Powered by Blogger.
Thursday, February 19, 2015

Miami Florida Weekend Getaway


Miami Florida Weekend Getaway via www.productreviewmom.com
Post contains Amazon Affiliate links meaning if you click and make a purchase I'll earn a few coins.


You all know how much I love visiting Florida often.  It is my escape to be away from all the hustle and bustle in Atlanta, plus getting away from the dreaded cold winter weather.  For a while now I’ve had visiting Miami on my travel bucket list.  I was unsure if Miami was family friendly since watching several movies like The Birdcage starring Robin Williams show Miami as a place where people walk around pretty much naked and there is nothing but nightclubs and bars.



After my disastrous Valentine’s Day last year Mr. M wanted to do something different, more than just a dinner in downtown Atlanta.  He brought up the idea to me to go to Miami for Valentine’s Day weekend.  At first I was a bit hesitant because I know Miami can be very expensive plus Valentine’s Day was on a Saturday and it was a 3 day weekend since it was President’s Day that following Monday so I knew hotel and airline prices would be jacked up due to those dates.


I cave in and said, “Sure lets go to Miami”, before I even looked at the prices and we only had about 2 weeks to plan our trip.  I went onto Priceline and their prices made me cringe for the first time ever.  I’ve seen hotel prices in ranges of $600 to $2000 or more a night!!!!!  Even Priceline Express deals were high unless I wanted to stay in a motel which I’m absolutely am not staying in when I’m in a beautiful place like Miami.  Flight prices were ridiculous too!  So we almost given up on the idea to go to Miami and started naming off other places to visit like Houston TX, Chicago IL, Los Angeles CA, etc.


But Miami was calling my name so I had to make it work.   It has been years since I’ve last went onto an airplane since I prefer driving to save money, so when it comes to saving money on airline tickets I’m not really great at finding last minute deals.  I’ve heard of Spirit airlines offering good flight ticket deals so I went on their website to see what they had to offer.  



 At this point, I only had a week left before Valentine’s Day so flight prices were skyrocketing and Spirit was the only airlines with the lowest prices so I had no choice but to choose them.  I also did their package deal of a hotel and car in which the total I paid for my whole package (round trip tickets for 2, 2 night stay in 4 star hotel, and car) was about $1200.00.  I know, ouch!  So lesson learned, buy your plane tickets at least 2 weeks in advance.


My girls spent the weekend at their grandmother’s house who lives an hour away from us and Mr. M and I flew to Miami Valentine’s Day evening.


I have a complaint about Spirit airlines!  These folks nickel and dime you for everything!  I paid $45 to check in one bag, it cost to choose your seats, carry on bags cost more than check in bags, food on the aircraft cost too!  Seriously, this airlines reminds me of a prepaid cell phone, you pay as you go.  Now, you do have the option to have Spirit randomly select your seating for you for free but they will place you in the worst location, I chose that option to avoid paying and Spirit placed Mr. M and I in the very back of the plane.  We felt every turbulence and shakes throughout our flight to Miami.  I was a nervous wreck the whole flight!


The flight was only about 2 hours (thank goodness) and we landed safely to Fort Lauderdale Florida (Spirit does not fly into Miami).  Mr. M and I got our bag and took a shuttle to the car rental location.   


Our package deal with Spirit had our car rental reservation with Hertz and when we got there I seen a long line of angry customers.  The customers were complaining that Hertz ran out of cars!  I was nervous we would be stuck at the airport and we only had a day to spend in Miami before we headed back home.  We stood in line for over an hour before it was our turn to hear the bad news about the no cars situation, but once it was our turn to speak to a Hertz employee through a Skype-like kiosk with their face on the screen, all the kiosks shut down because it was after 10pm and Hertz did not want to pay their employees overtime- WHAT THE HELL???????  There were only 2 employees working the front counter and all the customers were yelling profanity at them.  I hopped on Twitter and complained to Hertz as well as called their 1-800 number to complain.   Come to find out that a lot of people were extending their car rentals that day which left Hertz without cars- NOOOOOO!!!!!!  


Finally, after about 2 hours of waiting Hertz got some cars in and started getting all their customers on the road.   Unfortunately, the Kia Optima they placed us in was all scratched up on the outside, the inside smelled like mildew, and when we were driving the car it was drifting to the right because it needed a new ailment.  We didn’t have time to go back to Hertz so we stuck with the car.  Hertz contacted me on Twitter and offered me a $50 coupon for the inconvenience.


It was now going on midnight so I called our hotel which was the InterContinental at Doral Miami that we were running late and not to give our room away.  Fort Lauderdale is about 45 minutes away from our hotel in Doral Miami.  We checked in and didn’t bother putting our stuff in our room, we immediately went to the beach to see if any food establishments were still open.  We drove up and down Ocean Drive and couldn’t find parking anywhere.  People were walking the streets and Miami was jumpin’ with a lot of action going on around us.  After being stuck in the madness for two hours and Mr. M and I bellies rumbling, we decided to turn around and head back to our hotel to order room service.


I didn’t care too much for my room at our hotel, it seem old to me and had an older smell.  The InterContinental reminds me of a 3 star hotel, not a 4 star.  They were going through major renovations everywhere in this hotel which made the hotel look like a mess, especially the outside of it with all the caution tape.  The TV needed upgrading in our room too because every channel was fuzzy.  Good thing I was only there for two nights.  Only thing I enjoyed about this hotel was my room service food I order was good and my king size bed was very comfortable.

Miami Florida Weekend Getaway via www.productreviewmom.com

Miami Florida Weekend Getaway via www.productreviewmom.com

Miami Florida Weekend Getaway via www.productreviewmom.com

Miami Florida Weekend Getaway via www.productreviewmom.com


The next day, Mr. M and I headed back to Ocean Dr. early to find a place to park.  Once again we found ourselves in bumper to bumper traffic and within 45 minutes we found a parking garage with available parking spaces.  


Here is a tip, if you’re visiting Miami check out this website for parking garages it will tell you all the parking locations.


We parked our car and started walking up and down the streets. We stopped in one location and had a celebration shot...We're in Miami B****!

Miami Florida Weekend Getaway via www.productreviewmom.com
  

During our walk to Ocean Dr. we seen a place selling cruise tour rides, we went inside and purchased tickets to tour around Miami Bay and be able to see some celebrity homes.  We wanted to do the night cruise so we had a chance to experience Ocean Drive and South Beach first.  


Miami was very different than I imagine.  I hardly seen half naked people walking around.  There were several families with children on the beach.  It could be because it was a bit chilly outside and the weather was about 75 degrees.  I can see myself bringing the girls to Miami someday.

Miami Florida Weekend Getaway via www.productreviewmom.com

Miami Florida Weekend Getaway via www.productreviewmom.com

The ocean views were breathtaking, the water was dark blue and clear blue skies, white warm sand brushing my feet.  I didn’t want to leave at all.  I love the building structure of Miami which reminds me of the show Miami Vice.  Ocean drive has many restaurants in front of the ocean to enjoy Cuban style foods, seafood, and Italian, Mexican, and American cuisines.  You can sit out front and enjoy your meal while you people watch.  Also, you can check out all the high end exotic cars passing by.


Miami Florida Weekend Getaway via www.productreviewmom.com

Miami Florida Weekend Getaway via www.productreviewmom.com

Miami Florida Weekend Getaway via www.productreviewmom.com

Miami Florida Weekend Getaway via www.productreviewmom.com

Miami Florida Weekend Getaway via www.productreviewmom.com

Miami Florida Weekend Getaway via www.productreviewmom.com


I ate at a location at the end of Ocean Drive near South Beach and just had quesadilla along with a Bahama Mama cocktail.


Miami Florida Weekend Getaway via www.productreviewmom.com

Miami Florida Weekend Getaway via www.productreviewmom.com

Time was not on our side in Miami and it seemed like the day was going by fast because it was already time for us to drive to the Miami Bay which they call Bayside Market Place to get on our cruise.  Bayside reminds me of Pier 39 in San Francisco of docks with boats, places to shop and eat.


Miami Florida Weekend Getaway via www.productreviewmom.com

Miami Florida Weekend Getaway via www.productreviewmom.com

Miami Florida Weekend Getaway via www.productreviewmom.com

Miami Florida Weekend Getaway via www.productreviewmom.com

Miami Florida Weekend Getaway  via www.productreviewmom.com

Miami Florida Weekend Getaway  via www.productreviewmom.com

Miami Florida Weekend Getaway  via www.productreviewmom.com

7pm was our time to do our cruise tour.  The tour guide explained how the Miami Bay became about and how the islands surrounding it was man made.  Some islands there are 3 ways to get to them either by ferry, helicopter, or by private boat.  During our tour we got to see celebrity homes like P Diddy, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Don Johnson Star of Miami Vice, comedian Rosie O’Donnell, and basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal, also the co-inventor of Viagra.  I couldn’t get a good picture of the homes since it was dark outside and some homes weren’t lit up so if you do one of these tours I suggest you do them in the day time.



Miami Florida Weekend Getaway  via www.productreviewmom.com

Miami Florida Weekend Getaway  via www.productreviewmom.com

Miami Florida Weekend Getaway  via www.productreviewmom.com
This is P Diddy's house on Star Island

Miami Florida Weekend Getaway  via www.productreviewmom.com

After the tour, we ate at the Knife restaurant at Bayside and then returned back to our hotel area to have drinks at a bar then called it a night.



Miami Florida Weekend Getaway  via www.productreviewmom.com


Monday came and it was almost time for us to leave but we had time to kill before our flight so we went to Fort Lauderdale’s beach and I think their beach is just as beautiful as Miami but with less traffic congestion.  I was wishing we stayed in Fort Lauderdale instead to enjoy a bit more relaxation.


Miami Florida Weekend Getaway  via www.productreviewmom.com

Miami Florida Weekend Getaway  via www.productreviewmom.com

Miami Florida Weekend Getaway  via www.productreviewmom.com

Miami Florida Weekend Getaway  via www.productreviewmom.com

I thought this trip would be a complete bust but it turned out to be great, just the time went by way too quickly.  Next time I go to Miami I’ll go for several days and also try to visit Key West too which is 4 hours away from Miami.  

Seeing all the cruise ships like Disney Cruise line and Carnival really make me want to plan a cruise soon.  I haven’t been on a cruise since I was a kid so it is time for me and my family to do one so now I’m adding it to my travel bucket list.


Miami Florida Weekend Getaway  via www.productreviewmom.com

Are you thinking of going to Miami with children?  Here are attractions to take them besides the beach:




Since I’m interested in doing a cruise, which cruise line do you think is the best one?

Want to Earn Extra Money Each Month?

Get paid to become a product tester. Complete fun surveys for cash. Get paid for the stuff you do every day.

Paid Product Testing

Join Now

Paid Surveys

Join Now

Get paid for what you do every day

Join Now

Make money using apps

Join Now

18 comments

  1. Wow, things started out kinda rough but ended up smooth sailing! Can't wait to book our trip to Punta Cana, as we need to get away in celebration of our 25th Wedding Anniversary.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't wait to hear about your trip to Punta Cana, how exciting!

      Delete
  2. Oh man...What a way to start the getaway! I'm really surprised to hear about the trouble with Hertz. They've always been awesome when I've had to rent a car.
    The Bayside Market Place and the beach look like great places to visit. I think you should totally book a cruise sometime soon. Maybe a Disney one. That way, you can come back and tell me all about it! =0)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think Hertz was just having a bad day due to the 3 day weekend. A lot was going on and they couldn't keep up with the demand of cars. I'm happy I'll receive a $50 coupon for my next rental with them.

      My girls has been saying they want to go on a Disney Cruise. I need to look into it and check prices. For sure I'll blog about my experience if I go.

      Delete
  3. Glad you had a great time overall! The pics are beautiful. I lived 3 miles from Fort Lauderdale Beach! Was there all the time and the beach is what I miss in Atlanta. Miami is crazy and hectic and great to vacation and be a tourist there but would never want to live there! I definitely recommend a cruise. The kids would love it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wouldn't have moved away from Fort Lauderdale, too beautiful! Yes Miami is too hectic and I could never see myself living there. I was wondering how the people that works near the beaches get to work on time, the traffic is horrible unless they live close.

      I'm glad you recommend a cruise, I started looking into it today but I'll need to get my family and I passports.

      Delete
  4. You know I recommend a Disney cruise! Lots of onboard activities for both kids and adults.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was looking at Disney Cruise Line today and boy they sure do have a lot of activities! I remember as a kid I was kind of bored on Carnival cruise but I'm pretty sure it has gotten better since then.

      Delete
  5. Anonymous11:27 AM

    LOL... all these celebrities and then "The co-creator of viagra" made me laugh. Did they run out of famous people?!

    Sounds like it ended up a nice time after all. I'm so surprised you have to pay to carry on with that airline? I always try to carry on to save $$!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The whole boat was laughing when the lady said "now this house belongs to the person who co-created the magic blue pill"! LOL!!!!!

      Spirit airlines has great prices but get you with all these fees for everything else. I'm surprise they didn't charge me for carrying on my purse!

      Delete
  6. I've always wanted to go to Miami, but like you I wasn't really sure if it was kid friendly. It looks beautiful in both Miami and Ft. Lauerdale.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes it is a family friendly place, now in the Summer I'm unsure because hot weather means less clothes on.

      Delete
  7. You are just too cute in the pics living it up girl! Love it. I am seriously jealous and wanna go. Lol! #productreviewparty on!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Suzie! I wish you can tag along with me on my trips!

      Delete
  8. Louida! You're always traveling, go girl! What a nice Valentine's Day trip! Sorry to hear your room wasn't the best, but the weather was gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, I love to travel and see new things so I'm always on the go somewhere.

      Delete
  9. Nice way to spend your valentines day!

    ReplyDelete