I had been wanting to take a trip before our little one arrives (It's a boy and we call him TJ (Tarun Junior) so that's how I'll address him further in my post :)) and also before my doctor restricts me from traveling, which will be soon.
We did have a month long trip to India recently but that somehow didn't count as it was wedding centric and just too busy to relax.
Anyhow, so we had MLK's day coming up, which meant an extra day off for me! To capitalize on that, Tarun and I kept going back and forth on the idea of taking a trip. A week or so back, we decided, we'll stay back and get some things done around the house. It was all decided. The house help and the handyman were called and appointments fixed. Then came Wednesday, Jan 12th. After dinner that day, it just so happened, that we went back to talking about travel and we decided that we should take a trip, as we won't get this time back after TJ is born. Life will be different...definitely nice and a lot of fun but different. :)
We decided, I'll take an extra day off and we'll go down to Miami. We made reservations that night.
The morning of Saturday, Jan 15th, our very good friend Sanjay dropped us at the airport for our early morning (read 8:30 A.M.) flight to Fort Lauderdale. We landed at 11:00 A.M. and took a cab to South Beach Miami, where we were going to stay for 3 nights. The weather was lovely! It was so nice to see the crisp sun out and the water front, on our way to the hotel.
We arrived at our hotel at 11:45 A.M., freshened up and started on our walk to get some food. We walked on the Ocean drive and noticed a nice restaurant, whose name I now forget, but we did manage to get a table there after a descent wait and enjoyed our meal.
The rest of the day was mostly long walks. We went to our hotel's private beach and spent some time walking on the sand.
It was pretty windy, but the sun was nice, so we weren't cold.
We took a nice long walk and then came back to the hotel to take a little break before we continued further on our walk-a-thon (which is a common trend on our city and beach trips). We found ourselves a nice spot by the pool, ordered drinks and just relaxed for a little while.
Soon we were ready to go out again. This time, we decided to go explore the nearby happening place, the Lincoln street, which is where we spent most of our time, last time we were in Miami, almost 7 years ago. We actually went to the Lincoln street, looking for a sweater for Tarun, as he forgot his in the flight and now we needed one for our trip back!
So, we went to J.Crew and discovered that, the particular store was woman's only. Even though, I had no intention of buying anything, I did find some stuff which I ended up buying !
Tarun didn't want to shop/window shop any more that day, so we just strolled on the Lincoln street, passing all the restaurants and looking at their menus. Almost every restaurant had a special/happy hour running. After a while, we decided to eat. The dinner that night was pizza followed by a Hot Chocolate Sundae at Ghirardelli.
We returned to our hotel tired and I pretty much slept soon after.
On Sundays, Ritz has the best brunch in the area, which also happens to be our favorite meal, so we had to have the best! :)
It was of-course a big spread from fruits to salads to eggs station, shrimp and oyster station, cheese station, sushi and the carving station.
I ate a lot! Since I have been pregnant, my appetite has increased by manifolds. I surprise both myself and Tarun with how much I can eat now. I pretty much tried everything except what was available at the eggs, cheese and oyster stations.
It was delicious and I wasn't done. I was actually pretty full, but I still wanted to try the dessert. :)
After our brunch, we were ready to hit the Lincoln street again, in search of a sweater. It being Sunday, the street was definitely crowded. We went to different stores, but had no luck finding a woolen sweater. Of-course why would anyone need a woolen sweater when the weather is in 70's and 80's! We gave up and decided to go back to Ghirardelli for Tarun's favorite banana split!
For Monday, the plan was to just relax in the hotel, spend time in the pool, more time on the beach, get a massage and relax before heading back home the next day but the weather wasn't on our side. It poured all day!
Rain however, didn't stop us from our daily walk! We were out with our umbrellas (courtesy Ritz). Tarun had discovered "Shake Shack" through yelp as one of the highly rated food joints in the area. So, we decided to go there. Shake Shack serves burgers, shakes, hot dogs etc. We both had burgers and also shared a Vanilla shake. The serving size was not over-whelming and the burgers were delicious, loved the fries and the vanilla shake was awesome too!
Did some window shopping and some real shopping; ordered ourselves a full length mirror for our bedroom which should arrive may be next week and then headed back to the hotel.
I was a bit off because of the weather. It was a little cold that day due to the rain and the wind, but I didn't want to be inside, so we decided to sit outside in one of our hotel's restaurants. Of-course, we were not hungry, having had burgers a little while ago, so we decided to order drinks.
While I used some of this time booking childbirth preparation classes for us (we are now registered for Feb 23rd, 24th and March 5th!), Tarun, spent that time reading.
...and then were back talking and cracking jokes!
We ordered a dessert to share. I felt like having Key Lime Pie, but it was not on the menu! However the server was nice enough to arrange it for us.
There's Tarun ready for his first big bite! ;)
Soon, it was time to go for our massages, which we had booked the day before. We both enjoyed ours. Mine was the first pre-natal massage I had, although I do have a gift certificate from my dear brother for a massage at this top rated green spa (Nusta Spa) in DC, which I have yet to go to. I actually had a reservation for it, for this past Sunday, but had to cancel it due to the trip. I am now thinking of going in Feb!
Later that night, we dined at D. Rodriguez Cuba, again a yelp find and the food was delicious!
Now, it was almost time to go back to the land of cold. So, we decided to get up a little early the next day and take a walk on the beach before our cab arrived at noon to take us to the airport.
We woke up at 8:00 A.M., got ready and went out to a french bakery (La Provence) for breakfast, which we had discovered the day before during our walk. After the breakfast, we hit the beach walk. The weather was 78 degrees F. We walked soaking all the sun we could. Tarun tells me, we walked 60 blocks!
We reached our hotel at noon and the cab driver called. We got our stuff from our room, which was already packed and checked out.
Now we are back to the wintry cold, where the sky is overcast and one needs to wear layers and thick coats!
I tried to do a sad impression, but failed miserably. I guess, it's always nice to come back home! :)
I am back energized. Caught some TV with Tarun, spoke to some of my family on the phone, prepared a snack for my team, as I am headed to Harrisonburg tomorrow for a day long meeting. Wrote this blog entry after over an year. (I miss writing, work has been keeping me way too busy, hope I am able to get back in the blogging routine. Amen to that! :) )
It's past mid night and my alarm is set for 5:00 A.M. Although, my eyes are wide open, my mind tells me I should sleep! :) Good night all!