Miami, here we come!

In less than five days I will be swimming in the Atlantic Ocean and I cannot tell you how great it already feels! Even if this fall has not been that rainy in Paris, I love the idea of soaking up the sun and playing with the waves. The importance of annual winter sun therapy cannot be exaggerated!

Miami is a great winter destination for Europeans: beautiful weather including warm sea water all year round!

Miami is a great winter destination for Europeans: beautiful weather including warm sea water all year round!

When we decided to go away in late November, we hesitated between different destinations. It was not easy. If you want to be able to swim in warm water, and do not want to travel all the way to Asia or Africa, the options are quite limited for us living in Europe. We contemplated between Dubai combined with Oman, and Miami, and finally decided on the latter. Tickets cost more to Miami than Dubai (and I won’t be able to fly my favorite aircraft A380…) but seaside hotels are cheaper. In addition, there are great shopping opportunities in the US. Of course one finds almost everything  in Dubai, too, but who does not love American outlets? Especially when we are about to hit the Thanksgiving and Christmas sales!

I have been to Miami and Florida before, but for some reason I am particularly excited about it this time around. I am getting into my bling bling mode and searching my wardrobe for dresses with matching shoes and bags to wear. What I know about Miami is that no dress is too extravagant! After all, I will be competing with southern American beauties so I have to look my best (lol).

Part of my dress selection for Miami!

Part of my dress selection for Miami!

Ok, now that I have disappointed you with my superficial side, I am going to tell you that I won’t be walking around in high heels all day long. Our current plan is to stay maybe one week in Miami and then head somewhere else for the second week. If we run into Donald Trump and he is about to sail to the Bahamas (does he sail?), we wouldn’t say no to an invitation. We may also check out the Mexican Gulf (the islands near Fort Myers etc.), something we haven’t done before. We will probably return to John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. The last time we snorkeled there some people in our group spotted hammerheads! However, unfortunately and according to my knowledge, snorkeling is not possible at the moment in Biscayne National Park…

Art and architecture in Miami. South Beach is the world's most famous art deco district.

Art and architecture in Miami. South Beach is the world’s most famous art deco district.

So, I am a fan of Miami and Florida, yes. When I first visited Miami just over two years ago, I was prepared to stay just one full day in Miami and then head to the Keys for the rest of the week. I admit that I thought Miami would be too artificial, too flashy, and I would have never thought that someone as intellectual as I consider myself to be (second lol) could fall in love in Miami. But I did. I loved the beach life, loved southern American fusion food (Bolivar: South American Fusion Food in Miami Beach), loved the art and architecture, and the people. I have worked a lot with Americans in the past and I just love that simplicity, straight to the point attitude, and their marketing and communications skills. So, during our last trip we spent 5 wonderful days at the Park Central Hotel in Miami South Beach and 3 nights in the Keys. Such a wonderful trip  it was. That time it was for my husband’s birthday, now it will be mine. I am very confident that Miami won’t disappoint me this time either –how could it?!

Stunning view from our room at the Park Central Hotel.

Stunning view from our room at the Park Central Hotel.

What do you think of Miami and Florida? What would you do if the only thing you had booked was a Paris-Miami return ticket and two weeks of time?  Any tips on great restaurants, things to do, hotels (all categories), snorkeling, etc.? Share your pearls with me please and I kindly than you in return.

59 thoughts on “Miami, here we come!

      1. Miia Post author

        Believe it or not, I am not a big shopper in Paris. Cannot remember when I last bought new clothes… maybe it was in the US 😉 but I am excited about the outlet malls 🙂 Well, we would probably make two visits to malls –not that we would go every day!

        Art deco district is amazing. We didn’t really do Downtown Miami so maybe will check that too. I liked the architecture there too. Very modern but green too. Would like to check art galleries and Art Basel in Miami is going to be there too at the same time.

        And the sun. Cannot wait. It was such a humid, grey day today in Paris. How is the weather for you now?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. ImaginEcoDesignBlog

        Completely jealous about Art Basel…enjoy and post pics please.

        We’ve broken records for snow and cold, then had a warm spell with rain that melted it. Just have a few inches now and many grey days. Check this out for our weather…http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2014/11/buried_grand_rapids_snowfall_f.html.

        I love the snow because even when it’s a grey day, the snow brightens every thing! My only issue with winter is being cold for 6 months of the year. Happy birthday in the sunshine!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Miia Post author

        Such exotic photos 🙂

        I like winter too but I totally see your point. After all, I lived those winters during 20 first years of my life. I don’t think I could do it any more, at least not for that long, but I would like to have one or two weeks of REAL winter every year 🙂 At best, Paris has a handful number of days with snow, that’s all.

        You are right about the snow bringing light. When ppl say that the cold must be the most difficult thing about Finnish winters I always respond no, that it is the darkness especially during the winters that don’t have a lot of snow.

        Thanks for the wishes, cannot wait to see the sun!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Sue Slaght

    Wishing you a wonderful holiday! My daughter and I had a few day getaway to South Beach a few years ago. I loved the boardwalk where one could walk endlessly along the ocean.

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      1. Sue Slaght

        We were there in off season so the restaurants often had very good deals if you ate early. I do recall that the prices, especially for deinks, were not on the menu . Be sure to ask. We had two mojitos at $25 a piece! Painful learning.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Packing my Suitcase

    Go shopping yaaaay 😀
    I have to say that I didn’t like Miami as much as I thought I would… I liked Orlando better. But I really want to go back and give it a second try 😀 do go to the Bahamas and spend a few days there if you can!! Enjoy and have a safe trip!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Miia Post author

      Thanks 🙂

      See, for me it was the opposite! Let’s see how it goes this time.
      Why didn’t you like it? Where did you stay? Did you stay in the Bahamas or was it a day trip?

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. Packing my Suitcase

        It will go well, it will amazing 😀

        I dont know, just the atmosphere… I stayed at the Intercontinental Hotel, in front of the beach. I just didnt find it so awesome as people say. But I want to go again and do different things.
        The Bahamas is amazing, but I only went for a day as it wasnt something planned. I surely want to go and spend at least a week there 😀

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      2. Miia Post author

        You stayed where all the big resorts are? We stayed right in the heart of the Art Deco district (South Beach) and everything was right there. This time we may stay where the big resorts are, at least for a few nights, so let’s see if we think differently!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Miia Post author

        Sort of, meaning threw a couple of dresses onto the sofa (to be packed haha).
        Bought a cardigan to wear in the airplane so that I don’t need to carry a winter coat.
        Just came from the dentist, not so nice.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Miia Post author

        Ok, hotel booked for the first 3 nights 🙂

        The dentist was a bit weird. Either he is a bit crazy or he was flirting with me, could not figure out 😉

        Back to packing! Have a lovely WE 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Miia Post author

        Thanks!! Hope your week is going along well! It is cold in Europe, right? Here a mixture of rain, clouds and sun, but 23-27C so ok 🙂 Except that the wind is really too strong!!

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Packing my Suitcase

        Thank you… my week is ok… too dark and cold 😦 but its winter! At least there are lots of Christmas Markets to visit 😀
        Ohh temperature is ok there! I hope the wind gives you a break! I hope you enjoy your trip 😀

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      7. Miia Post author

        Sooooorry for taking time to respond! I am in shock since returning yesterday. What is it with this weather? I don’t remember Paris being this depressing in December!!!???

        Miami and other places we visited were not that hot either (and jellyfish stayed until the end of our stay 😦 ) but still much better than here 😉

        Have a great week!! Did your Xmas plans clear out?

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Packing my Suitcase

        Ohhhhh you are already back?? I know!!! Here is also depressing and I didnt even just arrive from Miami… so I can imagine how difficult must be now back in winter! 😦

        Oh no, bad jellyfishes! Im sorry about that… but its already good that it was better than Europe!! I hope you still had lots of fun 😀

        All ready for Christmas here!! 😀 and welcome back, no need to apologize for the delay, you were in vaca 😀

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      9. Miia Post author

        I know! Curiously 2 weeks on holidays goes faster than 2 weeks at home hahaha

        You are staying in Munich for the holidays? My parents arrive on Fri and the flat is a total mess….

        Liked by 1 person

      10. Packing my Suitcase

        hahaha I know, its the same with me!!

        I am staying in Munich for Christmas, and for NYE we are driving to Tuscany 😀
        Ohhh how exciting that your family is coming!! Did you do all the Christmas shopping yet? 😀

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      11. Miia Post author

        Tuscany, nice!!!! Great wine and food 🙂

        We got gifts in the US so that part is fine. But the prob is the flat, which is such a mess. It is like a hurricane passed by the house… Suitcases everywhere. And our outside renovation is still ongoing so our balcony stuff is inside… argh. And we don’t know if the renovation will be over by Xmas or not. We cannot see outside as windows are protected by thick plastic!!! Great…

        Liked by 1 person

      12. Packing my Suitcase

        Ohhh my really? I forgot that you were renovating!! Oh no… fingers crossed that it will be over by Xmas!!! But if not, don’t worry, Im sure you will do your best to organize the flat, and your family won’t bother, they will be happy to see you and be with you during this season 😀
        Good luck with unpacking…. I dont mind packing, but I have to confess that unpacking isnt my thing!!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Miia Post author

      Thanks and nice to hear from you 🙂

      Loving it here! It is just so easy here… compared to France and Europe… Miami is as great as ever. Art Basel and other events have started so the crowd is an even-more-than-usually interesting looking 😉 And the food! Eating South and Central American and Cuban, something Paris is not best at.

      How is life in Korea for you?

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    1. Miia Post author

      Thank you Nihar and sorry for not responding earlier but I took some time off from Internet!

      It was a great trip thank you. The sun, the warmth, the food….. It has been a bit depressing to be back since yesterday. It is as if those two weeks away made me forget what European winters are like 😉
      And not only it is humid and dark in Paris but also we have outside renovations going on in our building so we really live in the dark!!

      I guess you do have a lot of sunlight 🙂 ? What is the temperature like at the moment?

      Have a lovely week!!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. Nihar Pradhan

        Yes, it is always difficult to get back to our routines after such lovely breaks…breaks are taken to re-energize ourselves to do what need to be done daily, certain tasks are mandatory but routine in nature, we cannot escape this part of our living as we love the adventure and venturing into new things in life.

        I can understand the discomfort we face when the building is in renovation…yes, not a good time to be back home…nevertheless you have come back from such a wonderful trip, just recollecting those lovely moments can keep up the drive within…

        No, here the weather is cold, this is imminent peak winter…hide and seek by sun, as sky remains little cloudy…but when the sun shows it faces we all enjoy that warm sunlight.

        No at all for the delayed response, I could understand you must be on a break…great to hear that you had a such a lovely break…

        You too have a great week ahead…and lets continue to have such good conversations.

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      2. Miia Post author

        You are absolutely right but I always get depressed when I get back home from travelling… Especially when I come from India!! I find that India is a very balancing country that gives a lot of energy. It calms one down. The US is obviously very different but also a very positive country. Even my husband (who is French) is starting to agree that the national hobby of the French is to complain… And I find it so tiring and so not necessary!! Makes daily life (which is already difficult enough at times) even more difficult for no good reason….

        Enjoy the bright skies for me! Take care.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Nihar Pradhan

        I agree, each country has its own flavours to offer and it is upto us to go what goes with us…US & India, has something common but many things different to offer…if you like spiritualism, yoga, meditation…India has many things to offer in this area…US of course a whole lot to offer in terms excitement and enjoyment..

        Not yet visited France, a very beautiful place, a must place in the agenda…complaining I must say it equally high in India..

        Such beautiful places sparks and nurtures the creativity with us…

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      4. Miia Post author

        Do you think Indians complain a lot? Despite the poverty ppl seem content. Partially it must be the result of Hinduism? I have very rarely seen any kind of aggression and frustration. I have never felt unsafe either. Of course there are places that look and seem very busy, like big cities where traffic is horrendous, but somehow if one manages to look beyond, there is much more. Without naming countries, then there are places that have aggression in the air and it affects the daily life a lot.

        France is an old country with a strong identity. Especially when it comes to Paris, many ppl either love or hate it 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Nihar Pradhan

        Yes, as Indian we do and do little to solve the problem…as a country we have rich resources and high potential…we have left it to like that, we can take charge of things and make a huge difference to the world order…

        Nobody can debate on the culture and traditions that is strongly embedded in our mind and thoughts… yes, India is a very safe country and you have lovely warm people to welcome one and all…

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      6. Miia Post author

        Ok.. of course I don’t want to insist and give an impression that I know your country better than you do (of course I don’t 😉 ), AND I do agree that structural problems exist, but don’t you agree at least a little bit that a lot of “ordinary people” have a rather “let it be” attitude? Ok, I know this is a complicated subject, very subjective & personal, and all that, so I should say no more 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Nihar Pradhan

        Attitude matters and good attitude can change one’s fate and country’s outlook…it is how we as people look at things…

        As an insider we many times have a biased view of ourselves, we need feedback from lovely friends like you and we are always there to listen and improve ourselves…improvement is a continuous journey for any country…

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      8. Miia Post author

        As in many countries (everywhere?) there is a big difference between the state/government/structural behavior and the people… State should be there to facilitate people but especially during the times of crisis it often does the opposite!

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Nihar Pradhan

        Yes, you are right, state is suppose to govern not control and restrict the freedom and space for people to develop, design and create…they are the custodian of the society…bu many places the state dominates and decide the way the people should behave…

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Indah Susanti

    Hi Miia…just realize I missed this post on my reader – found your post on your FB page instead!!
    I am looking forward to your trip story in Miami..and so sorry to hear about the jellyfish! But I am sure you are having great time there!! Forget about the heels, your dresses are awesome! 😉

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    1. Miia Post author

      Soooorry for taking such a long time to respond!

      No worries, my Reader acts funny very often and it has happened several times that it is out of order during few days… Maybe bc of the updating they were doing?

      There were huge jellyfish until the end of our stay so even my husband who fears nothing and loves the sea just went into water once. I did not even swim, did not want to risk it 😦 Moreover, it was not that hot. Locals were saying that it can get this cold in January but rarely in December. We like when it is really hot 🙂

      However, still much better than weather in Paris!! I am in shock since returning yesterday. It is as if I had forgotten what European winters are like…

      Have a great week 🙂

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    1. Miia Post author

      Hey and sorry for the belated response! Had busy last days in Miami but back in Europe now.

      We visited the Keys last time and it was really nice. We were thinking of returning to do some snorkeling but the wind was so strong that it brought a lot of jellyfish and man-o-wars to the shores so we skipped the idea. Instead we visited the west coast. In fact the weather was not as hot and sunny as we would have hoped but of course it was still 100000 times better than Paris at this time of the year! It is depressing and I refuse to leave the house…. 😉

      Do you know FL well?

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    1. Miia Post author

      Kiitos kysymasta! Matka meni hyvin, mutta olisi voinut olla lampoisempaa.
      Olen ollut vahan kipeana mutta yritan taas pian palata blogin aareen….

      Onnellista ja tervetta uutta vuotta sinulle!!

      Ps let me know if you need translation help 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. Miia Post author

        Respect 🙂 ! Suomi ei ole helpoin kieli oppia…
        Vaimosi ei siis ole suomalainen?
        Kaytko Suomi Instituutissa kursseilla?
        Olen kotoisin Lansi-Suomesta ja asuin muutaman vuoden Helsingissa ennen ulkomaille muuttoa.

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      2. Miia Post author

        Lansi-Suomi = Yes, Western part of Finland

        Jos ajoit autolla Tampereelta Vaasan, ajoit ehka Lapuan oh? Vanhempani asuvat siella. Kesamokki on 45km siita koilliseen, Lappajarvella 🙂

        Hyvaa viikonloppua!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: New year, new adventure | pearlspotting

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