Thursday, December 20, 2012

Benannamoon: Miami

On our way home from our honeymoon in Belize, I got to experience a bunch of firsts. Isn't it exciting to know that there are still firsts???

It was the first time I've ever had my flight cancelled.

The first time I've ever had an unexpectedly extended vacation.

The first time I stayed in a five star hotel.

The first time I visited Miami.

The first time I've flown standby.

The first time I flew into Reagan National Airport.

It was not the first time I have taken advantage of travel insurance.

If you take nothing else away from this story, please remember this: if you are taking an extended trip and/or leave the country for any reason (even if your flight does not take you out of the country) just BUY THE TRAVEL INSURANCE. This admission will probably ban every insurance company from covering my travels ever again, but here goes: I have used travel insurance every single time I've left U.S. soil. And it has been a lifesaver every time I've needed to use it. The time my entire backpack was stolen in Italy, the time our cruise ship's engine broke down and we didn't make it back to port in time to catch our flights, and the time Hurricane Sandy left us stranded for three days in Miami, travel insurance has come to the rescue.

This post is about the time Hurricane Sandy left us stranded for three days in Miami. We made the best of it and had an urban camping adventure! (That's my dramatic way of saying we really were not that put out and enjoyed ourselves immensely.)

When we arrived in Miami on Sunday evening at dinner time, we knew our flight to Baltimore was not going to be happening for at least three days, so we had to quickly come up with a backup plan before the hangriness set in. I immediately whipped out my magic iphone and called up the poshest five star hotel I could find - the Viceroy Miami - to get one of the last rooms at an amazing rate before all of the other stranded travels caught on and followed our plan. When we got there, we had definitely arrived in hangriness territory, so we ordered room service (also a first) and hunkered down in our luxurious, feather-down clad, king-sized bed for the night.

The only small down side to this all-expense paid extended vacation, is that all of our expenses were not, in fact, paid. All of the important ones were  - food and lodging and transportation - but if we wanted to actually DO anything, we were on our own. As we had just spent most of our life savings on the first part of the honeymoon, our main source of entertainment ended up being walks. Aren't we exciting?! But we figured that we were in Miami and we wanted to see it, so we turned our urban camping adventure into an urban hiking adventure! After all of the lounging around during the honeymoon part one, walking was a very welcome activity and provided lots of picture taking opprtunities, as you will see below.

When we finally were scheduled to head home to Maryland, we missed our flight because of long lines at the airport and instead of spending the day cramped in a airplane as we were originally supposed to, we spent it in the relatively spacious luxury of the airport, moving from terminal to terminal until we finally made it onto a flight home. And now that we're back, we are so grateful that we were able to take and enjoy this chance of a lifetime to have a longer than expected honeymoon and see two places that we had never been before!

Disclaimer: some of the photos below are iPhone pictures, so don't hate on their grainy qualities.

The face-like columns on the exterior of the building were designed by Philippe Starck...and they even have his signature imprinted on the side.

The interior of the hotel was designed by Kelly Wearstler, which made me giddy when I found out, because she was probably the first interior designer that I knew by name and her work is simply phenom. She didn't just design the space, but also ALL of the fixtures and furniture within it.

Oh hey, there's a picture of me...that's a rarity ;0)

This will go down in history as my favorite hotel bed...second best bed ever only to my own.

Even the bathroom was swanky.

I had to take pictures of the spa/fitness center because it was breathtaking, but I didn't want to attract a lot of attention to the fact that I was photographing it (trying really hard not to be a creeper, you know), so I grabbed these with my iphone. Quality could be better, but I'll take what I got.

On the rooftop was this amazing lounge/club area with two swimming pools and a hot tub that was the size of a regular pool. I could definitely see this as an amazing wedding venue....

THIS IS PROOF THAT I LIKE DOGS TOO! Everyone in Miami had a dog...and most of them were super fluffy and obnoxiously cute. See exhibit A below.

We walked past this sign just hanging out in an empty warehouse, and we just about died laughing. Oh the south...

The downtown area of Miami has so much public art...there's even an art walk with giant mosaic murals and little gems like this graphite-on-marble peephole.

Hooray honeymoon!

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