Running your own business isn’t as glamorous as it sounds. To be honest, I spend a lot of time working (of course– especially since I am primarily a solopreneur) and taking caring of administrative stuff like billing, taxes, and all that jazz. So vacations are hard to come by as time doesn’t always lend itself for them. But after getting a very dicey start to 2016 health wise, I vowed I would do better (It also doesn’t help that a now retired Mr. Socialite has more time to be around to be on me about “resting” as well). So when an opportunity to go to Miami for the Style Chambers launch, I seized the moment as a time to build in a mini-vacation and spend some quality time with Mr. Socialite.
Because this was still a working vacation (I can’t escape it), we ended up making this a road trip and embarked on a 20-hour drive—yes 20 hours—to Florida. But it wasn’t as you may think. We used the time to catch up (life gets in the way and so it’s nice to have no interruptions and some alone time with your significant other), jam to Sirius Radio, listen and talk about politics, watch/listen the Olympics and more. We stopped at some interesting places along the way and saw some very interesting people.
When we made it to Vero Beach, we got hit with one of the craziest rainstorms that area had seen in a while (3.5 inches came down in an hour and pretty much zero visibility) had us pull over for a few until it let up a bit so we can continue on. We spent a few days in the Palm Beaches with my parents and for me to do some business before heading down to Miami (about 40 minutes south of Palm Beach County).
We arrived around 4:30 pm at the Yve Hotel, a Destination Hotel Group property, located in the heart of Downtown Miami. Located on Miami’s main thoroughfare, Biscayne Boulevard, the Yve is a boutique hotel is about a mile away from the Port of Miami and within of steps of the famed Bayside Marketplace, Bayfront Park, and the American Airlines Arena (home of the Miami Heat). Miami’s famed Perez Art Museum is less than a 15-minute walk away while the Wynwood Design District, Miami Beach and the famed shopping mecca, Lincoln Road are less than 15 minutes away by car.
Each room (though a little small) offers a flat screen TV, desk, a safe, and a petite (read small) bathroom. Rooms have spectacular views of the bay and downtown areas. Valet parking is available for those who bring their own cars as we did.
That evening, Mr. Socialite and I decided to explore the immediate area surrounding the hotel. As we took a stroll, we ventured into City Smoke, a cute little cigar shop offering a vast selection of Latin American and American cigars, vaporizers and accessories. The young lady was very knowledgeable about the various leaves and flavors of tobacco and where they were from and helped us select something that was light and ideal for someone who doesn’t smoke often. By this time our stomachs were starting to talk to us and it was time to look about dinner.
We didn’t have to go far to find something spectacular to eat. Not too far down the same block (still behind that of the Yve) we came across Cvi.che 105, a restaurant specializing in Peruvian cuisine. To be honest, it was kind of hard to miss as it was definitely popping with music, lights and crowds. We were immediately seated and introduced to Yassine, our waiter for the evening. He immediately had us smiling and ready for a great dinner.
If you couldn’t tell by the name, Cvi.che 105 one of its specialties is ceviche. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the dish, ceviche is a very popular northern South American dish (think Ecuador, Colombia, and Peru) that is made from fresh raw fish cured in citrus juices (lemon, or lime mainly) and seasoned with aji or chili peppers, onions, salt, cilantro and more. Ceviche is usually paired with sides that complement its flavor such as sweet potato, avocado, corn and plantains.
There was so many amazing choices, we didn’t know where to begin. So we asked Yassine to help us choose the perfect appetizer. His recommendation…. the Pulpito a la Herradura (Octopus marinated in Peruvian red pepper with potatoes and salsa). To say it was absolutely delicious would be an understatement.
For the main meal, Mr. Socialite and I shared the Trilogia de Ceviches (the Ceviche Trilogy) – a platter of the eatery’s three most popular fish ceviches: virgin cream, yellow pepper and rocoto cream.
Patricia, the manager, brought over some Mai Tais wade with a little extra passion (alcohol) which were absolutely delicious. She kept our drinks full at all times (I think Mr. Socialite had a fan in Patricia, lol!).
We were definitely full be the end of the meal and didn’t have room for dessert. So we continued our stroll back to the hotel and sat our front to people watch and enjoy our cigar.
The next day we slept in a little. The king sized bed was absolutely divine and neither of us wanted to leave it but my purpose for being in Miami called. So we had to get it together and make our way downstairs…
The Yve is also the home to the Biscayne Tavern, an American pub which serves local cuisine, artisan cocktails, and craft beers. Mr. Socialite and I had brunch there on Saturday Morning before I headed over to the launch event.
I gnoshed on fresh fruit, sweet plantains, croquettes and scrambled eggs before making my way a few blocks over to Mindwarehouse Connect, a gorgeous event space and gallery owned by Winsome Bolt (yes of the Olympic connection) who also owns the shared work space on the floor above, where the Style Chambers launch was being hosted. I got a chance to tour the space prior to the event and checked out some of the art work on display. Here are a few of my favorite pieces that were being exhibited as part of the From Haiti with Love exhibit.
Style Chambers is the brain child of New York based stylist and image consultant, Styles Lewis, and South Florida based marketing guru, Tresa Chambers, which was born earlier this year. The mission of the brand is to produce live events, broadcast and digital content that reaches affluent taste makers passionate about fashion, art and culture. The brand launched with a great event that drew a diverse group of movers and shakers from New York and Miami (an eclectic mix just like the brand’s founders) including Rory Lee, internationally recognized make-up artist and beauty business maven, up-and-coming fashion designer, Yasser Faraco, and more.
I cut out the event a little early to grab dinner with Mr. Socialite who hung back (for those of you have had the pleasure of seeing the unicorn that is he is you will understand that he rarely makes public appearances) to watch track and field and basketball – it was the Olympics after all. This time we decided to take our adventure in Miami a little further out than the downtown area. Be recommendation of our valet, we headed to the West Flagler neighborhood of Miami (near the airport) and to the famous La Carreta restaurant for a traditional Cuban food.
Ok, let me warn you now….in real Miami (sorry South Beach) everyone assumes you speak Spanish unless you prove otherwise no matter your race (I’m not going to get into what people think Hispanic/Latin is in the US versus the rest of the world in this post and if you want to read some great posts about that, check out my girl, Amaris over at Black, Latina & Fabulous). So when you come to La Carreta they will speak to you in Spanish first. Wasn’t a problem for me as I do speak Spanish but, please note that the majority of their clientele do speak Spanish. But when you respond in English they will continue the conversation in English and then give you the English menu. Just letting you know. With that said, you will be glad you came.
La Carreta has been serving Miami since the 70s and they offer what tastes like homemade Cuban food. Where we live in the New York/ New Jersey area, we don’t always get a chance to truly authentic Cuban food so Mr. Socialite and I were definitely in from a treat. From the yucca fries served with cilantro aioli sauce to the Famous Cuban Sandwich (Mr. Socialite’s choice) to Chicarrones with Black beans and Rice (my choice) we were in foodie heaven. The food was affordable and large portions (we had enough to take back with us!).
With very full bellies we headed back to the Yve for the evening. The next day we had to head back on our long road trip back home. But though the trip was brief, we did have an excellent 48 hours in Miami.
I admit, getting that work-life balance thing right is still a work in progress, but this trip was weekend “escape” was a great start.
Until the next trip….