Sunday, May 15, 2016

{Miami} Flashback

Just call me the stow away wife.
Now that my youngest has come of age I am finding I want to sneak away and tag along on Tim's work trips any chance I can get. And I couldn't pass up this one! MIAMI!!!

Especially since we left in the evening on Mother's Day, I don't know a better way to continue one of the best days of the year for a few more days!

I grew up in Ft. Lauderdale, FL until I moved my 9th grade year to Atlanta. Sadly, I haven't been back since so this was a great opportunity to go back to my roots and share my memories and a bit of the Southern Florida culture with my husband.
The culture of Miami is very different from the OC. You can not only see color in Miami, you can feel it. The people, the language, the all reaches down to your soul and you just feel alive!

Firstly, priority #1: Cuban Food crawl.

I plan my daily itineraries, when traveling, around local cuisines. I LIVE for it! Near our hotel we found this restaurant called 5411 Empanadas. You guys, SO good.
If lunch was a foreshadowing of what's to come, I knew this trip was going to be phenomenal.

We ordered: {Beef, Malbec Beef, Chorizo, Black bean and egg, Sweet Corn, Bacon, dates, and goat cheese, Chorizo and patatas bravas empanadas with a side of chimichurri sauce.}

Even when sitting inside this restaurant on the street corner I couldn't help but smile. Listening to people, I should say listening to everyone, speak Spanish, the beautiful Spanish I grew up learning and listening to was so comfortable and refreshing to me. I've lived in so many places that I call home, Georgia, California, London, but this....this felt so good. Kind of like a reminder, of who I really am. What made me...well... me!

After completely satisfying our stomachs we headed straight to South Beach where the beach and people were beautiful!

Did I mention that there are really beautiful people here in Miami? I mean, goodness. 
After covering my husband's eyes a few times we headed to dinner close by for some more Cuban food. One of the best ambiance moments we had in Miami happened the first night at Havana 1957.
We sat outside under the falling Miami sun while the familiar sounds of Cuban music had my body immediately surrendering freely to its beats. I genetically can't help myself!

Tim and I both ordered the house special at Havana: Chicken, rice, black beans (amazing), sweet plantains (so good), yuca fritas...

I ate so, so much and I was so, so full but I really wanted to try their Tres Leches for dessert. I was going to make sure I forced room in my stomach! I grew up eating all sorts of recipes of Tres Leches so this was going to be the ultimate test. I believe I melted into my seat after every.single.bite. Even looking at this picture right now has my mouth desperately searching for a bit of a taste again.

On our last night here we ate at another popular Cuban restaurant called Versailles in Little Havana. It was definitely good food as well, but I have to say that Havana stills wins all around. The location, the ambiance, AND the food was just top notch there. 
After that we just went a little further down in Little Havana to get some ice-cream at Azucar Ice-cream Company. I ordered the Abuela Maria: vanilla, guava, cream cheese, and Maria cookies with guava sauce drizzled on top. So, so GOOD.

All this in addition to sleeping in, working out, reading, and just flat out doing nothing was the best R&R I needed. 
Now which trip can I tag along next?...


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