Talk about a sweet escape. Life in Manhattan is all about the motto work hard – play harder. I spent Friday night in my office revising contracts and staring at a computer screen before heading to the airport at 4:00am to catch the first flight to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Hopped on a JetBlue flight and within less than three hours of travel time, we landed to the warm welcome of great family friends under tropical sunshine.
I always knew my friend Tracey had great architectural and home design taste being that she spent most of her professional career as a prominent designer in Washington, DC. This custom design “dream home” was nothing short of her greatest masterpiece. I was blown away from the moment we arrived – a French chateau inspired waterfront home with bright modern details and glamour that every gal on the internet can only “pin” about in her pajamas.
Although we only had 48 hours to spend in paradise, my husband and I surely made the most of our time. In this post I’m taking my friends and readers inside one of the most gorgeous private homes I have ever had the honor to stay as a guest. I’m also sharing a few travel tip highlights with some new places I discovered in America’s boating capital of the world – Fort Lauderdale! Sit back, relax and enjoy a brief photo diary to inspire your next trip to the Sunshine State.
The Beach Strip
Aside from lounging around the gorgeous home photographed above, we made our way over to the famous Beach Strip to explore the madness of “Spring Breakers” running around, high-end nightlife and delicious culinary delights. My hubby and I made sure to try a two-for-one mango margarita with a side of fresh sushi at Tsukuro – this place was awesome! We sat right on the deck overlooking the strip, the beach and the madness of college kids gone wild. Highly recommend this joint for a pre-dinner cocktail and snack. Oh yeah, while sipping our sweet mango flavored margaritas, we spotted not only the infamous topless spring breaker, but a man roaming the streets in a string bikini (WTF?), a pink escalade with spinners, and countless other jaw dropping “people watching moments” – let’s just say that you will be highly entertained by a trip to the strip!
For a more upscale scene try the party pool at the W Hotel. They have a glass bottom pool where you can check-out the sexy legs of pool goers while you drink up – interesting… Another must-try spot, in my lady opinion, is to enjoy a pastry and coffee at the Ritz Carlton breakfast bar – Burlock Coast Seafare & Spirits. Here I savored some homemade coffee cake with a much needed espresso – the perfect way to start my Sunday morning during a weekend getaway! And for lunch? You gotta try the famous Florida Stone Crabs, in season from October through May. Stone crabs are a delicacy in south Florida – you can pick some up at your local grocery store.
And for my favorite dinner hotspot on the Beach Strip, it’s gotta go to SUN SURF & SAND, a gorgeous restaurant located in the lower level of the Hilton Hotel. I love restaurants with a fun vibe and great energy, along with mouthwatering food. This place has it, lady. Playing loud mixtapes of lively music, beautiful people – young and old – gather around intimate table settings overlooking the ocean. When I say young and old, I mean young and old. Generations collide in Fort Lauderdale. I even spotted a gray old man in a wheelchair with his smoking hot 20-something year old wife — whatever floats your boat! To keep restaurant goers warm at night, the patio is decked out with gorgeous gas firepits and fireplaces – it’s beautiful, and warm! The restaurant boasts a menu of creative tapa style plates to share, so you can choose several items from the menu for your group and go from there. They also specialize in fine sushi items, as well as a fully stocked bar that will whip up any speciality cocktail you can dream of. My favorites? Ummm obviously the gouda mac n’ cheese, the sushi nacho, grilled caesar salad, and sweet glazed brussel sprouts.
Tv Dinner for the Oscars
What better than a TV dinner for a night at the Oscars? Cook up a fantastic meal, set the scene and enjoy coverage of the Oscars right from the comfort of a living room. Sounds like a perfect night for this lady. Our hosts whipped us up a fresh salad and local fish for our fancy “TV Dinner” — what a fun way to end the weekend. Instead of throwing a giant Oscars party, make it an intimate dinner party where you can enjoy food, wine and shared commentary of one of the biggest nights of the year for Hollywood.
Thank you for an amazing weekend getaway to my favorite Florida friends, Lou and Tracey, I love you both so much. And of course, thanks JetBlue and Fort Lauderdale for giving this lady some much needed sunshine during the peak of a cold NYC winter. I will be back. Until the next sweet escape.