The Insta-home Challenge: Miami

by Angela on May 22, 2012 · 4 comments

Part Two

So our first week in Miami was a big-time bummer, although talking to some other cast members, we didn’t get the worst case scenario for housing by any stretch. But with our ant problem, we couldn’t fully unpack our kitchen or bathroom, and I couldn’t feel settled. And I was exhausted; Mike has been fighting a cold, rendering me on toddler duty 24/7.

Then suddenly it all got better.

The owner of our vacation rental Gino came back from his vacation in Italy today, and brought us ant traps and a cleaning crew. He informed me that because I had let him know somewhat late in the game that we were bringing a cat, he had to move me to his pet-friendly unit — the all-marble one. Oh. Okay. My friend Molly, who has lived in Miami for close to 15 years, assured me that ants were very common — even she battled pretty severe bouts of sugar ants at her place on the bay, so what we were seeing wasn’t the result of neglect or misfortune. And Gino had called on his cleaner to come immediately; we really appreciated the attention in that.  The difference it made for me, mentally, was the notion that we were starting over. Knowing that the condo was free of ant carcasses, pesticide spray and general bad ju-ju was enough to turn my mood around. Plus, Mike’s finally feeling better and I’m getting more help with Max. So now can I show you the grand parts of our living at The Grand in downtown Miami?

This is our condo’s view of downtown Miami and Biscayne Bay. You can actually see the Ziff Opera House on the middle right side, where Mike walks to work every day — it takes him about 15 minutes door to door. He appreciates that so much after spending 30+ minutes just in the car for his commute last month in Orlando!

We’ve got some pretty swanky (and now ant-free) bathrooms in our condo.The master bathroom has a large soaking tub that Max loves splashing around in, as well as a walk-in shower. Mirrors galore!

An extra random vanity sink is located right outside the door to the bathroom too. A half-bathroom (not pictured, wouldn’t that be overkill?) is off the hallway at the entrance to the condo. Everything is marble and renovated.

Also… there’s something that looks like a European bidet but upon further inspection, seems to function more like a foot wash. But it’s next to the toilet, in the corner — not near any sort of entryway where you’d want to prevent sand from getting into other parts of the condo. We’re confused! Are we dumb, uncouth Americans? The spout points downwards, so how would it be, uh, bidet-ish? Any thoughts? Maybe it’s a dedicated tub for a toy dog?

Now that the kitchen is clean and pest-free, we are loving it! It’s compact, but larger than any kitchen we’ve ever had in New York. Behind the closet doors is a stacked Boshe washer/dryer, and the countertops are an exquisite granite.We’ve hooked Max’s red booster seat up, and he enjoys his breakfast while watching Mike putz around.

The lobby, which still smells like someone’s grandma, has some of the friendliest concierges behind the desk we’ve ever met, along with the most unfriendly security guards (on the left). There are toy dogs everywhere! Some residents that we’ve passed in the lobby have multiple pets too. They sometimes push around little doggy strollers. It’s kind of surreal.

The first floor boasts an Italian bistro, a really good upscale Chinese/Japanese restaurant overlooking the marina, and a casual sports bar and grill. A take-out deli and cafe also has a terrific selection of groceries and alcohol we can buy if we don’t want to walk to the Publix supermarket, 3 blocks away! We almost never have to leave the building!

There are a number of retail shops and businesses also on the first and second floors, including an organic baby/toddler shop, an Enterprise rental car agency, a hair and nail salon, a fitness apparel store, and boutiques peddling some of the tackiest clothing and accessories I’ve ever seen.  Again, why would we ever have to leave the building?

This one place sells pants and shorts with BUTT PADDING. Only in Miami!

We’ve also got access to a 10th floor fitness center with cardio equipment overlooking Biscayne Bay, and a huge heated swimming pool and clover-shaped jacuzzi. Max cannot get enough of the pool — but the beach is a different story! Mike says Max is like Felix Unger in the sand. Story to come soon!

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Ron May 22, 2012 at 8:06 pm

Great to see that the owner did right by you all, once he was in town again. It’s great to hear, too, Max has pool access. Go, Max!


Mr B May 22, 2012 at 8:08 pm

So happy things are turning around for you three. Have fun and get out before the hurricanes.


kate j May 23, 2012 at 4:11 am

Yay things are better! Have a grand time!


Sonya Jenne May 23, 2012 at 4:29 am

Your place looks fabulous Hollicks. I love this blog!


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