Sunday, January 4, 2015

2014 travels and Florida favorites

As weird and interesting as 2013 was, 2014 was maybe more weird, just as interesting and most of all so, so very lovely. Although my suitcase was lost somewhere in the travel-sphere for three months (yes, THREE), I acquired the most painful wisdom tooth at 27 years young, I got countless parking tickets, flat tires and maybe an illegal U-turn ticket, nothing can compare to the trips I took and the people who joined me on my journeys. 

In 2014, I spent the new year in Brooklyn--Bushwick to be exact. I traveled to Miami seven times (weddings, family, weddings, doctors visits, weddings, birthdays, weddings). I went to Santa Barbara, Ojai, DC, San Francisco, Mexico City, Vegas x 2, Costa Rica, Chicago and spent the 2015 New Year back in Los Angeles.

I'll be writing about all of these places, as well as all the places I hope to visit in 2015. But first, in honor of Travel + Leisure's "Best of Florida" piece last month, I want to add a little to the conversation about the Sunshine State--the state I spent the first 23 years of my life in, and the state I visited countless times last year. 

Until I was 14 years old I lived in the Florida Keys with my family. Then we moved to Palmetto Bay, an area that is also known as part of Southwest Miami, and I stayed for something like 10 years. People think Miami and they think South Beach or Little Havana, they think Sergio's, Versailles, La Carreta, stone crabs, pastelitos, key lime pie, and more recently, Panther Coffee. I LOVE ALL OF THESE THINGS.

But there is more to love, and these are a few coffee shops/restaurants/bars, south to north, that I feel strongly about: 

  • This French restaurant/bakery has been on Duval street longer than I've been alive; my friend Caro once proclaimed that the galettes at Croissants de France are just like the galettes in Paris. I recommend breakfast/brunch here for sure.
  • One of my dad's favorites, and also probably around since before I was born, Key West's Mangia Mangia makes their own pastas and sauces from scratch.  
  • Their gelato is amazing, their coffee is amazing, their pastries are amazing and this may seem a bit bizarre, but I've heard that Cafe Moka has their baguette's shipped frozen from France to Tavernier.
  • Islamorada Fish Company: fresh fish in Islamorada. That is all. 
  • I love Black Point Ocean Grill first, because I never run into anyone I know there and second, because the restaurant has a live band Wednesday-Sunday, a great view, margaritas and a killer dolphin avocado plate. Plus: you can boat-watch. Minus: you can mosquito-watch, too. 
  • With a few locations in Miami, Delicias de Espana is my go-to for ham and cheese sandwiches, croquettes and pretty cheap sangria. Because Cuban, Central and South American-inspired dishes aren't the only Latin foods worth eating.
  • Cuba Ocho in Little Havana is a bar, a venue and an art gallery. According to the website, it is a "cultural and research center." It's a little pricey and sometimes there's a cover, but they have, like, a bazillion types of rum and live music. 



  1. Allison! Loved reading your blogs. I never knew you had it in you, keep it up xo


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