Following up on my last blog post, “What is the Best Gift You Can Give to your Significant Other for Valentines Day?” I wanted to expand upon the idea of a staycation as it is the most approachable form of a romantic getaway vacation for many couples. My husband and I took a very memorable staycation in May 2016 for our 8th wedding anniversary in Miami while we lived in the suburbs of Miami/ Fort Lauderdale. I thought it would be fun for you all to hear about it from my husband’s perspective and he graciously agreed to be my guest blogger for this post. So here you have it, a blog post from my wonderful husband, Michael Kelly McCoy who also has his own amazing blog you should check out at Drink Beer, Kill War.
Staycation: /stāˈkāSHn/ (v) to escape your daily struggles and reconnect with the ones you love without having to leave where you live.
Reconnecting with someone you love in a place you enjoy is all too easy: taking in the passion of knowledge firing from my wife as she guides me through a maze of renaissance art in Florence; or, the intimacy of standing together, atop of Half Dome looking down on the heights we accomplished together. Travel and kindling connections invariably go together, but to get to travel you need time and (potentially) ample resources. If you don’t have time and or resources – you might have to consider reconnecting in an area you know best, but may not love outright.
Last year, my wife and I found ourselves in this predicament. With her major corporate job and my work in the military, time was always difficult to come by. Between work, being new parents, and household chores, any opportunities for fun were found in pools, zoos, and museums. While we beamed as parents, we wanted a chance to reconnect as husband and wife.
With a trusted baby sitter, my wife hatched the plot. “Let’s take a staycation!”
“A staycation?” I responded with uneducated doubt dripping from my words.
She smiled and pointed to my phone “Look it up. We live in South Florida! There is so much fun that we have yet to experience.”
“Not with the…” I started to get out, but she held her finger up.
“The kid? Sitter is scheduled. We are doing this in three weeks. Help me plan. Let’s make this fun.”
I took one last chance at not having fun, for reasons I don’t know why. “But we hate South Florida.”
She looked at me with eyes asking me what my problem is. It was true, the late night lux life of glamour and champagne did not mash with our nap schedule and taste for craft beer and comfy sweat pants.
She had to agree “Yes. Very true,” however she wasn’t going to let that stop us. “But that’s why this will be more fun!”
Though at the time it seemed like a challenge, in hindsight it made perfect sense. Our planning, though Ashley did do most of it, revolved around combining the things we loved to do on a vacation: wonderful hotels, a visit to a spa, wonderful drinks, an exquisite dinner, and a bottomless mimosa brunch… and in South Florida, if you can’t find those in Miami Beach then you must be on Ocean Drive.
The Edition was our choice for the hotel. With their pure white lobby accented with brown trunks and green frowns of palm trees, it was quintessential Miami Beach. The service was beyond personable, treating us, despite our Toyota sedan, just as good as those who arrived after us in the Maserati. While the indoor bowling alley and ice skating rink had caught our attention, the real reason to stay was for the restaurants…but more on that later.
The spa visit was spent at the Croydon Rose Spa and Apothecary, enjoying a 90 minutes Couples Getaway. Where previous experiences, at other spas around the world, have been hit and miss– Croydon Rose delivered one of the best spa experiences either of us have ever had. I believe it was their use of essential oils that were personally tailored to my aches, pains, and present frame of mind that made it so memorable for me.
That evening before a late dinner, we stopped at the Market at Edition for a drink and oysters. With our signature cocktails, we unexpectedly scuttled down wonderful oysters – some of which were shigokus, meaning ultimate in Japanese, and will forever stay in my memory as one of the best oysters I have ever had.
Oysters down along with two fine drinks each, we still had time to kill before our late dinner reservation. However, we are not a late dinner couple – so off we marched to the Matador Room for an early sitting. Given it was Miami, where everyone eats late; we had no problem getting in. From there, we were in tapas heaven. Again – this was another winner of the evening. From the crunchy potato nuggets, charred octopus, chipotle chicken and achiote pork tacos, and the suckling pig. These were memorable dishes that, along with their house made hot sauce, left us in foodie heaven.
The next morning, we took a stroll along the beach to reach our brunch spot, The Social Club. The walk aside, to our much joy – friendly staff and wonderful food and drinks surprised us. A signature to their brunch is all you can drink mimosas, where they bring five different juices to mix and match. The Watermelon and White Peach were our favorite combination!
With brunch complete, our staycation came to an end. As we drove the 45 minutes back to our house, we talked about the amazing hotel, massage, and food. We were relaxed and loving every minute. While excited to get home to our baby, I think we both felt like we reconnected in a place we never thought we’d enjoy. Giving us memories, aching us to come back to a place we thought we loathed – realizing that it isn’t always the place…but the people you spend it with and how you spend it together.
I hope you enjoyed this article written by my husband. I certainly did!
Happy Valentines Day!
P.S. If you don’t even know where to start with planning a staycation or any other kind of vacation that aims to bring you closer to your loved ones, start by filling out our trip planning form and we’ll work together to make this happen with ease!
P.P.S. To keep receiving travel tips and inspiration and a FREE GUIDE, “10 Ways to Strengthen Relationships Through Travel” CLICK HERE