Today you are going to read something a bit different than my usual “personal” style, I joined forces with American travel expert Kendra Thornton and we spoke about our favorite places on Earth, Miami for me and Las Vegas for Kendra so we decided to put everything in a blog post! As usual I express my love for the city of Miami and Kendra, a proud mother of three, tells her side of the story about Sin City…which can be enjoyed even with family and kids! I hope you will enjoy this collaboration guys and thanks for reading it.
From Anna in her wonderland
Miami, the melting pot of South Florida
Nowhere else in the world you will be able to see such a big mix of cultures like you can see in Miami, from Cuba to Argentina, from Dominican Republic to Brazil, from Colombia to Italy, from Russia to Turkey, you name a country, you will find citizen from that country in Miami somewhere, guaranteed.
Speaking with a friend once in Miami I heard this: – There is no one person who lives in Miami that is actually born and raised in Miami, everyone has an accent and you will get away much better speaking Spanish than English, or let’s say learn Spanglish it will be easier for you.
I fell in love for Miami the first time I landed there, back in 2007; I still remember the drive from the airport to South Beach, All night long by Lionel Richie was on the radio and just to see the skyscrapers off the causeway made me so happy, so relaxed, so…at home.
You can find everything you want in Miami, at any time of the day and night. Stores open 24/7, clubs and bars in continue expansion everywhere, amazing hotels, posh restaurants, fast boats, luxury boats, celebrities filming reality shows and music videos, designer stores and malls, art fairs, boat shows, exotic cars, if you are up for the holiday of a lifetime, Miami is the place to be.
The party town of South Beach goes even crazier during the Winter Music conference week, that collides with spring break (Easter holidays for American colleges and university) with music events everywhere, international DJs, pool parties and so much fun going on, the perfect setting for an European party-goer.
But what about the language “barrier”? As Italian who moved to the United Kingdom I learnt that everywhere you go in the world the English language should be predominant, or at least everyone will understand you, well you are wrong, this is not happening in Miami.
The city is nicknamed the “Capital of Latin America”, is the second-largest U.S. city (after El Paso, Texas) with a Spanish-speaking majority, and the largest city with a Cuban-American plurality.
Cubano estadounidense is the way forward, all of them live “normally” within the only few real American citizens of Miami, most of them are born and raised in America as American citizens themselves, in most of the cases grandparents or relatives are Cubans, and they switch perfectly from Spanish to English and viceversa, I know a few of them who are Americans with Cubans parents and they have never been to Cuba, how crazy is that?
I love everything about this big city, I love South Beach with all year round tourists everywhere, I like Brickell with its skyscrapers and locals buzzing around, I love Little Havana with all its Cuban and South American restaurants, I adore the pretty area of Coconut Grove with all the marinas where we always hang out with our boat, I love Sunset Drive and its shops and bars, despite the busy US1! I love Key Biscayne and its beaches where it feels like to be in the Caribbean…but where you can still see the Miami skyline…so many things I love about this city that I could keep on writing forever.
After all these years of travelling to Miami and my part time life there I must admit I haven’t learnt Spanish yet, despite people think I am Latino (good old Italian dark skin and hair), but I am trying to get into the different mix of cultures every time, and I will never stop to learn something new every day and open my mind even more…that’s why I love Miami so much.
From Kendra Thornton
Let’s All Go to Vegas This Summer
Going to Vegas has always been one of my favorite and most memorable trips. There’s so much to do, so many places to see and tons of quirky thrills to enjoy. Whether you want to jump in the aquarium with sharks or rock out with KISS as you golf, there are a lot of different shows as well to enjoy while on your trip to the strip. Even when you head outside of Vegas, there’s more to see like the Grand Canyon. If you’re anything like my family and friends, you can’t just settle for seeing a few things.
1. Go Where the Sharks Go
When you think of a desert, sharks, crocodiles, moray eels, jellyfish and piranhas are probably not on your mind, so you probably didn’t know that you could swim with these incredibly mysterious and yet graceful creatures! At Mandalay Bay, you can jump in the shark tank and hang out with 15 species of sharks as well as other terrors of the deep. They’re actually quite interesting to see up close and not nearly as deadly as people make them out to be. You get to learn a lot about these different species while also swimming around them for an up close and personal look.
2. Rock Out with Your Club and KISS
The KISS Mini Golf experience is probably one of my favorite things to do in Vegas with the kids. You get a mini golfing experience that’s completely different than the boring clowns and dinosaurs of other mini golf parks. With giant guitars, animated replicas of the band and lots of music, you’ll get a lot of laughs as you go around the 18-hole course.
3. Quirky Museum Trips
There’s a lot of history in Vegas and some mystery as well. The museums in Vegas really show off the strange history of the town including the Neon Museum, which is a junkyard dedicated to the old neon signs that have been discarded by the hotels and attractions once popular on the strip. There’s also the Discovery Children’s Museum and the National Atomic Testing Museum.
4. Wild Roller Coasters
You may not be able to handle the double corkscrew, double-loop coaster called The Canyon Blaster at The Adventuredome at Circus Circus. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience. There truly is no other roller coaster like this one in the entire world. If you’re going to Vegas with kids, it will be hard not to stop by this theme park.
My family and I enjoy Las Vegas every time we visit, mostly because with so many hotels to stay at and things to do, each experience is different. With so many people traveling to Vegas, user reviews are readily available. Sites like Gogobot make it easy to read these user reviews.