So Friday we picked up our rental car (boy oh boy, Brad has never looked sexier than behind the wheel of that Kia Spectra!) and headed down to South Beach, where we were staying at the Hotel St. Augustine. It was a tiny little boutique hotel, two blocks from the beach and three or four blocks from the main strip on Ocean Avenue. The first thing we saw when we walked into the hotel was a big ole chocolate lab named Bailey, who hangs out in the lobby -- what a cutie! Our room was cute, simple (and a plain brown bedspread; I've come to fear the old-school flowery bedspread... a sure sign of germs germs germs). And it had the most... amazing... shower. Three shower heads -- and a BUILT-IN STEAM SYSTEM. I would kill to have a steam shower. Seriously. Anyway, it didn't always feel super lovely on my sunburn, but you can bet your ass I used it anyway. And it came in handy for Snotty McGee, who still felt like crap at this point.
Friday night we walked down Ocean Avenue and grabbed a quick dinner before heading in for the night. Brad celebrated with a $13 milkshake.
Saturday was our first full day in South Beach, so we of course hit the beach first thing ("first thing" meaning around 11:30 when we finally woke up). We stopped along the way to pick up some $12 beach towels that came in not very handy, so by 2 pm we were wet (I swam in the Florida ocean for the first time!) and covered in sand. Being covered in sand makes me cranky! So we left the beach around 2 and grabbed a quick lunch at the Pelican, a little sidewalk cafe outside, well, the Pelican. I made up for Brad's I'm-Sick-Water and got a banana colada. Mmmm. We went back to the hotel, showered the sand off, and headed back out to walk the beach. Turns out the beach is much nicer the farther away you get from South Beach. Funny how things work out: We went to South Beach in 2001 and stayed farther north and spent the whole time wishing we were down by the action in South Beach. Ha!
Brad Channels His Inner Caruso
Saturday night we decided we wanted sushi, and what better sushi resturaunt to visit than the one none for having "the best tuna roll in the world"? So off we went to Bond St. Lounge at the Townhouse Hotel. It was a small little hotel lounge with couches and comfy wingback chairs, dark and moody, and exactly what we were looking for. Now, I'm not a crabcake person (I far prefer a good salmon cake), but at the mention of goat cheese crabcake, I was all over that. My friends, if you ever see this on a menu -- order it. And the spicy tuna roll? To die for. Seriously. I've never had tuna just melt in my mouth... until then. Seriously, melted. Amazing.
After dinner we walked along the beach back to South Beach, until we got rained into Starbucks for a coffee and tea (Brad's poor throat!).
Sunday we started our day with a stone crab lunch at Joe's, which happened to be just down the street from our hotel (this is important, given the sad state of my not-ready-for-flip-flop blistered feet!). Lots of yumminess and mess ensued, followed by my first-ever piece of key lime pie (world-famous, according to Giada!). Mmm.
Then it was beach time! We decided to do it up right and rented some double-wide beach chairs and an umbrella for sicky pants. While I was still slightly skeeved out by the "clean" towel/sheet put on my "public" chair... it was definitely worth it. Have I mentioned yet that the weather was PERFECT while we were there? Record highs, sunny... beautiful. Sunday the wind picked up (and not just a mild breeze, either), but luckily we were off the ground so we didn't get too sandblasted. We could have sat there all day. Basically, we did. Around 4:30 is when the clouds and rain rolls in, so we headed back to the hotel around then to regroup for our big Miami Beach Bday Dinner at 8.
We decided on Tantra for Brad's (Basically) Birthday Dinner. It was uber hip and everything that implies... and being 8 pm on a Sunday, we basically had the place to ourselves (the waitress suggested we come back the following night, when it turns into a nightclub after dinner hours). While not the best meal I've ever had, it was the perfect celebration place, and the food was super tasty. Especially the Tantric Kiss. Of which I had three.
When it came time to order, Brad's dinner was a no-brainer. The filet, of course. I was stuck between the organic chicken and the lamb -- Brad suggested I go with the meal I wouldn't normally order, so lamb it was. Followed by chocolate cake, of course (with a candle for the bday boy!).
After dinner, it was time to go back the room and await the inevitable... Brad officially turning 30!
If Being 29 Is Cool, Consider Me Miles Davis
Monday morning (Brad's birthday!!) we hopped back into the Kia and headed north back to Brad's parents house. Pool time!! Ahh. I spent the afternoon enjoying some last moments in the sun while Brad finally got to get in a golf game (hoooooray!). We joined forces later in the evening and headed to Shrimper's for dinner. Hello? Fried clams? Sign me up!
This Is What I Call a Backyard!
Then it was back to Bob and Lynn's for party time. Dancing, dominoes, and cake, oh my!
Seriously, does it get better than this? Sun, good food, the best hubby in the world, and some pretty cool in-laws.
But man, did I miss my pooch.