Miami 2020: Caitlin’s 30th Birthday

Hi hi! I’m sharing a vacation recap with you today! I try to write about most of my trips because a) it’s always fun for me to go back and remember specifics like where we ate and what we did, and b) I can answer all of your questions that you send instagram like which airbnb we booked, the restaurants we liked, etc. 

Here we go! 

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So, my friend Caitlin (she runs Big World Small Girl craft beer blog) decided to celebrate her 30th birthday by a new (to her) city, and she picked Miami. I’m so glad she did, because I had never been and Miami was on my bucket list. And…it’s Florida in January, so what’s not to love? 

I flew out on Thursday afternoon and got back home late on Saturday night, so it was a bit more than a 48-hour trip. I didn’t want to be gone any longer than that because it was my first time away from Milo, and it was Nate’s first time to care for him overnight by himself, so 2 nights was plenty. And it all went fine! I left a big supply of breast milk in the freezer at home, and I brought a battery-operated pump along with me (haha, life of the party in Miami, right? 😉 ) and I pumped about every 3-4 hours while I was traveling. 

We had so much fun! We danced, we went out on the water, we saw lots of celebrity homes, we drank lots of rum, we ate some delicious food, and I had a blast being baby-free for a couple days.

But first…tacos. I figured that since I had about 48 hours being out of “mom” mode, I should live it up as much as possible, so I kicked off the trip with two tacos and an IPA for lunch! I’ve said this before, so I might sound like a broken record, but I have recently LOVED getting to the airport early for flights! I used to believe that I was saving time by getting there at the last possible moment so that I wouldn’t waste time sitting around at the airport. Maybe it’s age, maybe it’s wisdom, maybe it’s common sense, but I’ve recently discovered that not having to rush, enjoying an alcoholic beverage before boarding, and no stress whatsoever before boarding is the best thing. 

So…I drank an IPA and read a chick lit novel. 

I arrived at the airbnb at about 9 pm, right when all the girls were just about ready to head out. Check out this adorable airbnb that Caitlin booked! It was perfect. We stayed in Little Havana, and it was a fun, walkable neighborhood where we hung out on Thursday night. 

Night out on Calle Ocho! We kicked it off with drinks at Ball & Chain, where people were having dance lessons underneath a giant pineapple. #Miami. 

It was getting pretty late by the time we all realized that none of us had eaten dinner, so we went to one of the few places that was open at 1 am on a Thursday night: Yambo. Haha, it was pretty random! We ate Nicuraguan food late late at night, then headed back home. 

Look at our cute little rooftop patio! We could see downtown Miami, and a few of us stayed up and enjoyed a night cap. For the record, I haven’t stayed up until 2 am (for any reason except feeding my baby) in over a year, and I was hurting the next day – ha! 

Friday was Caitlin’s 30th!! We spent it on a boat, drinking beer, and it was perfect. 😉 

We had a private boat booked for the afternoon, and our guide drove us around the Miami coastline and showed us all the celebrity homes, like where David Beckham and P Diddy and Oprah have vacation homes. And islands where the starting price is $40 mil. No biggie. 

Uncrustables for snacks on the boat. Why have I never had these before? And why are they so good? 

We stopped for a bit for paddle boarding, swimming, and some pics. The following is a pretty accurate representation of my paddle board abilities in the ocean: 

Happy happy birthday, Caitlin! 

Ok, after the afternoon on the boat, we were all starving and wanted to go somewhere nearby before heading home to clean up. I typically don’t like to rely on tour guide’s recommendations (because they usually recommend really touristy places), but our boat driver told us to check out this dive bar called Mike’s, and it was really good! 

It’s a little family-owned place on the 9th floor of the Venetia. It overlooks a pool (behind a gate…you can’t swim in it) and the ocean, and they have really inexpensive food and good craft beer. 

Before beer…

….and after beer. Ha! These pictures made me laugh so hard! 

We went home, freshened up, and got ready to head out to Caitlin’s 30th birthday dinner at La Mar. And ya’ll: this restaurant was fantastic!! 

It’s a Peruvian/fusion restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental. We ate outside on the patio overlooking the water and the city lights, drank cocktails and wine, ate our weight in ceviche and mole and empanadas, and had a fabulous time! 

The next morning I woke up in need of COFFEE! Weird but true fact: I was the only girl on this trip who was addicted to coffee, haha. I need my coffee within an hour of waking up, but everyone else was fine! 

I walked from our airbnb to La Colada Gourmet, a little Cuban cafe. It was crowded and busy on a Saturday morning, no one spoke English, and I loved it. 🙂 

Cuban coffee is sweet! It starts with sugar at the bottom of the cup, then hot espresso poured on top. I got mine with whipped cream and chocolate shavings on top (go big, right?) which is something I’d never ever drink in real life… But it was fun to try on vacation. 

On Saturday we went to Wynwood! This is the neighborhood in Miami that has a lot of breweries, murals, and restaurants.

We grabbed lunch at Kush, a fantastic gastropub with amazing burgers (voted some of the best in Miami!) and a vast craft beer list. 

And then we brewery-hopped! Veza Sur is known for fruited beers, which aren’t my thing (I think that fruited beers are a copout because you can’t taste the quality of the beer very well), but the vibes were amazing. 

Quick stop for a cortado at Panther Coffee! Yes, we’ve already established that I’m addicted to coffee.. I also grabbed a bag to bring home for a little gift for Nate. We always try to bring something small for each other when we’re traveling without one another. 

Next stop: Concrete Beach Brewing. 

We were all wearing matching t-shirts for Caitlin’s birthday, so one of the bartenders assumed we were a party (we were!) and invited us in the brewhouse for a private tour and samples. 

Yay! I’ve been on many brewery tours, so the basic mechanics of how beer is made are standard to me, but I always love seeing the specific ins-and-outs of each individual brewery. 

Oh, you know what was so weird? The tour guide gave us all a sample of their triple IPA, which was an 11.5% ABV. He was like, “ok, you have to shoot it!” HELLO? No. I’m not going to shoot beer, haha. Triples are made to be sipped on. Except in Miami, apparently…you shoot them there. 😉 

I had just enough time to stop at the Wynwood Walls for a few quick pics before my day ended. 

The official Wynwood Walls were packed with tourists and actually quite small. In the future, I’d just take picture around Wynwood (there are hundreds of amazing murals around the streets) instead of going to the official Walls. 

Happy happy birthday, friend! I’m so thankful to have been able to celebrate with you in Miami! 

Then I got a ride back to the airbnb, packed up, and headed to the airport. I was home at about midnight that night and couldn’t wait to kiss my hubby and my baby boy!

Ok, that’s it! It was a whirlwind of a trip, but I’m so so thankful that I was able to have a quick trip away. I think that, as a mom, it’s really easy to say no to fun experiences that require work to make happen. In order to go on this trip, I had to pump for weeks in advance to have a 3-day stash of breast milk in the freezer, I had to coordinate child care with Nate, and I had to bring a battery-powered pump and be responsible (and sober, haha!…) enough to stay on top of that during the trip. And honestly…I almost didn’t go on this trip because it just seemed like too much work. But looking back on it, I’m very happy that I took this time for myself because it reminded me how important it is to keep a sense of my own identity throughout motherhood. I’m going to have to keep looking for little ways to have fun for myself (maybe not full trips, but even just little moments to myself throughout the day) in the upcoming years. 





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2 years ago

[…] without the babies! We’ve done a few overnight stays at Austin hotels, and both Nate and I have done solo trips and left the other spouse at home with the boys. But we’ve never gotten away for the weekend and […]

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