Over MLK weekend, Brittany, Kristen, and I stopped over in Miami on our way to St. Thomas for Amanda's Last Sail Before the Veil bachelorette party. You can rest assured that all lyrics within Will Smith's ode to the city were quoted at some point during our 14-hour stay.
We dropped our bags at the Freehand, located on the isle that is Miami Beach, got a few solicited and a few unsolicited recommendations from people at the hostel, and headed straight to the boardwalk, a place, as you can see below, we were very excited to visit.
Now, when one usually thinks of Miami, a few particular things come to mind:
- Cubanos (the people yes, but I mean the sandwich)
- Will Smith (we've covered this already)
- The Birdcage (ok maybe not everyone)
- Beautiful weather
Now, this last one really did not come through for us. There we were, walking around in our Miami threads, the wind whipping piercing rain drops at our exposed skin. So, we bucked up, decided to cab everywhere, and made the most of it by just hopping from bar to restaurant to bar. We had a handful of uber drivers while we were there and learned a lot about the city and its inhabitants from their experiences.
To be fair, that means what few pictures I have from those locales are dark and less than optimal, so I'll just summarize for you here what we did:
- Tapas at Bolivar- They were filming something while we were here which sounds cool, but was actually pretty awkward!
- Drinks at Ball and Chain- The hostel recommended this place and we loved it. Great drinks, cool vibe. Unfortunately, though, because of the rain, the salsa dancing lessons in the back were cancelled.
- Cuban food at Versailles- This place was a crack-up. I saw recommendations up the wazoo, and a lot of actual Cubans eat here, but it still feels like a cheesy tourist cafeteria. Great people watching, though!
- More drinks, at Bodega- Highlight! This place fronts as a taqueria, but once you go through the freezer door in the back, the space opens up into a large speak-easy type tequila hipster bar. It was seriously awesome.
- Exploring the bar at Freehand, Broken Shaker- turns out this is one of the best bars in Miami, complete with specialty cocktails, a pool, and Jesus candles. Who would've thought?!
The Broken Shaker
While driving through Little Havana, we turned onto the street Calle Ocho. Now, I'm as big a Pitbull fan as the next person, and I was very excited to finally understand what the hell Mr. 305 has been talking about when he yells "Calle Ocho!!!" at least a dozen times in each song.
We went to bed at a pretty reasonable hour as we had early flights and a whole bachelorette weekend ahead of us. In my uber to the airport at 5 the next morning, I shared with a French girl who had gone straight from the club to pick up her bag, shower, and head to the airport. #goalsfornexttime (Not really, just the idea makes me groan.)
Next stop: St. Thomas!