Thursday, September 5, 2013

Babymoon to Miami

*Quick update: I passed my 3 hour glucose test with flying colors! This was such a relief to hear on Tuesday and I'm so happy. Thanks for everyone's words of encouragement this past week!
Party in the city where the heat is on
All night on the beach till the break of dawn
Welcome to Miami
Bienvenido a Miami
-Will Smith

Well, we didn't really party on the beach...and certainly not till the break of dawn - even though I was up at the break of dawn two mornings due to pregnancy back pains...does that count? Is that was Will Smith was referring to??

However, we had a fabulous vacation, it was exactly what I wanted and needed to close out the summer and enter my third trimester! Firstly, I loved our hotel and hotel room at The Sagamore. We had a great Suite with kitchenette, living room, bathroom and separate bedroom - the perks of traveling to Florida during the off-season? Low hotel rates!!

Our first full day in Miami we spent out on the private beach behind our hotel. We were up and out by 9am and were the first people there!! It was beautiful and nice to have the beach to ourselves for awhile. The water was so clear and very calm.

For lunch we ordered food from the hotel's restaurant and it was delivered to us on the beach! I have to say, their pizza was ammmmaaazing, and the chicken sandwich wasn't so bad either. Notice the book - review coming soon, I LOVED it!

We went back to the hotel room after lunch to relax and leisurely get ready for our night in Little Havana.
My handsome husband waitin' for a cab at our hotel
My favorite meal of the trip was in Little Havana. We had to take a cab about 20 minutes and as we got closer to the area, I was afraid that I was leading us to our certain death. I may have even googled in the cab "Is Little Havana Safe?" because some of the surrounding streets were starting to scare me. Once we got to the main street that is "Little Havana" I felt much better - it was a cute street with little shops, lots of lively music, and tons of cuban food.

We walked around the area before our dinner reservations at Catharsis. This restaurant has been featured on the Food Network for their "Dining in the Dark" nights (unfortunately it was uncovered in the episode that restaurant workers were messing with the patron's food and stealing things from their purses while they were blindfolded...but, I digress...) Dining is the Dark is a chance to experience a 6 course meal completely in the dark - and I think blindfolded. This is to enhance your other senses and helps you fully enjoy the food and develop your palate. They only do that a few times a year, so we were there for a regular, but fabulous, dining experience.

The service here was exceptional from the moment we walked in. The atmosphere was awesome; totally romantic, and the owner was sure to call us a cab back to South Beach at the conclusion of our meal. For dinner, Chris ordered the skirt steak and I had pumpkin risotto with sea scallops - oh. my. heaven! For dessert we had some sort of cuban flan, which was like a flan cheesecake, amaaaaazing! I can't recommend this place enough! This is a meal that I will remember for a very long time.
 
Sooo even though we shared the flan above, I couldn't leave Little Havana without trying the famous cuban ice cream shop, Azucar, down the street. They had a ton of unique flavors to offer and I really wish I could have tried them all. I settled on dulce de leche...because, "When in Rome". It was very good...but I'm not quite sure what makes this ice cream "cuban" as opposed to other ice cream, it seemed kind of the same to me.

The second day we were both nursing some sunburn - even though I had applied sunscreen...spf 30!! So we rented an umbrella with our beach chairs so we could get some respite from the sun. Under the umbrella, I could have stayed out there all day - there was a cool breeze and it was gorgeous weather! 


On Saturday night we ate at Larios on the Beach, which is Gloria Estefan's restaurant. They are in a temporary location while they renovate their original location and I'm pretty sure we were offered a limited menu because of the location change. I liked the outdoor patio a lot, and I enjoyed my meal very much, but Chris was a little disappointed in his pork dish. We also had delicious fresh squeezed lemonade with dinner.
Shrimp, rice and beans, sweet plantains

For dessert we got, what else? Dulce de leche...this is quickly becoming one of my favorite desserts, and this one did NOT disappoint:

After dinner we walked up and down Ocean Drive, the main street of South Beach and also considered the Art Deco area. This place was hoppin' - from dj's to live musicians and Latin dancers performing one after another at each hotel bar or restaurant along the street. Packed bars, and bumper to bumper traffic, it was quite the lively scene!

There was also a guy over on the beach making the most elaborate sandcastle I've ever seen in my life!! It was awesome, he had pirate music going and everything.


By Sunday we both had a pretty beautiful red glow about us...and were both in pain. A friend of ours from college had invited us to her son's first birthday party that day knowing that we were in the area and we thought this would be really nice to go catch up with her and her family. So we rented a car and spent the day at her and her husband's gorgeous home celebrating their son's first birthday. It was really nice! She also had a friend there who was pregnant, due one month before me, so we quickly became friends and had a great time swapping pregnancy stories. We didn't get back to our hotel until about 9:00 that night and started packing up our suitcase for our departure the next day!

Our flight on Monday wasn't until 3:30 so we had the morning to still do some things in Miami before heading out. I was up tossing and turning from about 4am on...so by 7am I had to get out of bed and walk around. We did a walk down to Ocean Drive again, and then walked back to our hotel on the beach. Morning walks on the beach are the best.

After showering and packing up to check-out, we were off in our rental car to Monkey Jungle.

At monkey jungle you walk through an enclosed cage and the monkeys are free outside of the cage (more or less). You walk around with little boxes of raisins for the  the various bowls hanging by a chain around the cage. The monkeys pull the bowls up by a string, eat the raisins, then put it back down for you to refill. It was really cute, except you could definitely tell some of the monkeys were big bullies and would scare off the little guys and take all the raisins for themselves. After witnessing this a few times, Chris and I began devising plans for him to distract the bully on one side "pretending" to give him raisins while I quickly fed the little guys raisins on the other side! They would feverishly pull up the raisins while checking over their shoulder to make sure the bully wasn't coming after them. It was cute, but really kind of sad to see...but I guess in the jungle, it's still every man for himself!

It was a unique experience, and we were done there in just under 2 hours. Worth $60 for the two of us? No. $30? Sure. This probably would have been more fun with kids...but unfortunately, my fetus didn't seem too interested.

And so, our babymoon came to a close and it was back to reality. I'm really glad we decided to take a trip before the baby came. We were able to relax, and more importantly, talk and reflect on some things together that we otherwise never would have done in our busy lives back at home. Let the countdown begin...

27 comments:

  1. Glad you had a great time in Miami. I need to go there someday. The monkey jungle sounds cool. Love how you took care of the Beta monkeys by distracting the Alpha. And I'm pretty sure I noticed some relatives there-behind the cages! lol!

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  2. It looks like y'all had a great time! Everything looks so nice, from the room to the food-- yum! Relaxing on the beach sounds so good right now. Glad you were able to make such good memories :)

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    1. I didn't realize how much we needed it until we were there, you know? It was so nice to relax, reflect and not be distracted by anything else. Totally wonderful!

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  3. Sounds like a great time! Love the pictures of the monkeys! Haha

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    1. The monkeys were hilarious! We went to a show where the gorilla did a ton of tricks too, it was hilarious!

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  4. I'm so glad you guys had a great time. You totally deserved the nice break. Looks like a fantastic time. And that food!!!! YUM!

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    1. omg I'm still dreammming of that pumpkin risotto with sea scallops...seriously! The break was def. needed, babymoons are a fantastic idea! ;)

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  5. Looks so fun! Glad you had a great time!

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    1. Thanks, it was def. a great weekend....one we didn't even realize how much we needed, until we were there.

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  6. Looks like you guys had a blast. And those poor little monkey's. I am glad you guys came up with a plan to get them food! And all of the food looks delicious!

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    1. I am glad too...I hope others who visit monkey jungle do/figure out a similar plan....It was sooooo sad to see!

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  7. SOunds like you had a wonderful babymoon and good job passing your glucose test, definitely a relief I'm sure.

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    1. SUCH A huge relief! It was the best news to come back home too!

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  8. Looks like a BLAST! I love when hotels have a little kitchenette.
    The hubs looks at home in Little Havana. Loved seeing everything you ate! Looks amazing. Catharsis is now on my to-do list.

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    1. Yea I agree..the kitchenette was so nice especially if we wanted to bring back some leftovers from dinner or lunch. Catharsis was amaaaaze-balls! You will love it!

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  9. Wow, what an all-around great trip! The food looks absolutely amazing! So glad to hear you passed the glucose test, too. That's awesome news!

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    1. Thanks, it really was the BEST news to come home to on Tuesday morning. We really enjoyed our time away, totally needed before the final countdown commences!

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  10. We're going to Florida in a few weeks for vacation too, but staying at my grandma's condo. It's our anniversary/baby moon trip and I cannot wait.

    Thanks for following my blog, glad you had an amazing vacation!

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    1. You're going to have so much fun in florida! I can't wait to hear all about it! Thanks for stopping by too!

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  11. Looks like such a fun trip! And that food looks SOOOO good!!

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    1. oh my goodness it most certainly was on all fronts!

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  12. I'm glad you had a fun trip!! I would love a beach day right about now!!! Especially Miami, I've heard the beaches there are gorgeous.

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    1. The beach was gorgeous - really clear and very calm waters!

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  13. What an awesome trip! Love the roomservice on the beach!! :)

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