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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Cuba Travel Diary

Surprise!

I’m in Cuba for a week enjoying the warm sun, ocean breeze, and unbelievable views.

My travels started off in Chicago where I flew out of O’Hare International Airport and into Fort Lauderdale for a night (a long night might I add). After sleeping on the airport tiles and five cups of coffee later, it was finally time for me to board the flight that would take me straight to my island destination. A quick jet over was nearly a hop, skip, and a jump – the flight to Cuba lasted only an hour and a half! I was very surprised it didn’t take longer and couldn’t believe how fast the plane went!

Anyways, this trip has been a once in a lifetime experience and although it’s not over yet…I wanted to make sure I kept all of you updated with a few fun photos! Here are some of my favorites from exploring around. There hasn’t been much to do other than snorkeling, eating, and soaking up this amazing weather! Sounds just absolutely terrible right?! Do I have to go back to Chicago?!

Waffles fruit and hashbrowns for breakfast

One of the first things we did on this trip was grab the perfect brunch. As you can see from the photo, I went all out. I definitely was not going to hold back on all the good stuff this spot had to offer. I started with this plate and went back for seconds, thirds, and yes even an early morning desert. Topped my “breakfast” off with some cheesecake bites! Needless to say, I ate good!

Little crab in the rocks

Caves on vacation in Cuba

There were a ton of tiny crabs and unique sea creatures at the beaches we visited. It was also super cool to climb into these rock structures and just explore. I sat here for about an hour searching for shells, coral, and sea glass to bring back home.

I definitely got pushed out of my comfort zone with snorkeling. Jelly fish and sea urchins were things I did not want to encounter. Alhough I tried to stray away, the little guys slowly made their way near my path. So scary!

Iguana in the trees in Cuba vacation

Taking rides through some of the mountains were where I spotted lot’s of iguanas. This one decided to chill in the tree tops. They act like dogs and are definitely not afraid of people whatsoever.

Bad and boujee sweatshirt on vacation in cuba

Long days out and about make me so tired. At the end of each adventure I’ve looked forward to throwing on comfy clothes and watching the waves from our room. This trip has made be feel extra bad and boujee + peep my sweatshirt from Shop Abby Lee! It’s extremely comfortable and has been my go-to for traveling lately. Click the photo above to scoop yours or just check them out on Instagram @shop.abbylee!

Like I said above, I still can’t believe I’m actually here, in Cuba! What is your dream vacation?! Leave a comment below and let me know!

See you in my next post!

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The Travel Essentials Everyone Needs

This past weekend was a hectic one guys! I took a little trip to see the hubby and boy was it a journey. The few days I was there was filled with love, activities, and relaxation. But the plane hopping and flying I did prior wasn’t fun at all! I realized how many things I had left out of my carry on and thought about everything I should have brought with me. I could have made my life 10 times easier!

So, I decided to put together this post in an effort to help some of you! These are my must-have travel essentials for a successful vacay!

Swell Bottle

This first one is so obvious I shouldn’t even be typing this but I’m just now realizing I forgot this on my last flight! Yeah, the flight attendants come around with their little cart full of drinks but those tiny cups just aren’t enough for me! I find myself getting very hot on planes and always end up way too close to my neighbor. My Swell bottle stays cold throughout my connecting flights and keeps me hydrated when I need it!

Laptop Case

My recent flight to Texas took a turn for the worst with awful turbulence and a packed cabin. Before boarding, I was asked if I wanted to check my carry on for free instead of storing it away on the plane. I opted for that option since I hate lugging around my stuff through airports.

Not realizing it, I completely forgot my laptop was located inside that carry on! When I landed, I opened the bag to find my laptop destroyed! Cracked screen and all. Long story short, I’ve learned my lesson and next time I’m making sure I’ve got my baby wrapped in a laptop case. Don’t take any risky offers like I did or simply remember to remove your electronics and valuables before hand!

Sweat Pants or Leggings

My favorite airport attire will forever be leggings or sweats. I’ve got no one to impress at the airport so looking great isn’t always my top priority. You can catch me hair up, hoodie on, with Nikes on my feet.

Passport or Boarding Pass Holder

I’m obsessed with these foldable wallets that hold everything I could every need. It’s bigger than other ones I’ve owned which makes it harder to lose! Super simple to carry around the airport and get out the things you need. Mine is from Michael Kors but I’m sure you could find a less expensive option at Target, Walmart, or other big box stores!

Portable Charger 

You never know when you’re going to need this item. I’ve found myself in so many situations where I’ve had to spare my phone battery so I could use it when I land. Don’t get yourself stuck in a sticky situation. Pick up a portable charger so your phone always stays full battery.

Granola Bars

I’m always hungry so a snack is always on my mind. To avoid spending ungodly amounts of money on airport food, I try to keep a few protein or granola bars in my purse. It keeps me full until I can find a more affordable option!

Beach Spray

When I travel, I hate getting up to do my hair. A beach or sea salt spray is always in my bag because it keeps the hair tamed without heat! This is my #1 solution to looking presentable while I’m on the move.


Running Shoes

My Nikes to be exact. There’s nothing nicer to wear during those runs to your terminal. It’s been pretty clear throughout this post that I’m focused 100% on being comfy and sprinting through the airport in intolerable shoes is not one of them!

Polaroid

Of course, we all have phones to take photos off of during flight. If you want to step it up a notch though I suggest bringing on a Polaroid. They’re light and convenient to whip out when you need it. I love having this on me just in case my phone loses its power and I want to snap a pic of something!


Burt’s Bees Chapstick

Long flights can dry out your skin and lips so I always try to make sure I’ve got a good chapstick on hand. This item doesn’t take up much room in your bag and does wonders for something you may not think about!

Gum

Ears popping isn’t fun so make sure to carry your favorite pack of gum to prevent that from happening. I always regret not bringing this on the plane when I’m already in the air. It’s such a bummer not to have!

So, what’s your must have travel item? Going on any trips in the near future? In June, I’ll be headed to West Virginia for a quick few days! Any suggestions on what I should do there? The next time I travel I’ll be able to quickly look back at this pre-made list and hopefully not forget a thing! Let me know in the comments or on my other social accounts if this post was helpful to you!

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