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A Quickie in South Beach, Miami

25 Aug

With four days to celebrate our 10-year anniversary, we left the autumn leaves of New England behind and hopped a plane to South Beach.

From our first mojito, Scott and I knew we picked the perfect kid-free getaway.

These are some of our favorite spots:

Stay: The Hotel of South Beach

Todd Oldham’s geometrical patterns and sea-foam palate were everywhere in this art deco, boutique hotel. Just a block off of busy Ocean Drive, the location was perfect. If we wanted to escape the Miami Beach crowds we went up the elevator to the secluded roof-top pool and Spire Bar. (Even if you don’t stay at The Hotel, its restaurant, Wish, is worth a visit for the romantic atmosphere and great food.)

From our rooftop pool at The Hotel

 

Get Pampered: The Spa at the Shore Club

In an attempt to live the celebrity lifestyle, we decided to treat ourselves to the spa at the Shore Club, one of Miami Beach’s swankiest hotels. After a full body scrub and hydrating treatment (me) and a 90-minute massage (Scott), we relaxed on the spa balcony overlooking the palm trees and waves below.

Post-spa treatment at the Shore Club.

 

Explore: Posh hotel lobbies

The hottest hotels in South Beach may have untouchable room rates and bouncers guarding the pools, but the lobbies are open, free, and offer views of art and architecture to rival some of the world’s best museums. Don’t miss a walk through lobbies at The DelanoShore Club, The Tides, and the Sagamore.

The lobby of The Delano hotel.

 

Drink: Love Hate Lounge

Operated by the same guys who own Miami Ink, the Love Hate Lounge feels more like a local bar then a place to be seen. You can dance, you can drink, and there was no cover or intimidating velvet rope.

Eat Dinner: Nemo

No one has to walk the sidewalk in front of this restaurant to talk patrons in off the street–a common occurrence in South Beach. We got a table by the hammered copper bar in this crowded eatery located in the stylish South of Fifth Street (SoFi) district. Perfectly cooked sea bass, lobster hash browns, and warm ocean breezes made for a memorable 10th anniversary dinner.

A Quickie in Portsmouth, NH

30 May Portsmouth, NH

After the final whistle at Will’s soccer game, we kissed the kids, checked our watches, and all but ran to the car.

Portsmouth, NHWe were on our way to Portsmouth, NH, for a quick anniversary get-away. We had 24 hours. Our anniversary lands in early fall, the high season for sports in our house; football and soccer were in full swing. But with lots of finagling, and help from Scott’s parents, we managed to squeeze in a short get-away to celebrate.

Stay: The Sise Inn

This gorgeous Victorian is the perfect alternative to a bed and breakfast. Our large corner room reminded me of my grandmother’s house–in a good way. The furniture was antique, the bedspread was white and nubby, the lamps were brass, and everything was clean, clean, clean. The Sise Inn has 34 rooms hidden away in its interesting maze of hallways and stairwells. Just blocks away from bustling Congress Street, we felt secluded but not isolated. A lovely spot. After we checked in and dropped our bag, we went into town.

Visit: Strawberry Banke Museum

This living history museum, a la Plimouth Plantation, is dotted with historic homes and pretty gardens. By the time we stumbled upon the museum, it was closing time, so we explored the outer gardens. It is a very romantic spot (though I know the kids would dig it, too). We  walked away holding hands, ready for a drink.

The Green Monkey

Enjoying a martini at The Green Monkey in Portsmouth, NH.

Drink: The Green Monkey

Scott and I are the best of drinking buddies. So naturally, we bar hopped around town before and after dinner. Of all the places we stopped, this was our favorite spot. I’d never had an honest to goodness martini (I figure the frou-frou appletinis don’t count), so I decided to give it a try. It arrived dirty, lots of olives, with a small monkey hanging off the side. Yum.

Shop: Marco Polo

Let me just say, post-martini shopping is the best. And there are so many fun shops all over Portsmouth’s Market and Congress streets. It’s hard to choose a favorite, but Scott and I had the best time in Marco Polo. Silly novelties of the Fred Flare variety (think bacon band-aids and Life is Crap mugs) kept us laughing–and buying. Another favorite, for girly goods: Serendipity.

Dinner: The Black Trumpet

When we finally made our way to dinner, we were starving. The Black Trumpet was ready for us with delicious food and an atmosphere to match. The two-levelled restaurant is tucked away in small alley by the water. The dark wood and exposed brick interior made us feel cozy on one of the first chilly nights of fall. We were lucky to get a window looking out at the tug boats (request one if you visit). It was the perfect spot for an anniversary dinner for two sometimes-foodies.

Breakfast: The Friendly Toast

After a night of the three Ds (dinner, dancing, and debauchery) we needed a good breakfast. We slid into a 1950’s era kitchenette at The Friendly Toast, and ordered off a menu filled with homemade breads, specialty teas, and a wide selection of omelets and breakfast burritos. This kitschy breakfast spot came highly recommended, and we loved the circus-esque memorabilia and old-time advertisements that filled the place. Bellies and hearts full, it was the perfect finish to a happy 24 hours in Portsmouth.