traveling

WE’RE MOVING TO MIAMI!

Another Amazing Weekend in Miami

Michael and I spent the past three days in Miami together, and we have some very exciting things coming. We flew down to Florida to look at apartments with our real estate agent and hopefully find our first home. This is our third time visiting Miami in the past year, and every time we visit, we feel even more excited for our move there. If you want to read about our first trip to Miami, click here, and to read about our second trip, where we started planning our move, click here.

Flying Down to Miami

I flew down to Miami very early Thursday morning. I recently got approved for TSA pre-check, and Michael and I became Delta members, which means that I flew through security, and I got to bring a free checked bag. Woohoo!

We are buying our first home with our best friend Collin, and when my plane landed, Michael and Collin were in the middle of touring the first apartment of the day. So, I got off of the plane, and I ubered to meet them there.

My uber sang the whole way there. He was very sweet. I hadn’t seen Michael in about a month before this past weekend, and I couldn’t wait to hug him. I was definitely frustrated that I had to take an uber to Brickell, because that was not the plan. Michael texted me a few times knowing this.

I love you so much.

Im really sorry we didn’t have a plan to get you here.

It’s been a really busy morning of work calls that just ended.

How could I stay mad at that?

So, when I pulled up to a familiar building and I saw Michael through the big glass windows, I couldn’t help but smile. He came out and immediately grabbed my bag for me and gave me a big hug. After all these years of long distance, this is still the best feeling in the world.

Brickell vs. Edgewater

The first tour we took was an apartment in Brickell, a neighborhood in Miami. Brickell is described as a financial center populated with young professionals. There are tons of fun bars and restaurants as well as beautiful apartment buildings and views overlooking the Biscayne Bay.

Miami has many different neighborhoods with very unique populations and scenes, so if you are visiting or moving there, you want to know which one best fits you. We were looking at Brickell and Edgewater. Edgewater is a little bit quieter and slower with a lot of young couples and young families. It is right over the bridge from South Beach, and there is a big park in Edgewater with beach volleyball courts, tennis courts, a dog park, a basketball court, and a walking trail along the water. The apartments in Edgewater are typically older than those in Brickell, and they might look more outdated, but they also tend to have much more space. The HOA fees tend to be lower, however the amenities, such as the pool and gym, tend to be less elaborate.

Our First Apartment Tour in Brickell, Miami

Last summer we visited Miami and stayed in an apartment in Brickell. We wrote all about it in this post. Our first apartment we were seeing was in the same building. We already knew it was very nice and that the pool was great! As expected, the apartment was all white and modern, and it had a big balcony with a beautiful view. Also, as expected, the living space was small. The closet space was almost non-existent. It was beautiful. However, we really wanted a space that is conducive to having friends visit and hosting little parties. It would have been tough in this space.

I felt pretty good after the first apartment. It was nice, a little small, but nice. We had another showing in two hours, so we decided to get lunch. Michael, Collin, and I met our friend at a lunch spot called Suviche. We went here for lunch over the summer during our visit and loved it. It is a fun mix of Asian food and Peruvian food. Michael told me to order for the two of us, and I did a great job.

Lunch was delicious!

We shared Mahi Mahi Mexicano Ceviche, and two sushi rolls, the Truffle roll, and the Bang Bang roll. The Bang Bang sushi roll was the best sushi I have ever had. If you’re in Miami and love sushi make sure to try it!

Suviche Miami
The one on the left with the little shrimps on top is the Bang Bang roll!

Our Second Brickell Apartment

On our walk to the next building, my mind kept wandering to exciting thoughts about living somewhere warm and exploring the new city. Every day we were there was 79 degrees and sunny, and every time I have visited Miami with Michael I have tried some new kind of food (it is delicious every time).

We walked into the next building, and they told us we had to wear a mask to go up and look in the apartment. That was a bummer 🙁

This apartment was currently occupied by someone that was renting it, so it was filled with furniture. I did not mind that because it made it so easy to see how much you can fit in the rooms and what they looked like all set up. This apartment had a huge balcony and a much bigger living room, which I loved. Unfortunately, the bedrooms were super tiny. We went up a few more floors to look at the pool, but there was a lot of construction being done. Again, a really nice apartment, but maybe not for us.

Nap Break

We had one more showing for the night, but it wasn’t for a few hours. We went back to our friend’s building to rest in between. Michael got some work done while I laid by the pool. It wasn’t long until I was napping.

Our First Visit to Edgewater

Our third tour of the day was in Edgewater. None of us had been to this neighborhood before, and I was feeling really curious. Leading up to this trip I have gone back and forth in my head.

We should definitely live in Brickell.

We would definitely be happiest in Edgewater.

Brickell seems so incredible.

Edgewater seems perfect for us.

We got to Edgewater, and the first thing I saw was a giant park. I absolutely loved it! They had a dog park, beach volleyball courts, tennis courts, a basketball court, and a beautiful walking path along the water.

The building with the apartment we were looking at was a little dated, but very charming. I saw a few young families, and a whole bunch of adorable dogs.

We took a little elevator up to the eighth floor.

This was the only three bedroom apartment that we saw. It had so much living space! The living room/kitchen looked perfect to host fun parties, and family and friends could easily visit from out of town. The balcony was nice, the rooms and closets were great, and the big windows let in the perfect amount of light. We went to see the amenities and loved the big gym, overlooking the giant pool. Plus, I couldn’t stop thinking about how lovely it would be to be across from that big park.

Back To Brickell One More Time

The Edgewater apartment was definitely our favorite of the day. I felt ready to buy it right then and there. We had one more tour though that night, back in Brickell.

We easily found parking near the last building, and walked into the lobby. Looking around, the lobby was really nice. Our agent was talking to the man behind the desk, who was fumbling around, trying to find the key to the apartment. A minute later, our agent guided us to the elevators, and we took one up to the third floor.

The apartment was tiny. Like two bedrooms, two bathrooms, kitchen, and living room in under 800 square feet tiny. (if you don’t know, that’s really tiny) There was no kitchen counter, the living room would either fit a table or a couch, but definitely not both, and the rooms would just fit a full size bed. What the heck were we doing here?

Then we opened the doors to the balcony.

There was the living space! The balcony was as big as the whole apartment. We peeked past the wall that blocked ours from the neighbors balcony. People had full outdoor seating arrangements, hammocks, barbecues, and fun lawn games. It was so cool, and we were viewing it during sunset, which we saw over the city. This balcony was sick!

The boys were psyched. I liked it too, but they loved the balcony.

When we went back inside though, I couldn’t get past the feeling that getting this apartment would mean my siblings couldn’t come stay with us, and our friends would have to get a hotel room when they came in from out of town. Unless people were open to sleeping on the balcony, I guess.

We decided to go look at the amenities, but I felt like this was just not the one for us. The pool was beautiful, although not very spacious, and the gym was very limited. The boys were still into it, but I knew it wasn’t for us. (they get excited easily, they wanted to buy every one we saw).

Out to Dinner in Miami

Our real estate agent took us out to a nice dinner. He lives in Brickell, so he showed us one of his most frequented spots. It was called Moxies. I was still in my airplane outfit, and I was exhausted, however I was also starving, so I was excited.

I started with a yummy glass of sparkly rosé sangria. Bubbly sangria is my favorite; I love when restaurants have it on the menu! What a great start. It came with a cute little orange slice on the rim in a pretty wine glass. The boys got beers; Michael loves trying local beers or ones he hasn’t heard of whenever he has the chance.

We chose our meals quickly. I had my eye on the Chicken Madeira Rigatoni, and when our agent told me it was one of his favorite dishes, I was sold. Michael went for the Beef Vindaloo. The best thing about having a partner is that you get to try a bite of their food at dinner!

We loved everything that we ordered. I had a really nice time. A really nice way to wind down at the end of our night. It was definitely a crazy day.

An Ice Cream to End the Day

We ended the night with ice cream from Chill-N Nitrogen Ice Cream in Fort Lauderdale. I had never had nitrogen ice cream. It was delicious, but not too different from normal ice cream. The seasonal hot chocolate and red velvet flavors were so tasty! I added hot fudge on top, and it was the perfect end to my night.

A Relaxing Morning by the Pool

We stayed at Collin’s family’s home during our trip. Friday morning Michael had some work to get done before we went to our next showing. I got to spend the morning relaxing by the pool, alternating between enjoying the sun and having to hide in the shade, to avoid getting sunburn. I saw a dirty pool float in the corner of the yard, but by the time me and the hose were done with it, it looked shiny and new.

Our first tour that day was not until noon. At around 11, I went inside to get ready for the day. My aunt bought me the cutest 60s inspired patterned dress for Christmas, and I finally had a chance to wear it! It was covered in fun designs in shades of pink and orange. We finished getting ready, and we were on our way!

Another Tour in Brickell (and it’s a good one)

Miami traffic is terrible.

We’ve heard that so many times before, and I guess we had experienced it a little. I don’t know, it really hasn’t been to bad. We are from New York, we have some pretty terrible traffic too.

Nope!

We were cruising down the highway, until we weren’t. In about 30 minutes, we traveled a little less than a mile. We were so frustrated, until we saw the car that caused the back-up. It had been totally engulfed by flames. Only the frame was left on the side of the road where the last few cops were completing their work.

But then we were cruising again.

We made it to the apartment about 15 minutes late, which did not seem to be an issue. The lobby was really nice. On our way up to the ninth floor, we had a fun conversation about the fact that every lobby we had been in had a very pleasant and unique smell. We opened the door to the apartment and it was nice. The floors were new and bright white, the balcony was big, and large glass doors took up the whole back wall. The bedrooms were nice and big, and the washer and dryer were brand new. This was a good one! We really like it and the agent raved about what a great deal it was.

We finished walking around and met in the living room. I really liked this one. Definitely in my top two with that perfect one in Edgewater.

Then our agent told us he had some bad news for us.

“The apartment in Edgewater sold.”

What!? How!? We thought we would be fine because it had been on the market for so long. We later found out that was only because of issues kicking out past tenants, which had deterred any buyers that had seen the space before about a week earlier than we had seen it. I was so upset. I loved the apartment we were standing in, however it didn’t have a guest bedroom, and it definitely did not have an incredible park across the street.

Playing the Real Estate Game

I am sure that there are so many people who have fallen in love with a first home that, for whatever reason, they never got to call their own. I hadn’t really thought about it much, but that was heart breaking. Sending our family videos of the apartment that day and getting responses that said “ooo I really love that one, but I still like the one from yesterday a little bit better” really sucked.

But now we knew how that felt, and we were not going to let it happen again. Trying my best to not let my stubbornness and disappointment get in the way, I tried to decide how I felt about the apartment I was standing in. We went up to view the pool and the gym, and they were both lovely. The apartment had plenty of room to host guests and have loved ones visit. The apartment was new and beautiful. We decided to get lunch and talk it over.

Our Last Meal in Brickell, At Least For Now

We ate lunch at Rice Mediterranean Kitchen. Think Chipotle style dining, but with Greek food. We got fresh, colorful Greek bowls, and sat down to talk. We looked over the listing again and again. My stubbornness was winning, despite knowing that it was a great apartment. I ate my lunch pretty quietly. Everyone else was so excited about this apartment, and I wanted to be too. It was much harder than you might think. Later on, we ended up learning the Edgewater apartment sold for much higher than asking price, so I guess we probably wouldn’t have ended up there either way.

It just wasn’t meant to be.

We had one more apartment to view that day, and it was back in Edgewater. So, we got back in the car, and we were on our way.

A Not So Great Apartment in Edgewater

Back to Edgewater we went.

Unfortunately, this was a different part of Edgewater, further south, and not very close to the big beautiful park. We got out of the car, and we had a hard time finding the correct building. After walking past several piles of dog (we hoped) poop that had so kindly been left on the sidewalk, we found it.

The building was not like the beautiful ones we had seen. There was essentially no lobby, the pool was tiny, and the gym was a rack of dumbbells and an old treadmill. We went up two more floors in the creaky elevator to the apartment that we were there to see.

We immediately understood the appeal. It was big. Big kitchen, big living room, big bedrooms with big closets, and a big balcony. The apartment was directly on the water, and the huge balcony, which was accessible from every room, had incredible views.

That wasn’t enough though. We all quickly agreed that this wasn’t it.

We all had the apartment in Brickell from this morning on our minds. Was that it? Was that our future home?

A VERY IMPORTANT Drive Home

We said good bye to our real estate agent. We told him we would get back to him about if we wanted to put an offer on the apartment or not by the time we got home

Once we got in the car. Michael kept asking me and Collin what we should do. I felt so conflicted; I didn’t know if I wanted to be in Brickell after falling in love with that park in Edgewater. Something about being in Edgewater felt much more like our vibe to me. However, The Brickell apartment had everything we were looking for.

The boys felt really comfortable putting in an offer on this apartment, so I jumped on board as excitedly as I could.

So, I Guess We’re Sending It

We were around the block from Collin’s house when we called our agent, and told him to put the offer in.

By this point I was feeling really excited about it. Not only was it a great apartment, but also me and Michael were putting an offer on our first home. The first place we would move in together. We have been long distance for so long, and for years now I have had dreams about the days where I won’t wake up missing Michael every morning. The more that happens for us, like getting engaged, booking a wedding venue, and now buying a home, the closer it feels to never have to miss him like that again. For me, this apartment really symbolizes that.

A Barbecue to Finish Off The Big Night

We finished off the night with a barbecue and a movie at Collin’s family’s house. Me, Michael, Collin, and another one of our friends ate delicious burgers, juicy watermelon (which you cannot find anywhere in New York this time of year), and grilled vegetables while we filled out paperwork and freaked out about this crazy step we were taking.

The flames on the barbecue were strong, and the backyard filled with the smell of burgers and a cloud of smoke. The boys finished the paperwork just minutes before dinner was ready. Michael and I popped a bottle of prosecco (yum!) right before we sat down to eat.

There was a big sense of urgency at the table while we ate. We had handed in the paperwork, but there were so many next steps, and to be honest, we didn’t entirely know what we were doing. There could have been major things we were missing, or things we had done wrong, and we would not have known any better. It was getting late though, and there were no updates from our agent, so we felt like it was safe to wind down for the night, and resume the waiting game the next morning.

I poured myself one more glass of prosecco, and joined the boys on the couch to watch Suicide Squad (the one without Will Smith).

Morning Workout in Miami

This was the last real day of my visit. We woke up really early in order to get in a good workout before enjoying the rest of our day. All three of the boys were rowers in college, so we went to a boathouse in North Miami Beach to work out there. I try my best to blend in with the rowers; being tall definitely helps a lot. Michael and I erged and did some planks and such, while Collin and our friend went out on the water. About an hour and a half later, everyone was back, the equipment was all cleaned off, and we were all starving.

Breakfast was at Bagel Bar East in North Miami.

In our post about St. Augustine, Michael and I shared that despite being from New York, we are not pizza snobs. I can not say the same about bagels. I really love a good bagel.

Bagel bar was delicious. We all shared a challah french toast to start, and then ordered variations of omelets for ourselves.

Michael opted for a liver sandwich. He takes it very personally went I don’t want to try a bite of his meals, so I did. Not nearly as good as my omelet, or the french toast, but it could have been worse for sure.

While we ate we planned our day ahead. After a great, but stressful weekend, we really wanted to relax. So, we planned to head to the beach.

The Beach

Miami beer pong

Michael and I bought sunblock and solo cups at target, while the boys went to the supermarket to find drinks and ping pong balls. We decided to make it a Funky Buddha day, so we bought Funky Buddha beers and seltzers (the best seltzers I’ve tried so far). Then, we all met back up at the car, and headed to Lauderdale by the Sea. What an adorable little beach town. Also, what a packed little beach town. We walked around the beach for a little before we actually found a space to settle down. There had to be plenty of space for a very serious game of beer pong.

We didn’t have a table, so we decided to dig one into the sand (I put a picture of it bellow so you can see what I mean). However, before we even got to digging, a guy came over with a pizza that him and his group had not finished, and he gave it to us. That was pretty great; it was delicious. The boys got to work digging the table while I finished my slice and cracked open a seltzer.

I was on a roll the first round. I made three cups almost immediately. We were playing best of five games, and it was competitive.

They won the first game.

And then, they won the second.

But then, we won!!

And we won again!!

And again!!

Victorious!

It took quite a while to get used to the wind on the beach. Michael and I accredit our win to noticing that if you got the ball wet and dipped it in the sand, the wind would not deter it nearly as much.

Beach beer pong Miami

Our Run in with The Law

Our pong table was awesome. I know, because people kept coming by and telling us. So, when we were all done, before we filled it back in with sand, we asked these kids to take a picture of us. As they went to take the first shots, a golf cart drove over with security on it. Luckily, they were really cool.

“There’s no drinking on the beach.”

(We already knew that)

“That’s a really cool sand table though, who’s winning?”

They came over just to ask us to be a little more low key, but no one got in trouble.

We apologized to the kid waiting to take our pic, but he just said he thought it was really funny. He even got a few good pics of us being scolded by security.

Lauderdale by the Sea

We said thanks and then cleaned up our drinks and dismantled our awesome table. Then, we decided to swim in the ocean before leaving the beach to find a place to get lunch.

Lunch in Lauderdale by the Sea

We got lunch at Laspada’s, a really great sandwich spot (I guess in Florida they call them hoagies?). Michael and I shared a really great spicy meatball hero. The other’s got their own sandwiches, but I was making sure to save room for ice cream. I have shared this before, but I’ll tell you again. Eating ice cream after a day on the beach is the best thing in the world.

We went to Kilwins next for my ice cream cone. Kilwins is a classic beach ice cream shop, with a fudge counter in the front and a tray of free samples to taste. The flavors, however, were not just classics. They had so many fun ones to choose from. One of my flavors had a chocolate base with coconut flakes in it and little pieces of shredded chocolate. The other flavor, which I could have eaten a whole tub of, had the gooiest caramel swirls I have ever tasted.

ice cream Lauderdale by the Sea

We headed home after this.

Our Last Night

Our last night was a very relaxed one. We barbecued again, steak this time. I had to pack up my bag, because I was leaving so early the next morning. We all fell asleep early after a really, really great day.

Time to Go Home

All three of the boys woke up at 4:45 am the next morning to drop me off at the airport. They all hopped out when we got to the airport to give me a hug good bye. My friends are the best!

I gave Michael a hug good bye last. I won’t see him again until the end of March when I come home from school. Then, we start packing for our move.

I am so excited to finally live with the love of my life.

Sneak peak into the future: It seems like we will be able to move into our new home in the next few months. We will share more specific blog posts about the actual buying a home process soon. For now, check out our other blog posts that have gotten us to this point. Click here for our first Miami post, and here for our second.

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