Thrive in Chapter Five, Embrace Your Journey

Self-discovery and Inspiration

South Beach, Miami

South Beach in Miami, Florida is known for its beaches, nightlife, celebrities, fashion and lively outdoor cafes.

My husband and I enjoy outdoor cafes and exploring local restaurants.  When we travel we don’t like to visit the super touristy restaurants.  We’d rather find the local ones that are off the beaten path. We love to walk along the beach and explore new towns.

Our teen daughters would rather lay in the sun. Miami Beach is great for all that and the people watching will never be a bore!

We stayed at the Miami Beach Resort which is along the famous Collins Avenue on the north end.  It was the first week of March. The weather was perfect high 70’s to low 80’s. It is located on Millionaire Row, which to find out is where the people live or go for calmness.

Apparently, in an area known to be visited by the Kardashians and by the looks of the streets lined with expensive sports cars, probably other celebrities as well. South Beach, just 10 minutes away is the artsy, lively, party area.

But, for a family trip — safety and calmness was what we wanted. Miami Beach Resort is simple. It wasn’t super fancy or expensive, but it was ocean front as well and within close proximity to the famous boardwalk.

There are so many things to do and see.

My family really enjoys spending time by the beach during the day.  At night we explore the town.  I’m fair skinned and at this point in my life I don’t bake in the sun anymore and my husband, a native Brazilian, isn’t  interested in tanning either… so we walked or biked on the boardwalk while the kids laid in the sun.

It is a very safe and walkable area.  There are free trolley rides and city bikes available everywhere, so we felt safe leaving them at the beach while we explored.

Brazilian food finds.

Our first evening out we took a trolley ride to Little Brazil. Here we found authentic Brazilian food and could hardly contain ourselves.  We never even made it to a meal and filled up on appetizers —  Coxhinas and pastels along with Sangria for me and Guarana for the kids (a Brazilian soda sort of similar to Vernors, but better).

Coxinhas and Pastels are typical Brazilian appetizers.   And, of course we had to have dessert — huge Brigadeiros. Brigadeiros are a very typical dessert. It’s basically small chocolate balls with sprinkles made of condensed milk.  

They are traditionally served at birthday parties and special events. My family makes Bridageiros as part of a Christmas tradition and we were so happy to find some in Miami!

We discovered that Cuban food is amazing.

Another night we ate at Sazon,  a Cuban restaurant on a recommendation from a local.  Apparently it too is a celebrity hot spot from time to time. It is located in the same area as Little Brazil and we had to take a short trolley ride to get there.  The trolley stop is located directly in front of our hotel so it was easy to hop on.

The girls weren’t that impressed with trolley rides, but Denyson and I enjoy public transportation, when it’s safe, on vacations because we really get to meet locals.

We have never had Cuban food but it was fanstastic!  Denyson ate some sort of steak served with plantains and rice.  I had a Cuban sandwich.  We also enjoyed chicken and beef empadanas and Sangria!

We had one day that it sprinkled a little and the girls decided it might be a good time to explore the Museum of Ice Cream, something they’ve heard about on social media.  The Ice Cream Museum certainly has it’s unique niche.

The entry tickets were a little pricey, but a fun and unique experience. It’s definitely catered to Instagram photo shoot opportunities for young people, but it had some good ice cream snacks to try, as well as, interesting decor.

Lincoln Road Mall is the famous street mall and after eating out we enjoyed strolling along the strip. It is very lively and lined with great shops and outdoor cafes.  The restaurants are a little pricer than along North Miami Beach but the vibe is there and it is an exciting area.

We walked each night along Lincoln Mall then decided to explore Ocean Drive, the Art Deco district where the infamous Versace Mansion is located.  The Versace Mansion was  sold and converted to The Villa Casa Casuarina after his death.

It is not available to the public unless you are a guest or a patron of the restaurant. It was still fun to see from the outside! This area was hopping too so it’s just fun to walk and people watch.

Another night the kids wanted to go to the Sugar Factory, famous restaurant they heard about through Social Media.  The atmosphere was lively and the drinks were loaded with sugar.

So, that was our trip.  Would we come back? Yes, we most certainly will. But, next time I think we will look for a condo to rent so we can spread out a little more and cook some of the meals on our own.

Where do you like to travel? What great adventures have you taken?  I’d love to hear about your recommendations too! Comments welcome below:

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