As a preface to summer, my two best friends and I reunited for a weekend getaway in Miami, soaking up sun and seeing the sights. Our time was well spent catching up, reminiscing, and laughing over many a cocktails - surrounded by blue waves and beautiful people. 

I love traveling in general, but there is something special about traveling in the summer. It's as if the long days and warm nights of the summer make your time away even more impactful. It gives you a full reboot. That's what I wanted out of Miami - time to truly feel like I was away from it all, and to reset before diving back into another crazy week in Manhattan. I think that's exactly what I got. 

The very first day, ready to dive into our visit, my friend Veronica and I hopped on the Tri-Rail train and headed to Miami from Ft. Lauderdale where we were staying for the weekend. We ended up in South Beach wandering the streets, falling in love with the beautiful, blue water (and the beautiful people) that lined the beach. We stopped for drinks and a quick bite at the famous Big Pink. "Big" was certainly the perfect adjective - the huge cocktails servings and lunch proportions suddenly made sense. Definitely a fun SoBe spot. We laid on the beach and spent time soaking up as much sun as possible before heading back to the train... It was only day one, a few hours, and already had a bank of fun memories and a new fondness for Miami.

That night we officially initiated our trip - essentially the only way we knew how - with the whole gang gathering for drinks and dancing. Sipping on our favorite drink from our nights out in New Orleans years ago, the Woo-Woo [As Carrie, Samatha, Miranda, and Charlotte have the Cosmo, we have the Woo-Woo], we knew at that moment this trip would be special. Ah, nostalia - it always tastes so sweet.

Day two, Veronica and I decided to explore Ft. Lauderdale. We had our lunch beach side, with a side of hookah and margaritas the size of our heads. Which turned out to be a bad idea... All that sugar... in the heat... headache central, party of two. But, nothing the beach (and extra strength Tylenol) couldn't cure. We laid on the sand, and played in the water until dinner - where we ate our weight in sushi. Mmmmmm... 

The next day was probably one of my favorite days of the trip. We started it in Miami's Design District, aka my heaven. Imagine the shops of Fifth Ave., Madison, Bleecker, (Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Margiela, Fendi, Prada, etc.) encased in modern, beautiful architecture and surrounded by beautiful sculptures... It was perfect. Shopping in Miami is worth the trip alone. Also in this paradise, was probably one of my favorite meals of the trip. We stopped at Michael's Genuine Food and Drink for an early lunch. Greeted with an atmosphere that was both warm and chic, and a team that was incredibly kind and attentive - I knew we were in for a spectacular lunch. With oysters from Michael's raw bar, dedicate cocktails, and flavorful entrees - we left smiling ear to ear.

Before heading back to South Beach we made a pit stop to Scotch and Soda, one of my favorite brands for summer, where I had the hardest time choosing which pieces to take home. I wanted everything! Luckily the staff there was incredible, very helpful, and so fun. We honestly had a blast shopping with them - like so much so that I'm including this in my story. hah!

The evening ended with a trip from the beach to Miami's hip, artsy Wynwood neighborhood (Bushwick's cousin) - where we visited Concrete Beach Brewery, tasting the taproom's signature brews. Very tasty - and very laid back atmosphere. And we closed out the night in Ft. Lauderdale, visiting a couple clubs and bars. Noting one included an aerial dancing act above the dance floor... Interesting night to say the least. 

Sunday we spent our whole day soaking in the perfection that is South Beach. We spent time sunning ourselves and sipping rum. We made friends with some other beach-goers (One a fellow New Yorker!) and chatted all day on the sand, swapping stories and cocktails, until well after the sun went down. We said farewell to new friends and the beach, and sipped one last drink on Ocean Avenue before our final goodbye.

We had one last lunch, a few beers, and a dip in the crystal clear ocean before Veronica caught her flight. And Michelle and I had one last dinner before I returned to New York that next morning. Nestled on the Intercostal Canal, we sat at the scenic dock of Shooters in Ft. Lauderdale where I binged on more oysters (of course!), lobster salad and sweet bourbon cocktails. We were certainly sending me off in style - the view and the food at this restaurant was breathtaking (Don't let the name fool you). The perfect moment to end a perfect trip.

Several cocktails, decadent meals, and a slight sunburn later... I returned to Manhattan. Happy to be home, but feeling rebooted, recharged, and regretting that I didn't take this trip sooner.*

* Dedicated to my dear friend Michelle, the perfect hostess and the perfect friend.