Every year in January, my company decides to up its awesomeness level and take us to an offsite in Miami. This year was our second annual Miami Offsite, and it did not disappoint.
Well, the weather definitely did disappoint (it was about 60°F and windy every day we were there) but it was an otherwise great trip.
For the second year in a row, we stayed at the Eden Roc – a beautiful resort on the beach next door to the Fontaine Bleu (which is my favorite Miami hotel, so always happy to be in the vicinity). My friend, Alex, and I shared a room and (due to a shortage of doubles) also a king sized bed. The rooms were beautiful and clean, and the view from the balcony was breathtaking as always.
For the majority of the offsite, we were in conference rooms listening to presentations, or breakout rooms working in teams with our departments or cross-functionally. During those hours of the day, we could very well have been in a hotel in Wisconsin, as opposed to Miami, and not known the difference.
But at night we always had fun, very “Miami” activities to do. On night one, we went to a happy hour at Sweet Liberty in the Collins Park area. This place was super trendy and had incredible margaritas (for a non-Mexican restaurant).
The next night we had dinner and drinks at Komodo, a Southeast-Asian fusion restaurant in Brickell with a very jungle/treehouse vibe. For someone who usually shies away from Asian food due to my peanut allergy, I was actually able to eat almost every dish they brought out, and they even made several of the dishes specially for me with the peanut sauce excluded from the recipe. Highly recommend Komodo for the unique atmosphere and top-notch service.
For the first three days, it was pretty much all work and no play. Come Friday afternoon, however, Alex and I left the Eden Roc and checked into Hotel Croydon down the road, ready to start our work-free vacation. Unfortunately, what the Miami had in store for us was more wind – and when I say wind, I mean hurricane-force gusts. This weather was no joke.
So, since neither the beach nor pool was an option, we decided to do another of our favorite pass-times; eat and drink.
Thanks to our trusty companion, Yelp, we found a traditional Mexican taqueria, Taquiza. We had some Coronas, sangria, and (albeit, pretty overpriced) tacos while enjoying the laid back, beachy feel of the outdoor patio area.
The next day we were (again) greeted with cool weather. But, less wind, which was a plus. Since beach and pool were yet again out of the question, after wandering around Miami Beach a bit we returned to one of our favorite spots from last year – the Wynwood Walls.
The walls feature huge, colorful street murals and typically change every few months, so we knew we would be seeing some stuff that hadn’t been there last year. The cool weather made for the perfect day to walk around in the sun, and we got to check out the latest additions to the installations.
From there, we decided to explore Wynwood a bit. We walked around the area near the walls for a while, admiring the graffiti and street art that cover the buildings of the town.
Pretty much everywhere you look you can find some sort of art – the walls, the stores, even the sidewalks.
One of my new favorite places that we discovered on this Miami trip was Plant the Future, a nature-inspired design firm and retailer. As stated on their website, they fuse “design, architecture and art with nature” creating “unique plant arrangements, living art installations, landscape architecture, and interiorscape design.”
Given my love for plants (despite my total lack of a green thumb), this place was right up my alley and so fun to explore all of the unique pieces they had put together.
Our Wynwood trip concluded with a quick stop at a super trendy coffee shop, then a much-needed break in the shade to relax.
Everything about Wynwood is so bright and colorful and vibrant that I feel like no matter how many time I return to Miami it will always be a place I’m excited to visit.
So although our trip to Miami was less fun in the sun and more… well, sitting inside learning about our company’s strategy for the upcoming year, we still managed to have a good time and visit some of our favorite spots.
In any case… here’s to next year’s offsite (maybe) being somewhere new!