Thursday, July 30, 2009

Only in Miami

Typically I only stop in gas stations for one of three reasons. 1. to get gas. 2. to run into the bathroom on a long road trip and 3. to get a quick snack or drink, or to pick up beer on the way to a last minute shindig.

So when my cohort, JoFi suggested we meet up for dinner at the gas station, I was a bit, well, perplexed. You see, JoFi is someone I would typically refer to as a "foodie," so eating tapas in a gas station doesn't seem like his style. But I also sometimes forget that my cohort also has a taste for the offbeat experience as well.

So we met up in the back of the BP off of 17th street. Now, when you walk into the gas station, it's your typical setup. But when you walk into the back, you see the lights are darkened, and there's an entire wall of wines. Apparently, the restaurant El Carajo (I am always amused by their name) has a little mini restaurant in the back of the station. Complete with the full menu and no indication of such from the outside.

The food was actually pretty decent. I would never have thought I would sit at a full-serve restaurant in the back of a gas station. And I really never thought I would be brave enough to eat ceviche and drink wine, but both were surprisingly good. We also got tortilla and sliced fillet. When you go, you are able to pick a bottle of wine from the wall and they will open it (for an additional charge, but really it doesn't turn out any more expensive than any other normal restaurant. Our service was decent enough and there were a few other tables of people. JoFi explained to me that on the weekends, the gas station is packed to the brim.




He also explained that before it was a restaurant, the back of the BP was a garage, and you can still see where the lifts were, behind the brightly painted faux brick facade.

Would I go again? Of course. It was entertaining, decent food, and just the right amount of cheesy decor. Really, where else will you be able to sit down and eat in a gas station?

Monday, July 27, 2009

For All Things Beer

I came across a relatively new South Florida blog today - South Florida Beer Blog. If you are a fan this is a great site. It is also fabulous because Dave lists upcoming events at local bars and restaurants. Here is the link:

Miami Spa Month

I think that Miami Spa Month is possibly one of the greatest things the city has come up with. Is it because I get ridiculously stressed out over things because I have the tendency to take too much on? Probably. But that's not important. What is important is that Miami Spa Month is fantastic.

I posed about a week and a half ago that I am going to be taking a bit of a rest from blogging, simply because I am taking a rest from running around like crazy all weekend. But I wanted to write about this experience, in case anyone wanted to take advantage of the last few days of the month (Spa Month lasts from July 1-July 31.) So where did I go? The Palms Hotel, and I highly recommend it.

First of all, the Palms has one of the best deals, you get either a massage or a facial with a manicure/pedicure. Most places only offer a massage or a facial or some body treatment, which to me is not worth $100 on it's own. Secondly, the Palms is an Aveda spa. That's huge to me. Anyone who knows me well knows I am very brand loyal, and that I have been going to Aveda salons since I was young (for haircuts.) I just really like the product, their mission and the whole experience that comes with an Aveda salon. For example, they were environmentally oriented before it became cool a few years back.

Anyways, I digress. As you walk in, there's the unmistakable scent of an Aveda salon/spa, a very relaxing herbal essential oils scent. The service was impeccable, and the whole spa was just very chilled out, with low down-tempo lounge world music playing. Between the massage and my nails, they have you wait in the "relaxation room." Basically it's a room with lounge chairs inside and outside, water (laced with lemons) and fruit. I decided to lounge outside on a chaise. It's been raining all week, so it was overcast, warm and there was water flowing from a nearby fountain. The combination of all these factors kept me totally relaxed and not all hyped-up ADHD like I normally am when I have to wait around for something.

Overall, I highly recommend the spa. Going back to the service, just the fact that they had such phenomenal service on Miami Beach alone is worth it. But the whole air of the place doesn't help either.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


I'm back from my long hiatus and have oodles and oodles of photos to post. I'll be posting them this week. I've updated my profile picture as well. I hope you all like it. :)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A short respite

I haven't been around lately, in case you hadn't noticed. Unfortunately life is stressful and getting in the way of posting. Typically I gather the bulk of my posting material on weekends, but I have been so stressed out that all I want to do is relax and be low-key. That and I have been so stressed out that my entire back is full of knots and I have been living on Vitamin A(dvil) and those Icey Hot patches. Not fun. Especially when you have so many knots that it becomes painful to type and you typically sit in front of a computer all day.

I've tried going to the chiro, exercising, massage -- nothing seems to work. So I think I may try a Spa Miami destination for some deep tissue massage, and if anyone knows of a decent acupuncturist in Miami, I am happy to take your suggestions! Until then, I will probably be a little less regular here, so add us to your rss feeds if you haven't already so you can stay in the loop once I get back to more regular posting.


Thursday, July 9, 2009

It's Back! Miami Spa Month

July is Miami Spa Month! For a little over $100 (I know, still not THAT much of a bargain but it's better than the full price) you can visit some of the best spas in Miami and receive treatments like facials and different kinds of massages. Check out the link to participating spas: I think I may be visiting the Biltmore for their spa package :)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Post 4th of July 305 coverage

Forth of July is one of my favorite holidays (behind Halloween of course.) There are so many good things around it - It's a celebration that calls for BBQs, gatherings with friends, fireworks and general summer shenanigans.

This year has been really up and down for both me and El Hombre, so we took the long weekend to enjoy the new kitten, go to a couple BBQs and try to catch fireworks. We also decided to explore a new beach: Bal Harbor Beach. Now, it never occurred to either of us to go to Bal Harbor for the beach. We both really like Hollywood if we feel like going for a drive, or we generally end of on different parts of Miami Beach. But Bal Harbor got the Miami New Times Best Beach recognition, so we figured, "why not?"

Let me tell you, it's definitely the way to go. It's got wide beaches, and surprisingly, it wasn't overcrowded. There were lots of shells and the water was really clean and clear. It also stays shallow so you can go pretty far out into the water if you so desire, and still see your feet.

Here's some shots:
I spotted the crab, upside down in the water, so El Hombre decided to check it out. It had been stepped on or something, so El Hombre decided to have some fun with it.

After the beach, we went to a BBQ with friends, set off some fireworks and then headed downtown to catch the City of Miami Fireworks. We decided to avoid the absolutely horrible traffic by parking in Brickell and taking the MetroMover. Let me tell you, we were crammed like cows in a cattle car with a bunch of other people ready to throw down. Despite not being able to move, it was really entertaining to have everyone hoot and holler everytime we turned a corner, and shout like we were on a roller coaster when we went up the big hill. Unfortunately the City of Miami fireworks show was a massive fail because it apparently was only 15-20 minutes long, so we completely missed it. We ended up walking around the park to Bayside, watching families chill out in the grass, kids rolling down the hills and everyone milling around.

After I almost got beat down for wanting to use the bathroom sink to wash my face at Bayside, we elected to get back on the MetroMover and go home, where we observed the terrible terrible traffic.

IF we decide to go next year, we definitely will do the metromover thing again. We didn't sit in a lick of traffic the entire way home. But from what I heard, all the other areas that did fireworks were able to put more money into it, so I don't know that I would do the whole downtown thing again.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Moshi Moshi

Funny story. You know, if you are a girl in your late 20s, in a committed relationship for about a year and a half, I guess people get anxious. Because I posted a status update that said, "Christina has some news to announce soon" and EVERYONE apparently thought I was pregnant. Not engaged, not getting a new job. Pregnant.

Now El Hombre didn't help much by adding to the fury with a post, "It involves a little one." This only set people off more. I started getting text messages like crazy and one of my best friends called from North Carolina at midnight to ask what was going on. Once I logged in and saw the fury, I decided to mess with people a little more, and I'm sure my friends who didn't know about the kitten plan are not so amused right now. Well, sorry to disappoint, but there is a new little one and El Hombre's and my little family is growing. Check out little Moshi:

She is two pounds and 8 weeks of pure cuteness. Last weekend we went to a nursery down on Miller to look for new hedges for El Hombre (we lead such exciting lives sometimes) when he pointed out the kittens. She was the only one with these really cool thick stripes and was so super cute. So I thought about it all week and decided that my current cat will learn to love her too.

So no, not an exciting story about Miami, so sorry. But I thought I should share!