Monday, November 19, 2007

Welcome to MIAMI

We had a great trip at The Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables. I didn't realize how close it would be to Miami, so we got to see a lot of Miami as well!
Our trip didn't start off so well, however. We had used our American Airlines frequent flyer miles for our tickets so we ended up having to drive three hours to the aiport. Fine by us...we enjoy quiet time in the car. Sometimes, it's the only time we get to talk without interruption from the little darlings. Anyway, about two hours into our trip I reached into my purse to get some chapstick. I noticed that my wallet wasn't in there. Frantically, I tore apart my carry on as well as most of the car. After a slew of four letter words and astonished silence from Dr. Daddy I was finally able to put together a legible sentence. "We have to go back...they won't let me on the plane without ID." F*ck, f*ck, f*ck. It was 9:30am and our flight was at 12:45am. Not an chance in hell we'd make it back in time. I called the airline and luckily they were able to reschedule us for a later flight. Our three hour drive had now turned into a seven hour drive. Sweet.
Finally, we got back to the airport, made our flight, and landed in Miami. At which point I started searching for the info about our rental car. F*ck again. I left the rental car info at home as well! At this point, Dr. Daddy didn't even yell or complain. I think he was simply terrified that I, the one who is ALWAYS organized and on top of things, had lost two important items in one day. All he could say was "You're fired. I'm hiring a new travel agent." I couldn't remember which rental company I had picked off of so we just went to each desk, one after another, until we found one that had us in the computer. Finally, we figured it out and were on our way.
We found our hotel pretty easily. It was pretty close to the airport and in kind of a residential neighborhood so there wasn't much traffic. We immediately fell in love with the spanish/meditteranean style of the hotel. Gorgeous and so well renovated. After throwing our junk in our room we set off to find the restaurant. I needed a glass of wine in a wicked way. We found the restaurant and I ordered my $15! glass of wine. Welcome to Miami.
Next day, we played tennis and then went shopping. We ate at one of my favorite restaurants, Mariposa at Neiman Marcus. I love the Neiman's restaurants because I always know that whatever city we're in, it's going to taste great. The popovers and strawberry butter alone are enough to send me into a carb and fat frenzy. Luckily, Dr. Daddy loves to shop and people watch. Well, not so much on the shopping but he does love to people watch.
The next several days were more of the same. Tennis, shopping and eating. I did manage to pick up an adorable Milly dress and my favorite Tory Burch flats in a black patent at the Neiman's in Bal Harbour. The dress is much longer on me, since I'm only 5'3". Here, we had lunch at the Zodiac Room at Neiman Marcus. (are we noticing a pattern here?).

I was astounded at the number of bad nosejobs and ridiculous lip injections that we saw at Bal Harbour. I can't understand how, if you have THAT much money, you are incapable of finding a good plastic surgeon?! Do they really think they look GOOD?

On our third night in Miami we met a really nice 29 year old guy at the bar while sipping $13! Mojitos. Welcome to Miami.
He was super nice and celebrating his birthday. He and Dr. Daddy got to talking and of course, it turned to politics and business. (it always does) This guy was fascinating, though. He was Cuban and his family had come to Miami when he was 6 to escape Fidel Castro. He gave us a real education about Miami and how the Cubans have pretty much come in and "taken over" the city, but in a good way. They are quite the capitalistic, productive bunch I tell ya'. As someone who has lived in Texas and felt the pain of the immigration issuse there, it was nice to see that there was another side of the story that was really encouraging. Up to that point, I had been irritated that EVERYONE in Miami spoke Spanish and many did not speak English.

Alas, now we're home and Thanksgiving is THIS WEEK! I can't believe it. My stepmom and I made a command decision this year that we were not cooking. For me, this is huge. I always cook a huge spread of food. I'm just over it this year, I guess. We're driving to Richmond and Dr. Daddy, the kids and I, my parents and my three brothers are all going to Thanksgiving at the mess hall at Ft. Lee. It's an old Army tradition and one I'm happy to rekindle. Ft. Lee is home to the Army culinary school so the food should be amazing. And, at only $2.18 per person it makes all those $13 Mojitos seem well worth it!


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a lovely trip. I've really enjoyed reading your blog. A point about the difference between the cuban immigrants of the 50's and 60's and the current influx - the Cubans who came over during that time were the white collar professionals and landed aristocracy. (My godfather who was born in 1946 came over from Cuba during that period with his family. His father was a doctor.) That probably sounds horrible and classist, but I think it explains some of the differences in assimilation then and now.

magnolia mama said...

Wow - sounds like a fabulous vacation without kids.

And your Thanksgiving plans sound relaxing. I'm not cooking either. We're going downtown to have dinner with friends.

Anonymous said...

I adore your blog. I am a daughter of a retired Air Force Colonel and have spent many thanksgivings at Mess Halls while Dad served the young airmen. Your story about your Mom whom you lost after your wedding was inspiring. From what I have read, it sounds to me people who are friends w/ you are very lucky.

A friend in New Orleans, LA

Tickled Pink Designs said...

Your vacation sounds fabulous. I have never spent anytime in Miami Not sure it's the place for me, but sounds interesting. I am a little jealous of your Thanksgiving plans! I suggested having dinner at the club, but that got kiboshed pretty quickly! :) Oh well, I love to cook...

Anonymous said...

what a cute dress

PrincessSteph said...

I love Miami, I love Bal Harbour, I love Neiman Marcus.... I am very jealous of your mini break. We also have a routine when we go to Miami, up early for a run, pick up starbuck on the way back, sit in the sun, lunch outside on the patio, some more sun and a nap, and then shopping and dinner. sleep and repeat. I also have stayed at the same hotel and loved it. So glad you had a good trip. Happy Gobble Gobble Day.

collard green queen said...

ok so you forgot the rental car info and lost your wallet I am suggesting that you ask for the same thing for Christmas that I asked my husband for this year..."A WIFE"! you know to take car of all of those little things before a trip and take care of dinner...homework with the kids..ha ha SOunds like your trip ended with a silver lining ...and a great black dress I might add!