The fun continues in Florida – more delicious eats, shopping and beach!
I’m writing part 2 of my Florida adventure live from the rocking and rolling deck of a beautiful wooden sailboat off the coast of Miami. The wind is whipping my hair and a cool drink is in hand. With only one week in on this month long voyage, I couldn’t be happier!
Last week we visited the sun-drenched beaches of Daytona and the family fun city of Orlando, ate incredible meals out on the water, and met some really great people. This week, we’ll be trekking to the neon light riddled Miami Beach area in search of some new food, fun and thrifting excitement.
Founded on July 28, 1896, Miami was officially incorporated as a city with a population of just over 300 by Henry Flagler, a renowned railroad tycoon with a vested interest in its location. Now, modern day Miami boasts a population of over 400,000 people, and is the largest metropolitan area in the Southeastern United States. From the re-appearance of iconic Cuban cigars, to festive Caribbean music and fresh art adorning the streets and hotels, it’s easy to see this culturally diverse city has lots to offer.
First stop, fuel up: Loading up on delicious caffeine delirium at Panther Coffee
Panther is a Miami-based coffee roaster, specializing in the small-batch roasting of coffee beans, i.e.: a cup strong enough to get this New Yorker’s adventure started. It’s also well known for its colorful yellow and diamond exterior, which boasts some pretty hip artwork. After chatting about the days plans to scope out the other Southern Goodwills and vintage stores, we packed up and headed out. Of course tipping generously because that mural and the staff were both well worth the trek.
Second stop, load up: The designer storefronts of Miami Beach
With Hispanics making up over 60% of Miami’s population, you can see that strong cultural influence everywhere in fashion. From floral Spanish style day dresses, to caftans and hot pant capris, Miami’s fashion scene runs the gamut. Last week, we chose some vintage inspiration, this time we’re going 80’s re-run and funky. After walking the entire strip we came away with some fresh gear, including a body con sequin dress.
Third stop, score BIG: Goodwill of Miami
When you think Miami, it’s most likely Crockett and Tubbs on a speedboat. The shoulder padded 80’s or even Robin William’s turn in The Birdcage chanting Madonna, Madonna, but there’s so much more here! From historic Spanish missions to local music and the arts, it’s a beautiful mix. Not to mention, you’d be surprised at how frequently you see thrift stores here. As a consummate shopper, I am here to tell you the NYC stores need to watch out because Miami’s art direction and window styling is ON POINT! From haute inspired mannequins to colorful motifs and excellent organized housewares, we came around with WAY too many bags to count. I found a stunning Fenton milk knob cake plate; perfect for the fall event I’m planning, as well as a set of vintage books and a neon set of bangles, all for under $22. SCORE is an understatement here! It feels something like this.
Last stop: Back to the beach, naturally!
The sun is going down and it’s hard to believe another day has gone by. We’ve wandered back to the boat, Goodwill bags in hand. Although we debated on a sunset strip trek into the noise and mayhem of neon-lit Miami nightlife, we opted to stay in, float on the water and sip chilled cucumber water under the stars.
Oh, but I recline in my sequin dress. After all, it IS Miami, and a girl can Birdcage-dream, can’t she?
There’s SO much to soak in here, so get ready because over the next month I’ll be highlighting some great eats, numerous Goodwill spots all over Florida where you can find THE best thrifting to take home. We’ll also be seeing the gorgeousness of this Seminole state, from the majestic Everglades, to red hot Miami and historic Cape Canaveral, it’s all happening right here! Stay tuned for my next blog where we discover some seriously fun adventures! Follow my treks on Twitter and Instagram @PlanetBrandee – till then, see you on the beach!