A couple of weeks ago‚ I decided I needed to go on a hedonistic vacation where I could shop‚ dance‚ and just plain enjoy my life for at least three nights. So‚ I booked a South Beach vacation package with my partner. We ended up staying at an art deco hotel called “The Century” on Ocean Boulevard (Where all the action is supposed to be).
On the day of our arrival everything went smoothly. We took a taxi from the airport to Ocean Drive and arrived at the Century hotel. The hotel was a compact slice of the 1930̸’;s Deco genre and was recently remodeled. The concierge was reasonably friendly and our room was small but comfortable. The room was a little shop worn but acceptable with hardwood floors and modern furniture. Everything was within walking distance including the beach‚ but more importantly there was a Starbucks directly across the street!
That night we walked down the bustling Ocean drive and I must say I have never seen more Bentley’s‚ Mercedes’‚ and Ferrari’s in one place. As we were walking‚ we were frequently accosted by cheesy sales people trying to get us to eat at their restaurant..not cool.
We stopped for a drink at Diesel’s Pelican Hotel. The waitstaff were flat and my pricey dirty martini had way too much olive juice and was just plain awful. Using City Search we found a Zagat rated ”inexpensive” 24hr Mexican restaurant called Loco Taqueria. To make a long story short.. the food was terrible and cost us over $30.00 for Mexican fast food. However‚ at that moment‚ I set my intention to have a good time in South Beach and was not going let anything spoil that goal.
The next day we headed for the beaches which were absolutely gorgeous blue-green water (though not as clear as Destin‚ FL). The water was warm and we spent the day swimming. My partner had a craving for barbecue(!) and we actually found a delicious restaurant called Barbecue Beach(!) where much to my surprise‚ we had some delicious tender ribs with cornbread and greens in South Beach!.
Later we walked over to Madonna’s hotel (The Delano) designed by Philippe Starck and strolled through the lavish lobby to the pool. Wow.. It was truly a sight to see with beautiful sheers everywhere with spartan but stylish interiors.
For lunch the next day‚ we stopped at a corner pizza joint called Pizza Rustica and ordered three super large pizza slices which were incredible. Very reminiscent of a good NY Pizza.
We then walked over to Lincoln Road where most of the high end stores are located and stopped at a cool men’s clothing store called Base. They had some great music and clothing. I was drawn to their Nooma watches… I’m a watch freak.
Anyway‚ we left the store and I noticed the word Chakra on a store sign across the way. My heart filled with excitement as we entered the store called the 9th Chakra. I wound up buying Sandalwood Mala beads and my partner bought some Nag Champa Oil that he likes to wear as an alternative to cologne.
As we were leaving we stopped at bar called Score (yeah‚ cheesy name). We decided to have a drink and ordered frozen margaritas which where very strong (for a gay bar).
As we were sitting there in midst of all the loud music and rush of human activity‚ I found myself feeling good and embracing the fun‚ playful side of my personality which often gets damped by my seriousness and hyper focusing. Perhaps cutting loose and letting go every once in a while is just what I need to help me see my life more clearly and focus on what I want to be doing as opposed to what I should be doing.
Life is strange‚ sometimes you find what you are looking for in highly unlikely places. We departed the next day and I was happy-sad as we boarded the plane back to Charlotte. And so it was.