It’s time to visit Miami and South Beach, Florida

There’s no time like the present to visit a  warm and sunny climate: Miami and South Beach, Florida, could be just what the doctor ordered for a mid-winter break from snow, ice and cold weather.

Most people, when they visit a new place, want to share their adventures perhaps with pictures and souvenirs of their time spent on vacation.  We felt the same way and purposefully didn’t book our flight back to New Jersey until 9 PM .  We wanted to have some extra time exploring Miami and South Beach after our cruise ship pulled into the Port of Miami.

We had friends staying overnight at the Savoy Hotel in Miami Beach so we accepted their invitation to spend the day and took a cab after disembarking from the Royal Carribean Majesty of the Seas to meet up at their hotel.

Lobby of the Savoy Hotel

Art Deco Lobby of the Savoy Hotel

The art deco lobbies of Miami and South Beach hotels are great viewing opportunities. We took the time to enjoy the decor and take pictures.  Mirrored walls, colorful pictures, art deco furniture, conversation pieces creates the perfect atmosphere to sit and have a cocktail before running out to dinner

Beacon Hotel Ocean Boulevard in South Beach

Beacon Hotel Lobby, Ocean Boulevard, South Beach

DINERS BEWARE:

There are a slew of outdoor restaurants on the main drag on Ocean Boulevard in South Beach, starting just one block south of the Savoy Hotel, which is still technically in Miami.

Every afternoon each restaurant on the strip offers happy hour specials: appetizers for $3.99 and huge drinks, the size of fish bowls, with  offers to buy one and get one free.   Unfortunately, at the restaurant we stopped at, the one for free is for the same drinker.    But we appealed to the waitress’s sense of fairness, that it would be impossible for us to finish two such drinks, and she brought over two drinks for the same price.

For five of us, we ordered two appetizers and a one paella for all to share.    Make sure that your waitress knows that you all want to share one paella because they seem to take upon themselves to order a larger portion.  If you are not specific, you will receive an abundance of food that you cannot finish and at a price you will not believe!  This paella cost, which we didn’t know until we received the bill, $225!   The total bill came to $337.  We had to wonder what happened to the traditional happy hour where the prices are supposed to be less than the regular?

Piella

Paella: delicious assortment of seafood and yellow rice

As the temperatures soared that afternoon, we made our way to the beach and pool area to sleep off our full stomachs before boarding the flight that would take us back to cold weather.

Miami Beach

I admit, I’m a vacation waiting to happen!   I am looking at all the vacation ideas Striped Pot writers have written to choose my next adventure.  How about you?  Which mid-winter vacation is on your agenda for 2012?

Until next time, bon voyage!

Photos:  Patricia Florio

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