Miami, Your-ami!


Miami.  Florida.  Never been a huge fan of either but: the Chicago weather (snow on April 14?  Seriously?) made it necessary – urgent! – to get to a beach STAT!  So – in need of a (cheap) direct flight, sunshine and warm sand, Miami it was!  Bottom line: it exceeded my expectations!  I am a somewhat jaded person when it comes to sea, sand and surf, having been spoiled in Grand Cayman, Jamaica, St. Thomas and multiple Mexican resorts.  But I indulged in four nights/five days at the Trump International Beach Resort with my fearless friend KP for some fun in late April.   Herewith a few highlights and tips:

1) The greater Miami is split into a number of “provinces,” if you will – South Beach, Coconut Grove, and Sunny Isles Beach, being three.  If heading for Sunny Isles, FLY TO FORT LAUDERDALE!  Much less expensive ($179 from Chicago, versus $325 to Miami) and only about 25 minutes away. 

2) If heading to a resort with the name TRUMP in it: expect a lot of Europeans and Russians.  Yes, this can add to the international cachet of a trip and provide endless opportunities for amazing people-watching on the beach and at the pool.  Enough said!

3) Sunny Isles lacks dining options, but I will say the restaurant at the Trump Resort – Neomi’s – was phenomenal.

One of the hot tapas items at Neomi's at The Trump Int'l

One of the hot tapas items at Neomi's at The Trump Int'l

Merguez sausage with a fried egg and sweet potato hash was a fave, as was…

Chocolate-filled donuts with a chocolate "shot" and vanilla bean ice cream

Chocolate-filled donuts with a chocolate "shot" and vanilla bean ice cream

4) Head south to South Beach but beware: while there are a lot of restaurants, bars and clubs in South Beach, but I came up short on fabulous spots other than the famous Joe’s Stone Crab.  For nearly 95 years, this place has been serving the famous stone crab claws with a mustard-mayonnaise sauce and if you like crab, they are fabulous!

A plate of "select" stone crab claws at Joe's in Miami

A plate of "select" stone crab claws at Joe's in Miami

5) Hit the pool bar at the Trump International after dinner!  Bartender Geno knows how to have a good time! 

Geno makes sure you have a gooood time at the pool bar at the Trump International in Miami!

Geno makes sure you have a gooood time at the pool bar at the Trump International in Miami!

The guy is a showman of gargantuan propotions – instigating group sing-alongs and conversation like a pro.  He got everyone talking, laughing and singing to the greatest hits of the ’70s and ’80s!

6) Check out Timo’s, just across the street and a couple blocks south of the Trump (you can walk there).  Yeah, it’s in a strip mall, but so what – go.   It offers amazing food and fantastic, friendly, professional service.  Black-and-white pizza (with ricotta, mozzarella and black truffles.  Shut up: just order it.)  Fabulous fish dishes, roasted duck, pastas – we ate there two nights in a row and loved it both times!

Foie Gras Crostini with Oranges - deeeeelish

Foie Gras Crostini with Oranges - deeeeelish

7) Hit the beach or the pool – the staff at the beach and pool will make sure you are well taken care of, with chairs, umbrellas, towels, drinks, water, food – the works

Giant beach hats are de riguer at the pool at the Trump in Miami

Giant beach hats are "de rigeur" at the pool at the Trump in Miami

Overall, I give Miami four stars for great weather, great people, great food and beautiful beaches.  A great US get-away for sun, sand and good times with best friends!  Viva Miami!  Your–ami – whoever’s-ami!

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