Archive for the 'Florida Life' Category

Quito, Ecuador is Just a Short Flight From Miami

One of the great things about living in Miami is how easy it is to travel abroad.  Today I am leaving for Quito, Ecuador which is just a 4 hour and 20 minute flight from Miami.  Although this country has been in the news of late due to Edward Snowden and is a bit testy toward the U.S., Ecuador is a huge exporter of goods and services to the U.S. and we gain a lot from trading with them.  Some of the main exports to the U.S. are shrimp, bananas, brocoli, coffee and chocolate. 

Pacari Chocolate has been growing in populatrity in the U.S. and has participated in the Fairchild Garden Chocolate Festival.   Republica del Cacao has also been winning awards in the U.S.  I am looking forward to bringing back a stash of both!

Artisinal Ecuadorian Chocolate

Artisinal Ecuadorian Chocolate

March Madness: Busy Event Season Continues in Miami

In case your activity calendar hasn’t been full enough with the boat show, Coconut Grove Arts Festival, Art Wynwood, SoBe Wine and Food Festival, you can add to it with all of the events coming in March.

Tonight kicks off the 30th Annual Miami International Film Festival.  Over 100 films will be shown through March 10.

The Cadillac Golf Championship comes to Doral Golf Resort and Spa on March 6-10.

Two music events overlap when the Winter Music Conference, March 15-24, and the Ultra Music Festival, March 15-17 and 22-24, come to town.

March 18-31features the Sony Open Tennis on Key Biscayne.

All this is great for our local economy and our social calendars, but I am looking forward to the “lazy” days of summer!


Happy Valentine’s Day

Okay, I have to admit that although I love my husband, family, friends, clients, south Florida, referrals, wine and dark chocolate, but am not a big fan of Valentine’s Day.  As my husband said early on in our dating, every day should be Valentine’s Day, not just a day where flower prices sky rocket, restaurant reservations are scarce, and Hallmark cashes in.  So instead of celebrating just one day, go out and celebrate all weekend!  There is so much to do between the boat show and Coconut Grove Art Festival that you will find plenty of reasons to love living in, or visiting, south Florida.

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Weekend Trip From South Florida – St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg is a 4.5 hour drive from Miami and, though different, has a lot of similarities.   St. Pete is on the Gulf, Miami is on the Atlantic.  St. Pete is full of tourists, as is Miami.  The Port of Tampa (St. Pete/Tampa/& Clearwater are basically considered one area) services Central Florida and is doing a lot of business with Brazil; Port Miami services Central America and also does a lot of business with Brazil.

There are a lot of things to do in both St Pete and Miami, but I am a beach girl and spent the time I was in St Pete on the beach with my nephews.


On The Road Again….

Not only a Willy Nelson song, but for someone who lives in South Florida it is a bit of a mantra.  There are always places to go and people to see.  If the “people” aren’t family or friends visiting your home in Miami, “people” are family or friends visiting somewhere in Florida close enough to justify a road trip.  In this case, it is my brother and his family coming to the west coast of Florida to visit his in-laws and escape an oncoming winter storm in the northeast.

Being in real estate and a spur-of-the-moment person, any excuse for a road trip is usually good enough for me.  All the stars aligned and I didn’t have showings for two whole days so late Friday I threw a bathing suit, pjs, running shoes, and a change of clothes into an overnight bag and headed for the west coast…of Florida that is.  Four and a half hours later I was driving over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge into Saint Petersburg, Florida.


Beautiful Florida Keys

I had to drive down to Key West to show a property and took my cousin for a tour of the beautiful Florida Keys.  We think we might have spotted Santa enjoying his vacation.

Even Santa Vacations in the Florida Keys


Breathtaking Sunset - Rooftop Porch on Cudjoe Key

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Frog


Too hot for snow men.  It is 78 degrees today in Miami!

Assistance For Aging Relatives

Like most friends and co-workers I know, I have been dealing with many older relatives and neighbors in the last couple of years.  Many of them are living independently, still driving, and have increasing health issues.  An article in Tuesday’s Miami Herald, Assessing an aging relative, made me think of how difficult it is to tell whether or not an older person is truly okay living on their own or whether or not they may need assistance.  The labyrinth of social and medical programs that are out there to help people age in their homes are confusing and hard to navigate.  Luckily, Nancy Stein, an adjunct professor at UM, found the same issues facing her in caring for her parents so she brought the information together on a website called Seniority Matters.

The Village of Pinecrest has made a concerted effort to provide programming for seniors at the parks and community center, has a quarterly Pinecrest Pioneers luncheon for residents over 80 years old, and, in recognition of how much history our seniors provide, has been recording their oral histories.  All of these local services and resources help our seniors remain involved in the community, live independently, and give all of us caregivers peace of mind and assistance when needed.


Home.Com’s 10 Top Holiday Cities Only Include One City In Florida: Orlando released their 10 Best Cities to spend the holidays and, not too surprising, only Orlando made the list for Florida and it came in at number 6.  The top city was New York, which I found ironic since so many New Yorkers are in Miami for the holidays!  Number 2 was Chicago, 3 San Antonio, 4 Washington DC, 5 Las Vegas, 7 Denver, 8 Baltimore, 9 New Orleans, and 10 Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.  The reason for the picks were because they were the most cheerful and festive.  Obviously it was not because of the weather.

Many Floridians love to leave Miami for the holidays since we don’t have a winter and it is hard to get into the “holiday spirit” when it is over 80 degrees and humid.  We are eagerly awaiting our cold front, expected to arrive on Saturday and drop temperatures from today’s 81 degrees down to a brisk 70, so we can whip out our jackets and boots.  On the other hand, many of the residents from the chilly cities on’s list want to spend their holidays in Miami.  It is so much easier to shovel sand than snow!

Art Miami Starts In One Week, Kicking Off Art Week And Art Basel

Art Miami - Kicks Off Art Week

Art Miami, the original and longest running contemporary  art fair that kicks off art week and culminates with Art Basel Miami, starts in one week on December 4th.  This year Christie’s International Real Estate and a group of Christie’s global affiliates, including EWM are Art Miami 2012′s Exclusive Real Estate Sponsor.

Art Miami, located in trendy Midtown Miami, hosts 170 artists and galleries.

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