And with the blink of an eye, tomorrow is already Halloween! I'm not even kidding, I jumped straight into winter from summer since I seemed to have missed autumn travelling between NYC and Orlando for the last 6 weeks for work. I actually just wrapped up the project that I was on for the last 6 months, which began in Boston starting in April and finally ending in Orlando last Friday. Without a doubt, there were challenges along the way, which include both the stressful work for my Boston-based client and learning how to manage a very heavy and hectic travel schedule. But with the lows were also some great highs like finding my favorite fitness classes and exploring new restaurants in Boston with perfect Spring weather. And who could forget casually heading into Disney Springs or Universal City walk for dinner after a day at the office in Orlando? I have actually been to Disney World about 5 times in my life, but no matter how you put it, coming here for work is definitely no walk in the park (if you catch my drift).
In many ways, I am going to miss the routines I established in 2018, and I will miss my colleagues, who I inevitably spent way too much time with since April. Ending projects are always a little bittersweet, and even though I will most likely never work the the same team again, I do know that this world is a small place, and I will end up working and seeing the same people again over the years. Until then, it's time to ground myself in NYC for a little bit before being scooped up for my next gig and traveling again for fun (I'm already planning for December!)
So how did I end up in Fort Lauderdale? Long story short, I was already in Orlando for work during the week, and Blake wanted to come down to FL and Miami for both work-related reasons and to visit one of his best friends. I ended up catching a ride from Orlando with my co-worker who lives in FL with his family and Blake caught a flight down here Thursday evening. Funny enough, my cousin tagged a photo of a key lime pie from Coconuts on her Insta stories, and it turns out she was here for the week for work and was staying at the Conrad up the road from me along the beach! We had lunch on Friday at Coconuts across the street from my hotel, filling up on delicious coconut shrimp, jambalaya, and of course that same key lime pie she had just two days ago. The 3 of us ended up spending the afternoon hanging out at the pool, chatting, and working remotely before she had to catch her flight back to New York. Guess what? She lives just 15 blocks away from me in the city and it was easier for us to meet up in Florida than it is back at home (go figure).
As a Fort Lauderdale newbie, I didn't really know what to expect from this city. It's not quite Miami, and definitely very different from Orlando, which were the only two places I could really use as bench marks. I loved exploring Las Olas and dreaming of owning a yacht and mega-mansion on the water. I enjoyed checking out the restaurants my co-working pointed out on our drive through town when he dropped me off at my hotel (Cafe Europa, The Balcony, Royal Pig Pub). I also really appreciated the calmness of the beach, which had a much more tranquil vibe than Miami beach.
429 Seabreeze Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL
I rarely ever visit one place twice in the same year, except for Baltimore and D.C. to visit friends and Blake's family. So if I come twice within 4 months, it must be a special place right? I spent part of my July 4th holiday with one of my best friends, Crystal, and within the first hour of arriving realized that summer weather in Florida was NOT for us. While we had a great time exploring Wynwood and Vizcaya and lounging at the beach a few feet from our South Beach hotel, I knew that I would have enjoyed it much more without the 100% humidity. Luckily for me, I got to experience all of the Miami essentials again a few months later, this time with better weather and with the boys. Blake's best friend lives in Brickell, and though I have also known him for quite a few years, have never visited his neck of the woods.
Our time in Miami was pretty short, but within 24 hours we were able to check out Wynwood Walls, walk around Brickell town center, grab coffee and brunch in the Design District, and of course, eat some chicken and waffles at Yardbird (a Miami staple).
OTL, Miami Design District
160 NE 40th St Miami, FL
Michael's Genuine Food & Drink, Miami Design District
130 NE 40th St Miami, FL
Brothers & Brawlers, Pop-up shop
Raw Juce (Brickell)
900 S Miami Ave Ste 139 Miami, FL
Spontaneous trips are always the best, and I didn't mind an extra weekend of fun in the sun either. I'm currently writing this while wearing two sweaters and sipping on an extra hot oat milk latte, and I realize that I should never take the warmth for granted!! Until next time, Florida. You aren't as bad as I thought :)