Vacation Vibes: South Beach, Miami Pt. 3~ Catamaran Cruise

Immediately following our Cultural Walking and Food Tour in Little Havana, we had to jet to our next activity: a three-hour Catamaran Cruise. After walking most of the morning, it was nice to sit on a boat and feel the breeze.

The Tranquility sailed past notable landmarks like star island, where we were able to see the fabulous homes of the rich and famous, including Will Smith, Gloria Estefan, and Vince Mcmahon of the WWE, to name a few. Our guides (David and Tanner) also pointed out homes where some of the most iconic movies have been filmed, like Bad Boys 2 and Scarface. Say hello to my little friend! Get a look a these views!

Monument Island

Star Island

After a few minutes of cruising on the water, we reached our destination which was a small beach with kayaks, paddleboards, snorkel gear, water trampoline and other activities for us to enjoy.  After trying my hand at kayaking, I felt much safer splashing in the water. 

Those who didn’t wish to participate in the avtivities (the beach was rocky!) were free to stay on the boat. Wine and beer were available for purchase as well as complimentary peanuts and pretzels. Guest were also welcome to bring their own snacks in a reasonable sized cooler. 

Overall, I enjoyed this cruise and would recommend it to anyone looking to see a different view of Miami. The staff was great and were very knowledgeable! 

What are some amazing cruises that you guys have been on? Stayed tuned to see what other cool places we visited in Miami!

– A Black Girl About Town

Vacation Vibes: South Beach, Miami Pt. 2: Cultural Food and Walking Tour (Little Havana)

 

There was no way that I could go to Miami for a second time and not visit the historical town of Little Havana. It is named after Havana, the capitol of Cuba and is the place where many Cuban exiles (and others) have called home. I’ve always wanted to learn more about the Cuban culture and ever since I watched ‘Celia,’ a mini-series documenting the life of La Reina de la Sala (The Queen of Salsa), Celia Cruz, I’ve become even more intrigued. Check out the series if you get a chance. It’s on Neflix. Anyway, the closest I’ll probably get to Cuba is by visiting Little Havana, so I booked a cultural walking and food tour through Viator.

We met our tour guide Annalise at 10am at the Bay of Pigs Memorial in Little Havana. On this 3 hour tour, we strolled down calle ocho (8th Street) taking in the sights, sounds and tasty dishes. Surprisingly enough, we learned that only about 30% of Little Havana is actually Cuban. The remainder of its inhabitants are from Central American nations like Venezuela.

Bay of Pigs Memorial

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Sugarcane Water from Los Pinarenos Fruteria

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Calle Ocho Walk of Fame

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Domino Park~ Some serious game playing goes on here in Domino Park!

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Tower Theater~ Spanish films and English films (with Spanish subtitles) are shown here.

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Azucar! If you are familiar with Celia Cruz’s music, then you’d know this is her signature phrase she would scream out while performing– Azucar!!! (Sugar) A painting of the singer is located on the inside.

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Ball & Chain~ Est. 1930 One of the only places in Miami where white and black musicians were allowed to play together.

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Trying some Cuban coffee! Strong is an understatement!

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Comida Cubana

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We broke around 1pm for lunch! Our guide Annalise ordered Tostones (Fried Plantains), Medianoche (Cuban ham Sandwich) w/ fries, masitas (pork topped with onions), and rice and beans. This food was amazing! I was grateful to have a tour guide because the only things I’d be able to order would be a glass of water! Ha!

Do we have on the same outfit?? #bishstolemylook #whoworeitbetter lol

20170719_132853But seriously, if you are considering doing a tour of Little Havana, I would suggest booking with an actual tour guide. I initially wanted to do a self-guided tour, but the bonus of having a tour guide is having someone break down the history, has knowledge of the neighborhood and also knows the language. It was well worth the money and as a first-time customer on Viator, I was given a 10% discount.

Just a heads up… our tour was cancelled and had to be re-scheduled for another day. This happens when not enough people are booked for that particular day. Luckily, we were able to push it up to another day but we had something already scheduled for that afternoon, so needless to say, we were short on time. In the future, I would try to make this the only thing I have lined up so that I have more time to explore other places and purchase souvenirs. Also, wear comfy shoes and keep an umbrella handy. This tour takes place rain or shine and we were lucky enough to have both.

This tour was a success! There was soo much that we saw that didn’t make it to this post but I hope you enjoyed! Have you ever done a walking tour with a tour guide? Self-guided more your thing? How was that?


– A Black Girl About Town

Follow me on social media! Twitter:: @its_Zeena  Instagram:: @zeenathefashionista

 

Vacation Vibes: South Beach, Miami Pt. 1

South Beach. Miami. The Magic City. A place so beautiful, it’s a no brainer as to why it has served as the backdrop for countless movies, TV shows and music videos. In celebration of my 27th birthday, I spent four fun-filled days wandering the streets, indulging (more like over indulging) in the cuisine, and enjoying the nightlife that is Miami.

Day 1:

We departed from Philadelphia International Airport at 8:15 am. While some of you were still hitting the snooze button, I was somewhere flying in the friendly skies.

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(This li’l cookie was bangin’ lol)

Sometime after 11am, we were cruisin’ the streets of South Beach!

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(Collins Avenue)

Check-in was a breeze. We stayed at the Essex House, located on 10th and Collins, owned by the legendary Clevelander Hotel.

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After getting settled in, it was time to get something to eat! Those two little biscotti cookies could only hold a girl over for so long! We originally decided to go to the Sugar Factory, however, when you’re walking down the strip, waitresses from various eateries can easily persuade you to go elsewhere. And guess who fell for the trap?

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Lucky for us, the food was actually good! But do you see the size of that drink? I don’t know if you can tell by the picture, but it was huge! Any drink you of your choice in that big, ole glass, $35 a pop! There was no way I was going to drink that by myself.

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In my 27 years, I don’t think I’ve ever tasted food so fresh!

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(Randomly posing in front of a fountain)

That pretty much wraps up the first part of this recap but stay tuned for part two where I’ll be exploring the culture and cuisine of Little Havana!

– A Black Girl About Town


Follow me on social media! Twitter:: @its_zeena Instagram:: @zeenathefashionista

Outfit- Forman Mills

It’s My Birthday!!!

(Cue Uncle Luke Birthday Song)

And I’m pretty darn excited about it too! But I shouldn’t be. The closer you get to thirty, society gives you a list of reasons why you should be wallowing in your own pity. You have a job, not a career. You’ve accumulated thousands of dollars in student loan debt, which you’ll be paying off until the day you die. You’re not married, let alone engaged. Your twenties are a wrap. And on and on and on. This is enough to drive anyone to drink but for as many things that I am NOT, I can name a bunch of things that I am.

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1) I am a great friend, daughter, sister, cousin, employee, lover.

2) I am a graduate student with an expected graduation date of June 2018.

3) I am a child of God, who still loves me even on my worst days!

4) I can find a darn good sale as if I was getting paid to do so!

5) I am a work in progress. (Aren’t we all?)

 

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I’m excited for this new age, the blessings and lessons to come. Whatever is going to happen in my life, is going to happen on God’s timing–yours too! Let’s Stay Encouraged!! Stay tuned to my blog to see what birthday fun I get into this year! Also, feel free to follow me on social media!

Twitter:: @its_zeena
Instagram:: @zeenathefashionista

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Top:: Pay Half

Skirt:: Eternity Fashions

Shoes:: Poshmark

Photography:: @lenzwizard

Makeup:: @talimichelleartistry


  • – A Black Girl About Town

OOTN|Army Fatigue X Fringes 

It’s not officially summer yet, but it sure did feel like it this past weekend! I stepped out wearing a simple black graphic tee, fringe heels and an army fatigue skirt with a mesh bottom that I purchased for just $1 by the way. Yes, you read that right! ONE  DOLLAR!!! I love when I come across little deals like this, don’t you? The less money I spend on clothes, the more money I can spend elsewhere!

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A neon bag for a pop of color!

How did you spend this very hot weekend?

Top:: Mandee

Skirt:: Forman Mills

Bag:: Forman Mills

Shoes:: AMI Clubwear

– A Black Girl About Town


Follow me on Social Media

Instagram:: @zeenathefashionista

Twitter:: @its_Zeena

How’s Your 2017 Going? 

Can you believe it’s June already? We are halfway through 2017. This year is just flying by! I hope you’re chipping away at those resolutions or goals as I like to call them, that you set wayy back in January. It’s easy to fall off track with the hustle and bustle of everyday life, but we still have a chance to work at our goals, even if it takes all year! Keep pushing! Another thing to remember is, not every accomplishment has to be so grandiose. Any progress is better than no progress. Here are a few things that have happened in these past six months for me:

1. I started the ‘Bible in a year’ challenge

At the start of this year, my church began the Bible in a year challenge. Starting from Genesis, we read a few chapters each day until we finish the Bible in its entirety.

What I Learned 

At first I found it to be easy. Reading gave me so much peace, especially where I needed it the most, in the workplace! Instead of just reading some ancient text, I was reading something that I could actually relate to in a lot of ways. The people in The Bible really weren’t so much different than us! I must admit though, I have fallen off from my reading and I do plan on getting back in the game.

2. I asked for a raise...

After working at my current place of employment for two years, I decided it was time to ask for a raise. I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but I am one of the best employees that place has ever seen and I need to be fairly compensated for my services! What did Rihanna say, “Pay me what you owe me!” Even though it was no where near the number that I would have liked, I did get the raise.

What I learned…

Always speak up for yourself! Had I not mentioned getting a raise, it would have never been a topic of discussion. Don’t be afraid to start the conversation, especially if you’re a valuable employee. Now, if you have been slacking off, don’t you go asking for no raise and get your feelings hurt, li’l baby.

3. I was featured as a guest blogger

I shared my experience being featured as a guest blogger on the ‘Being Young and Twenty Blog,’ in a previous post.

4. I volunteered!

Volunteering is something that has always been near and dear to me. I enjoy giving back to people who need it the most. In the beginning of the year, I volunteered at a place here in Philadelphia called Career Wardrobe. Career Wardrobe helps to empower women who are transitioning back into the workforce through several programs and initiatives. They operate a store called The Wardrobe Boutique, which takes donated clothes and resells them to fund the women’s programs. I volunteered in the boutique sorting through the clothes, checking for damages, and sorting them as needed. It was a great experience and I hope to return in the future.

5.  I started a second blog 

Well, kinda. It started off as a project for school and I just really want to see where it’ll go next. I often hear people complain that there’s nothing to do in Philly, but I beg to differ! There’s tons of events happening in Philly, many of which I attend for free just by RSVP’ing. But if you don’t know… you won’t go! The purpose of the blog is to inform other black, millennials all of the cool things unfolding under the Philly skyline!

Check it out if you wish! I’d love your feedback!

So, enough about me! How’s your 2017 going? Are you keeping up with your goals? Have you fallen off in any way? If so, how do you plan to bounce back?

– A Black Girl About Town


If you’re on social media, stop by and say hi!

Instagram:: @zeenathefashionista

Twitter::@its_zeena

Sole Searching: Spring Footwear 

Anyone who knows me, knows I’m not much of a sneaker girl. I currently own 2 pairs of sneakers (sad, I know), one pair of pink pumas and a floral pair of canvas sneakers. Though I admire those who can rock a pair of sneakers and still look fly, I’m much more of a flats kind of gal!

In terms of spring essentials, flat shoes are at the top of the list for me. They are super cute, easy to pair and come in a variety of styles. I recently a floral and a solid pair of pointed toe flats to wear this spring. I love pointed toe shoes because they are office appropriate but can easily transition for an after work affair as well. And if you’ve been following me for any length of time, you know I get a great deal on just about anything! Take a look!

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Eternity Fashions, $5.00 (Super Comfy, btw!)

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Eternity Fashions, $14.99

What items are you stocking up on this Spring?

– A Black Girl About Town


Twitter:: Instagram