Natalie Rohman

A Chicago Girl Paving Inspiration

Come to Miami with Me!

My spring break is officially over and if you have not seen my posts on Facebook or Instagram, then you do not know that my best friend Alyssa and I planned a weekend trip to Miami, Florida. Now in none of my thoughts did I consider going on a beach vacation with my best friend for the first time. Alyssa's mom and my mom were with us when we were discussing spring break plans and we both had time off over St. Patrick's Day weekend. 

We kind of threw a dart on the map and chose one of the warmest places south of us. My freshman college spring break happened to be in one of the most popular locations and I wasn't mad about it! Living in Chicago, it still feels like December, so I was eager to fly out and meet Alyssa at our quaint Airbnb. 
This trip was definitely a trip of firsts. It was the first trip I actually planned alone and had to figure out where to stay and as far as our itinerary was, the beach was our main goal. Transportation was the main hiccup because we just planned to walk as much and Uber as much. I don't think I've Ubered more in my life—it really saved us, though. You can only walk all over South Miami for so long. 

We had perfect beach days and spent the first day at Hollywood Beach and ate at this awesome Mexican restaurant called Mamasitas, and all of the waitresses performed a dance routine for St. Patrick's Day. We got really tan (and sunburned), ate some ice cream on the beach, and enjoyed seeing all of the art deco architecture and neon signs which was something I fell in love with down there. 
We ordered sub sandwiches on the beach and laid out for a couple hours until we got too hot and swam in the ocean. This was actually my first time swimming in the ocean and it was pretty salty, but reminded me of Lake Michigan in terms of how calm the waves were. Also, I found a rotten coconut and would advise to not crack it open as it smells of rotten eggs and was an all in a bad idea to begin with. 

Besides the fact that it was much clearer and we saw a manatee wading in the shallow end, I was so happy with how we picked the beach to go to and avoid the crazy partiers. In the picture, you don't see anyone in the background swimming. The first night we decided to go to a nice restaurant for dinner called Billy's Stone Crab Grill which I got a plate full of scallops, more than I have ever eaten. 
I also was not aware that wall art and murals were really big down there, and I obviously had to take a photo in front of at least one. The first day Alyssa and I had walked all the way to downtown Hollywood from our Airbnb, stopped at a garage sale for some lemonade, almost stepped on some lizards, and got an energy smoothie for breakfast at this really swanky gym downtown. 
One thing we both really wanted to do was be immersed in some of the Cuban culture that is prevalent in southern Florida. We stumbled upon this restaurant called Havana on Washington Avenue. It was the perfect place to have our last dinner. They had huge mojitos and plantain chips. It was covered in twinkly lights and set the perfect hoorah on our last night there. 
We wished a little that we had started in Miami and stayed there, but being more north in Hollywood where our Airbnb was kind of showed more of the residential area of Miami and southern Florida. I was happy to see a lot of people speaking Spanish, as there is a large population of Hispanic people in Florida. I used my knowledge of the language to my advantage and met some really nice Uber drivers and locals. 
I will always remember this trip with my best friend and am so grateful that we got to share this adventure together. I feel more independent and empowered to travel alone now and can rely on myself to figure things out when I'm in an unknown place. It's amazing how fast trips can fly past when you're enjoying it. Alyssa and I were on the beach when she said, "We're gonna be on a plane home in a day," and I almost slapped her (haha). I enjoyed every minute! 

Comments

  1. It looks like you had an incredible time - I'm so jealous! The snow has only just cleared up this week but it is still windy and cold so I am dreaming of summer. x

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