traveling

MOVING TO MIAMI, MAYBE?

Me and Michael made our second trip to Miami together two weeks ago. We visited this past summer and had the best time, so we could not wait to get back. Also, we are planning to move in together soon and have been in search of a place to buy our first home. We are really thinking that Miami is the city for us! Personally, I have learned so much about the process of buying a house already, so we will definitely share everything we have learned so far soon. I went into this knowing nothing about how to buy a house and thinking it would be impossible, so if you feel that way maybe our future posts will really help!

Michael and I flew to Miami on December 16th and came home on the 19th. The main mission of our trip was to scope out neighborhoods and drive past homes that we had found on zillow. We were pretty open to seeing a lot of the suburbs around Miami and we also loved Brickell if we decided to do an apartment. 

December 16th, 2021

We flew out of New York on the afternoon of the 16th. We had airplane credits from a canceled flight this summer so we flew almost for free. Our flight was very delayed and the airport was packed. Flights were delayed all over and there was pretty much no communication about why and when they would be taking off. We flew this airline because of our credit but we are excited to say that this was the last time we will ever be using them. We became Delta members after our last terrible flying experience and we can now say that we have graduated from delayed chaotic flights onto bigger and better things.

Luckily, getting our rental car went much faster than last time. We got off of our flight and went straight to the rental car counter. They had our keys ready for us and we found our car as soon as we entered the parking lot. 

We stayed at Michael’s great aunt’s house in Florida. She is incredible. We stopped on the way to her house to pick up a bottle of wine and some things we needed to grab. We were starving but we knew that there was food waiting at the house, so we resisted the urge to stop anywhere. 

Thirty minutes later we were pulling up to the gate of a beautiful gated community of houses. Michael hadn’t been to his aunt’s house since he was a child and I had never been. The man at the gate let us in and we followed the GPS to a beautiful home decorated in twinkly lights. I am so glad we planned our visit right before Christmas, because everything was decorated so beautifully. We did a lot of driving on our trip and the decorations made the view that much better.

Michael’s aunt and uncle were so happy to have us visiting. They had a great little guest bed room set up for us and lots of food, which we happily ate. Their kitchen and living room are connected in one big space designed to spend time with family and through the big back window you could see the pool which I would no doubt take a dip in at some point. We stayed up late that night, passed 1 am, catching up and talking about our plans for our trip. 

After our tummies were full we took a shower and got into bed for the night.

December 17th, 2021 

I am an early riser so I told Michael the night before that we did not need an alarm and I would get us up with plenty of time to get ready for our day. This is why it was so shocking when Michael shook me awake and told me I had slept in and we needed to get up right away. I quickly realized that he had just assumed we were late because it was so sunny outside. Maybe he forgot we were not in New York anymore? Either way, this gave us plenty of time to enjoy our morning.

We ate breakfast and sat by the pool while we planned our day. We have been excited to look at houses for a while now so we have a long document of links to zillow homes. That morning we made a list to prioritize visiting our favorites and mapping out the best way to do so. By the time we had our top 20 figured out and mapped and we were dressed and ready for the day it was around noon.

We had some jobs to do before we could visit the homes on our list. Our good friend Collin lives in Ft. Lauderdale and so we stopped by his house. We might be buying a house together so all three of us were going on our adventure together. We started at a delicious Italian bakery to pick up desserts for Collin’s family Christmas. It has been his favorite bakery for many years and me and Michael were up for a snack. We shared a delicious gelato while Collin ate a humongous slice of homemade pizza. We sat outside while we ate under the blazing sun, and to no ones surprise, I was the only one who did not complain. Our gelato melted fast, but we ate it faster.

Next stop was the butcher for tonight’s dinner. Michael and I brought a bottle of wine while we were there to bring with us to the party. Recently I have learned to enjoy drinking red wine, which was definitely a bumpy road. We did a wine tasting at Bet the Farm Winery and we really enjoyed their twice noir. (if you check out their website, the sparkling rose is divine) Back to Collin’s house we went to drop everything off before we set out on what we were there to do.

Michael, Collin, and I spent the next few hours driving around in the car exploring neighborhoods and visiting our favorite zillow homes. It is pretty crazy to see how different a home can look on zillow compared to in real life. We found some really cute little neighborhoods. Michael really wants to be in walking distance to some fun shops you can walk around, and Collin does not want to be more than a 20 minute drive from work. I would love a home with a pool.

We saw some great homes along the way, a few that were not even on our list, but nothing made us fall in love. Nothing immediately stood out to us as the perfect home, but we aren’t in too much of a rush to move, so we focused on learning about which neighborhoods seemed like the best fit for us. We took notes as we went however things stilled ended up getting mixed up in our minds. Starting the adventure of moving to Miami is a huge information dump and it is definitely a lot to keep up with.

Luckily, we had a fun and chill night ahead. We went to Collin’s family Christmas party where the food was incredible. So many yummy choices to choose from. We met all of his family and got to cheers to his brother’s recent engagement. When everyone started to filter out we decided to end our night at the beach. I love the beach and miss the sand and the ocean during the cold New York winters. It was perfect, ending our night sitting in the sand under the stars. Michael and I made it back to our temporary bed very late that night exhausted and very ready to sleep.

December 18th, 2021

December 18th was already our last full day there, however we still had so much planned. We had our daily breakfast with Michael’s Aunt, Uncle, and cousin, and we headed out pretty early. After our bagel we got dressed and decided to go through a quick second drive through of some of the neighborhoods and homes that we had seen the day before. 

We stopped for a bite to eat in a little neighborhood in downtown coral gables. We want a great little spot that we can walk to wherever we move so we decided to take this chance to scope out the local lunch scene. We found a great little spot called Bachour. Michael ordered us mimosas as soon as the waitress came over to the table. We shared burrata with tomatoes and a delicious crispy bread, and a turkey wrap. The real winner (aside from our mimosas) was dessert.

While writing this post I have done some research about Bachour and I learned that the man who created Bachour started as a pastry chef. After visiting this does not come as a surprise. Not only were they delicious, they were also stunning. I will include a video of them so you can see. Amazing!

We found a listing for a home only a few blocks away so we walked there. We saw some familiar landmarks from the day before and realized there were some homes nearby that we had really liked. First, we saw two homes just a few blocks from our lunch spot. Unfortunately, the first was very close to the highway, while the second was just a little over our price range. We made a big loop back to the car and drove to some of our favorite nearby spots. 

We pulled up to a home that we had found on zillow and loved! It was surprisingly inexpensive and very cute with some nice lawn space. Admittedly, the zillow photographer worked some magic and made the home look much bigger than it was, but we still really liked it. That didn’t last long. We noticed something big that we had totally missed the day before. This home was located directly next to a trailer park. We have no idea how all three of us had missed this. The sound of a rooster and the chicken that we saw stepping out of one of the trailer homes really tipped us off. How in the world did we not notice the home we thought was so cute was practically in a trailer park? I guess the price really was too good to be true.

We went out to dinner with Michael’s Great Aunt who could not wait to see us! Her and her husband drove us around their neighborhood. She would love it if we moved right next door. We went to dinner at a key west style restaurant and caught up on what has been going on in our lives. His aunt made us a really cute homemade Christmas ornament as our Christmas gift. Its actually our first ornament as a couple.

We ended our night at Michael’s Aunt’s house. She has a daughter who is two years old that I was dying to meet. Kids and me have always gotten along well. I heard she was very shy so I was honored that she took a liking to me. She even shared some of her toys with me. 

December 19th, 2021

Michael was determined to make our trip entirely informational. We were there because we wanted to move there and we had a lot to learn about how we could make that happen. Luckily, we were able to have a lot of fun along the way while learning. We had a really exciting phone call on the morning of December 19th.

Up until this point we had done most of the work on our own, but we had a call with a real estate agent on the morning of the 19th. He had some great news for us. After telling him what we were looking for he told us he thinks our budget is definitely reasonable and that we could find something really great. We spent about a half hour on the call after this answering questions more specific about what we were looking for in a home. After this, we were done with home stuff for the rest of our trip. We couldn’t do anything else until the agent sent us a list of property some time the following week. So, we enjoyed our last day there.

We drove to Collin’s house, and all three of us visited the yacht club that his family is a part of it. I spent the last few hours of my trip eating yummy food, swimming in the pool, and scoring Michael and Collin’s diving board jumping competition. 

To our surprise we had no delay on the flight home. The turbulence was awful, but at least we were on time. That’s all that we could ask from our crappy airline. 

There is so much already that has gone on hours wise from our trip to when I am writing this (a three week difference). It has all been a great learning experience and we are still very excited about our potential move. If you are reading this, we will make sure to keep you updated on what’s to come!

Our Travels

We are really excited to finally be in a place where we can travel together and explore new places. To read about our first Miami trip you can click here, and click here to see all about all of our other recent travels.

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