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Live your best life….now…and let others live theirs!

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Hi my loves!  I am back!  My quick little trip to Miami was fantastic!  I can’t say enough about South Beach.  There’s just something about that town. I know people are like “Oh God, bitches go to Miami and this is all they talk about for months!” Well for good reason I think!  

Has it changed over the course of my years visiting? Absolutely! But, I still love it.  I love that everything and anything goes in Miami. I was there for two nights and I have to say I made sure to enjoy every second of it. 

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Welcome to Miami….

I remember about 15 years ago, (Yes I am aging myself, but who gives a shit? Not I!!!), Miami was a lot more BOU-gee than today!  85% of the people down there were fit and beautiful and took lots of care in their appearance. 

Many locals got to mingle with international tourists and if you didn’t go with some kind of bank you weren’t going to have the same experience! (of course, guys this was MY experience, but I would love to hear about yours)

People were so put together and beautiful that people watching was a sort of soft porn.  Like really!  From the bartenders to the servers to the hosts at the restaurants to the random guy riding on a bike down Ocean Drive – they were all fit! 

Even the 77 year old I met like 15 years ago was dashing and debonair with his white hair and white suits!  Oh! and let’s not forget the COPS!  I think it must be a requirement that you’re fit and good looking to become a cop in South Beach.

Anyway, I am a people watcher so I loved watching all these beautiful people waking by – back and forth, back and forth.  They reminded me of the stingrays swimming back and forth, back and forth in Belize.  No lie!

Even though all the eye candy was fun back then, I love SOBE more now.  Why?  I love it because NOBODY!, I mean N O B O D Y seems to feel self conscious in Miami.  Nobody seems to have any hangups about their bodies or clothing or who they are with or going solo.   

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People watching…. Not really but I like this pic….LOL

It feels to me as if people of all genders, ages, races, and sizes go to SOBE and transform themselves.

Women and men strut around with such confidence in their wigs and heels, coverups and bright ass speedos,  young and old as if they didn’t have a care in the world.

Even better is the fact that nobody seems to judge.  I can sit in front of Mangos (MY FAVORITE PLACE!!!)  www.mangos.com/miami/ and just watch as the crowds walk by for hours.

SOBE is the place to go if you want to get lost for a few days.  If you want to disappear and just breathe.  Pretend to be someone else or just be yourself.  It doesn’t matter.  

I stayed at the Whitelaw Hotel www.whitelawhotel.com/‎.  It was my second time there.  Located on Collins and 8th.  A block from Wet Willies  (not a fan but Hey! Call A CAB!)  and the News Cafe – Gianni Versace’s breakfast spot and a couple blocks from Mangos (. whitelaw3

The hotel is cute and swanky.  They belong to the South Beach Group https://www.southbeachgroup.com/en/home/ and sponsor a free happy hour from 6-7pm everyday in all their hotels. I would definitely stay there again.

But anyway, Ocean Drive is not the only place to people watch.  You can do it all over SOBE, even on Collins Avenue where you can find any number of cute bars and restaurants with outdoor seating like the Bacon Bitch   https://www.baconbitch.com/   which sponsors a fine menu of bacon inspired dishes and asks you if you’re the Main Bitch? Side Bitch? Naked Bitch? Extra Bitch? and several other bitches?  

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Which bitch are you?

I’m Extraaaaaa…lol…Hey! Extra is what got us into the Fountainbleau pool party on Saturday.  As I dressed my daughter asked, “Mom, You’re wearing that to a pool?”  

I was like, “We are not going to a pool, we are going to the Fountainbleau!” and so I rolled up in there like the bou-gee chick I totally am NOT! but it got us a bed and some drinks and MORE importantly we met some pretty awesome guys who shared their bed and their bottles with us.  

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#bathrooomselfi @thefountainbleau

A smorgasbord of people from all walks of life intertwined with local SOBE-ers and Floridians just soaking up the sun, eating good food, and living their best life.

It’s a skip, hop and $250 (approx.) airplane ride away from the cold, dirty streets of NJ and it literally is like stepping into another world.

So if you haven’t been, please go check it out! And if you have let me know when you want to go back!  I’m in there.  

Because living your best life doesn’t require a lot.  Only requires the thing that you love or moves you or gives you joy -anything from sleeping a weekend away watching Netflix and drinking wine, or doing having a self care day, or reading a favorite book for hours. Or visiting distant places.

Living your best life is one in which you get joy from the little and big things and you take care to not deprive others from living theirs. So tell me how are you living your best life?

liveyourbestlife

 

LolaUncorked♥

 

 

 

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Un”Belize”able!!!

 

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I can’t believe I made it to Belize.  There’s nothing better than vocalizing and visualizing and it coming true.  Belize has definitely been in my bucket list – not for long! But that’s the point. Make a list, do it and check it off!  That’s what I did.

This trip was A M A Z I N G!!!!

I purchased a Groupon for my trip to Belize with separate airfare.  And let me give you a little heads up about trips on Groupon (in case you don’t already know).  I love Groupon, HOWEVER, read the fine print or call the destination before purchasing.  I DID NOT! and so even though the Groupon was a great deal, there were a few hidden fees and additional costs that we did not find out about until we were locked into the Groupon.

The package included accommodations for two nights and ziplining (and equipment)  at the Bocawina Rainforest Resort and two nights at Tobacco Caye (pronounced key).  Tobacco Caye is home to the second largest barrier reef- second to of course Australia so we also had access to snorkeling equipment as well as paddle boarding (bucket list item √)!!!  Transportation from Dandriga to Bocawina and back to Dandriga for our ride to Tobacco Caye was also included.  That’s it!  Everything else was out of pocket!

Let me tell you what those costs were. We had to pay for transportation from airport to the town of Dandriga (which FYI was about a three hour ride in some serious August heat in a what resembled a beat-up school bus… no lie! lol).  This ride was $20 (all these fees are in US dollars and per person).  Belize has the Belizean dollar which is basically US money, but you get 2 for 1 which is nice).  You  could also fly in a prop airplane for about $90.  No thanks!  We chose the bus.  There is a 20 minute boat ride from Dandriga to Tobacco Caye.  FYI, this is a dingy with a motor attached, expect nothing else.  Which consequently got stuck about 5 minutes out from the island and we had to wait to be towed in.  Only ME!  This ride cost $10-15.  Food was not included at either location.  Bocawina had a very nice restaurant and the cost of food is comparable to a nice restaurant here.

 

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I loved this sign in the restaurant.

 

At Tobacco Caye we were required to purchase a meal plan which included breakfast, lunch and dinner served in the dining hall of the main cabin.  This was at a cost of about $36 per day and is paid upon check in.  This was something I didn’t like as I don’t necessarily eat three meals a day on vacation, but whatever.  There was also a tourist fee paid upon entrance to both Bocawina and Tobacco Caye.  All in all we paid an additional $200 in extra costs not including our airfare which averaged about $440 roundtrip.  On the flip side, the cost of food in the local town of Dandriga was very inexpensive.  Their local beer Belikin was about $2, not bad as you stroll through the town in 90 degree weather.  We went in August, it was HOT, which I love, some of you may not and may want to research cooler time to visit.

Both Tobacco Caye and Bocawina are heaven on earth.  Considering we were in a dense rainforest and no air conditioning in our cabin (just ceiling fans) surprisingly we didn’t encounter too many bug bites.

Anyway, I got a chance to zipline in Bocawina . OMG I thought I was going to die!!!!  I still can’t believe I did it, and I would be scared to do it again, but wouldn’t hesitate!  What a thrill zipping through those tree tops.  Bocawina has the longest zipline in Belize! It’s also home to like 200 different species of birds.  The only thing I would have liked was a pool or hot tub on site, but our cabana was perfect.  High ceilings, ceiling fan and a beautiful veranda with a hammock.  We took a hookah (of course), liquor, playing cards, snacks, so our two nights there were perfect!

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The entryway to our accommodations at Bocawina…

Our second night we hung out at the restaurant bar and our bartender let us sample different proofs of their Old Master Rum, let’s just say I remember very little of that night.  I did pick up some bottles of Belize Rum to bring home, that was more to my liking.  Didn’t burn a whole in my esophagus!  Leaving was bittersweet.  The staff at the resort were amazing including, Wilson, our driver/ziplining guide/drinking partner/ everything else he did there.  Wilson spoke 7 languages!!!! sorry the teacher in me loves that!

Off we were to our island paradise!  We had to take a bus to the dock for our trip to Tobacco Caye.  After getting stuck in the ocean and me having visions of sharks circling us, we were rescued and tugged in to the island.  Belize was hit by Hurricane Irma back in 2017. Irma wreaked havoc on this little island, so it leaves a lot to be desired as you pull up.  Our accommodations were at the Tobacco Caye (clearly) Lodge).  This island is a mix of tourists (us), the staff who run the facilities, and some locals that live there.  We were placed in a one room hut facing the ocean with a door in back which led to a cute little porch.  The running water in the hut is provided from a tank that collects rain water.  There is a fan in the room.  Again no air conditioner, but honestly being so close to the ocean, the breeze that flowed was more than enough for me. I know it sounds bareboned and if you’re used to luxurious accomodations, then this is not the place to stay at.  If you’re looking for an organic experience connecting with your surroundings – then this is it!!! Go for it! I can be a little bougee on vacation, but I really loved this place.

The island is so small you can literally walk from end to end in less than 10 minutes.  The water is so clear and in some parts so shallow you can walk out 50 feet and water is still knee level.  Of course that’s only if you don’t mind dodging the stingrays (that I thought were manatees) that swim back and forth, back and forth all day.  Literally!  I have a whole new respect for the ocean and its inhabitants.  At the Caye you can pay the locals to go and dive for fresh lobster for about $20US which is then cooked for you in the dining hall.

Overall, two thumbs up for my trip to Belize.  Definitely would like to go back and visit the city and do some nightlife.  This vacation was chill.  Loved every second of it and would go back in heartbeat.

♥LolaUncorked