gratitude-a-thon day 9009: the perfectly timed vacation


The Delano is a perfect hotel. Perfect.

For the first time ever, I planned a vacation that allowed me to miss major snow! Not only that, the weather in South Beach was spectacular. To get those two things to coincide is like getting Trump to speak a grammatical sentence–impossible.

So, gratitude to Mother Nature for this tiny miracle.

A mere four days (we missed our first day because we sat on the tarmac waiting to de-ice, but hell, better to de-ice than be in ice) and boom, your frigid soul melts, and the icy stairs, the weight of the down coats, hats and scarves become a distant annoyance.

I never can quite understand how you can be in one place and get on a giant mechanical bird and wind up in another. I mean, yes, I know it’s technological engineering I could never comprehend to begin with, but beyond that, it’s just stunning to me to be walking in snow up to my knees and than in less than four hours have sand at my feet. Or to be in an english speaking country and then find yourself in a location that doesn’t speak your language, where the color of people’s skin is not that of your own. It’s a magic show that never gets old for me.

We  did some great eating–namely one of my favorite restaurants ever anywhere–Mandolin, a small Agean bistro in the art district that has a romantic outdoor patio and the best Greek food. Juvia, a rooftop place that overlooks Miami’s downtown was incredible, and Cibo, a cavernous Italian place with homemade pasta that was genuinely homemade, not to mention a “wine ninja” doing acrobatics in the glass wine cellar. And of course, Bianca at the hotel was also beautifully made food in a spectacular atmosphere.

Couldn’t be happier to have gotten a break from`New England’s longest and worst season. And now I need to pile on the clothes to walk the dog.

gratitude-a-thon day 556: warming it up, turning it off

Four days. That’s all it took. Four days. In fact, the minute we landed and the heat began to permeate the deep down frigid chill in my body, my winter scowl began to melt into an upturned mouth, my mood to a happy face emoticon.

For Valentine’s Day, Peter arranged a mini vacay to South Beach. You’d think the guy had given me the content of Tiffany’s, Barney’s, and Sak’s. With what we spent on ice dam(n) removal, a warm weather vacation was not in our future, but thanks to our American Express points, we got a mood enhancing four days of sun and sea. And can I tell you it was the RX for a Boston winter that is breaking hearty New Englanders everywhere. In fact, I think Massachusetts should stop spending money on plowing and just send everybody in the state somewhere warm until our 100 inches of snow melts. It would be a much better use of money.

We stayed in a funky little boutique hotel, called The Catalina Hotel & Beach Club, conveniently located smack in the heart of South Beach. We rented a car, but never used it until we left for the airport, and a last minute trip to the completely fabulous Perez Art Museum. We took a big long walk everyday on the Miami Beach Boardwalk, which overlooks the ocean and winds its way past some of the best Deco hotels on South Beach (think the movie Birdcage). We ate breakfast at the News Cafe (I wouldn’t recommend for food, just for people watching, although oddly, the NYT likes it), and The Front Porch (a very good way to start the day). We lounged around the pool, and (surrounded by Bamboo), lounged around the beach, surrounded by thonged booties in every color, shape, and size. The Miami woman, and South Beach visitor has a healthy body image, I will say that for them.  I looked positively Amish in my one piece. We ate at The Delano, one of my favorite hotels (gorgeous, but while Peter’s meal was excellent, mine was inedible), and had dinner at the astoundingly beautiful and romantic, Casa Tua, where Peter’s meal was on my top 10 list for things I want to have in my mouth when I die (Tagliatelle with mix mushroom, summer truffle and parmesan cheese fonduta. OH. MY. CULINARY. GOD).

Lastly, we went to the contemporary Perez Art Museum, which is a must if you’re anywhere near Miami. The hanging gardens are stunning. And the metal swings were not only comfortable, but really relaxing. I was in love before we ever went inside. The exhibit space is well laid out, and while we didn’t have quite enough time to see everything in the depth we would have liked to, we both particularly enjoyed Antoni Tapies work. I could have stared at the Cementerio – jardín vertical (Cemetery – Vertical Garden),1992 by Maria Fernanda Cardosa ALL DAY. We ate at Verde, the outdoor museum cafe. The food was as good as the view.

I also took a little vacation from social media. Yes, I posted a couple of pics, because I couldn’t resist sharing my elation, but I didn’t blog, didn’t twitter, didn’t spend any time on Facebook, or Instagram. And guess what, it was awesome (although, I missed this blog, but I wanted a do a techno-shut down to see how it would be, and it was GOOD).

Of course I didn’t want to leave, but it was a perfect four days. No plane delays, extra leg room seats, and freaking sun, sea, and sand. Yesterday’s snow didn’t even phase me. Not even a little. FUCKING GRATITUDE.