Saturday, January 31, 2015

SoFlo Fabulous

Last week I had the great privilege of going to Miami for a business trip. Not only that, but I got to help plan the trip for my team which was so fun. I really enjoy travel planning/adventure seeking and am really grateful that is a part of my job. (Thanks Teknion!)

Going to south Florida in January was nothing short of BLISS. Such a great retreat from the dreary days of winter and lucky for us, the weather could not have been better. 

We arrived on Wednesday and spent most of the day on the mainland, meeting in the Wynwood Art District which is characterized by colorful (commissioned) graffiti covering every exterior facade.
The Wynwood Building
 Lunch at the Miami Cafe & Boutique. I love this local eatery! So my style.

For dinner we went to a Miami institution - Garcia's. Garcia's is family owned and operated and situated right on a canal. Their menu is stocked with fresh local seafood they caught on their own boats. 

Sitting on the back patio watching ridiculous yachts go by was the perfect way to spend our first night in Miami!

One of my favorite parts of the trip was our hotel. We stayed at The Gale, a historic South Beach hotel recently renovated into the most charming, boutique hotel.

There are so many things they have done to maintain the original 1940s ambiance while incorporating a quirky, humorous spirit. Inside, you can enjoy the famous Regent Cocktail Club.

or the hotel restaurant, Dolce Italian. (So sad I never got to eat here!)
Outside, you can relax around the roof top pool
 or outdoor lounge.
The rooms are simple, crisp, and contemporary.

And all the artwork is from Miami in the 40's.
Marble baths
I was lucky to get a private terrace attached to my room. I loved sitting out here in the breezy, warm ocean air. 
My favorite part was this lime tree in the corner. It was so cute!
For the trip I created a Miami themed gift drop for our team to receive upon arrival.
This goodie box included wayfarer sunglasses, drink umbrellas, sunscreen wipes, citrus jelly beans, chocolate coconut marshmallows, and a Voss water. (Citrus jelly beans = my fav.)
For our meetings we used a private space in the Kaskades, a new addition to the Gale located right across the street.
Our open-air meeting space included a wrap-around balcony. This is seriously the way to get stuff done!
 South Beach view from the meeting space.

The team, getting stuff done Miami-style.

For lunch Thursday we went to Shake Shack over on Lincoln Ave., a well-known shopping area with lots of restaurants and outdoor dining. 

As if tasty burgers and fries weren't enough of a treat, we enjoyed some Misha's gourmet cupcakes mid-afternoon to celebrate two big life events on our team - one marriage, and one new baby. Congrats Kevin and Holly!
After our meetings were finished, we lounged around the roof top pool, enjoying the perfect south Florida weather. (I mean... seriously? This is work people. Haha)
 Thursday evening was a big treat for all of us - dinner at Juvia, a roof-top pan-Asian restaurant with views stretching from the Atlantic to Biscayne Bay.

 I am completely obsessed with vertical gardens. I so want one in my house one day!

 View of Biscayne Bay from my seat at dinner.

 We enjoyed some incredible fine dining seafood creations (I tried prawns for the first time), rich desserts, and all around amazing time with our stellar team!

As if the trip couldn't get any better, Friday was spent in the Everglades on an airboat tour. Again, perfect, sunny weather.

 We all were so excited to see some real life wild alligators!

 The airboat tour was actually incredibly educational as the guide shared many details about all the wildlife and everglades history and climate.

Airboat hair
 Now for the GATORS!
 On the bank.
Afterwards we watched a nature show at the park and then saw gobs of alligators in a few exhibits.
 What is wrong with his back foot? (So disturbing.)
There were so many amazing parts to this trip, but nothing is better than sharing it with these fine people (plus Holly)! We are so blessed in the southeast to have such a wonderful team of people and I can't wait to see what the future holds!
Until the next one guys!

I had two regrets upon departing from Miami - #1, that I didn't stay through the weekend and #2, that I didn't figure out a way for Zach to join me! I seriously cannot wait to bring him back here some time. I didn't get to explore historic Ocean Ave like I wanted... or the ocean...
and there are a few restaurants I am determined to experience on our next visit. One is Cecconi's. Is this not the most gorgeous place?!

And another is Casa Tua. (Can you tell I love eating outside in simply, magical places?)

Miami is such a great retreat if you are looking for a stateside, tropical getaway.  I just can't believe how much I love this place! Until next time!