We made what I hope is my last drive through Alligator Alley to Miami. It started with a night trip to see Jay Z and Justin Timberlake in concert and ended with a weekend celebration for the Husband’s thirtieth birthday. We left Tampa, with our first planned stop at Yoder’s in Sarasota for lunch. Every time we are in Tampa for the Husband’s birthday, we eat at Yoder’s. It’s fantastic Amish food with the best pies ever.
Yoder’s chocolate peanut butter cream pie.
Once we were fat and happy, we got back in the car and headed for Miami. Four long hours later, we arrived at the Loew’s Miami. Yes, of course, we stayed at the Loew’s. We checked in and not only did they give us a room with a spectacular view, but the VIP manager Phillip came out to great us and make sure we didn’t need anything. Such great customer service.
We went to the room, got ready for the concert, and headed to the lobby bar. We had time for a drink at the Hemisphere bar before waiting for a taxi. The concert started at 8 PM, so we figured 7 PM was plenty of time. Well. Let me tell you. First we waited quite a while for a taxi. A van ended up coming first, so we shared with 2 lovely couples who came from Texas just to go to the concert. So we started driving, got on the thruway, and stopped. Traffic was not moving. It was terrible. Two hours later we finally made the 17 mile trip to the Sun Life Stadium. Luckily the concert was starting late, at 9:15. That left us just enough time to use the bathroom, get a beer, and make our way back to the floor. Then the concert started.
Jay Z and Justin Timberlake.
The show was fantastic, with cameos by Rick Ross and Timbaland. The weather was suuuuper hot, but it didn’t rain for probably the first time this summer. The taxi ride back to the hotel was much better than the way there. We arrived at the Loew’s around midnight, showered, and headed out to meet our friends Pete and Janelle to celebrate the Husband’s 30th (!) birthday! We went to the rooftop bar at the Clevelander. There was a long line to get up the elevator, but the doorman gave us VIP bracelets and let us up front. Score one for being 30! We had some (super expensive) drinks then headed for some late night food. We found pizza next to the hotel, the Pizza Bar, that was seriously the biggest piece of pizza I have ever seen. And it was greasy and delicious, perfect for a 3 am dinner. Then we all headed back to the hotel and realized we made it past 3 AM!!!! Take that, being 30!
The next morning we woke up feeling every bit of our 30, or near 30 in my case. Luckily the Husband received a lovely birthday present from the Loew’s, and it included champagne.
Yay for mimosas!
So we popped open the bottle and had mimosas, while overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
The view of the pool was super pretty too.
We finished our mimosas and headed to the pool for lunch. We sat at the bar and ate. Then I had rented a pool sunbed for the day, so the Husband and I headed there.
Our spot for the day.
It included separate servers from the pool and little snacks.
About half way through the day we had a new server come by and tell us she was taking over because our server had to take care of some special VIPs. We were actually kinda relieved, since it had been a little difficult to get a drink. But the service didn’t get any better. Towards the end of the day, the server told us she was so sorry for neglecting us, but they were preparing the area for Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel. So I guess if you were going to be second priority, those are pretty cool people to be second to. And the manager comped our drinks, which was even better. We hung around as long as they would let us, but no JT/JB sightings. Once the bodyguard and what looked like the band members showed up, we left. So we decided to get some wine, beer, and dinner, and take it to the room and enjoy the view.
The pool looks like a heart! So sweet.
We had breakfast at Aroma Espresso Bar and it was just right. Latte and croissants make me happy every time.
Then we reluctantly packed up the room, got the car from valet, and headed for the loooooong and boring ride back to Tampa!
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