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My husband and I recently took our 1st trip to Miami. When I told him I had to go for work he said he’d been wanting to go so we decided to make a mini Miami vacation out of it. Since we had some money in our vacation account (we have money automatically put in there each week- read more about How to Make Saving Automatic here) it made the last minute decision even easier. We are also very lucky to have my Dad who is always willing to take care of B while we are away.
Today I’m sharing some of the highlights of our Mini Miami Vacation!
Every great getaway starts with drinks at the airport.
For us it was Bloody Marys at ReBar near our gate.
Once we boarded it was time for the obligatory plane selfie. We were excited to get away and spend some quality time together.
Stanton South Beach Marriott
Once we landed we took a taxi to our hotel on South Beach. This was the only taxi we took the whole time. The hotel staff suggested Uber and it proved to be much cheaper. The cab ride from the airport to the hotel was $33 while the Uber we took from the hotel to the airport was only $11.
We also learned some new things about Uber (read more about Things to Know Before You Uber here). In Miami they have ride sharing. You choose how many seats you need and if there is room they will pick up other passengers and you pay a lower fare. We chose the ride share option every time but only picked up extra people twice.
We stayed at the Stanton South Beach Marriott. We wanted a hotel on the beach with a Miami vibe but didn’t want to end up somewhere funky and chose to go with a brand we know and trust. I loved the retro style of the Stanton which is in the Art Deco District. It was really neat to see all the old buildings kept up.
Room With A View
We paid a little more to get a room with an ocean view but it was totally worth it. It was nice to relax and just take in the view.
The rooms have a clean modern vibe and make the most of the small space.
The marble finishes and rainforest shower were nice touches in the bathroom.
I also liked the retro feel of the sink lighting.
And the Miami feel of the artwork.
Lunch By The Ocean
Once we unpacked we headed down to the patio of the hotel’s restaurant Deco Blue, and grabbed a seat in the sun for some lunch.
The view was amazing and so was the food. The restaurant looks out onto the hotel’s two heated pools and hot tub. The pool area was pretty quiet and laid back. We ordered tuna tostadas and some salads. Everything was delicious.
After soaking up some sun we headed upstairs for a nap then got ready to take in the nightlife. I don’t think we were quite prepared for what we would see. We walked from our hotel down Ocean Drive. I loved how walkable everything on South Beach was.
Apparently Ocean Drive is the place to see and be seen. As my husband kept saying, “It’s just like what you see on TV!” It was a Sunday night so I can only imagine what Friday or Saturday must be like. From the parade of scantily clad people to the super expensive muscle cars it was a crazy scene.
We ended up grabbing a seat at one of the sidewalk restaurants to eat dinner and take in the sights. They offered us three drink size options: small, medium and large.
I got a small and chad got a medium. I guess they would have brought out a kiddie pool if you ordered a large. This picture doesn’t do the size difference justice.
We enjoyed the live music and people watching. We had to come up with a code word instead of pointing at the oncoming weirdness. Which included guys walking around asking you to pay to touch or take a picture with their snake, parrot or iguana. One guy had two snakes wrapped around him, ewww. My husband did take a picture with some dude’s iguana.
After we had our fill of people watching we walked back to our hotel.
The next day we headed to the hotel’s nicely equipped gym. My husband did some cardio and weights while I pulled up T25 on my phone and found space to do Speed 2.0. After we got our workout in we headed back out to Deco Blue for breakfast. The omelets were delicious. They also have a breakfast buffet and when I was looking some things up for this post found out they have a continental breakfast in the concierge lounge.
I felt a little guilty that we were enjoying the sunshine while back home in Houston it was flooding and raining enough to cancel school. Fortunately our neighborhood was not affected by the high waters and Grandpa was getting some quality game time in with B, everything from Chutes & Ladders to Madden on the XBox.
After breakfast we suited up and headed to the beach.
That water is so beautiful! The hotel offers chair and umbrella rentals. The lounge chairs were super comfy.
The best part is you have a flag to raise by your chair if you’d like to order food or drinks. We raised the flag to order lunch. I got the mini cheeseburgers and a mojito and the hubby opted for a sushi roll and beer.
People from all over the world visit Miami Beach which led to some topless sightings which is something I’m not used to.
After several hours in the sun we headed upstairs to shower and get ready to go out for dinner.
Dinner With A View
We chose to visit all the places our friends suggested. So, we Ubered to a really neat restaurant/bar called Shuckers Bar & Grill with great views of Miami.
We got there a little past sundown so we missed out on the daytime views. The restaurant is actually attached to a Best Western so unless you know about it you’d probably never find it. It seemed like a great place to hang out. It’s got an icehouse feel with pool tables, tvs and great outdoor seating on the deck.
South Beach Night Life
From there we headed back to Ocean Drive. Monday night was much tamer than Sunday. We stopped at Clevelander Hotel & Bar for some drinks and even did some dancing! They’ve got a large outdoor bar space and dance floor.
After Clevelander we walked down to Mango’s Tropical Cafe. This was a really fun place for drinks and entertainment. They had everything from dancing girls, men, salsa dancers, singers, and even a Michael Jackson routine on the small bar top stage.
After a night on the town we walked back to our hotel room to catch some z’s.
The next day I actually had to work which led to a pouty breakfast at Deco Blue. Getting out of vacation mode and into work mode in beautiful Miami was not easy. I Ubered out to my meeting in downtown Miami and met up with my co-worker. After a very productive meeting we Ubered back to South Beach for dinner.
We headed to Espanola Way which is a really neat street of shops and restaurants. It reminded me of Mexico.
We ended up eating at an Italian restaurant, Mercato Della Pescheria -formerly Nuvo, which is where a scene from Scarface was apparently shot.
The food was delicious, although a little pricey. My husband and I both opted for specials. He chose the sea bass and I opted for the lobster with risotto. We finished our dinner by sharing a slice of key lime pie. You have to when you’re in Florida!
We strolled back to our hotel via Ocean Drive. I wanted to show my co-worker the craziness of Ocean Drive but on a Tuesday night it was quite tame.
The next morning after wrapping up a conference call my husband and I walked down Collins Ave. and stopped for breakfast at one of the sidewalk cafes.
We even stopped in DASH the Kardashian’s store. I’m not a fan but it seemed like the thing to do. After that we cut over to the beach to finish the walk back to our hotel with our toes in the sand.
We spotted a jellyfish on our walk back.
Took one last look at the beautiful ocean and headed back to gather our things before we Ubered to the airport.
It was a really fun trip and we hope to visit again!