Bienvenidos a Miami! Molly and I were beyond excited to visit the Sunshine State not only for an escape from the cold grayness of January in Chicago but also to celebrate the wedding of our friends Ryan and Joanna! After a busy holiday season and some last minute work fire drills, the trip south sort of snuck up on us, however, Molly assured me she had everything all planned out….

Well, she was right. We arrived at MIA the evening of December 27th and after getting scammed by a fake cabbie for $60 to get to Miami Beach (remedied by Visa) , we checked into The Confidant Miami Beach and headed out for some dinner and drinks. We accomplished both at 27 Restaurant and were impressed with the food, beverages, and experience.

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Since I wasn’t due for wedding rehearsal activities until Friday evening, the next morning we decided to soak up the sun at the Confidant’s beach and pools. Both were well appointed and we quickly accomplished what all good Midwesterners do when we travel south in the winter: get a sunburn! Pink faces notwithstanding, we got our fill of vitamin D and by early afternoon headed to Coral Gables to check into the Hyatt Coral Gables and prepare for the the wedding rehearsal and dinner.

Pool at the Confidant

Rehearsal dinner was at El Novillo Restaurant and was excellent. We took in some post-dinner drinks with the groom until a respectable hour at Tap42 and hit the hay. Saturday’s wedding was picture-perfect and the after party went WELL into Sunday morning at Miami’s over the top clubs.

Feeling pretty rough on Sunday from the epic night before, we packed up and headed to Coconut Grove for our next leg of our trip. Molly had booked at Hotel Aria via VBRO which again, was a spot-on choice. After downing some amazing fish tacos from Lulu in the Grove we took a much-needed nap while watching the Bears game and then hit up Monty’s for fresh oysters on the waterfront.

Monday was New Year’s Eve and we were excited for some of our Turtle Lake friends who had been staying up in West Palm Beach to be joining us for the festivities. We spent most of the day chilling by the pool, hit up Havana Harry’s for a great Cuban dinner, and turned over the year in style with champagne and shots at Glass and Vine (one of the coolest spots in Coconut Grove!). Since the party is just getting started in Miami at midnight, we jumped into an Uber and ran the town until morning.

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Feeling incredibly hungover Tuesday, we were thankful that our flight was not until the following day. We spent the day enjoying the pool, ordering mediocre food and good beers from the hotel restaurant and watching the sun go down over Miami. After one last chance to grab some fresh seafood at Green Street Cafe, we reluctantly went to bed knowing the next day we had to return to reality. Miami proved to be a wonderful escape and we’ll definitely be back.

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