Spirited Wanderer: Miami / by Jessica Ballerstein

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|MIAMI, FL|

 

For those who know me fairly well, I love the beach! Especially a warm and clean beach. Now, of course, the tropical countries are known for those necessities of mine. However, if you want the taste of the tropics without dealing with passport issues, and/or paying tropic money. Miami is definitely the place to go.

 

Miami was always on my list but I was never pressed to go. Until my friend, Jojo and I were discussing possible places for her birthday in July. We checked out different cities in the US since Jojo's passport was expired (probably still is #shade). The only city that suited our budget was Miami. As much as I love traveling alone I thought it would be great to have a girls trip with the two of us!

 

We booked our plane ticket for July 3rd around May. We decided to fly out to Fort Lauderdale airport as opposed to Miami. This decision saved us about $100 in airfare. Win! Two weeks later we reserved our rental car & Airbnb which was also in Fort Lauderdale. Now you're probably wondering "I thought this blog was about Maimi?" It is shawty, be easy & be patient. The reason we stayed in the Fort Lauderdale area because it saved us a shit-ton! We also knew we would spend some time in other parts of Florida visiting friends and relatives, so our best choice was Fort Lauderdale. Now let the fun begin!

The Airbnb we stayed at was great for so many reasons but the number one reason was the fact that we were right off the highway. Literally just 2 minutes away from the place. The stores were less than 15 and Miami was less than 30 minutes. The next day was 4th of July, we drove down to Miami and it was very different from what I expected, which isn't a bad thing. Parking was surprisingly easy, but imma say it was luck. With the temperature being in the high 90's the first place we went to was the beach. Soon as I got in that water I decided Miami beach is hands down one of my favorite beaches! 

The water was so warm and not as salty as I expected. I was addicted to being in the water, I literally did not want to leave. Of course, during our time at the beach, there was the typical guidos and guidas showing off what they paid for. We weren't intimidated or put off by it, well I know I wasn't. I was showing off my food baby like there was nobody around. In the afternoon we made our way towards Ocean Drive to figure out where to eat for lunch. The 10 minute walk was definitely an incomparable experience.

The streets were crowded with people out to celebrate fourth of July festivities. Everyone was shoulder to shoulder. The restaurants and shops were packed! It didn't take much to realize the huge latin influence vibe to them though. In many of the resturants, there were a couple of things that got peoples attention. If it wasn't the decor, it was the huge drinks, if it wasn't the drinks it was the food the customers were eating. If i could describe the street in one word it would be rambunctious. It was loud, energetic, colorful and just live! People were performing and just living in the moment. 

We ate at a restaurant called Mango's Tropical Cafe that caught our attention because of the performances. We liked how we were able to have a show while we eat. The food was good but definitely not worth the price. Nonetheless, we kept in mind we were in Maimi and things can get a bit pricey. Later on, we went back to the beach and picnicked while watching the fireworks. I've seen fireworks but I never experienced fireworks like Maimi's fireworks. At that moment I decided fourth of July in Maimi is definitely an event every person should experience at least once.

The next couple days we checked off the things we wanted to do other than being at the beach. The first thing we crossed off was parasailing. At first when the activity was suggested I turned it down immediately due to my rational fear of heights. I've always been a punk when it comes to my feet being above ground. I then gave in to the thought because I realized I can't overcome a fear if I don't face it.

Boy! I am so glad I talked myself into it. Naturally, I was anxious once they strapped me in thinking I'm going to fall and plummet to my death to then to be eaten by sharks. Once we were airborne all the anxiety drifted away. The view was breathtaking! Seeing the city from up there left me speechless. Absorbing every building, boat, bird and reef. 

Afterward, we went kayaking however it was super underwhelming after the parasailing experience. The next day we had the opportunity to visit some friends and family in the area. Most importantly I was able to formally meet the patriarchs of the family, my grandfather.  This was an intimate thing for me because I never had the opportunity to meet or hang out with him. I decided to seize the moment while I was in the state. 

Towards the end of the trip, we completed our last adventure, snorkeling! At first, we were all super excited to do this! We couldn't stop talking about it until we were in the water. From start to finish it was a bit of a nuisance. We were stuck with a whole bunch of duchy bros that would not shut.the.fuck.up. They were supposedly hung over but I really couldn't tell. Moving on...

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Getting to the designated snorkeling location was another fucking ordeal. The waves were huge and my fins kept sliding off. Although I can swim like Michael Phelps with fins, once it's taken off, I'm fucked. 

Once we got to the snorkeling area, the bros still wouldn't shut up. Nonetheless, I was still able to enjoy the moment. However going back to shore was probably the biggest obstacle of 2015! I felt like I was dying, actually, I felt like I wanted to die. I never experienced the feeling of being seasick until that very moment. Even thinking about it makes me sick. Once I touched the sand all I wanted to do was kiss it then throw up. 

Even though snorkeling was trash it didn't ruin the great experience I had in Miami. Visiting, and seeing the Miami life definitely changed the way I looked at Miami in the past. I really thought I wouldn't  have a great time but I was proven wrong. If you're looking to add some spice to your life Miami is the way to go.