Tag Archives: South Beach


23 Feb

Well, folks – it’s been a technologically trying couple of weeks, but I think I may finally be out of the woods.

I don’t know how, in the year 2011, it can still be difficult to receive a reliable internet connection, but apparently being able to spend an hour or two reading gossip blogs and surfing the internet after a long day of work is too much to ask. At least, don’t ask AT&T. Trust me when I say that they won’t be able to do anything for you except waste your time.

I’ve spent every lunch hour I’ve had for the past two weeks trying to get a modem delivered to my house, and each time I called in I seemed to get a different excuse. Either UPS didn’t have my apartment number or was keeping the package at their headquarters, an hour away. Once UPS got the address right, they had already sent the package back to AT&T, who wouldn’t overnight equipment despite promises.

Once Addam and I received our modem, the laptop still wouldn’t connect to the internet, meaning AT&T had to send someone out to check on our signal. Of course, when I asked two weeks ago if someone could just be sent out in lieu of the modem, I was told that I would have to install it myself. We were told that someone couldn’t come out for two weeks, but after a bit of persuasion on Addam’s part, AT&T agreed to send someone out this morning. So far, knock of wood, things appear to be running smoothly.

This would make me feel better if I wasn’t also fighting a losing battle with my insurance company.

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Close, closer, closest.

22 Dec

At this point you’re probably sick of hearing about my epically awesome weekends. I’m sorry, but you’re going to have to sit through just one more, as this last one was just as good as the two previous.

Emily and Ryan came back from their cruise on Friday and got into Miami around 10 a.m. You can’t even imagine how unbearable it was — sitting at my desk trying to focus on the articles I was writing when I knew that my faves were less than six miles away.  I wouldn’t have been able to stand it if they didn’t meet me for lunch at Bayside.

I had some pasta that was drowning in some really watery marinara sauce, but while my food was terrible, my company was amazing. I spent an hour catching up on all of the happenings of the lovebird’s trip and looking through the photos they took, which were all super cute. While I was a little jealous that I wasn’t able to enjoy their vacation with them, it looked like they both had an absolutely amazing time. I was the only one at the table who hadn’t been on a cruise, but Addam’s a pro, so they had a lot of stories to compare.

After lunch I went back to work to finish up a few stories that I had lingering over my head. Addam, Emily and Ryan picked me up from work around 6:30 p.m., and we all headed out to Coconut Grove to catch an opening night showing of Black Swan.

Before we made it to the movie we stopped to pick up Ryan’s drummer, Pat, who was in Miami for some reason I can’t remember. He was a really fun guy, and we all spent a few minutes tailgating behind Ryan’s car before making it into the theater.

The movie had assigned seating, which was kind of weird, but after figuring out a way that we could all sit together the mayhem began.

The movie was amazing, but I knew going in that I’d love it. I’m a huge Natalie Portman fan, and I’m kind of nerdy when it comes to A. Ballarinas and B. Swan Lake. I’m extremely uncoordinated, but I’ve always admired the artists/athletes who can make it work while looking like they’re not working at all.  AKA — my little sista!  She’s practiced from the time she was three until she went to college, and I literally cannot see anyone go on pointe without thinking about her.

I talked throughout the entire movie and probably drove Emily crazy with my slew of ballet-related questions, but I think everyone had a good time. I’d highly recommend the film to anyone who wasn’t overly squeamish. (Don’t get it twisted — this movie centers around ballet but it’s not for the weak of heart, or stomach.)

After we got home Emily and I went through about every article of clothing I have in an effort to put me together some cute work outfits. Everything I lack in style, Emily more than makes up for. She was putting together combos that I would have NEVER considered, and in the end I ended up with a huge selection of options. I didn’t think I had anything to wear, but it turns out I just didn’t know how to wear any of it.

On Saturday everyone had to wake up relatively early, as I had set up appointments for Emily and I to check out wedding dresses. (Since last Sunday ended up being such a bust, I wanted to make sure that we had everything set up for this weekend.)

We stopped at Burger King for a quick breakfast, and then the boys dropped us off on Miracle Mile. I had three appointments scheduled for the day, the first two of which were only an hour apart.

The first place we checked out did not have much of a selection and wouldn’t let us take pictures. Pair that with the fact that the attendant who was helping me kept asking if I was “ready to make my final decision” and it’s easy to understand why nothing I tried on there will be a contender for my final purchase.

The second place we went, however, was amazing. The lady who owned the shop wasn’t supposed to let us take photos but told us that she “didn’t see anything.” I tried on about seven or eight gowns, and there were three that I could see myself walking down the aisle in. And the best part was that everyone in the store was incredibly nice. I’ve never been called a princess so many times in my life, but I’m telling ya — I didn’t hate it.  (I don’t have all the pictures right now, but I’m planning on posting a wedding update later in the week. Keep your eyes pealed if you want to see the options I’m selecting from).

Emily got to try on a couple of bridesmaid dresses at this spot, but I don’t think that either one of us found anything that we were married to. (Pardon the pun.) One looked like it was going to be a contender, because it had an almost sea-shell like bust and looked really interesting, but in the end all I could stare at was Emily’s boobs. It made her out to be even more top heavy than she already is, so we decided to try out other options.

After the second location the boys picked us up, and we drove to our third appointment. We had a break, so we stopped for lunch at a little quesadilla joint where we almost, almost got rained on. After the close call the boys headed to a guitar and amp center, and Emily and I headed to Ever After, which is perhaps the ritziest store I’ve ever been to in my life.

I knew from the second I walked in that the place was going to be way too rich for my blood, but when I saw that the lowest price range on the questionnaire they gave me was $3,000 to $5,000 I had to pinch myself to keep from laughing. Not wanting to be rude and walk out of my appointment, (and not having a ride if I did), I decided to relax and make a fun time out of it.

The sales associate’s brought me some coffee on a silver platter and gabbed with Emily about her experience interning with Oscar de la Renta. From there they took me into their showroom and pulled out dress after expensive dress. I didn’t turn down anything and tried on absolutely everything. I knew it was a waste, but I’ll be damned if it wasn’t fun! I tried on gowns that were more expensive than my Jeep and Hyundai combined, and almost all of them were absolutely beautiful.

And while they obviously didn’t know that I was making a bit of a joke out of the entire appointment, the women who worked there were very nice and made me feel extremely comfortable. I know that they get paid to be nice, but they were both extremely flattering and seemed really interested in what look I wanted for my wedding.

I fell in love with the Oscar de la Renta dress photographed above. While the model is gorgeous, the pictures I’ve posted really do not do the gown justice. The ladies who were helping me put an entire look together, complete with earrings, a bracelet and a net veil. I know for a fact that it was probably the most expensive outfit that has ever touched my body, but I was living it up. It’s sad that it takes a $10,000 outfit for me to say this, but I’ve never felt more beautiful. Thank God Addam will never see me in it.

After the lavishness that was Ever After, Emily and I decided to skip our final appointment. We all headed home to prepare for the night’s festivities — a moonlit cookout.

Emily and Ryan invited over some friends they had met on their cruise who were going to be in Miami for a couple of days, and Addam and I invited Vicki and Tati. The entire night was incredible. Addam grilled up shrimp and lobster tails for the group and some asparagus and tofu for Emily and I. (Vegetarians — we’re always making things difficult.) Ryan brought out his guitar and entertained everyone with some of The Chuck Shaffer Picture Show’s finest,and I’m telling you now that if you’re not a fan on Facebook — add them. Look them up on iTunes, check them out on Myspace, Google them — do whatever you have to do, but make sure that you check them out, because Ryan is amazing. The most relaxing parts of my weekend were listening to him work out new songs on the guitar while I combed the internet.

The best part of the night, however?  Addam asking Ryan to be a groomsman! He’s been planning on asking since last weekend, and I couldn’t have thought of a better time for him to “pop the question.” Emily and I were so happy we were practically balls of mush. I know it’s still early, but I can’t wait to look out at the wedding party and see all the family and friends we have supporting us and our life together.

After a long night of food and drink, Ryan carried me to my bed, and I settled in to a long-night’s sleep.

The next morning I was in the mood to do something Christmasy.  Ryan had missed Emily’s performance as Clara in The Nutcracker her junior year, but luckily Addam and I have the video. We watched the entire performance, and I was reminded of the chill bumps I had while I was watching her perform the part on stage, three years ago.

After watching the prima ballerina, we all headed to South Beach to make some sand castles.

The boys seemed to be a lot more into it than Emily and I, but it was fun watching our men at work. Ryan was completely consumed with digging a trench and sculpting a drawbridge, while Addam worked construction. He ended up knocking over more towers than he built, but in the end the guys really made it work!

After the beach we dropped Yoga off at the apartment and headed to dinner at the O.G. — Original Gangsta — Olive Garden. I was starving and hadn’t been there since Chicago, so I maxed out. I had my usual —  fried lasagna bites. Emily had cheese ravioli (I got to take her left overs into lunch the next day and just looking at them made me want to cry missing her), Ry had the “man’s meal” — the tour of Italy, and Addam had  seafood pasta (surprise, surprise). It was extremely busy, so we ate at the bar, which was just as nice. I wish I had a photo to post, but we were all so hungry that we barely even talked.

We had such a busy weekend that once we got home we all just wanted to relax. We put on the movie Waiting and went to bed shortly after it ended. By that point Addam had taken some bad Robitussin and wasn’t feeling well at all.  He was still feeling weird the next morning, but I think he’s finally back to normal.

The next morning was the hardest I’ve had in Miami. Everyone woke up early, and while I got ready for work Addam, Emily and Ryan packed up. Emily and Ryan had a 10.5 hour drive to Myrtle Beach and made a pit stop to drop me off at work.

It was the hardest goodbye I’ve had in awhile, and I was a blubbering mess for most of my work day.  I’d be doing fine and then another reporter would ask me if my sister was headed home and I’d tear up. It sounds ridiculous, because I’ve had to say goodbye to Emily so many times, but last time it was so long before I saw her again. I can’t go that long this time, and my heart hurt just thinking that I might have to. She’ll be in the wedding, but as much as my fellow staffers tried to assure me that the time would fly by, I know that it doesn’t. Not like it did when I could stop by on my way home from school and see her any time I wanted. Not like when I knew that she was always in the room next door. I don’t know what needs to happen, but I know that this distance thing won’t ever work for me.

I, somehow, made it through my work day, submitted two stories and brought one home to work on. I wrote the entire time Addam was at work, and when he got home we headed outside to watch the lunar eclipse. It was the first time in 400 years that it has occurred on the same day as the winter solstice, so as an astronomy geek, I was pretty excited. It was amazing to watch, and I hope that everyone had a chance to witness history. As you can see by the photo I’ve included in this post, taken by my talented friend Mackenzie Grimes, the moon glowed red.

I crawled into bed way too late, and woke up way too early for a full production day. Having successfully made it through another week, I feel like I should be more tired. I have Friday off, so hopefully I’ll be able to cage up my excess energy and get a lot of work done tomorrow and Thursday.  While I’m trying to remain optimistic about the holidays, it’s going to be hard bouncing from three amazing weekends into a lonely Christmas. Still, it was worth it. I wouldn’t give up the past three weeks for anything.

“And I love my sister,
Lord knows how I’ve missed her,
She loves me,
And she knows I won’t forget.
And sometimes I get jealous,
Of all her little pets,
And I get lonely,
but I ain’t that lonely yet.”

— The White Stripes, I’m Lonely (But I Ain’t That Lonely Yet).

Lord knows how I’ve missed her

14 Dec

Just when I thought that this weekend couldn’t possibly top last, Emily and Ryan make it into town for a full three days off fun and fabulousness. I would have posted this update on Monday, but I was so tired I think I may have fallen asleep on the bus on the way home from work. I had to use the majority of Monday evening to recuperate.

As much as I love my job, the nine hours I spent sitting at my desk on Friday seemed unbearable knowing that my little sister was slowly making her way down to me. Emily and Ryan woke up to a flat tire, so they ended up being a little later than they expected, which was horrible for them, but great for me. If they would have gotten in before six I don’t know how I could have stayed to finish up the articles I wanted to submit before they got in.

My favorites made it to my apartment right around 6:15 p.m. and met me around 30th street shortly there after. After a few squeaks, squeals and bear hugs, we all made our way to Bayside, which is quickly becoming Addam and my favorite place to take visitors. We parked at my office, and I gave them a quick tour before we headed out.

Emily and Ryan were starving, so we got some pasta. It was an absolutely gorgeous night, and we decided to sit outside and catch up. It’s strange how having Emily near me for even one minute makes me realize just how much I’ve missed her. Every time I see her again I always wonder how I stand being away.

We walked around Bayside for awhile, seeing the sites and taking some fabulous photos. We had a brief upset when Emily lost her purse (would she be my sister if she didn’t?), but relax, relax. After three days of calling Bayside and the police, the only kind soul left in Miami found and returned it. I know, right?! I thought that she’d never see it again, and yet, there it is, sitting by my feet as I type.

After after-dinner drinks, some fun photos with the local Swisher Sweeties, and a few trips around the city on the Metromover, we headed back to the apartment, where we all stayed up ridiculously late laughing and planning the weekend festivities.

Before I go on and on about the rest of the weekend, I think that I need to point out to everyone who does not already know that this is the first time I’ve ever met Ryan. We’ve talked a bunch, we’re Facebook friends, but I’ve never quite met him on the face-to-face. Needless to say…I was very impressed.

I don’t really know how to describe how good he is to my sister, which is the best thing about him, but suffice it to say that I know she is being taken care of, which lifts a great weight from off my shoulders. I also know that she’s happy, which is quite possibly the most important thing in the world to me. In fact, her happiness completely coincides with how great I think he is, and from where I’m sitting, they’re both 10s.

AND — the dude is incredibly funny, which I always appreciate. I don’t really hang with people who can’t make me laugh, and he had me cracking up all weekend. It makes me feel fortunate that he’ll be in both Emily and my life for a long time to come.

After a late night and (somewhat) early morning, we all hopped in the car and headed out to Key Biscayne to check out wedding locations.

We got a little turned around finding Crandon Park, but once we found the place we got the full tour. Every place we saw was amazing and would make for a beautiful location, but I think Addam and I are going to go with Club Paradise because it’s private and has the most shade.  Addam’s putting the deposit down tomorrow morning, so I need to make sure to get the finishing touches on my save the dates.

Addam and I have decided not to have the reception on the beach. It was a hard decision, and something we didn’t want to give up, but we love music, and Crandon Park doesn’t allow for any sort of amplification. Which…just does not work for us.

After checking out the hot spots the whole gang headed down to the Rusty Pelican for dinner. We had been told by park officials that that is where most couples end up having their reception, but when I went to inquire about rates they told me that they were going to be closed for renovations over August.

I don’t get why they plan to renovate, because the place was absolutely amazing.  I honestly didn’t think that any of us would be able to afford it at first, but we stuck it out and were glad we did. The food was epic.  I literally could have filled up on bread, and I think I kind of did. I got the best tomato soup I’ve ever had in my life and a salad.

The only thing better than the food was the view. Our waiter, who was a bit rude and absentminded, placed us near a big window by the water, so we got to watch sea planes and yachts jet by while we ate. We even got a glimpse of a wedding reception, which only made me more excited about my big day. (Oh, and one of the groomsmen was Will.i.am. From Fergie.  I mean, really. I think it was him. I wanted to hire him to work my reception.)

Right after dinner Emily and I went wedding dress shopping for some quality bride/maid of honor time.  It was about 5 p.m., and I thought a lot of places would be closed, but David’s Bridal was open and accepting.

Guys…I tried on soooo many dresses.  I’ve said before that I am not the typical bride. Since I had no idea what I liked, I wanted to try on everything. I put on mermaid cuts, strapless cuts, form fitting and flowing. I tried trains, no trains, veils and tiaras, and in the end, I still love the first one I ever tried on.

I’m not including the photos of actual contenders on here, because I am sure Addam will be reading this blog post. The one I’m including is a total princess cut. Definitely not what I’m going for, but I had to try it. Don’t worry. I plan on posting an update, for your eyes only, later this week. I’m not very traditional, but I want Addam to be amazed when he sees me in my dress for the first time. Which means that he absolutely cannot see me in my final pick. He seems ok with that. In fact, I think he may be more concerned with keeping the dress hidden than I am.

I do have to say though — I never knew how much putting on a wedding dress would affect me.  I didn’t know what to expect, but I never thought that I’d ever feel so bridal. Seeing myself in a gown for the first time really got to me.  It all seemed so official, and I couldn’t wait for Addam to see me walking toward him on a beach in Key Biscayne.

The coolest part? There was no mirror in the changing room, so the first reaction I ever got was Emily’s.  I’d come of out the little closet and immediately look to her for an opinion, which kind of helped me judge what I would think upon seeing the dress.  (Yeah, she has that much of an influence over me, and I really just want her to think I’m pretty on my wedding day. Is that so insane?) We immediately sent all of the photos we took to Steve and Judy, but as they had completely conflicting opinions, I really don’t know what that to take away from it all…

After picking out of ton of swatches, (I think I’m going to go with a jade green and tan-ish color), Emily and I headed out to meet the boys, who apparently spent two hours drinking whiskey and shooting the shit.  We had planned to go see Black Swan, but I incorrectly thought that it was already playing in Miami.  We’re going when Ryan and Emily get back from their cruise on Friday.

Without plans for the night, we all decided to head out to South Beach.  A couple of five-hour energies and we were more than good to go.

After Emily and I  followed this troll of a woman into a ritzy hotel to pee, we met up with the boys and headed to the water. We spent the evening munching on leftovers and taking ridiculously cute and funny photos.  Addam would shout out a scenario, and we would all pose to act it out. I wish my descriptions could do the game justice, but it really was a good time. If nothing else, we kept each other laughing.

After Addam took a jump in the December ocean, and after taking about a thousand pictures of these classic CJ’s we found near Collins Avenue, (Addam is obsessed), we headed home.

Addam had to work on Sunday, so Ryan, Emily and I planned to spend the day checking out wedding dresses and bridesmaid gowns. Unfortunately, it turned into three hours of driving around in search of any open bridal stores. After wandering hopeless for a couple hours, we decided on Macy’s, which also had absolutely nothing to work with.  I’ve already scheduled a ton of appointments for next weekend so we don’t run into the same issues.

Addam got off around sixish, and we all headed to this BOMB Mexican restaurant where we fueled up on chips and tacos. The service was lack-luster, but the food was amazing. The woman who rang us up was simple and foolish, so my food was free, so I honestly can’t complain. The sauces were amazing, and Addam and I plan on hitting it up again in the near future.

Back at the apartment we had an easy evening of The House Bunny and  Zack and Miri Make a Porno.  I don’t know what time I went to bed, but I do know that Monday morning was a tough one.

Luckily, we all went out for breakfast, which was a good start to what would be a long day.  I maxed out on a much needed egg and cheese sandwich from Subway, and Ryan and Emily set out for their cruise. Addam spent the a.m. making sure they were all aboard, and I was jealous that I couldn’t be there to send them my love as they set sail.  I pictured myself waving furiously as their boat made its way out of the port.

It’s now Tuesday, and I’m much more rested. I plan on going to bed early everyday this week in anticipation of the incredible weekend I have coming up. Dress shopping, tattoos and Black Swan? Yeahhhh. I can deal with it. I just wish it never had to end. Not to get sappy, but it’s going to be really hard to embrace the cold after being engulfed in sunshine.

“I’d rather laugh with sinners than cry with saints.” — Billy Joel, musician.