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Bucket List Dreams- Miami Beach and South Beach

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Downtown Miami

 

The DNA of Miami is made up of iconic shorelines and skylines, quintessential Art Deco architecture, and elaborate history and culture. In Miami, you are in your own slice of paradise. Miami offers world-famous beaches, world-famous attractions, and a world-famous night-life. Miami is pure eye-candy showcasing aqua beaches, towering palm, and coconut trees, and bright sunshine beaming down that puts off that famous Miami heat.

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The Downtown Miami Historic District has a rich history. Some of my favorite explorations in Miami include Little Havana, Little Haiti, and the Art Deco Historic District. Miami offers incredible scenic views, glorious beaches for days and magnificent skylines.

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Miami’s Art Deco District includes 800 historic and retro buildings from the 1920s-1930s. The Miami Art Deco District in South Beach is the largest cumulation of historic Art deco buildings including hotels, theatres, museums, and clubs in the world. The architecture is stunning and timeless. Old Miami should certainly be appreciated.

I genuinely love learning about culture and customs. I enjoy visiting historical landmarks and markers, taking cultural tours, trying authentic cuisines, and wearing handmade native clothing and jewelry.

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One of the top highlights of my Miami trip was to see my first burlesque show. I attended the Fillmore theater for the Dita Von Teese Art of the Teese Burlesque Revue. Dita was very elegant and true to character. She fit perfectly at this theater with her Old Hollywood pin-up style. The show was phenomenal. We laughed, we were shocked, and we were all completely enthralled.

Some cons of the theater are that one small bottle of water costs six dollars. Another negative is that the seats are close together with no arm-rests which make for uncomfortable seating for two plus hours. The last drawback is self-parking is especially atrocious. Valet parking is 25 dollars, and the area surrounding the theater is packed. We rode street to street and came across a parking garage for only 1 dollar an hour! Theater tickets ran us around 200+, and then there’s amenities, food, drinks, and merch.

The production, the lights, the sound everything was spot on. As far as the theater goes, the theater itself is quite elegant. It’s classic Old Hollywood glam complete with red walls and hanging chandeliers. I’d come back here and watch another live show because I like the history of the theater and the elegance which transforms and heightens the entire experience!

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Miami Beach

 

When you enter Miami, you realize it’s precisely how it looks in the all of the movies and television shows you’ve ever seen. There are massive white buildings, fancy yachts, and expensive cruise boats stretched out across the azure blue ocean.

I love looking for seashells, and I found a good amount of them. There is also beautiful seabirds floating overhead and walking along the banks. I am also always on the look-out for dolphins and other marine animals.

The beach waves can get pretty big, but they weren’t too terrible. There are lifeguards on duty which are always welcomed. I was a little taken aback some by parts of the beach that had the dirty water, seaweed and many rocks in the water as you wade through it.

The beach actually stays open until midnight and reopens at 5 a.m. Also, the beach is bustling and crowded, and parking is a challenge, but that’s to be expected. There is a walking trail that goes around the beach that is perfect for sightseeing. It is also elegant for jogging, running and biking. With such perfect weather and scenery, it’s easy to stay out all day exploring.

Miami Beach is perfect for both relaxation and lounging around. If you’re looking for water activities, there are plenty to choose from. There are many ways you can have fun in the sun with all of the water sports and recreations offered.

Miami Beach is perfect for sights and entertainment. There is a multitude of places to explore such as Little Havana, Little Haiti, Millionaire’s Row, Ocean Drive, Art Deco District and more.

Miami has blue-sky waters that beckon you to them, and magnificent sunsets in the evenings. And there is still much fun to have even after the sun goes down.

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South Beach

 

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South Beach, Miami is party central. Ocean Drive is so “Miami.” It’s festive and fun, equal parts divey and glamorous, of course, iconic, and lifestyles of the rich and famous, all set against a beautiful backdrop of Miami Beach and South Beach. With their flashing neon lights, gorgeous Miami skyline, extravagant Millionaires Row and brilliant Art Deco, it’s no wonder why Miami is one of the most popular vacation destinations in the world.

The pastel-colored architecture in the Art Deco District is tremendous. I love all of the geometrical shapes especially the round and cylinder shaped buildings. There are hundreds of elaborate old restored hotels and businesses in the area. Miami is home to the biggest collection of Art Deco buildings in the world. Miami is remarkable and finely detailed in every way.

We drove the strip down Ocean Drive, South Beach and also walked it. I love all of the Puerto Rican, Cuban, Reggae, Reggaeton, and Latin soul music blaring for days. You’ll definitely feel some salsa coming on.

Ocean Drive has many restaurants and live entertainment venues.  When walking the strip, you’ll see hundreds of open-air restaurants, hookah bars, lounges, and nightclubs. The strip highlight fast cars, tight bodies, and loud music. There are so many people in Miami! You’ll see loads of people decked out in rich threads with blinging jewelry, riding in flashy sport and luxury cars, bikes and trikes, hoverboards and more.

Miami is a vibrant city combining art, food, culture and the great outdoors. Miami is made up of perfect shorelines, tanned bodies, island jams, ocean-front dining, a vibrant nightlife, tropical vibes and so much more!

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Until next time! I’m off to wash all this road trip dirt off my car.

With All My Love,
The Vintage Gypsy

“My dream is to walk around the world. A smallish backpack, all essentials neatly in place. A camera. A notebook. A traveling paint set. A hat. Good shoes. A nice pleated (green?) skirt for the occasional seaside hotel afternoon dance.”

Categories
art Musings Photography Travel

Bucket List Dreams- Wynwood Walls

Miami's Infectious Art Scene-

Wynwood Walls

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Miami’s art scene, Wynwood Walls, is completely arresting. It proves to be difficult for one to fathom just how massive the Wynwood Walls are. Wynwood Walls is an entire art district encompassing the whole neighborhood! Wynwood Walls, located in the old industrial warehouse district, is an open-air urban concrete jungle, or graffiti park, with colorful, diverse walls which showcase tremendous displays of labor and love from some of the most talented artists far and wide.

 

Outdoor Museum

The art on the warehouse buildings in Wynwood Walls is splattered on just about every inch of the district. The artsy displays are vibrant and electrifying. You will soon discover that there are more and more art pieces as you explore deeper. This art district has to be one of the coolest spots in Miami! My time was splintered between the massive outdoor graffiti park and the eclectic indoor art museum featuring paintings and other art mediums.

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Indoor museum

I was here for the Fearless exhibit which featured new work from over ten artists. I fell in love with the Arabian art. My favorite pieces were the Arabian Nights and Japanese Geishas. The art pieces evoke emotion and are mesmerizing. There is a lot of canvas prints for purchase inside the art rooms.

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Street Art

It’s easy to spend the entire day at the walls, and I could have easily spent additional time exploring more of the incredible artistic creations. You can get some fascinating images here, and there are plenty of opportunities for photo-ops. There are also various art galleries, barrooms, and boutiques in the area. They have several spots to get a bite to eat, plus ice cream trucks and fruit stands. You should grab yourself a fresh cut pineapple or coconut and with a fancy umbrella straw in it and get to exploring.

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This place is definitely a sensory overload but in a good way. One of my favorite outdoor murals is the Asian wall art depicting the 10,000 Buddha’s. I love the art scene at Wynwood Walls, and in actuality, I  love all graffiti parks- check out my previous post on Hope Graffiti Park. 

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Almost every inch of the Wynwood area is covered in graffiti, wall murals, and street art. I saw the most fascinating pieces of art that genuinely evoked emotions-laughter, awe, joy, contemplation, compassion, sorrow, and understanding. This place makes you feel something! The walls completely surpassed my expectations. If you don’t visit the walls, you will do yourself a great disservice, because this place begs to be explored and enjoyed.

 

And my bucket list dreams just keep coming true!

With All My Love,
The Vintage Gypsy

She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.”

Categories
Travel Uncategorized

Miami Botanical Gardens and Holocaust Memorial

Discover and Explore- Miami

Florida is home to some of the most coveted destinations in the nation with some of the greatest attractions and activities housed in central and south Florida, specifically Orlando, Key West, and Miami. Of course, of all the cities in Florida, Miami is one of the most visited vacation destinations in the world. Miami is a tapestry woven together of culture, history, and people.

Miami Beach Botanical Gardens- Flora and Fauna

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The botanical gardens immerse visitors into a tropical and dreamy sanctuary amongst the palm trees and the oasis.

While the gardens are not massive, they are free, and they are a great place to stop in for a visit. They offer guided garden tours or self-guided. We did the self-guided tour, and one of the personable staff members who run the tours gave us some fascinating facts about flora and fauna at the gardens and information about the surrounding areas while we were visiting the city.

We were able to see several iguanas roaming about which completely startled me when I saw just how fast they run and how big they are. We also saw turtles, lizards, and butterflies.

The Asian gardens were my favorite part of the botanical gardens. In the Asian gardens, there is Koi fish, a lily pond, bamboo trees and butterflies. I loved the unusual winding trees and the red arched bridge.

I enjoyed all of the flowers and trees that covered the grounds. The Ylang-Ylang tree, Plumeria, and Honeysuckles are so aromatic as they blow in the wind.

Miami Beach Botanical Garden is located next to the Holocaust Memorial so you’ll definitely want to check out the memorial after.

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Miami Holocaust Memorial- Deeply Moving and Haunting

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Visiting the Holocaust Memorial is a deeply moving and deeply haunting experience. Stepping onto the grounds, I felt like I was whisked away in time to a place of great mourning and complete despair.

The four-story monument that erupts out of the ground encompasses hundreds of human bodies emerging, writhing in agony. There are statues of grieving mothers holding their children close to their heart, crying children and emaciated bodies. Everything placed is so detailed and important to educate us on the history that was the Holocaust, and it’s an emotional experience. The memorial elicits the raw human emotion in us all as you walk back through time.

Walking through the archway, you can hear music playing that really heightens the intensity of everything. You can see names and pictures and stories inscribed on the walls. In the circular memorial, they have heart-wrenching monuments and displays of families, men and women, and innocent children whose faces are twisted in agony and you can almost hear the screams. The memorial pays homage to the more than six million Jews who were held in concentration camps and massacred in Auschwitz.

I’ve always believed with all my heart that anguish is a universal language.

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With All My Love,
The Vintage Gypsy

“We leave something of ourselves behind when we leave a place, we stay there, even though we go away. And there are things in us that we can find again only by going back there.”