Most of you know, but for those that don’t: I live in Utah, but, as of December, my work is in Miami. Part of the deal is that I’ll fly in a few times a year to debrief in person and eat a lot of really good food. Last week marked the first of these trips, so, naturally, I took hundreds of photos. (I hadn’t been back in 3.5 years!)
Two things became very clear right from the start of the trip:
1. January is the most perfect time to visit Florida, when the rest of the country is buried under snow and ice and Florida’s raging humidity calms down for a brief respite.
2. Going back without Joe was borderline torture. Luckily I had a lot of work and friends to keep me busy, but seeing so many places, landmarks and familiar foods that were special to us was hard. I was texting him about 50 times a day (not counting the photos of my blisters) and wishing for him every second. Next time, he’s coming with me.
Here’s a recap in photo form of one of the best weeks eveaahh:
The first thing you do when you’re traveling to Miami is check the weather. I could have told you what it would say, but it is nice to be validated by meteorologists.
Granted, Utah isn’t having a typical winter right now so our temps were only about 20-25 degrees off from Miami’s, but…still. I was over the moon to see those numbers.
The next thing you do when leaving town for a week is smother your dog in hugs and kisses, and carry her around the house like she’s a child.
She’s been breaking my heart since November by not feeling 100% and I was so nervous to leave her for that long while she’s still trying to recover. Heartbreaking, but she (and I) survived. I promise she is as attached to me as I am to her.
Leaving for the airport that morning proved to be a little difficult. We were suffering from one of our seasonal inversions–when pollution gets trapped like a cloud in our mountain valey and can’t escape. It resembles a really thick, really foul-smelling fog. This is what it looked like that morning….granted, you should have been able to see mountains all around us.
I was terrified that our entire trip to the airport would be this bad, but luckily as soon as you climbed into the mountains you broke free of the cloud and everything looked normal.
Pretty scary stuff. Utah’s air quality is a hot-topic for sure. Here’s the view looking back after we exited the nastiness. You should be able to see a town there.
I wasn’t totally in the clear after that, either. I traveled the day the Snowstorm of the Ages was set to hit the east coast. And even though I didn’t venture north for my layover, it still had quite the delaying effect on my own travels. I didn’t arrive to Miami until 10:40ish that night–over 12 hours after I left home, but Julisa was a saint and played late-night chauffeur to get me to the beach. Bless you, my child. (No, bless you.) #insidejokeonapublicblog
I got to stay in housing owned by my employer, which is in a new area from when I previously worked there. I wasn’t expecting much, so my mind was blown when we arrived to this huge two-bedroom suite in Miami Beach.
You walked in to a nice living room and open, fully-stocked kitchen.
To the left was a third bedroom turned library.
And on the right were two bedrooms (with walk-in closets) and a shared bathroom. It was about five times the size of our place when we lived in Miami.
I collapsed hard in that blue bedroom, with MTT looking down from his old concert poster to creepily usher in the sleeps.
Good friend Jason picked me up the next morning for our first order of business: Breakfast at Big Pink. You remember Big Pink, right?
I had my absolute favorite dish: The Hollywood Breakfast (thick polenta fries topped with garlicky spinach, scrambled eggs, and the most decadent cheese sauce–like a breakfast queso, richer than regular hollandaise.
Are we drooling yet?? Seriously, the best breakfast in the world.
Big Pink is right next to the beach, so we had to grab a quick sighting before heading into the office.
Cue the blisters…
Had to take this sunny selfie for Chris and Chilali, who are Jason’s friends from their time together at the University of Michigan. (It’s the smallest of worlds, isn’t it?)
The rest of the day was spent running around the office, doling out hugs and high-fives like it was my job, and–you know–doing my actual job. That night my boss and great friend, Craig, and I grabbed drinks at a rooftop bar on Lincoln Road that overlooks the bay. Totally gorgeous and WAAAAYYY too swanky a place for me to whip out my camera. Sorry. It truly was spectacular, though.
Speaking of rooftops, the next day at work I headed up to our own rooftop garden for a quick break. The trees are fuller, but the view is still its incredible self.
That line of bright blue behind those buildings would be the ocean. *swoon* Many a quiet moment have been had on this roof. It’s like our company’s little escape and I took full advantage of it.
The next two nights were some of the most fun moments of my trip, but I don’t have any photos of the craziness. The first night had me, Julisa, and Michelle reunited for a girl’s night of awesome pizza and desserts, all enjoyed in the comfort of my living room while I was wearing PJ pants. We laughed until we wheezed and talked about subjects both light and heavy. It was perfection, the only thing missing was Rebecca, who had to work. Here’s us before I left in 2011.
The Four Musketeers of Miami Beach. (on that same rooftop!)
The next night I drove to Fort Lauderdale with Michael, another colleague/friend, who married his longtime partner, Tyler, in August. It was time to celebrate, so we hit up their favorite Thai place and swapped wedding stories for Utah stories and gushed over photos. I couldn’t be happier for such a wonderful, loving couple…who have been together almost 28 years. (Here’s an older pic of the newlyweds.)
The next day I walked to Shake Shack for lunch (cue more blisters)…another one to cross off my list!
In the interest of time, I brought it back to my desk, which was long enough for it to cool down before that molten-hot cheese came spewing out of the fried mushroom cap.
It wouldn’t be a Shake Shack run without the custard!
That sweet note concludes Part 1. Next up…the building! the concert! the beach! Stay tuned….