Holiday Trip to Miami

We decided to take a road trip to Miami for the the holidays. Read about our experiences below.

After a very cold and draining start of the school year, we desperately needed a break. We decided to take a trip somewhere warm. We love Florida for all it has to offer. However, we do not like the prices for last minute Holiday planning. We looked up prices for flights, hotels, and car rentals and, this time in particular, it was the car prices that ruled out the flight. Over $2,000 for a little more than a week. No, thank you. It's time for a road trip.

We were looking for a beach in the United States. Looking at Florida Water Temperatures in late December, the Gulf Coast was quickly ruled out. We like our water on the warm side. I like to boil. This limited us to the Miami and Florida Keys area.

We looked into the Amtrak AutoTrain from Virginia to Florida. While this is definitely a choice for the future, most of the lower fares were taken and the prices were not to our liking. We decided to drive with a stop at a hotel to rest.

We decided to stay in the Miami area because we found a great deal for a hotel in the Miami area and the difference in water temperature was minimal. We love Key West, but it just wasn't the right time.

We left the NYC area on Thursday, after work around 5 PM. A little late, but luckily, we did not hit much traffic on the way down. We stopped at the Comfort Suites at Virginia Center Commons to rest. The hotel was clean, safe, and comfortable as well as affordable, which made for an excellent stop. We left the next morning, knowing that we still had a long trip ahead of us.

The next day we drove for roughly 12 hours before we reached our destination. The Hyatt Place in Doral Florida. More on the hotel below.

I've taken many road trips before and I usually have a substantial amount of coffee with me to keep me awake and aware. However, this trip Lilian kept me up and going by preparing a mix of Fitline Activize and Fitline Antioxy. I felt great for the entire ride and I did not need a single cup of coffee which was surprising. I have made an effort to stay away from Red Bull and other energy drinks during long drives and finding a healthy alternative for coffee on these trips is a significant breakthrough. Our only stops were for food and to rest my poor booty. I do use this great seat cushion for the trip, but I still needed my breaks. If anyone has recommendations for a better cushion, you can leave us a message!

You can contact us for more information on Fitline Products.

We had a pleasant 7 night stay at the Hyatt Place in Doral. It was the perfect hotel for the price. We tried looking for discounts on NJEA, Booking.com and other sites, however, nothing compared to the price available through The World of Hyatt membership program. We were able to get the hotel for less than half the price of what was offered on the other sites. Plus we were able to accumulate points on our Hyatt account. Always check with your hotels before making a purchase. Please note that the price for 7 nights was lower than the price for a 6 night stay because of the extended stay discount.

The hotel offers free wifi, free breakfast, and free parking. The pool was closed while we were there, but it looked pleasant. The room was comfortable and the staff was excellent. We always felt safe and well taken care of. There are plenty of food options around the hotel. There were also no hidden fees. There was not much choice for breakfast, but that was just a minor inconvenience for a longer stay. An overall pleasant stay.

We should also note that this entire trip was paid with income from PMInternational. You can contact us for more information on the company and its products.

We had a great time in the Miami area. We decided to check out some of the neighborhoods and we tried to stay away from the traditional tourist areas. Our first day was Christmas and we were a little worried about finding food. Most places around the hotel were closed. However, we took a quick drive to to Lincoln St. in Miami Beach and there were plenty of food establishments open. Many people were out and about and some businesses were open as usual. We ate, took a few pics on the beach and went home.

The 26th is Lilian's Birthday and she is a huge Salsa fan. We went to see a local band called Machaca at the Doral Yards in Doral. The food and ambiance was amazing and we thoroughly enjoyed our time. There was a healthy dose of free events scheduled at the Doral Yards and it's totally worth the visit.

Earlier in the day we passed by Aventura Mall and visited Rosetta Bakery. Their selection was amazing as always. This is a must stop for us when we are in the Miami area. We can't wait for them to open at the American Dream Mall in Rutherford, NJ.

The next day, we wanted to try a new beach. We decided to go to Crandon Park Beach in Key Biscayne. This beach was beautiful and clean. The water was slightly warmer than at Miami Beach. The palm trees provided great shade and looked amazing in the pictures. The parking was affordable and the beach was not crowded at all! This was our first time on Key Biscayne and we definitely want to go back.

After a little shopping we decided to check out Santa's Enchanted Forest. This is more of a State Fair experience. The entrance is beautifully decorated, However, most of the space is taken up by amusement rides and food establishments. Kids might have a great time if they like the rides, but we felt that it was not worth the price of admission. Save your money and take them to Disney or Universal.

The next day we decided to try another "beach" at Matheson Hammock Park. This was a beautiful spot with very warm water. However, be warned that it is not a traditional beach. It is more of a lagoon. We saw a few families come in and leave once they saw the beach. However, we thought it was wonderful. It was a perfect spot to relax for a while. Its also ideal for families with children since there are no waves. This is also a great spot for pictures and we saw many people coming here at Sunset for the great picture opportunities. We are looking forward to visiting again and trying the restaurant. Just be careful, we were bitten by the critters on the way out. Also be aware that there is an affordable parking fee.

On our last day we decided to visit Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park at the end of Key Biscayne. We were blessed with dry, warm weather the entire trip and this was the best day. This was another great experience. There was so much to see and explore. Unfortunately the lighthouse was closed, but we look forward to visiting on a future trip. The beach area was also great and the water was warm enough to go in for a few minutes. We really wanted to go to Key West, and this park made us feel like we were there. Totally worth the price of admission.

On the way back home, we took a long turn and ended up at the Festival Marketplace in Pompano Beach. I was doing research looking for a great market in Florida and I couldn't find one to my liking. However, we found it on the way out. We did not get a chance to explore thing amazing looking place. There were so many vendors and we had so little time. I put think link here just as a reminder that we need to go back. Finding this place by mistake was a wonderful reminder that there is always something interesting to explore right around the corner.

See you later Florida!