Christi, the other half of Cashmere Apron, has been residing in Sarasota since March for her hub’s job. Used to her being right down the street, this temporary relocation has been an unwelcome adjustment. BUT her treck to the east did provide the ultimate excuse for a summertime visit.
So two other gal pals and I booked our tickets (thank you SPG points) and took off for a mini-vacay to Sarasota. It was a whirlwind of fun and diversion. During “cocktail hour” on day one, the idea of hitting South Beach came up. The drive is a quick three hours from Sarasota so WHY NOT?! We canceled our spa appointments for the next morning, booked one cozy room at the famed Fontainebleau Hotel and took off at the crack of 11:30am on day two.
By 3:30pm we were poolside, drinks in hand and appetizers ordered. The weather was pure Florida- sunny and warm with a slight breeze to keep us comfortable. After lounging poolside for a bit and soaking in the scene, we moved to the beach and lingered for another two hours chatting away. You know that feeling of experiencing the perfect vacation day…it’s getting late, the sun is starting to melt into dusk but the weather is mesmerizing and you’re so in the vacation zone that movement seems unimportant. That was us.
We finally meandered up to our room to get ready for a night out in South Beach. Four women showering and getting ready in one bathroom could be a complete disaster but I have to say, it was all good. The biggest question…WHAT TO WEAR??? South Beach is an entertainment destination known for its hip vibe, art deco architecture, nightclubs, boutiques and restaurants. We didn’t need to go overboard with the outfits but we didn’t want to underwhelm either…I think our SoBe style was just right as we strolled into dinner at Jose Andres’ Tapas restaurant in the SLS Hotel, The Bazaar.
From there, based on our server’s recommendation, we discovered what is now one of my favorite bars ever, The Broken Shaker. All drinks are hand-crafted and frequently rotate from week to week. The dimly lit bar features drink-ready fresh garden herbs in vintage glassware, a blended spirit in a giant silver punch bowl with blood oranges floating atop, and two hip chicks running the bar, making hand-crafted after hand-crafted drink. The scene is right out of a relaxed backyard party – a brightly lit rectangular pool framed by lawn furniture, hammocks, a few ping pong tables, oversized Connect Four, card games and lights strung throughout the whispy trees. It was folksy and warm and innovative at the same time. I can’t wait to go back.
The night went on from there as we hit famed Ocean Avenue and Mango’s, a 24-hour dance club where performers are doing cabaret shows on the bar all night while the DJ is spinning from the second floor in conjunction with back-up singers. We hit the Clevelander just down the road (made famous by MTV) and finally came back to the Fontainebleau about 3am where a commercial was being filmed in the front driveway.
There was a much needed room service order placed for the always chic chicken tenders with ranch followed by cheese quesadillas. We chowed down, went to sleep and hit the road mid-morning. We were poolside at Christi’s by 3pm, all ready for naps.
Hurry up and come home Christi! I’m glad we could live the SoBe experience together, even if for only 24 hours.