A Trip to Miami, Florida!

Florida has been so inviting. Me and my cousins decided to do a 4-day weekend trip to Miami, Florida to celebrate my cousin's 30th birthday. The four of us have never been and we've always wanted to go to Miami for its white sand and beaches. For our hotel of choice, we booked a reservation at the Palms Hotel and Spa. The service and location provided by the hotel was so amazing. The hotel had its own private entrance to a section of the beach. I highly recommend this hotel if you're interested in a family oriented setting.

When we first arrived to Miami, it was already time for dinner. We decided to eat at the Continental Restaurant, which was walking distance from the hotel. The food was amazing and was a mixture of fusioned foods. Since it was too late to go to the beach, we decided to swim in the pool instead till the wee hours of the night and just conversated.

The next day was our relax-by-the-beach day and the weather was lovely for us to do just that. It was sunny and bright, but not too hot nor humid, which made it perfect to get in the water. But before we headed out for the beach, we decided to get some breakfast at the hotel and drink coffee to wake us up. We headed to Tropical cafe for their Cafe con Leche, a Cuban coffee drink that people say is a must try. As a coffee addict, this cup of creamy espresso goodness definitely meets the standards of a great cup of coffee! We grabbed our coffees to go and finally headed to the beach. Again, the hotel had its own private entrance where you could navigate through towards the beach. What I love about this hotel is the amazing customer service. They had staff located out on the beach to serve food and drinks. They also had them assist with setting up chairs and umbrellas.

The beach was just like how I imagined it. White sand.. Palm trees.. Blue clear waters.. Drinks served by the water.. It was an amazing experience. I would stay here forever if I could.

We stayed at the beach for a few hours and then we decided to pay a visit to Lincoln Mall Road, where all the shops and restaurants were located. We decided to eat at Sushi Samba since I had a craving for some sushi. The food wasn't too bad, but the prices for a little bit of sushi were to expensive. I personally don't think that it was worth all that money, but was worth the try. Overall, Lincoln Mall Road was fun. The stores were endless and there were tables all lined up in the middle for everyone to enjoy the food, music, and scenery. Once we got our shopping urge out of our system, we got an uber to take us back to the Tropical cafe to get some more coffee. We just couldn't get enough of it. LOL!

So our last day has come! Today was the day to do all of the necessary activities. We wanted to do something daring so we went parasailing for the first time ever. We all met the staff from Flysobe at the Miami Beach Marina with other people who were scheduled to go parasailing as well. We rode on a small boat that took us towards Biscayne Bay. Once we went past the bridge, we were taken around in circles to parasail. They had us fly around for a few minutes and dipped us in the water in the end. We weren't used to riding in boats so it took only a few minutes for us to get boat sick. It was great for the staff members to let us jump off the boat and into the water at the end of the ride. It definitely helped us with our sea sickness. Once we got back to the marina, I was so glad it was over. I'm glad I finally got to check that off my bucket list! Parasailing was definitely worth the $65.

 Us parasailing over the bay

Us parasailing over the bay

Once we got back from the Marina, we picked out a restaurant nearby called The Local House. The food was amazing! We ordered some breakfast and headed to our next activity: paddle boarding. We finally got to the place and got our tutorial on how to paddle board. It was quite nerve-wrecking. We were basically by ourselves and we were to thread the waters at our own risk. Once we got on the water, we paddled our way through the canals and it wasn't as scary as I thought it would be. I thought we were going to be drifted off into the ocean by the natural currents, but it wasn't bad at all. We had a lot of fun, but it was a lot of work to paddle through. We were so tired from all the paddling we had to do so we headed back to the hotel to relax by the pool.

It was then time for us to get all dolled up for a last dinner here in Miami. We ate at this Italian restaurant down the street by our hotel. I completely forgot what the restaurant was called but they served pizzas, pastas, salads, breads, and so much more. It was delicious! We were so stuffed by the end of the night. We headed back to the hotel to relax some more. I was dreading it, but unfortunately, we had to pack to leave the following morning, but I made sure to have my last Cafe con leche at the airport! :)

Thank you so much for reading this article! Hope this article also inspired you to book your own vacation to Miami. Miami is definitely the place to be and I would love to bring the rest of the family here. Stay tuned for our next stop.. Disney World!

A Trip to New Orleans, LA!

I went to New Orleans a couple of weekends ago and it was such a great first experience. I've traveled to several other places, but this was actually the first time I ever went to the airport and flew on my own. For a first-timer, I think that everything went well as far as traveling and navigating through places.

As far as our choice of what place to go, we decided on exploring New Orleans and it was amazing! You endure so much history and culture once you step into the city. I'll elaborate more as I continue to write, but if you're wondering where we stayed, my cousin booked us at the Omni Royals Hotel, which was located within the French Square. To be more precise, it was right in the middle of the city. Once you walk outside the hotel, everything is within walking distance. I highly recommend this hotel not only for it's class, but surely for it's convenience. 

 

Entering the French Square

I was the first one to arrive to New Orleans and decided to call an Uber to get to the hotel. As I enter the city, I noticed that a lot of the buildings and houses were damaged and abandoned, most of which was the end product of the horrific natural disaster Hurricane Katrina 11 years ago. The disaster left lots of people homeless, which some of them I saw reside in the heart of Jackson Square. In other areas, I witnessed projects being rebuilt, houses being furnished, trees and plants being replanted, and so much more. Through all of the struggle, it's amazing to see how the French Square still managed to hold up its own. Despite of what the city has gone through, businesses and local shops still thrive, art and history still preserved, and music continues to play throughout the streets.

 St. Louis Cathedral

St. Louis Cathedral

 View of the city from our hotel

View of the city from our hotel

Art & History

As some of us may know, the French were known for their love and interest for art. Walking through Royal Street brings about endless galleries of art and all of which are unique and different from each other. The style of art that these neighboring galleries provide ranges in variety, some are abstract while some portray realism. It is safe to say that each of the gallery used their own creative technique that differs them from the next. Walking along Jackson Square, there were plenty of local, thriving artists who hung their paintings along the gates, in which I am assuming that they display them for views and sales.

New Orleans had plenty of museums to go to as well, some of which I was not allowed to photograph. The ones we went to were New Orleans Museum, Pharmacy Museum, Museum of Voodoo, and Museum of Death.

Since I'm in the healthcare profession, the most interesting of them all was the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum. They showed the history of pharmacological treatment, as well as old and used tools for various procedures. Very creepy, but very interesting.

Actually, all of them were weird and creepy. Go pay them a visit! LOL!

Food & Drinks

Of course, I can't complete this article without talking about what New Orleans is known for: alcohol and food. New Orleans had one of the best foods I have ever tasted in my life. Every single restaurant we went to were amazing.

So... Bourbon street. The name says it all right? This is where you get your alcohol. As you know, alcohol can bring about the most interesting, yet weirdest people, making Bourbon street so different from Royal street. Royal street holds boutiques, gift shops, art galleries, and local coffee shops, while Bourbon street holds bars, bike hangouts, and strip clubs. Please note that even though they are parallel from each other, both streets are very different from each other. Royal street is much more family oriented while Bourbon street can be quite disturbing especially if drinking is not your scene. But if you're trying to get into the culture of the city, just know that walking with a drink in your hand is one of the many things that New Orleans is known for. You'll see many people with "hand grenades" and "fish bowls", both of which are deliciously sweet, but the alcohol can sting quick. I only had a sip of each for the taste, but the alcohol content can be quite strong.

 Hand Grenade

Hand Grenade

 Fish Bowl

Fish Bowl

As far as food... oh my gosh... there are no words to describe how amazing the food was. We ate at different places throughout the trip and I lost track of the restaurants. But sadly, I do remember eating endlessly. For the New Orleans trip, I made sure I had a taste of their gumbo, a po-boy sandwich, oyster, and alligator meat. All of them were so good!

 Royal House

Royal House

 Acme Oyster House

Acme Oyster House

 Acme Oyster House

Acme Oyster House

Lastly, I cannot forget to talk about the best coffee place I've ever been too... Cafe Du Monde. Their beignets with coffee are to die for. They are open 24 hours so we decided to wake up very early in the morning, bought our beignets and coffee, and we ate and drank by the pool. We pretty much went to this place every morning and it was all worth it! I also purchased a tin of their coffee as a present for my parents. This place is a must when going to New Orleans!

I hope you guys enjoyed much of our trip to New Orleans and I hope that this will get you to plan a trip out there as well. It was an amazing experience traveling to this wonderful place for the first time. I'm so glad I got the chance to check this off my bucket list of places to visit and it was definitely worth every penny. Thanks for reading! 

Click through our pictures below! :)