Oh, good lord, I am back from vacation and my liver is none too pleased with how I treated it. This vacation to South Beach, Miami had one purpose and one purpose only: relaxation. Each day I was there, the only decisions that had to be made were ones like “pool or beach” and “vodka or tequila.” I ate out for every meal and each time, my critical, and somewhat bloodshot, eyes were surveying my surroundings looking for all-star severs.
Staying at The Raleigh Hotel was amazing and the staff did not disappoint. The pool itself was the main reason we decided to stay there. Designed in 1940 for aquatic film star Esther Williams, it is a taste of pure art deco. I have always been a fan of Esther Williams and Busby Berkley so to swim in the same pool that she did made me quiver with excitement. Being there inspired me to simulate one of her signature “sideways dive” moves and even though I scanned every inch of the pool hoping to find a stray hair that may have once belonged to Ms. Williams, I am not sure I ever did. I found one short and curly dark one that may or may not have been one of hers but I pressed it into my memory book anyway. The pool is surrounded by chaise lounges and to those chaise lounges come wonderful people who brought me drinks, food and towels. Some of those people were Hillary, Nesh, Bobby, Michael, Ana, Rondo, and Rudy. I loved them. The tolerated me. They probably all went home to their blogs and wrote abut the skinny drunk bitch who kept trying to dive like Esther Williams.
While most of my drinks came from The Raleigh, I did occasionally venture out and experience other venues, all the while, keeping track of my cocktails and taking photos when I could. And here they are:
- Tequila Mockingbird: Corzo blanco, red bell pepper, Serrano, cucumber- Golly, I loved this drink. It was the first one I had moments after checking into the hotel. Nesh made it for me and as I sat at the bar drinking it, I met Ana, the restaurant manager. She was already cool, but as if she needed to prove it, two days later she comped us some amazing bread pudding in a peach and espresso sauce.
- Caipirinha: Damn, I love these drinks.
- Bottle of champagne: the hotel sent up a bottle of champagne to our room because we were there celebrating an anniversary. We drank it.
- Tequila Mockingbird: still yummy.
- Tequila Mockingbird: still yummy.
- Zeus: Ciroc vodka, peppercorn syrup, lime, cucumber, prosecco- This drink came to us via a restaurant called Catch. It was made with love by the bartender, Marcel. who was a really cool lady. She chatted with us and made us feel welcome. She shared with us her stories of life and how she was about to go to Denver on a vacation to see if it was where she wants to raise her 3-year old little boy. Good luck, Marcel!
- Iris: Grey Goose vodka, grapefruit juice, honey, mint and grapefruit bitters- okay, Catch really knows how to make some cocktails.
- Zeus: back to my first love of the evening.
- Piña Colada: thank you to Rudy, the server at the beach who brought me this delicious frozen concoction. Rudy works hard, walking back and forth from the beach to the bar at the hotel. It’s seriously like a dozen miles through sand. I don’t know how he does it, but thank you.
- Tequila Mockingbird: why can’t I quit you?
- Bottle of champagne: the hotel sent us another bottle of champagne because they’re cool like that. We drank it.
- Daiquiri: my one disappointing drink at some lame ass tapas bar on Espinola Way. Their menu sucked, the service sucked, and the drink sucked. But I drank it anyway.
- Spicy Margarita: Jalapeño-infused tequila, cilantro and cucumber- back at the pool area one day, I discovered the only drink that could take me away from my Tequila Mockingbird. Thank you to Michael for introducing it to me.
- 17th Street Cocktail: Avion Silver Tequila, Grand Marnier, Chartreuse, lime juice- this came from The Rose Bar at the Delano hotel. The bar was a beautiful mix of old time glamour with Alice in Wonderland trippy details. The drink was good, but the most entertaining part of the night was watching the woman at the bar strike up a conversation with any man who would catch her eye. It looked like she was on the hunt for sugar daddy.
- Zeus: I could not stay away from Catch and went back one day to have one more of these delicious bitches.
- Spicy Margarita: back at the pool, drinking tequila. Same ol’ same ol’.
- Chamomile Bee’s Knees: No. 3 Gin, chamomile honey syrup, lemon juice- this was from the martini lounge at The Raleigh. I am not normally a gin drinker, but this cocktail could change that.
- Peroni: I don’t know how it happened, but my last drink of vacation was a sad little beer I got from a delicious restaurant called Macchialina. I guess by my last night, the liver had had enough and could only tolerate one bottle of beer. Good though, but I felt like I was cheating on Zeus or tequila.
It is back to work I go today. I may be grumpy and I may be tired, but at least I am tan. And I thank everyone in Miami who helped me have a wonderful vacation.