Things To Do In Florida: The Miami Area

Miami is a city of diverse people, culture, and architecture – my recent visit proved this! I explored tons of new places and spent a lot of time enjoying the Florida sun. Walls filled with art, good coffee, and awesome food was just a small part of my experience. This a post dedicated to finding the best of Miami and everything in between. Read below to find your next adventure!

Everglades Tour

The Everglades tour was the very first thing we did in Miami. Our tickets were less than $30 and included the guided tour, tickets to see an alligator show, and a free walk through on the grounds to see the alligators up close and personal. I will say the Florida heat did put a damper on this activity so make sure you lather up with sunscreen and where clothing that will keep you cool!

The Miami Zoo

The zoo was also something we wanted to take advantage of while in the Miami area. It was well-kept, clean, and filled with a great variety of animals. The $34 package for adults got us all day monorail rides, the ticket inside the zoo, and another ticket for a free animal feeding! It was an amazing deal!

Wynwood

The Wynwood area was probably my favorite part of the entire trip. The streets were filled with art in styles I’ve never seen before and the pieces looked like they came straight out of a museum. Definitely impressed!

Coconut Grove Area

Coconut Grove was where our hotel was located. We were walking distance from small boutiques, coffee shops, bars, and breakfast joints. It was less than a 5 minute walk to get to anything! I’d recommend staying in this area if you’d rather travel on foot than by Uber or Lyft.

The Mayfair Hotel

We stayed at the Mayfair and I just wanted to quickly touch on a few important points. The first, is that the building features beautiful wood detailing throughout and is rich in history. The second, is that despite the beauty, everything is very expensive. The parking was over $30 a day and the hotel restaurant wasn’t cheap either. In addition, I loved having the rooftop pool but didn’t like the fact drinks at the bar were nearly $20 a piece. That’s pricey compared to many other hotels/resorts I’ve stayed at. Would I stay here again? Maybe for a night or two but definitely not another week!

Good Eats

  • Monty’s on South Beach – right by the water, large selections of sea food and sushi, has a large pool and bar area overlooking the marina.

  • Morelia Gourmet Paletas – Coconut Grove area, gourmet ice cream pops, customer chooses toppings and dips, personalized experience.

  • The Stoned Crab – towards the Florida keys area, fresh seafood and experience is worth the drive, features live nurse sharks in their docking area.

  • Green Street Cafe – Coconut Grove area, extensive breakfast menu with unique takes on traditional french toast and pancakes, would highly recommend the coconut encrusted french toast and iced matcha latte.

  • Lokaz Burgers and Beer – Coconut Grove area, long list of craft and domestic beers, good food but the service took longer than expected, veggie tacos are a must.
  • Bianco Gelato – naturally flavored and organic, would recommend the coffee and hazelnut flavors.

  • Miam – near Wynwood, features light breakfast and delicious coffee or tea, would highly recommend the avocado toast and iced matcha.

  • Lulu – another Coconut Grove spot, the fish tacos and jalapeño mashed potatoes were tasty, try the grilled pineapple mojito you won’t regret it.

Quick Highlight

One day out of our trip, we chose to take a drive down to the Florida keys. If you get the chance…go! The people were much friendlier and the beaches were unbelievably beautiful! Snorkeling and chair or umbrella rental available everywhere if needed. Shopping and downtown area is lively!

Overall, if you’re looking for a budget vacation with the same feel as something tropical, Miami just may be your winner. With so much to do, see, and experience…it seems like there’s something here for everyone!

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Should You Change Your Blog’s Name?

I hope you can all tell by now that I’ve definitely made some changes to my blog. I’ve cleaned up what I’ve could, refreshed the look, and have shifted my content. Perhaps, only for my own personal preference. However, I try to make this site as relatable and transparent as possible which is why I wanted to come on a talk about why I’ve made the changes I have and more importantly why I renamed the blog “TheNatalieLynn.com“.

“Change is good”

So recently, I’ve been feeling very uninspired and when I feel that way I try to counter act it by trying a bunch of new things all at once. I didn’t like the content I was putting out and I hated how lazy I became. If the stuff I put out wasn’t 100% to my liking, I wouldn’t ever post it. Which is how it should be right? But what if everything I wanted to publish needed to be perfect? It just wasn’t possible and my blog kind of fell off for a bit.

I came to the conclusion just last week, that my blog name “ChiGoalDigger.com” had nothing to do with who I was today. It gave the feeling that:

1. I live in downtown Chicago (which shocker, I do not)

2. That I’m reaching towards something and being hella successful.

Ehhh. I guess the second one is true. I mean I do really care about positivity, success, motivation and all that stuff. But I am only human and I wanted to share more than just the ups with my audience. I want to share my lows, the highs, and everything in between. I really want this site to be a platform for what I stand for. Ultimately, the name just didn’t fit and quite frankly just sounded so unfamiliar to me.

If you’re in the same boat. If you feel like what you’re creating isn’t puzzle piecing together just right…try something else! Being relevant is one thing but finding something you’re willing to pour your heart into is another.

Fort Building 101

Totally nerdy yet completely cool. Fort building is fun no matter how old you are. On a night when Riverdale was set to come on, I chose to build a blanket fort containing pillows, fairy lights, and of course a fire place. Always gotta stay classy.

Here are just a few of my tips and necessities that I think you need to know when building your own:

1) Fairy Lights 2) Hot Stuff Mug 3) Fuzzy Blanket 4) Holiday Candle 5) Silky Pajamas 6) Slippers 7) Body Pillow 8) Inexpensive Tripod

-If you have a tripod, use it. That baby can go smack dab in the middle to make for a teepee style fort. That’s what I used and it worked great!

-Use the couch. The couch is your friend and will help make your blanket fort even more epic. Push your chairs and other building materials as close to the couch as possible so you have a nice back rest from the ground.

-Twinkly lights aren’t even a question. We need those. I got mine from Target for $8! Not expensive and really tend to set the mood!

-Pack as many pillows in the fort as you can! If you have a body pillow, use it! Those are the best!

-Comfy clothes! Get dressed up in your favorite pair of sweats, pop some popcorn, dim the lights, make yourself a hot cup of cocoa and enjoy what you’ve just built!

What’s the must-have item for your fort?! I wanna know in the comments! I’m dying laughing at myself while typing this post because once again, I’m such a nerd. Maybe none of you even make forts anymore?! Let’s bring them back! If you make your own from my little guide here, be sure to tag me on Instagram so I can see!

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