I decided this week that I have been away from my blog long enough. To be honest, I’m having issues with my laptop’s air drop function. I haven’t been able to transfer photos from my iPhone X and you know how much I love photos. So, I am, for the first time ever, posting on my blog from my mobile phone.
I am currently still out here in North Carolina, USA, getting all healthy and stuff. I’ve extended from three weeks to four and then from four to six… and now, I’m about to extend from six to eight weeks (shhhh, don’t tell Blue Eyes). Just kidding, he knows. I’ll post all about my latest health strides later. In the meantime, I must share about my glorious trip to visit Totally Caroline in Miami. Hot damn, it was fun, and hot! As it turns out, I’m learning to really love hot. I am so totally over winter… maybe forever, but at least for this year. It has been so cold in North Carolina. Unseasonably cold, including three snow events in the past month, ick!
Back to Miami… TotallyCaroline convinced me to stay in Coral Gables at The Biltmore. What a fabulous hotel. A historic landmark of architectural design and really quite beautiful all the way around. The rooms are fairly average, but the common areas, super cool. Strangely enough, Blue Eyes’ mother grew up in Coral Gables. Despite that fact, the place is lovely. Beautiful homes surrounded by lush tropical landscapes. We did some walking through the neighborhoods around The Biltmore.
The Coral Gables Biltmore in all its glory.
Dusk my first night. Every day was sunny and 85 degrees. Perfection!
I actually contemplated sleeping out by the pool one night as the weather was so gorgeous. This was back at the end of February. No wonder so many people live in Florida! 😜
Brunch at The Biltmore. We didn’t eat here, but it looked divine.
TotallyCaroline and I spent quite a bit of time dipping our weary feet in this gorgeous pool.
We spent one afternoon luxuriating in the hotel lobby tea room devouring these delicacies. I do love a good afternoon tea! You may be asking… where are the scones, and clotted cream, and jam?! Well, I did a solid and gave my share to TC. She loves her some scones!!!
One of the highlights, however, of my time in Miami was spent on a South Beach Art Deco walking tour that TotallyCaroline coordinated for us.
So many gorgeous buildings, but my favorite was seeing the Carlyle hotel that was used for the Robin Williams, Nathan Lane movie, Birdcage.
And because it was me, and TotallyCaroline, and Miami, fabulously delicious food was never far away…
Deviled eggs and fried chicken and biscuits at Yard Bird.
THE best Key Lime Pie at The Dutch at the W Hotel, South Beach.
We did some other cool sightseeing like visiting Villa Vizcaya on Biscayne Bay in Coconut Grove, Miami Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. TotallyCaroline is an awesome tour guide!
We went tea shopping and I purchased some of these flower teas.
I can’t wait to brew them and watch the beauty unfold, literally.
We ate at a cute little “Australian style” cafe called Threefold for brunch in Coral Gables. I ordered the Emperor Nasi Goreng (above) and I’m still dreaming of it. I must attempt to duplicate the dish when I return home. It was fried rice with shrimp, crispy shallots & cilantro topped with a fried egg, yum!
Dessert was the decadent chocolate cake at The Biltmore pictured below, which we shared with our afternoon cup of tea.
And speaking of desserts… at one point Blue Eyes crashed our party and we all descended on the Brickell City Centre shopping mall where I immediately fell in love with this beautiful dessert selection at the Casa Tua Cucina Food Hall. I promptly chose the most chocolaty dessert of the bunch. And devoured it!
Blue Eyes and TotallyCaroline became fast friends. We enjoyed some amazing dinners together, Tapas one night in Coral Gables and Indian the next, and then sadly, it was time for us to bid adieu to the lovely TC and make our way up to North Carolina. We did that by way of Jacksonville, Florida, Charleston, South Carolina, and Beaufort/Bluffton, SC.
And because I was traveling with Blue Eyes, the first stop on our road trip was for burgers and fries, of course.
Double Cheeseburger and chili cheese fries at BurgerFi in Delray Beach, Florida. We’re very different people, but when it comes to Burgers, Blue Eyes and I tend to agree… BurgerFi was good, but we prefer Shake Shack to BurgerFi, and In n Out Burger to Shake Shack. Part of that preference is nostalgia, but we stand firmly by our choice.
Our first night was spent at the beautiful Ritz Carlton Amelia Island, Jacksonville.
View from our room:
While we were in Florida, a snow storm hit Portland. The above photo is top: view from our house in Portland. Bottom: view of the beach from where I was sitting, 80 degrees and perfect, as I was reading Facebook posts about the snow back home.
Below: Amelia the gorgeous, friendly and talkative macaw at the hotel.
We then drove to Charleston where we enjoyed ourselves immensely. We had been there once before, but had only spent a couple hours. This time we had two full days. Next time I want more!
We stayed at a mid century gem, federal office building turned hotel, The Dewberry. How fun was that hotel, and the rooms, amazing! Best hotel room of the trip, by far, and HUGE!
We ate amazing southern food, a lot of it, took a harbor cruise, and a historic walking tour of Charleston. My English family on my maternal grandfather’s side came through Charleston harbor in the 1600’s. Pretty fun learning more of the history of this town that plays such a big part in my own ancestry.
Below: fried chicken and sweet potato biscuit with a side of gravy at 60 Bull Cafe.
Dolphin swimming along in our wake on the Charleston Harbor Cruise.
Rainbow Row. Charleston Architecture.
Dinner at Magnolias, fried green tomatoes on grits, and crab cake on shrimp succotash.
Brioche Pan Perdu with pears and blackberries (little Miss Bostock) at our hotel restaurant, Henrietta’s.
We departed Charleston on a gorgeous Saturday morning and headed to Beaufort, South Carolina for a quick look-see. We fell in love. What a cute little town full of historically significant architecture. We went in search of The Big Chill house (Tidalholm House on Laurel Street), which is in the process of being refurbished. The home was also used for the filming of The Great Santini. Parts of Forest Gump were also filmed in and around Beaufort. So glad we stopped!
After Beaufort we headed to Bluffton for the night.
Pool area at The Montage Palmetto Bluff.
View of the lake from our room at dusk.
Welcome amenity, Bourbon Milk Jam and butter cookies. O.M.G. Decadence!
Room Service breakfast. My last meal, berry pancakes and chicken apple sausage.
And then, just like that, it was time to make the drive up to North Carolina and drop Blue Eyes at the airport to head back home.
What a glorious 10 days! I want to do that again!