The Sweet Escape

I'm back from our trip down South. Do I have perfect timing or what? We saw a few tiny snowflakes start to fall as our plane was taking off and, from what we hear, it didn't stop the entire time we were away. Believe me when I say, I knew what I was missing and it made the escape that much sweeter. Sorry.

Our trip began in Miami. Besides being tantalized by the cubanos in the movie Chef, I've never had a strong desire to visit Miami, but when my parents invited us to stay with them in Daytona Beach, we figured we might as well see a major city on the way. And I'm so glad we did. Miami surprised me in the best way. 

The apartment we rented was in a perfect location in South Beach, a short walk from anything we could want: restaurants, bars, shopping, and, most important, the beach. The weather was 20-23°C most days, so we had plenty of time for maxin' relaxin' on the beach, with a beer in one hand and a book in the other. (Check out the paper bag on my roadie, very thoughtfully provided by the I ♥ Liquor store. All class.)

All that fresh ocean air really works up an appetite. We fully intended to cheap out on this trip, thinking we could survive on sandwiches and tacos alone, but we still somehow ended up at some trendy high-end restaurants, like Pubbelly, The Dutch, and Michael's Genuine (left). I have no regrets when it comes to good food. 

But back to the tacos, Taquiza (right) is where it's at. It's probably a good thing that we discovered it late into our trip because I feel like we would've eaten there every day. So good.

We also spent a day in the Wynwood area, a once-rough neighbourhood on the rebound thanks to the thriving arts scene. Sound familiar, Hamilton? Needless to say, we were in our element here. Our day consisted mostly of beer sampling at Wynwood Brewing Company, waiting in line at Panther Coffee, and just wandering the streets, admiring all the amazing street art.

In terms of nightlife, South Beach is as clubby as you would expect, but we managed to find a couple of places that brought back the class and sophistication of Miami in it's hay day. The Avalon was a refreshing break from all the thumping beats and aggressive hostesses along Ocean Drive. But The Regent Cocktail Club was my favourite: beautiful decor, delicious cocktails, and an entertaining live band.

On our last night in Miami, we got dressed up and hit some of the fancier hotel bars and lounges. You know, places where a glass of wine will cost you $25. Ha!

Oh, Miami, don't stop doing you.

Daytona Beach was the polar opposite of Miami, but not without its own charms. A four-hour drive north, it was definitely chillier, by four to five degrees, but we were lucky to get one beach day and some pool-lounging in. The rest of the time we kept busy with sightseeing in the area: walking windy boardwalks while reciting Forest Gump quotes, climbing the Ponce Point lighthouse, sampling wines in Flagler Beach, and strolling around the historic town of St. Augustine

It was also both me and my mom's birthdays while we were there. My parents are recently converted snow birds, so it was special to be able to celebrate together this year! Plus, I made everyone go to Blau for dinner, thus introducing my parents to tapas, and that was the only gift I needed. :)

Now we're back to reality, cold alerts and burying what's left of my tan beneath multiple layers of wool. But guess what? The first day of Spring is exactly one month from today, guys! We can do it!

And in the meantime... there's salt water taffy.

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