Welcome to this week’s Postcard From – the feature where I chat to some lucky explorer about their recent travels. If you would like to take part please get in touch – firstname.lastname@example.org or @em_luxton – I would love to hear from you!
This week’s postcard comes from Emma Hart, the lovely blogger behind Paper Planes and Caramel Waffles, who took part a couple of week’s ago with a Postcard From North Carolina. A Yorkshire girl with a huge fondness for Yorkshire puddings, Emma enjoys exploring her home county whenever she has the chance. However, travelling the world is her true passion and endeavours to jet away whenever she can in between working a 9-5 job as a Marketing Assistant.
In her spare time, Emma writes for her blog, enjoys going snowboarding – even if it is only on an indoor snow slope – and can often be found relaxing at home playing fetch with her cat, Max. You can follow her on Facebook, or Twitter and Instagram @EmmaHart7.
Welcome back, Emma! So how did you spend the rest of your American adventure?
After a trip to North Carolina with my friends, I headed to Miami for a week. I’d never been before and was curious to see what this Floridian city was like. Miami was… good. I had fun there and I loved the beach/city vibe but I found there wasn’t really that much to do other than chill out at the beach or go to the bars in the evening.
Sounds lovely. Was it hot?
The weather was tropical. It was very hot during the day and in the late afternoon there was usually a thunderstorm or at least some rain. That was to be expected though and it didn’t spoil any part of the trip to Miami – it was still hot so everything dried up pretty quick!
Perfect! So were you staying somewhere nice to shelter from the occasional downpours?
I actually stayed in two places in Miami. The first was at the Hotel Croydon on Collins Avenue, a beautiful art deco building with a classy and quirky interior. I’m not used to staying in hotels, I’m more of a hostel girl so I probably found everything much more of a novelty than I should have done – you know, fresh towels, a mini bar, a well-made bed. I loved it! The staff were so lovely, the breakfasts were just beautiful, I was a block away from the beach and the free bar for an hour in the evening was brilliant!
The second place I stayed in was Freehand Miami, a hostel about 10 blocks down from Hotel Croydon. This place had such a cool vibe, with a pool and bar in the courtyard and homely furniture in the entrance. The rooms were pretty great too – I stayed in an 8 dorm room which was really spacious and I even had my own plug socket next to my art deco style bed. Bonus!
What did you get up to?
To be honest, there wasn’t that much to get up to in Miami. I spent some time wandering on the beach, looking at all the art deco lifeguard stations, my friend and I went on a mammoth trip to Magic Kingdom and of course, because it’s Miami and also my birthday whilst I was there, I had to see what this party city had to offer! We also went on a bus tour (geeky I know), around Miami. I always think they’re a good way to learn a bit more about a place!
Magic Kingdom – now I’m very jealous! Do you have a Miami highlight?
This sounds really bad but nothing really stands out as a highlight from my Miami trip. Everything was good and fun but nothing was really outstandingly amazing. Although, the breakfasts were good, I ordered a Mojito big enough for 4 people (seriously, it was the size of a fish bowl) and the beach was nice.
I did like that around the Bayside shopping area there was a space for people to dance to live music, everyone looked like they were having such a good time. There’s also a bar on Key Biscayne that has the most phenomenal view of Miami’s skyline – that was beautiful.
Hmm, so overall not that exciting. Was the food anything to write home about?
The food was incredible. The breakfasts served at Hotel Croydon were just delicious, especially the chocolate and banana waffles and there were pancakes galore! I also had some great risotto at one of the restaurants on Lincoln Road Mall for my birthday – there’s such a lively vibe along that road and it was a fun spot to have some lovely food!
That all sounds delicious! Were you tempted to over indulge?
Well while I was in Miami, I met up with a friend I knew from Australia. We hadn’t really planned to meet up so nothing had been arranged. However, he said he’d take me around some cool places to grab some different food. I thought, “Awesome, I’ll get to go to the places that locals like and try some good food”. However after we’d eaten at the first place we fancied some ice cream so we headed to Little Havana for 4 huge scoops of various flavours of ice cream. This was followed by jam sponge, 6 cupcakes, and then more ice cream. We did have some calamari at some point but it was basically just a day of cake and ice cream. I swore I never wanted to eat anything sweet again but the next day, just before I got my flight home, I ended up at IHOP. I obviously have no self-control when it comes to food.
Ok, so other than eating your body weight in sugar were there any mishaps on the trip?
Because it was my birthday in Miami, I wanted to do something to celebrate. And what better way to celebrate turning 26 than going to Magic Kingdom. We were told when we booked the trip that it was a 3.5 hour coach journey and that we would be at the park for when it opened at 10am. This was a lie. It took nearly 5 hours to get there, we had to change buses somewhere in Orlando, we didn’t get to the park until nearly 11.30am and on the way back the bus stopped at so many places it was ridiculous. I loved Magic Kingdom, but there’s no way I would want to make that trip again!
That’s a shame. Disneyworld is so much fun – but probably not worth all that time on a bus just for one day at the park. Do you have any tips or advice for anyone headed to Miami?
Miami is fun. It’s a fun place to party, to shop and to chill on the beach. Although if I was to go again, I probably wouldn’t spend the week there – I found there just wasn’t enough to do. I wish I had spread my time out a bit more between the theme parks, Miami and Key West. However, if you’re looking to party and then spend your days on the beach, Miami is perfect. And make sure you stop by the Clevelander, I think this is my favourite bar ever.
It’s outside, a great place to relax, the music is good and there’s a dance floor if you do fancy a dance!
And finally, a new question – as you’ve already told us about your latest travel read. What’s your favourite thing about travelling?
Personally, I just enjoy seeing new places and having new experiences. Travelling makes me feel alive and there’s really no other way of putting it. It’s just fun to do things that are different from the day to day normal routine!
NB – all images are owned by Emma Hart