Well, I’ve fallen in love. And not just with a new city.

Of all the times I’ve visited Florida, I never questioned whether I’d seen it all. Between Destin, Clearwater, Orlando, Tampa, Fort Myers and West Palm Beach, I figured I had been lucky enough to experience the state of sunshine, humidity, white sandy beaches and alligators. What I didn’t realize is that I had been missing out on the main attraction.

Miami is the American paradise. Crystal clear water, soft white sand and a bright blue sky, the geography is what you pay for. In my mind, Miami would be a wild, Vegas-like city with a constant party anthem. The Fontanbleau had plenty of that going on, but there was still a nice, calm, relaxing vibe just laying by the pool or by the beach, hearing the waves come in and spending a day at the spa. It was definitely more relaxing than I anticipated. It’s really all about what you make of it. If you want to go out and party, you can. If you want to stay at your resort, relax, people watch and take in the scenery, you can do that as well.

| Fontainebleau |

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The Fontainebleau Hotel was fabulous. There are several hotel towers on the resort property. We stayed on the 18th floor of the Sorrento tower and enjoyed a breathtaking view of the pool, beach and enitre resort. On Saturday, 50 Cent performed at the pool and we were able to watch from our hotel balcony. My favorite features of the room:

-Jetted tub in the bathroom enclosed by moving doors-leave the doors open to see the rest of the room or close for privacy

-Mac computer work space-I was able to get online when I needed to easily and for not extra cost 😉

-The kitchen set up-there was a mini fridge, ice maker, microwave, dishes, silverware-instead of worrying about where to eat every meal, we were able to make a lot of “in between meals” snacks. Did I mention poptarts? We’re sophisticated like that.

-The balcony- sitting on the balcony and looking over the water or people watching was a favorite ❤

-The robes- funny to note this but I tend to be particular about hotel robes… some are too stiff, sometimes they smell weird. Sometimes I question whether they were washed after the previous guest. The robes in our room were a really soft, super stretchy material. They were definitely not the sexiest robe I’ve come across, but they were over-sized and basically swallowed me alive. I felt like a kid again! But damn were they comfortable.

| Views |

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On Sunday we walked down the Miami boardwalk. It was different than the California boardwalks I’m used to, the wide paved sidewalks with open views of the beach, roller blades and joggers. The Miami boardwalk is more narrow built with wooden planks and surrounded by tropical trees. Next time I’d like to go a few more miles down to see what I can get myself into. We walked over the Indian Creek bridge and got a nice photo break there. The hotel had a few charter yachts available for rent, I think the larger vessel in the fleet was around 150 feet? Seemed like they were going for a reasonable rate, perhaps next time we’ll take one for a spin for a day or two.. 😛

The beach was gorgeous and the waves were very calm. It’s been a few years since I’ve been on the Atlantic Ocean. I almost forgot what it was like to be able to walk hundreds of feet out into the water and it be impossible to stand. Although I could’ve ventured further out, I stayed closer to the shore. As I get older, I find myself more fearful of experiencing that first shark encounter and I’ll take drastic measures to ensure that never happens.

The rain came several times during the afternoons, but it was nice to not get completely scorched by the sun. I actually fell asleep during one of the showers. We had a nice little setup under an umbrella, so it did not bother me one bit. Plus, rain always scares people away, so it cleared up the pool and beach areas for a few hours.

The night views were gorgeous. With so many lights, the pool was entirely lit up. We snuck onto the balcony of Hakassan and got some great night shots. The view from the balcony in the evening was stunning as well.

| Tastes |

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There are several restaurants on the hotel property. I try to get a ton of pictures but always manage to regret not taking more. I kept note of the restaurants and cafes we visited…

La Cote: burger, pina colada

This was the poolside bar/restaurant. It was two stories and had its own DJ during the day. The bar was slammed but we got a table pretty quickly. Food was good. Pina Colada was…just that. A sweet, delicious, coconut-y drink. I watched the bartender pour just over a shot of Bacardi in the bottom of the cup and the rest came out of a frozen pina colada machine. Needless to say, even a child wouldn’t have gotten a buzz out of this drink…lucky for them I’m a sucker for anything frozen whether alcohol lives in the drink or not.

Scarpetta: chicken with vegetables, truffle pasta

This was the place you go for date night and pre-night-out-in-Miami eats. Classy vibe, everyone was dressed to the nines or for a night out. The food was pretty incredible. They serve a delicious assortment of breads before dinner. My favorite bread was a crossiant like bread with a small taste of cheese and bacon. Yum! The entrees were amazing, several ingredients and time involved in making these dishes. My only complaint would be the portions were small. Which in the end I was thankful for, there was no overindulging here.

Hakassan: Sunday Drinks

This was the most popular place. It was entirely booked but we managed to grab a drink at the bar. Asian inspired cuisine with hand crafted cocktails. I wish we could’ve gotten a table..next time!

Vida: Sunday Night

A more casual affair, Vida had a large variety of options. Mostly American food. Their signature dish was a family style pick your meat and vegetables plate, served with several side plates and serve wear. A share your plate kind of meal.

Fresh: Monday Snacks

This cafe was just off the pool.. I may or may not have gotten a large triple scoop mint chocolate chip ice cream cone from here. My memory seems to leave me hanging here…

Michael Mina 74: Happy Hour-pink slippers, truffle popcorn

Happy Hour featured several delicious cocktails and craft beers plus free bites! Truffle butter popcorn…to die. Also, tomato mozzarella balsamic vinaigrette bites. Amazing.

| Travel |

I am a self-proclaimed Southwest Airlines lover and fan for life. But I must say how impressed I was by the American Airlines service, specifically on our flight to Miami. We got to fly in the new Boeing – 767. The seats laid completely flat and honestly there were so many directions, up, down, all around… I couldn’t figure out the controls. But I could’ve stayed on that plane for ten hours if I needed to. My fear of flying to Europe may officially be a thing of the past if this is the type of seat I’d get to sit in. Plus, one thing that may have helped: the wine pours were fat. My first “first class” experience, I wish I had been more prepared to drink up! Drinks were served with a warmed mix of nuts. To my surprise, the food was good for airplane food. I haven’t indulged in a full meal on an airplane since before 9/11, so I was happily surprised by the quality. Beef, mac&cheese with shellfish, cheese roll and salad finished off by a warm chocolate chip cookie.

Needless to say, I don’t think I lost any weight on this trip.

All in all, I loved Miami and I can’t wait to go back and see more. I’d like to send a special thank you to my sweet boyfriend for bringing me to a new city where we could get away from our busy lives and relax for a few days.

Until next time…