrellas.
The morning after we arrived LB woke up early to watch the sunset from the balcony of the hotel room.
On the second morning of our trip we woke up to find the sun!!!! The lifeguards had just opened the beach and the cabana boy (on this beach he was more like a cabana middle aged man. But please keep dreaming ladies) was setting up the chairs. It did not take long for us to all decide to skip breakfast and go straight down to the beach with two coffees and a hot chocolate. Who needs food when we have the warm Atlantic for a morning swim? This turned out to be the best decision we could make. About an hour and a half into our beach adventure the rain came rolling back in.
Playing on the beach all morning with no breakfast left us all very hungry. Actually, it was more like starving by this time. We decided to venture out of the hotel and into the rain to find something for lunch. Just as we crossed the street in front of our hotel, Florida decided to hit us with one of its monster downpours. Desperately needing a place to take cover we ducked into the front patio of the hotel across the street. Surprise!!! Hidden here behind the trees was a little piece of lunch time paradise called Jules Kitchen. The place was adorable, and the food and service turned out to be absolutely amazing. Much better than the offerings at our bigger and grander chain hotel on the other side of the street. You can’t actually see Jules from the street, and if It had not been pouring rain, we would have completely missed this hidden gem.
Our last afternoon in Miami was again filled with rain. We packed up our bags and checked out of the hotel, but we didn’t feel ready to move on yet. We still had more to see and experience on this adventure and decided on one last stop before driving up the coast to visit GB’s mom. Cuban food! It is not something we see a lot of in the Pacific Northwest and trying it was a “must do” on our list this vacation. So to finish out our trip to Miami we decided to stop in the Little Havana neighborhood for dinner. The neighborhood turned out to be a lively mix of locals and tourists spilling out of music filled bars, or packed into restaurants for the dinner hour. This turned out to be a great way to end our Miami trip.
Dinner at Old’s Havanas. And a mural that captures the vibe of the neighborhood.
Rain or no rain, Miami had lots of fun to offer and we are all looking forward to visiting this city again in the future. Maybe next time we will get lucky and see a sunny beach?! Don’t forget to check out my second post about the Wynwood Neighborhood here. Wynwood was truly street art lovers paradise.