Images (not) from New York, injured in South Florida edition.

The view from Bayfront Park in downtown Miami

Back in the middle of July, I was in the midst of doing deadlifts when I felt one of my trigger points go, and immediately I knew I would be in trouble. There’s a tiny muscle in your glutes called the piriformis, and it controls stabilization and more importantly, it’s right up by the sciatic nerve. If you pull it, you will know, because the pain is incredible. In essence, it hurts to exist save for lying prone on a bed doing stretches, and I did this a day before we were going to make a short trip to Fort Lauderdale and Miami. Excellent.

One of my favorite Fort Lauderdale murals that is marred by all of the construction going on US-1

I spent the rest of the day coddling it–using heat and ice and taking some medication–and Monday morning was uncomfortable, but tolerable. The flight was fine, I was able to carry my stuff, and I was feeling rather optimistic about things when Michael dropped me off on Las Olas en route to meeting up with one of his colleagues. I walked around, grabbed lunch at B-Squared Burgers, and eventually walked back to the hotel. A little later I joined Michael and we walked back to Las Olas for dinner–this time at Wild Sea–and we walked back and things were fine.

That is, they were fine until they weren’t.

The next morning I woke up and could barely move. Grasping the wall to make my way to the bathroom, I was in excruciating pain, and after sleeping a little longer I felt somehow worse then. I was doing stretches on the bed and Michael grabbed me some food so I could take an Advil, and miraculously we were able to leave the hotel close to when we were supposed to as we had to stop to pick up equipment and then drive to Miami. The relief I felt when we made it to the Gabriel and were told that our upgraded room was ready at 9 that morning was palpable, and one of the kind front desk attendants helped me with my bags because that’s how fucked-up I felt. They placed us in a gorgeous room by the pool deck, and after making a quick stop at the nearby CVS for some snacks and IcyHot, I decided that if I was going to take it easy and do stretches and whatnot instead of walking around, this was the perfect environment in which to do so.

The lap pool at The Gabriel Miami Downtown. A wonderful place to swim when you’re not feeling great.

Eventually I was able to head down to the lap pool to do a little swimming, which felt really good, and eventually Michael was finished with his meeting and in need of a late lunch. Our fish tacos that our bartender at the hotel bar suggested were perfect, and then we decided to a little exploring of downtown Miami because I used my downtime to do a little research on what was nearby and how to get there.

The view from a Metromover station. It’s pretty great!

Usually when we stay in Miami we stay in South Beach, so this was the first time we were able to take advantage of the Metromover service that runs on the peninsula side. It’s free, it runs frequently, and you get some great views of the city from the stations, and it’s a wonderful alternative to walking on a brutally hot day, injured or no. I had a number of places scouted out from prior research, so I was really excited to finally try them out.

Ceviche from CVI.CHE 105

First up was going to the original CVI.CHE 105. Our typical spot is the one on Lincoln Road on South Beach, so it was fun to go to where it all started. While the interior is more colorful compared to the cool white design of the South Beach outpost, everything else felt just the same: the fantastic blended Pisco Sours, the signature ceviches, and the friendliness of the staff. We partook of some drinks and shared a plate of ceviche—going traditional this time–and then we headed off to do a little more exploring.

A glimpse of the Mama Tried interior

Following a short stint at Bayfront Park to check out the view, we walked a short way over to dive bar Mama Tried. I’ve written about my love of Mac’s Club Deuce in South Beach before, and while it remains my favorite dive bar in Miami Beach, Mama Tried is the perfect counterpart to it on the mainland. They have a generous happy hour that runs from 4-8 PM with a solid menu of good cocktails that aren’t super-strong. Michael was a huge fan of their French 75, while I loved the rose spritz made with Cocchi Rosa, soda, and lemon. It felt like an Italian twist on the Catalan vermouth cocktail, and I’m going to get myself a bottle so I can enjoy it at home as a light aperitif.

Oysters and perfect martinis at Jaguar Sun. (Note to self: take more landscape-style photos using your new cell phone, damnit!)

Our final stop of the evening was at Jaguar Sun in The Guild Downtown. It’s hidden behind the hotel’s coffee shop, and it’s absolutely charming inside. If you are able to sit in the bar area you can take advantage of their great happy hour as well. Tuesdays offer perfect martinis for $10 and dollar oysters, and we enjoyed both of these specials thoroughly. The oysters came with a trio of creative mignonettes: yuzu kosho, pina/habanero, and tomatillo-basil. The rest of the bar menu was also incredible, from a Waygu beef tartare to the endive salad to their spin on the charcuterie board with boar salami and griddled bread.

The view from our kickass balcony.

I felt so good by the time we went back to the hotel. Waking up early the next morning I was much more mobile, and things were fine until the drive back to Fort Lauderdale for our flight. The car Michael rented apparently came with no suspension because I felt every bump and all of my good work had been negated by the time we made it back to the airport. I requested and was granted preboard status, and eventually we made it home.

I’m feeling much better now, and we’re slated to go back to Miami in late October which I’m really excited about because we’re splitting our time between Downtown and South Beach, and I can’t wait to explore it all more properly!

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