South Beach, Miami: Going MIA in MIA

June 18,19,20

My 22nd birthday was this week, and to celebrate one of my best friends and I took a spontaneous weekend trip to South Beach Miami!  We both managed to get off work Friday and Saturday, so we got in the car, I had my birthday tiara on, and we were on our way! We knew the weekend was going to be epic because before getting on the highway we stopped in the Chic-fil-a drive through, and as we pulled up to the cashier window the girls working noticed my tiara and excitedly asked if it was my birthday, when I said yes everyone wished me a happy birthday, gave my friend and I our meals for free, plus an extra meal! If that’s not the right way to start a birthday road trip I don’t know what is.  If we weren’t pumped enough about the trip before, we were now, and as we blasted “Girlfriend” by Icona Pop we merged onto I-95 heading south towards Miami!

We spent Friday celebrating my birthday, tanning on the iconic South Beach, and swimming in the turquoise SOBE waters.  Life could not have been better.  As a result of many bad birthdays I almost didn’t celebrate at all this year, and I’m so glad I did because laying on that beach all I could think was that there was nowhere else I would rather be than there in that moment with my best friend Brittany, on the beach in Miami for my birthday.  Honestly, the time spent with my friend meant so much to me, and that alone would have been enough, but go big or go home, I guess, right?

We stayed at the SOBE Hostel based on the suggestion from another one of my friends, and I totally recommend it.  It is walking distance from the beach, and also from anything you could possibly want to do in South Beach.   They provide breakfast for everyone until 10, and dinner at 6:30.  Also, you can get a parking pass for $15 a day, but make sure you have $50 in cash as a deposit for the parking pass that they give back to you when you return the pass the next day.  There are lockers in all the rooms, clean bedding, and clean bathrooms.  For $21 in South Beach we were happy hostelers.  There is a cool vibe in the SOBE Hostel, you walk into a bright common area and front desk with chalk board walls and loud music, there’s a bar with affordable drinks, which is hard to find there, they hold guest events every night with transportation, and a polite staff happy to help you and give you any information you need about your time in Miami.

After being at the beach all day we were tan from the Florida sun, ready to eat, and ready to take showers.  We got back at 6:30, got our meal cards, and got in line with the other guests staying there from all over the world.  We ate and then we got ready for the hostel event, and before we left we went in the kitchen with a group of people sitting around the table with a couple of guys playing guitar and signing, everyone was watching and talking and having fun together.  Eventually Brittany and I got up and went out to the common area where everyone was gathering to get on the party bus and go out for the hostel nightly event.

The next morning Brittany and I woke up early so we could spend a few more hours on the beautiful beach that was only 3 hours south of us, yet so different from our beach at home.  Around 12 we went back to the hostel, got our stuff together, and made our way over to Panther Coffee. Panther coffee roasts all of their coffee in house in small batches, and you can choose which kind of specially selected coffee you want by origin.  It was awesome coffee from an awesome coffee house.  If you are in Miami you NEED to make it a point to give one of their locations a visit!  From Panther Coffee we headed to the Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM).  This is another must see in Miami.  The exhibits were absolutely breath taking.  There were a lot of individual rooms, with individual projects from specific artists, along with different pieces of artwork hanging on the walls and even painted on the walls throughout the museum.

My favorite project in the museum was one by Shana Lutker, who has been focusing on surrealism since about 2012, and has been particularly interested in the different fights and disagreements of the surrealists and their “revolutionary spirit” as well as shown some skepticism in why they resort to violence.  When you walk into the room you see a wooden staircase with footprints on it and a pile of shattered glass.  The broken glass goes back to the heroine of Au Pied du Mur and the antidote bottle she refuses to take at the demand of her lover, and also relates to the opening scenes of La Coquille et le Clergyman (The Seashell and the Clergyman).  The clear reason of what inspired her to include the broken glass isn’t apparent and isn’t meant to be. Also, to the right, there is a light box with a mirrored face that says, “I’ve dreamed of you so much I don’t think there is time to wake up.”  Inspired by a poem written by Desnos in 1930, its purpose in the project was for theatrical spotlights as well as the text relates to the two lovers in Au Pied du Mur.  Something about this exhibit just absolutely struck me.  It was beautiful and intriguing,   I must have gone back to look at it around 3 times.

Brittany and I walked out of the museum, there was a balcony patio with fun swings overlooking the ocean and some Palm Trees, and we sat in the swings, as we enjoyed the view and weather.  We took way too many photos of each other, and went back to the car as we wrapped up the best birthday weekend ever.  We spent the next 2 and a half hours going south on I-95 while listening to music with the windows down and keeping each other awake! 

Thank you to my wonderful friends who made this weekend the best birthday weekend I could have asked for, you guys are the best! What was your best weekend trip? Leave a comment and let me know!  Brittany’s birthday is coming up and we are open to suggestions!