Miami has been on my bucket list for quite some time. I have reserved flights and had to cancel twice. For my birthday this past year I got a ticket to finally mark it off the list. I was pretty hyped up for the trip and my expectations were high. I’ve heard so many stories of how fun and awesome it is. So many people that have been told me, “oh you are going to love it so much, you are going to want to move there.” Maybe I set my expectations too high. Maybe it wasn’t good timing. Maybe people don’t know me that well. Either way, I don’t see myself relocating there… ever.
My friends and I took the red eye from Vegas and landed in Miami at 9:40 a.m. We headed directly to Nikki Beach where we had a comped bottle and brunch waiting. I was surprised to see there wasn’t a pool, but I guess with the beach being right there… who needs it? The vibe was chill, no mainstream DJ or champagne spraying. In fact, the crowd didn’t pick up until close to 5 p.m. I figured, with my vodka buzz in full effect, I needed a picture of the ocean. I walked down with cell phone in hand when a wave came up and my phone was out of commission. Perhaps not the smartest thing in the world, but I blame it on the alcohol. As Nikki started to fill up, the “beach” became a “dayclub” with house music and a crowd full of creepers. Granted we were a cabana of five girls, but running off no sleep and being in the sun all day, we were not in the mood to be bothered. Every fifteen minutes guys would walk by and just stop and stare. I don’t know if that works in Miami to pick up on girls, but it was getting annoying. We kept saying “don’t make eye contact and they will go away.” It didn’t work. Two guys came up and started asking us the typical, “where are you girls from?” I stopped him and said, “listen we don’t want to be bothered so just move along.” They didn’t take the hint. They just kept talking and after about ten minutes one of the guys decided he was going to have a seat. I lost it. I had to get security to get them to leave. It didn’t help. One of the guys kept coming and apologizing for bothering us. It was time to go. We tried to go out later that night, but one of the girls ended up getting sick, another was hungry, and I was crabby.
The next day we decided to start over and take another stab at Miami. We laid out on the beach and soaked up some rays. We decided to get a bite to eat along Ocean Drive. One thing about Miami is that gratuity is included… on everything. With that being said, service really isn’t up to par. The place we were at screwed up our order and seemed upset that we were unhappy about the service. I will say they tried to make up for it in the end, but after waiting so long we just wanted to leave. Later that night we headed off to Tantra, where we had comped dinner and champagne. The décor was very cool, deep reds and Asian themed. They even had real grass for the flooring in the lounge. What amazed though again was the service. We had a great server that took very good care of us, but one observation in general is that anyone could be on their cell phones while working. One of the girls came to our table, but stopped in mid conversation to send out a text. I couldn’t even imagine how management would act if that happened in Vegas. The place started to get packed so we were moved to the “grass” with a new bottle of champagne. We were sitting across from a group of girls and when we went to pour a glass and the girls stopped us claiming it was their bottle. The promoter was fighting with our server when she told them it was free and everyone could share. Instead of continuing the fight, she simply brought us another bottle. Who knew a $5 bottle of champagne could be so important? The music was a little to chill for us so we decided to head to Mokai. It was the first time I felt like I was experiencing Miami. The club was packed and everyone was dancing. The only problem we ran into was with the bartender who again failed to mention the included gratuity and tried scoring a $40 tip off a $90 bill… uh no.
The rest of the vacation was just laying out on the beach and eating at various restaurants. I don’t really know if I was missing an element of Miami or it just wasn’t what I thought it was. South Beach is nice, but the people are rude and even a bit scary. It was nonstop cat calling and promoters bugging us to check out their spot. I’m more of a person that likes to go and see what the locals do. I will say a lot of the locals told us that we went at the wrong time. Nothing goes on after Labor Day until about November. Also we stayed at Casa Grand Suites on 7th and Ocean, which was a great deal and would recommend to anyone. I would go back and give it another try, but I think I would have to do a bit more preparing and hopefully a lot more partying.