Aaron and I have been traveling together for years. We kept it local while funds were tight, but as we grew our savings, we were able to venture farther afield. Ten years into our relationship, we wanted to celebrate with something special, so we flew the farthest we had been to-date: to tropical Miami, Florida. (We hadn’t yet gone international; that wouldn’t come until our trip to Japan four years later. And fun fact: Miami is actually 200 miles farther from Portland than Hawaii, where we honeymooned.) It was one of our earliest major trips, and it only helped solidify our love of travel. We tend to vacation hard, and this was no exception.
The Miami area is a tropical paradise, popular with retirees and affluent individuals who’d rather spend their evenings aboard a yacht (wouldn’t we all?). It isn’t really a place I could see spending extended time, but it’s a great place to visit. And when we wanted to sample something vastly different from the Pacific Northwest, it was a great choice.
We stayed in the far more cost-effective Fort Lauderdale, but we spent many of our days wandering the pink sidewalks of Miami (honestly – everything is pink! the ground, the buildings, shirts, you name it!). This is a bustling city full of tank tops and flip flops (and people far richer than us). Dance pop tunes blared from the open shops lining the promenade, and those songs still remind us of that trip.
We couldn’t visit the area without a trip to the Everglades, and Aaron held a baby alligator! We nearly lost our hats on the airboat, and we espied many critters amongst the reeds.
We also drove the long highway all the way down to Key West and the southernmost point in the continental U.S. (I later learned the true southernmost point in the entire U.S. is quite contended). We then enjoyed the sunset before making the (very long) haul back to Fort Lauderdale.
We had so many things on the agenda. Of course, we explored both Miami and Fort Lauderdale on foot, just taking in the party atmosphere. We also made a point to get into the water on numerous occasions, wading, swimming, and snorkeling. The sand is white, and the water is remarkably warm.
Sometimes it’s fun to be a true tourist, so we gave it a whirl on this trip by looking goofy on a pair of segways. We also took the opportunity to visit the intriguing World Erotic Art Museum (WEAM) in South Beach. Aaron swore he saw Charlie Sheen walking along the street, and we danced to Will Smith’s rap beats on the strip.
And we can’t seem to take a vacation without including some sort of boat outing. In this instance, we signed up for a sunset cruise in Key West. It came with unlimited “sneaky tiki” drinks and picture-perfect views of the day’s dying sun.
Now, you know we only travel for the food, right? We ate in style in Miami, including a Hard Rock Cafe, a classy Hooters right on the beach, and the fancy Emeril’s restaurant in Miami Beach (seriously, the waiter folded my napkin for me when I got up to use the restroom).
We also attempted (and failed) to tackle a massive brownie chocolate monstrosity that was far larger than we anticipated and could handle. We took it easier on the small piece of key lime pie (how could we not?).
The next ten years
We had a lot of fun on that trip, and it was the perfect way to celebrate ten years. Now we’re coming up on our ten-year wedding anniversary (we’ve obviously been together a lot longer than we’ve been married), and we thought we’d celebrate with a quick jaunt around the world. I think that might just top our Miami trip.
Want to read more about our adventures in Miami? Be sure to follow our blog for all the juicy details coming up!
Have you ever traveled to Miami? What was your favorite part of your trip?
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