Two Weeks of FABULOUS Birthday FUN with La Diva Cucina!

La Diva at Salumeria in Midtown Miami for my birthday!

Darlings!  I DO SO LOVE having a birthday in February in Miami!  After living half my life in the cold midwest, it's so nice to finally be able to celebrate my special day without freezing my patootie off and trying to navigate ice strewn sidewalks in spike heels, cursing the cold and wishing I was somewhere warm, because now, finally, I AM!  

Because winter time is "HIGH" season in Miami and the city and beaches are loaded with tourists and snow birds, there is always myriad events and fun things to do!

The week before my birthday, The DJ was doing a large event for an important client from Germany and was working downtown, so for convenience, the client put him up in one of our fave Miami hotels, The Epic.  Knowing how much I loved it there and how much I needed a little break from work and "life," The DJ asked if I wanted to start my celebrations a bit early by staying with him a few nights downtown?  OF COURSE, I did!  And since I had requested a massage as my birthday present, perhaps La Diva would like one from the hotel spa as well?  YES, DARLING, INDEED I WOULD!

View from our balcony on the 18th floor

So, The DJ picked me up from home, small overnight bag packed, and whisked me to our fave taqueria on Calle Ocho in Little Havana for a cheapie dinner, knowing my stay at the hotel would be anything but "cheap!"

Upon checking in, I recognized Les Clef d'Or concierge Gene Ruotolo, whom several years before made our stay at The Epic so memorable and fabulous.  He was happy to see me and didn't hesitate to do something special for me when I told him I was there to get a bit of "R and R" and celebrate my birthday.  He quickly handed me a spa guest pass, wished me a fabulous time, and we went up to the room to get settled.

This is part of the offerings of The Epic's mini bar, very nice and "high end."  I had to take a photo of the 
M & M's, mini Snickers and peanuts in the Kimpton sealed, zip lock bags on the right.  I guess someone in the hotel finally got wise to people replacing mini bar items taken from the night before and replacing them with cheaper, drug store replicas the next day!  haha!  (hey, it always worked for me!)

 As it was such a gorgeous, balmy night, The DJ and I enjoyed a few glasses of wine on the balcony and afterward I lounged in the lovely, extra deep bath tub.   Soon after, we went to bed, hubby had an early start and I had booked a yoga class at the fitness center courtesy of Gene the concierge!

This is the day and view I woke up to the next morning, simply gorgeous!  After a small breakfast, yoga and a quick work out on the bike, the hard part of the day was over, so I quickly changed into my swim suit and headed straight for the pool.

The colour of the pool water alone was very enticing to this Sirena and I couldn't wait to get down there!  After doing 20 laps in the cooler pool, I went over to the other pool that was heated to almost jacuzzi temperatures and lounged with my fashion mag until my belly grumbled and I decided to order lunch.  I splurged and got a bacon, cheddar chicken sandwich with fries, ooh yes and sighed deeply.  It's very rare for me to take a day off midweek to do something like this and I was enjoying every minute of it!

"Um, yes, I WILL have another Arnold Palmer, thank you very much.  Oh and YES, thanks for fixing my towel into a head pillow, cheers."  *sigh*  A girl could get used to this!  In fact, I had texted MOI  the night before and told her how easy it was for me to slip into luxury....Her response?  "Why couldn't WE be trust fund kids?!"  Moi gets it too.  At 2:45, I put on my fluffy hotel robe and headed up to the spa to get my massage and acupuncture treatment at the Exhale Spa. 

After several hours of blissful back-kneading that seemed to go on for an eternety, I left the spa, with a dazed and heavy head, and slowly made my way back to our room.  On the desk waiting for me was a lovely bottle of pink champagne on ice along with a lovely card thanking me for choosing The Epic.  I just love those thoughtful little touches at a nice hotel.

Since hubby was hard at work and would not be back for hours, I realized that I had NO CHOICE but to open it and drink it immediately.  Naturally, I called down to the concierge and thanked them profusely.  *sigh*  Now La Diva was REALLY feeling relaxed.  There was no way I would be heading home that night and for purpose anyway?  To go home to an empty house?  I think not.  

After a number of glasses of champagne on my own, La Diva was feeling very inspired and thought the colour of the bubbly matched the clouds and fading sun on those buildings on South Beach.  See?  See?!

The DJ walked in about 5:30 pm and told me he had dinner plans with the client but would be happy to cancel to keep me company.  I said, "You will do no such thing!  This client is too important!"  So, while he went off to Burger and Beer Joint with the boys, La Diva poured the rest of the champers and scanned the dinner menu.

Hmmmm...this lovely barley and grain salad sounds healthy and tasty, and I can get a side of chicken, shrimp or steak with it.  I called down to room service and ordered my dinner and asked for the steak side, all that lounging by the pool and drinking sure did work up my appetite!  I was surprised when the waiter asked me how I wanted it cooked?  "Medium rare, of course, and DON'T forget the chocolate mousse."  Those chocolate covered bananas from the mini bar the night before just didn't do the trick...

The meal was delicious!  But there was something that I didn't understand...the kitchen had sent me an entire steak!  The steak was an "add on" to the salad for only an additional $9.  Adding it to the $13 salad brought my very generously portioned dinner to $22.  Yet, on the room service dinner menu, a steak dinner was $38!  WHA?  Go figure, I'm not sure if they made  a mistake or not, but I sho did enjoy that steak!

As I watched tv and spread out on the king size bed in my fluffy hotel robe, I realized how much I really needed this time away to look after myself.  I had not had a massage in so long, perhaps years, and taking a day off midweek to "play" was unheard of!  It was a wonderful day and for once, my worries had melted away as I allowed myself that time to just relax and de-clutter my head. That night, I slept deeply and soundly, and I woke up well rested.  I quickly packed, thanked the front desk for a job "well done," checked out and went back to my life on the beach.

Yet to come....

La Diva and Rice Ambassador for the World, Chef Gabriele Ferron from Italy performing "Risottoa Al Basilico" and other delights at Salumeria 104 

La Diva at a private cooking demo for press sponsored by Bertolli Olive Oils with Top Cheftestant Fabio Viviani at Casa Tua

Sobe Wine and Food Festival seminar with Momofuku's pastry chef Christina Tosi and sommelier Andrea Robinson!

Stay tuned, darlings, more fabulousness and food porn is coming your way!


Intuitive Eggplant said...

Yeah for February birthdays!!! So glad you enjoyed yours - and thanks for taking us along! Can't wait to see more.

Roses said...

I'm so glad you had a brilliant birthday fortnight.

As you described your 'down' time, I felt my shoulders drift down. That pool just looks divine. It's been a few years since I've had the pleasure of swimming in an outside pool. What the Brits think is decent water temp and what I think is decent water temp is too different things and as bikini weather only happens 4 days a see my problem?

Are you all refreshed and ready to shake yo fabulous butt at the world? I do hope so! xxxx

Floridacracker said...

Happy Birthday Diva!
Sounds like an excellent adventure.

Anonymous said...

Hi Diva,

Looks like your birthday was EPIC!! haha.

I haven;t been to Miami since Andrew. I was raised there. Maybe one day I'll get back for a visit.


moi said...

I may not be a trust fund baby, but I DO play one fabulously in my head :o)

I'm so thrilled you had this wonderful break! Your photos and description are so vivid, it's almost like I was there . . . Almost. The view out my window? Snow. And wind. I should make this post my screen saver for today.

Can't wait to hear about Fabio, but until then, smooches to ya!

Thombeau said...

How incredibly FABULOUS!

I see that, as I do every year, I missed your birthday! But that doesn't mean I don't love you and wish you the best always! XOXOX

chickory said...

wow wow and double wow. gorgeous photos of the EPIC - its epic. SO pretty so tidy and luxe. You look fabulous in that environment too - and then to throw a bunch of foodie delights on top of it all. a very happy birthday indeed. kudos to djnevaL8

LaDivaCucina said...

Eggy, why are so many COOL people born in February?! hahah! It was a great two weeks!

Thanks, Roses, I see us lounging by a fabulous pool together one day, fo sho! Thanks for your constant support.

Thanks, FC, long time no see! Gotta get some datil seeds from ya!

Patti, I love Miami, I truly do, hurricanes and all.

Thanks for stopping by, Moi, I know how busy you be. Fabio was pretty FABULOUS! Nice man, very charming.

Thom! No worries, you can buy me a very expensive present when you see me in June! heheh....

Yes, Chickory, the Epic is our fave hotel down here....modern and classy and great views! Such a different take on Miami being off the beach for a change.

Thanks for your comments, kids, I appreciate them! xoxox

Boxer said...

HEY! What happened to my comment?? Booo.

I never thought about relplacing mini bar schnizz. Dang. That's brilliant. I love that picture of the blue water so much I actually saved it as my screen saver for a days after I first read this post.

I believe in "the pause that refreshes" and I think that's how birthdays should be celebrated. It gives us a day to just say "it's about me today and that's ok."

More food porn, please. xooxx

Jill said...

You should wear that dress everyday! HAWT!! You had an awesome birthday.

Cookerati said...

Oh my, would I love that for my birthday.

Andy said...

You had me at salume....