trip report: miami
Like every other New Yorker, winter makes me question why I am so dumb as to live somewhere with seasons. Luckily in January, Mike had a work conference in Miami and Avvie and I were only too glad to tag along. We left right before the bomb cyclone hit, which was sad only because I wanted to use that hashtag.
After doing a lot of research, we opted for the Loews Miami Beach Hotel, since we needed to stay in South Beach for Mike's meetings. The Loews received top marks for being child-friendly (kids eat free!) and it's also super centrally located on Collins Avenue. While it was a little too cold for the beach, it was still really lovely to wake up every morning and hear the waves crashing outside our balcony.
This was our first time in the city with a kid, so trip planning was a bit ... different. The last few times I've been in Miami were for things like covering Super Bowl parties for work or jetting down there somewhat spontaneously for my birthday. And while I'm sure Avvie would have enjoyed rooftop cocktails at Juvia, I think the bouncers may have frowned upon toddlers sipping boozy agua frescas.
Luckily, Miami has lot of activities and restaurants that are great both for toddlers and their culture snob parents. We flew in a day early so we'd have some family time before Mike's meetings started. Our first stop was the Wynwood Walls (pictured above), which I'd never actually visited before. They are a series of brightly colored graffitied walls, most of which are in areas closed off to traffic, so you can let your kids run fairly free. They are also highly Instagrammable. Obviously.
For lunch, I'd heard great things about Kyu nearby, so we popped in there for a bunch of share plates. I was also in awe because they had extra-tall highchairs for the bar tables. The food was excellent; Avvie snarfed like all of our king crab and her own plate of sake-braised white beans. Mike and I wolfed down the Korean fried chicken. It was a beautiful bird.
We went for fried chicken part II at the venerated Yardbird, which was as fantastic as everyone says. Definitely order the macaroni and cheese.
Avvie and I were pretty much left to our own devices for the rest for the trip, so we met up with friends, had family nap time, and I dragged her to every restaurant I wanted to try. Was she the only toddler at Casa Tua and did she decide that day to refuse all food except bread? Yes. Did I still really enjoy my lasagna and wearing a sundress in January? Also yes. She had a better time of it at Byblos, which was next door to our hotel and offered fantastic Mediterranean small plates. We did take advantage of the awesome breakfast buffet at our hotel, but I also definitely recommend the offerings at The Front Porch Cafe, which has a huge menu and is open from 7AM.
I also loved the Flamingo Park Tot Lot, which is shaded by many lovely trees and has wonderful, squishy padding. If you're staying in South Beach, it's a very quick stroll.
We ended up not leaving South Beach on this trip, but on the next one, I'm definitely looking forward to bring Avvie to the Frost Science Museum and the Miami Children's Museum. As for me? Food wise, Barton G is still on my wish list, as is Big Pink. And I don't think I'll ever love a meatball as much as the one at Prime 112.
What are your favorite things to do in Miami?