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WARNING: If you don't find other people's family pictures fun and can't embrace slight stalker feelings by doing so then this post might not be for you.Virginia Retreat-the backyard bridge

We are gettin' all up in my Christmas trip business today because I love walking around taking pictures like I know what I am doing (I don't).

After a cozy Christmas Eve with our Georgia family we set out for Virginia on Christmas day.  And if anyone was wondering, there is ZERO traffic on Christmas day. #winning

Bear with me on the amount of landscape photos-I couldn't get enough!  We joke with my in-laws about their 'estate' because this place has a killer view, thus nicknamed the Virginia Retreat by yours truly.

Feast your eyes on that beauty, friends!
Virginia Retreat-winding pathVirginia Retreat- collage 1

Prepare yourself ladies.  Photos of the cutest niece in the world could cause your desire for babes to increase by like 354616569.Virginia Retreat- sweet laurel face

I did warn you.Virginia Retreat- Laurels ride

Maybe just one more <3Virginia Retreat- laurel and the bells

Birthday festivities and surprise things happened for the sweetest, most thoughtful almost 21 year old sister-in-law.Virginia Retreat- sisters with the princessVirginia Retreat- shelbys birthday celebration 1Virginia Retreat- daddys girl

Virginia Retreat- moxy pupHealthy life pretty much went out the window at Virginia Retreat, its a rule we followed religiously.

PROOF:Virginia Retreat- chewy bars Virginia Retreat- cookie bread and crackers

The official uniform for Virginia Retreat...we made an exception for the little cutie pie.  She basically can have anything she wants. End of story. (heart eyes)Virginia Retreat- the kids

Virginia Retreat- downtown lynchburg Virginia Retreat- lynchburg marketLynchburg, Virginia may have the best grilled cheese in America.Virginia Retreat- food truck

The cheese-love is obvious. Working on re-creation STAT.Virginia Retreat- lyndsays sammy

Boys will be boys and play with their toys.Virginia Retreat- playing with the new toyVirginia Retreat- boat and stream focus

Ahh! Just can't get over these views!  I am holding back, I promise.Virginia Retreat- quiet stream

We are getting back into a routine around here, so back to a more food-focused normal posting next week.  You know, if I can actually get some food in our refrigerator and an idea of what to do with it.  All the chocolate is clouding my healthy food blogger vision.

AAAAAAnd no one will be here Monday.  I actually have a few fun recipes in the  works, guys, so get excited!!Virginia Retreat- us

 

South Beach Miami Adventures | wordslikehoneycomb.comYou’re back??!

I mean, of course I’m not surprised or anything…I know you have nothing better to do than look at my vacation photos 🙈.South Beach Miami Adventures | wordslikehoneycomb.com

Kidding.

Grab your coffee folks, we are about to go on a bus adventure that turns into a boat adventure. YES. You read that correctly. Steven discovered this little tour called the Pirate Duck Tours and said the bus went around Miami and then took you in the water. I questioned him multiple times, but he assured me the vehicle actually went in the water and the tickets were the right price, so he snagged them and told me it would be fun.South Beach Miami Adventures | wordslikehoneycomb.com

I was certainly skeptical. I am not a tour kinda girl. I just think about being forced to hang with a bunch of sweaty loud strangers in an over-filled vehicle with a monotone nerdy person rattling off facts for hours on end. NOT my happy place, people!South Beach Miami Adventures | wordslikehoneycomb.com

We walked to the Bus/Boat (to be known as BB from here on out because I am too lazy to type that 50 more times) thing and found our spot. Points for Pirate Duck Tours for having separate seats on our BB for everyone instead of a hideous bench where my arm is touching a stranger (looking at you Six Flags😐). Our BB was greeted by Pirate Dee Dee and, guys, she was hilarious. SUCH a pleasant surprise! This woman actually seemed to love her job and was genuinely funny and knowledgeable! She even had background music for each part of the tour! I mean, is there a Disney in Miami? Because I am pretty sure that ride had to be part of it. Many of the photos below were taken while on the tour! It allowed for a great angle but not the best stability for my untrained photo arm. (<- that’s a real thing)South Beach Miami Adventures | wordslikehoneycomb.comSouth Beach Miami Adventures | wordslikehoneycomb.com

Forgive the fuzzy, friends.

Ahahaha

Ahem.South Beach Miami Adventures | wordslikehoneycomb.com

This is the first picture I took after our BB DROVE into the water…how did I completely not know this was a possibility? But our BB was a champ and didn’t drown one of us!South Beach Miami Adventures | wordslikehoneycomb.comSouth Beach Miami Adventures | wordslikehoneycomb.com

Um. This was some really famous person’s house on Star Island. I think it was Gloria Estefan. I am really out of touch with the celebrity world.South Beach Miami Adventures | wordslikehoneycomb.com

Check out that sunset!! Even Pirate Dee Dee stopped to take a selfie with the sunset 👍🌞South Beach Miami Adventures | wordslikehoneycomb.comSouth Beach Miami Adventures | wordslikehoneycomb.comSouth Beach Miami Adventures | wordslikehoneycomb.com

These are of Ocean Drive, where our condo was located!

If you are traveling to Miami anytime soon, I recommend taking the Pirate Duck Tours! So worth the money and I wish we had taken it earlier in our trip, so we could have further explored all the suggestions made by Pirate Dee Dee 🌇

If you are reading this, Pirate Dee Dee, umm you are THE best.South Beach Miami Adventures | wordslikehoneycomb.com

One day we also rented a scooter, which I loved and carried back 50 dollars’ worth of groceries on. I do apologize for not photographing that, because it was DEFINITELY a site to behold. We have also learned that plastic bags double as an awesome rope device. Just in case you needed to strap a case of soda to the back of your scooter, too.

We survive and conquer, ya’ll. Just ask us.  South Beach Miami Adventures | wordslikehoneycomb.comWe even survived that.

Yes, it is REAL. And it was not behind a cage in a zoo, that was like on the side of the road! Largest Iguana I have ever seen! I am not exaggerating when I say that guy was about 4ft from nose (snout?!) to the tip of his tail.South Beach Miami Adventures | wordslikehoneycomb.comSouth Beach Miami Adventures | wordslikehoneycomb.com

This is my favorite little alley on South beach! It is called Espanola Way and twinkle lights hung from the trees and quant, yet pricey, restaurants lined the way. My lack of desire to pay $28 for a taco outweighed my need for ambiance. Sad story. Moving on…South Beach Miami Adventures | wordslikehoneycomb.comSouth Beach Miami Adventures | wordslikehoneycomb.com

If you didn’t see it on Instagram, I experienced another first that I had been waiting to do for so long! SHAKE SHACK! I had heard about it so many times but we don’t have the chain anywhere near our home, so when we drove by one I insisted it was lunch! The fries were delicious, the hamburgers were so flavorful and juicy…and the chocolate shake…tasted like a glorified Wendy’s frosty. Sorry to offend, Shake Shack lovers, but we won’t be spending $5+ on a frosty anymore 👎😋South Beach Miami Adventures | wordslikehoneycomb.com

Our last night we chose Rosa Mexicano, a Mexican restaurant located on the popular Lincoln Road Mall Strip, where there were hundreds of popular retailers and street performers! I would describe Rosa Mexicano as a modern chic restaurant that serves classic Mexican dishes with a modern twist. It was completely delicious and they even made their own corn tortillas. For you corn tortilla haters, these tasted nothing like the crap you can buy in the grocery store! And look at those lights! Although taking them home wasn’t an option, I definitely bored Steven for several minutes discussing a possible DIY option. I am pretty sure he is surprising me with his recreation for Christmas. (<- Now I can see if he actually reads my blog.)South Beach Miami Adventures | wordslikehoneycomb.comSouth Beach Miami Adventures | wordslikehoneycomb.comSouth Beach Miami Adventures | wordslikehoneycomb.com

Miami was awesome you guys. Touristy, expensive and hot, but still awesome. Pretty sure that had a great deal to do with that guy though.👇South Beach Miami Adventures | wordslikehoneycomb.com

(Photo Credit: Leigh + Becca Photography)

1 year of fun down and many more to go!

I promise you food on Friday…so come back 👊✌✋👋

I am baaaaaaaaacccccccccckkkkkkkkkkk!!!!South Beach Miami | wordslikehoneycomb.com

I missed you guys!  Did you miss me?! (dont answer that)

Well, as promised we have LOADS of pictures to show you, and so many that I felt the need for a 2 part-er since I can't show you 389874 pictures of palm trees and waves in one post.South Beach Miami | wordslikehoneycomb.com

Not to mention, its probably rude even showing these pictures when some of you are covered in scarves and coats and will most definitely hate me after this tropical paradise of a post.

Buuuut I love pictures and showing them 😀  So....I guess I am taking that risk!

(Forgive?)South Beach Miami | wordslikehoneycomb.com

We stayed at a cute little condo on the picturesque Ocean Drive, aka all the art deco vibe <3 and the sand we could smell the salty air as soon as we arrived!   We were too early to check in and hangry levels were rising so we stopped at the first outdoor cafe we came to.

South Beach Miami | wordslikehoneycomb.com

We ordered the best looking items that were less than I would pay for a weeks' worth of groceries and, not having tasted the local water, decided on a bottle of water that the waiter quickly brought to our table.  Best $9 bottle of water I have tasted 0_0.  We weren't in Kansas anymore folks. (disclaimer: I have never been to Kansas.)  I kindly told my husband to stuff the bottle in his backpack because there was no way we were paying $9 for water and not getting the cool bottle out of the deal.

Up and down the drive there is a hotel restaurant and cafe trying to pull you in with their savory plates and 'happy hour' specials.  I am completely serious when I say they invited me to their 'happy hour' at every single time of day we passed by over the course of the week.  I had no idea Miami was happy 24/7. PROOF.South Beach Miami | wordslikehoneycomb.comSouth Beach Miami | wordslikehoneycomb.com

After our marginal most-expensive-lunch-of-my-life, we followed our noses to the beach for some sand therapy and wave relaxation.  In which I forced Steven to be my model and took far too many pictures of waves.  Seriously, you are going to think there are a lot, but you don't even want to know how many I spared you from (63).South Beach Miami | wordslikehoneycomb.comSouth Beach Miami | wordslikehoneycomb.comSouth Beach Miami | wordslikehoneycomb.com
Although Steven reassured me many times that the water was warm, I felt the water was a bit BRISK for all the hoopla about Miami beach and forget about adapting to the water once the sun goes down.  IT AINT HAPPENIN.
The waves were quite intense our first day there; but on our last day the ocean looked JUST like a pool.  I had never seen anything like it!  There were literally zero waves and everyone was standing around in the clear water as if in a pool except no one had to worry about stepping on pool toys at the bottom of the pool.South Beach Miami | wordslikehoneycomb.comSouth Beach Miami | wordslikehoneycomb.comSouth Beach Miami | wordslikehoneycomb.comSouth Beach Miami | wordslikehoneycomb.com
South Beach Miami | wordslikehoneycomb.comOne of our days we rented that lovely sportiness right there.  I fell in love and that car is most definitely not an option in for realz lifes.
But it made a killer cruising car and we took full advantage of our unlimited mileage by heading off the island of Miami beach over to this incredible place called Coral Gables.  We stumbled upon it on the way to our adventures and it definitely made my list of places to live when I am a millionaire.

Because that is a real thing.

And it is a long list.

Feel special, Coral Gables, feel very special.South Beach Miami | wordslikehoneycomb.com
Coral Gables was basically the land of trees.  Every gorgeous street had an umbrella of natural shade and beautifully lined with stunning homes and iron gates.  Even their stores were beautiful!  Like, I really took a picture of their Ross, guys. Prettiest Ross ever.South Beach Miami | wordslikehoneycomb.comSouth Beach Miami | wordslikehoneycomb.comSouth Beach Miami | wordslikehoneycomb.comSouth Beach Miami | wordslikehoneycomb.com
It was a Tuesday and these many lovely paths lead us to the Vizcaya Museum & Gardens.  It looked completely magical online and the entrance made me even more anxious to get inside!  All these pictures are from the outside of the museum, since they were closed on Tuesdays 0_0.South Beach Miami | wordslikehoneycomb.comSouth Beach Miami | wordslikehoneycomb.comSouth Beach Miami | wordslikehoneycomb.comSouth Beach Miami | wordslikehoneycomb.com
Is it me or is Tuesday the most random day to close a museum?!  I insisted we go as far in as the property would let us, because the main gate was open.  And then we reached the guard which said: "The museum is closed."  No joke, Mr. Guard.  And they may just be charging too much for the museum admission if they can afford paying a guard to say 'The museum is closed' on Tuesdays.
Disappointed (<--I was disappointed, I don't know that I can speak for Steven), we drove away and I began the search for our next activity.  Not far from the museum was a lovely public pool area called the Venetian Pool.  Never having been overseas to the actual Venetian, I was quite excited.South Beach Miami | wordslikehoneycomb.com South Beach Miami | wordslikehoneycomb.comSouth Beach Miami | wordslikehoneycomb.comSouth Beach Miami | wordslikehoneycomb.com

I can't believe this gorgeous pool was a 'community pool'!  Quite different from the community pool I grew up with, HA!  We were able to come back to the pool and swim a few days later and our favorite part was the waterfall.  You could actually sit on the ledge underneath the waterfall with the water out in front of you.  Such a unique experience!
Come back tomorrow for Pirate Duck adventures, scooter happenings and the lights I wanted to pack in my suitcase to take home.

Part 2 folks.

Bring your coffee. My stories are better with caffeine.

Vegas Sign_downtown

...certainly doesn't stay in Vegas because its all here on the blog to share with you today!

Yep!  We went to Vegas and loved it.  We probably aren't your usual Vegas tourist since we don't drink, gamble or smoke (LOL) but we were left with no shortage of fun in that happenin' city!

We stayed at a place called SLS which is the new Sahara, for those of you that have been there.  We enjoyed the unique atmosphere and tried their Northside Cafe which was open 24/7 and, with finally arriving to our room at 2am, we were very grateful!

By the way, I'll just slap my own hand since I don't think I took but one or two pictures of our delicious food through out the week...bad...BAD food blogger...and both pictures were of........pizza.

Your forgiveness would be appreciated.  And while your in a forgiving mood...all these pictures were taken via phone, in the beating sun in 100 degree weather. 0_o  The quality...ehh...not the greatest, but I feel like you're the type to see through that, and I thank YOU.  So without further ado.

Heeeere's Vegas.....

Always need the pre-flight vacation selfie.

Vaca Selfie

My favorite hotel in Vegas is the Paris Hotel in which the 'Eiffel Tower' is emerging from the hotel!

Paris Las Vegas

Home to the BEST pizza we found...which we visited twice 0_0

La Pizza

For Him...Meat lovers!

Steven and the Pizza

And for her...good ole Supreme!

Pizza for her

We rented a convertible for the day!!! <3

Convertible

Hoover Dam

Circus Circus was literally the MOST fun.  They had an entire theme park in the hotel as well as a ginormous arcade (which we totally killed about two hours in) and circus acts performed every 15 minutes!  It definitely brought the kid out in us!

Circus Circustheme park Circus CircusThere were flamingos at the Flamingo Hotel.  I know.  I was shocked too.

The Flamingo

Flamingos

Two things you should know about this picture.

1- We take pictures of each other when we wait on our pizza #lame

2-Yes. We are eating pizza for the third time in two days.

collage

Moving on...

We walked TWO MILES so Steven could see the famous Pawn Stars.

SPOILER ALERT: It's just a pawn shop -_-

#supportivewife

Pawn Stars

Literally THE only place to eat during the two hour drive to the Grand Canyon.

Grand Canyon Diner

So...yeah definitely was NOT paying $70+ PER PERSON to get up close to the Grand Canyon.  But, pictures or it didn't happen!  Therefore...I present the Grand Canyon, folks.  Just squint a little for me... Grand CanyonAaaand one more random convertible selfie because...I was a little pumped about it.
convertible selfie

#DontJudge

#ImACoolKid

Thaaaaanks for letting me throw my Vegas photo album at ya!!!  Not to worry though...yummy recipe coming your way on Friday!  Think color...and comfort...and grab your skillet!