Last weekend I spent my days working, learning and eating my way through Miami, Florida for the BlogHer Food 2014 Conference. (You may have noticed on Instagram.) Although I didn't venture out to as many food places as I wanted, and never stepped foot on the beach, I did have a great time and feel like I took home a lot of great tips and ideas.
I usually do not post on Sundays, and I wasn't really planning on talking about my trip, but I decided I did want to share about 1 million photos below. 🙂
First, let me introduce my two roomies for the weekend. My friends, Liz and Sheila (left and right). I absolutely love these two ladies and they are two of the most important blogging friends in my life. Dare I say, two of the most important REAL life friends! Their hearts are like gold, and they have two of the funniest, most laid-back personalities I know. They are family oriented, loving, and super caring. AND, they both have fantastic blogs. Anyway, I love them so much and they are fellow Michiganders (did you know I grew up in Michigan?), so I try to see them whenever I visit my family in the Mitten state. 🙂
Let's talk about the hotel. The conference was held at the Hilton Miami Downtown. When I booked our hotel room months ago, I left a note in the small comment box at the online check-out asking if they would place a bag of chips on each bed for when we arrived. Liz and I have an ongoing inside joke about eating chips and we type the word "chips" to each other over social media all.the.time. So, I thought it would be funny to find bags of chips in our room upon check-in. I wasn't sure the hotel staff would do it, or even notice my note, but they did! I completely forgot about it, actually, until we entered the room and saw the photo of the staff with the chips left on our bed. Too cool!!!
The staff was A+ at the hotel, but the location was awful for our agenda. We were very isolated from anything interesting to see, eat or do. Cabs were easy to fetch at the hotel, but not elsewhere, so it just wasn't easy to get around from our hotel. I definitely recommend staying in Miami Beach or South Beach area instead. But, if you do not care about location, then by all means, the Hilton was just fine as far as cleanliness, friendliness and price!
The first morning, we walked down the street for breakfast at The Daily Creative Food Company. The food was super good, but I can't for the life of me remember what I ordered! You order at a counter, then sit down with a number and wait. It was here that I got to know a couple more bloggers I now adore. (Pictured from left to right: Meseidy, Sheila, Me, Liz, Rebecca, Mary)
After attending some conference "stuff" 😉 we met up with some more bloggers for lunch at Havana 1957. This was Liz's pick and WOW did she choose well! My dish was unbelievable, and I loved the chips served in the tin bowl. (Pictured from left to right: Joanne, Alejandra, Me (I know, I look like I have to pee! haha!), Sandy, Sommer, Julie, Aggie, Liz)
I also ordered a South Beach Mojito, that came with a sugar cane stick to chew on! YUM! Click here to see more of our food and fun there.
After lunch, I caught a cab with Sandy and Sommer to find Azucar Ice Cream Company for a fun dessert. Like I said earlier, cabs were HORRIBLE to find, but we finally got one and asked him to wait for us while we ordered our ice cream. 🙂 This ice cream store was super charming and loads of yummy flavors. I got the Abuela Maria - SO good!
Even the outside was fun to see, with the huge ice cream cone displayed at the door. (See our cab waiting for us?) 😉
That's Sommer, one of my faves. She blogs at A Spicy Perspective and is awesome. 🙂 Love her.
On Saturday, Sheila, Liz and I decided to venture out a little bit during the afternoon break. We checked out the famous Lincoln Road Mall in Miami Beach and couldn't pass up this photo op.
We then found a very small, unassuming cafe' for lunch that had great rating on Yelp - Charlotte Bakery. It was definitely tiny inside, but the food was super fresh.
This was my first experience with plantains... and I have to say I liked them very much!
In the early evening, we met up with a group for dinner at Joe's Stone Crab...just to try stone crab. AH-mazing. Seriously, I dream of them now every night! Okay, so I don't. But, I definitely want them again! (Pictured left to right: Me, Maegan, Sommer, Sandy)
Then we shuttled to the closing party (I can't remember the name of where it was held). BUT, I do remember the few minutes I had with Ree Drummond (aka The Pioneer Woman)! That's my brother-in-law, Clayton, pictured with us. Coincidentally, he was in Miami for business, too, so I invited him to come with me to the party.
Another attempted selfie of a few bloggy friends that makes me laugh. I think this was attempt #3 or #4 where I spilled some of my drink while trying to snap the photo, and judging from the look on Sheila's face, it went right into her lap! Oops! (Pictured left to right: Sheila, Me, Aggie, Liz)