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32nd Birthday in the Sunshine State

I love celebrating my birthday LOL. It’s my time to reflect, cheer for myself, and acknowledge all of the moments I’ve pushed through and showed up not only in the past year but in my life. Over the past four years, I’ve planned an annual birthday trip. I love gifts, but over the years I’ve fallen in love with traveling and new experiences. So with my birthday budget, I prefer to spend it on a trip.

This year, I decided to go to Florida again. If you read the travel section of my blog, you’ll notice that we’ve been to Florida a lot! I’ve been visiting Florida for years and have always had a great time! I love that it’s a short flight (about two hours), beautiful sand and beaches, and lots to do!

This year, I decided to spend two days in Hollywood, Florida, and two days in Miami, Florida.

I’ve been to Miami a ton of times but this was my first time being in Hollywood, Florida. The initial plan was to just go to Miami since a lot of places were still closed due to COVID; however, closer to my birthday more things started to open, so I decided to also visit Hollywood, Florida. I also wanted to do something new and try Airbnb. I am a hotel girl, but I’ve always been curious about Airbnbs. I was nervous about staying in someone else’s home, and also the lack of amenities (like a restaurant, bar, towel service, etc. throughout the stay). But I figured I should try something new. In the end, if I didn’t love the experience, life would go on.

So, I canceled part of my stay in Miami and booked an Airbnb in Hollywood. Wow! It did not disappoint! We arrived in the morning at the Fort Lauderdale Airport. We couldn’t check in yet, so we hung out at the Hollywood Broadwalk (not a typo - it’s Broadwalk and not boardwalk LOL). We ate lunch, rode bikes, listened to music, and visited the beach until it was time to check-in.

We first visited Nick’s Bar and Grill. It was a cute spot with perfect views of the beach. It started to rain, so we just enjoyed the view, vibes, and food.

Then we rented Surrey bikes. It’s the bike that’s side by side with two people riding. I’ve always seen them, but Rasoul thought it would be a cute activity. We rode them along the Broadwalk then stopped at a dive bar that had a live band performing.

We then hopped in an Uber and checked into our Airbnb. I was super nervous but was so impressed once we arrived: Hollywood Sunshine Resort Pool House. It was the perfect size for us! On the property, there’s the main house then the pool house. We wanted to rent both so we could have the place to ourselves, but the main house was already booked.

That wasn’t a problem at all, as the houseguests were so much fun! It was a party of eight, there celebrating one of their friend’s birthdays. We immediately hung out, enjoyed the food on the grill, laughed, and partied all night.

For my birthday, I also wanted to try a private chef dinner. It’s something that’s been on my wishlist for a while. I’m in a Facebook group that highlights Disney employees that have been displaced. I came across TABLE Ghost Kitchen. Their food and desserts looked so delicious, so we decided to book them! They are based in Orlando and drove three hours to Miami.

They took over our kitchen while we hung out at the pool. They made shrimp satay, broccolini, ribs, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, curry cauliflower, red velvet express cookies, elote corn, and chocolate chip cookies. Whew! The food was too good! And it was such an amazing experience to have private chefs come in. We enjoyed our food and relaxed for the rest of the evening.

The next day we checked out of the Airbnb. We were a bit sad because we loved the space so much, but it was already booked. Then, we were off to Miami. We stayed at the Victor Hotel. I LOVE this hotel so much! I stayed here for the first time last year and I’m not being dramatic when I say that when I stay on the Miami strip, I have to stay here. The other hotels just don’t compare.

There are tons of places to stay on the strip and you can find places that are cheaper, but the level of service, cleanliness, and experience far exceeds anything. Also, this year the downstairs restaurant was reopened after being closed due to COVID last year. The restaurant is called Cafe Americano. The food, service, and drinks were excellent, so we ended up spending a lot of time here.

For my birthday dinner, I wanted Mexican food (my favorite cuisine) and good vibes. We went to Pink Taco, which is next door to our hotel. It’s also where I had my birthday dinner last year LOL.

For the rest of the time, we hung out on the beach, laid in the pool, and just soaked up the sun and rested.

Until next year ;-)

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