Christine's Birthday Martini/Cosmo Trail

Friday, October 24, 2008

Part Three of Christine's 40th Birthday celebration--a Martini/Cosmo Blaze through South Beach. I invited several girlfriends for an evening in South Beach. The final five that attended blended perfectly like a martini, shaken not stirred--smooth and flavorful with a zest!

First let me introduce our fabulous five latinas: Christine (the birthday girl who's half Ecuadorian and half Polish so I'm the oddball), her cousin Alexandra (a natural brunette turned blonde from Ecuador), Cecilia (from Puerto Rico in the pink sequence top), Nanushka (Christine's neighbor from Colombia, we call her Nikki--she's the one over 6 ft tall in heels), and Carmen, (another neighbor who's the stunning Mexican in the black dress).

In a black stretch limousine (by World-Wide Limousine), Rodney, our driver, picked us up and off we were to carve out a martini/cosmo trail for these glam girls. Watch out South Beach--here comes Miami's Angels! Our ride and early evening out (South Beach doesn't pick up until 11pm) was serendipitous. Little did I know my friends were such Divas. It turns out our evening was less about drinking and more about bringing that inner beauty and confidence out to shine with grace and a natural style. Not the uppity, celebrity or august type, but average women confident in themselves and not afraid to shine. Nikki, a professional model, guided us on how to pose with subtle changes in body position, hand placement, tilt of the head and in an instant we were Miami's Angels. By the way, we weren't the only ones posing at each bar. A parade of women followed our act.

Our warm- up practice took place in and around the limo. We started with a leg warmup.

Legs from left to right: Nikki, Christine, and Alexandra

Nikki poses with true-to-form limo driver, Rodney

Carmen, Cecilia, Christine, Alexandra standing by limo on 8th & Collins.

Onlookers thought we were celebrities. We played along.

First stop was The Setai. This is where Sean Combs held a private party for the VMA awards. All virgins to the Setai, this Asian-influenced, luxury ocean front hotel seduced us with its handsome decor and ambience of grace and serenity. Out in the courtyard, lounge chairs and sofas bordered the rectangular pond. Here we ordered our first drinks, Lychee Martinis and at the suggestion of our waiter, Carmen tried the Chili Martini. The Lychee Martini was excellent. The best one yet. Not too sweet. Then we sampled Carmen's Chili Martini with a few chili pepper flakes floating on top. FANTASTIC! Sweet and smooth, not sour. A concoction for the taste buds and soul. Wow do I dare order another one? No--we're too smart to commit any Britney-Spears-regretful acts by overindulging. So BEFORE the drinks, our inhibitions were abated by the cool breeze, and the confidence from female bonding. Silently I was thinking--we are BOND girls--Beauty, brains and a couple of us have powerful legs and strength. Never underestimate attractive, slender women.

Back to the story, I highly recommend The Setai for the established age group of 30's and older.

Alexandra, Christine and Cecilia in the breezy courtyard of The Setai.

Nikki posed on cushion backing and shows us how it's done.

Next stop, three blocks up the road, The Gansevoort. This is a new hotel three blocks north of The Setai on Collins Street. We asked for the bar and were told we could not enter through the hotel lobby but directed to a separate door further down the sidewalk. Entering the door, we followed a cordoned rope to the elevators of the lobby. Very strange. Is this the route for the proletariat? This was not a good first impression. The bar was rooftop along with the pool. Nice view of city lights but the crowd was a younger crowd, kids mostly in their early twenties. Boy I'm getting old now that I call 20-year -olds, kids. While the bar was less than inviting with a flock of "kids", we caught sight of the nightlit, rectangular pool and the photoshoot began.

If you're our age falls in the prime of 30 -50 years young, we recommend skipping the Gansevoort. Although someone said the restaurant was good. I'll have to try it one day.

Next stop: The Delano. South Beach's most famed Art Deco hotel. Unfortunately the interior was not preserved to its original fabled history. However, it was remodeled to a contemporary design but its impressive tall ceilings, circular columns, wood paneling on the walls, and floor-to-ceiling white sheers exudes ultimate urban chic. The Blue Door restaurant, partly-owned by Madonna, is in the Delano Hotel. White square beds border the long, rectangular pool. Sound familiar? Looks like the Setai was copying the style during its remodeling phase. But it works. People of all ages and backgrounds visit the Delano, if nothing else, for a peek. The only difference, The Delano white beds are only for the rich or those drunk enough to purposefully get into debt in this unstable economy. To sit or lay on the beds and drink, one has to order a minimum of $300. So if you're a couple, you have to order an overpriced bottle of wine or champagne. More than half of the beds were empty. Why not reduce the price to $200 or $100 dollars to make more revenue? It's about standards. The Delano has standards, no matter the season. The bar at the end of the pool was packed. This was a special celebration and I was not inclined to stand around like a happy hour hangout. No we deserved a table, chairs and a waiter. So what did we do instead? We posed for more pictures on the privileged white beds! Shortly after I pulled out the cell phone and told Rodney we were ready for the next stop. No questions asked. I love limo drivers!

Christine and her cousin Alexandra on the Delano white bed next to the pool.

Our final stop: The Forge. If you have never visited The Forge, this landmark building and five-star restaurant is a Miami institution. The Forge is opulent, old world and attracts the social elite and celebrities. The outside of the building is ornate concrete similar to a 15th century building in Europe, while the interior boasts intricate, stained glass panels. The setting is very dark, a hindrance for some customers. The menu offers steak and seafood and an extensive wine list, over 300 wines and prices to match its five star rating. Famed for its Wednesday night events, a DJ plays house music and dancing is encouraged. Friday through Sunday nights have joined the Wednesday tradition. For our evening, the music was appropriate, a little loud in my opinion. I wanted to dance but some of my friends had to work the next morning. So I decided against it knowing dancing was more addictive for my girlfriends than drinking.

Cecilia introduced me to the owner, Shareef Malnik. A dashing, blue-eyed, blonde with a James Bond build, he took my hand and kissed it. Charming! (And yes he's single). Cecilia then asked Shareef for permission to bring in an outside birthday cake. He graciously allowed it. I called Rodney and he drove up front to deliver my birthday cake.

Cecilia's gift to me was this beautiful, custom decorated birthday cake. (Cecilia has been decorating cakes for sixteen years--a protege of her mother--Ana Paz--famed cake maker in Miami. Cecilia's true profession and passion, is a realist artist). Thank you Cecilia!

Our waiter noticed the cake and brought out a sparkler to ignite while my friends sang me Happy Birthday. We had our second round of cocktails for the night, and our sixth round of photos.

Exiting the Forge. One last pose in front of limousine before heading home.

Thanks to my friends for joining me on this special occasion. I couldn't ask for a better time. A group of girls after my own heart who knew how to have a good time without excessive drinking and make the most of every moment with class and style. How lucky am I? LET'S DO IT AGAIN BEFORE MY 50th BIRTHDAY!

P.S. My recommendations for a cocktail trail

Tiffany Hotel, Spire Bar (it was closed for private party night of my celebration)

The Setai

The Delano (if you can afford the white bed)

The Victor Hotel (on Ocean Drive, slow on Friday and Sat nights; Thursday is the popular night)

The Forge

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  1. Thanks for the estudio link. Very nice touch! Cecilia

  2. All I am gonna say is Wowwwwww, your blog is beautiful and you are GORGEOUS!

  3. Christine has awesome high arches and amazing legs.