Get Out of South Beach for Cryin Out Loud, Part 2 – Release Your Inner Child

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Okay, so you’ve shot off some guns, driven some balls and gotten your Billabong on in Hallandale Beach.

Now it’s a brand new Saturday morning and perhaps you had a bit of a wild night last night. Gentlemen, maybe you shouldn’t have thrown your head back over the bar and let that taught-thighed bartendress grapple your face between her knees and proffer you her shocking neon shot. Ladies, maybe when the tall and tawny Brazilian guy told you his name was Rodrigo, but that you could call him Rod … well, maybe you should have left it at that and not offered your sassy comeback. Then there would be no regrets this morning.

But since regrets are strewn over Miami on a Saturday morning like limp confetti after Calle Ocho weekend, let’s do something a bit more innocent today, shall we? Let’s go out and play with our inner child. And tell your inner child to bring along some swimming togs.

1) Start your day with a healthy breakfast of hotdogs. Dogma, on Biscayne Blvd. opens at 10:00 am! Perfect food to cure a hangover. And if you need to get rid of a certain someone who’s still hanging around from last night – be sure to have the garlic fries. Be sure to have the garlic fries anyway – whomever you’re with. They’re loaded with tons of yummy garlic, and if everyone has some you can cancel out the bad breath.

2) Did I mention swim togs? I know mom always says to wait at least an hour after you eat to go swimming, but mom ain’t around, is she? (And if she was, she would disown you after last night.) Still, it’s better not to take any chances, so point your car south on Biscayne and drive down the long way to Coral Gables’ Venetian Pool. Make sure you start the day out early, because if you decide to have a late brunch and then go, you’ll be out of luck. The pool closes at 4:30 on weekends – I know, it’s crazy – don’t ask me why. They charge an entrance fee, based on high vs. low season, and you don’t want to have to pay and then leave after just an hour. The fee is worth it, though. The pool is unbelievably beautiful, and huge, and the fresh natural spring water is renewed daily. There’s even a small sandy area for sunbathing. Beware, though, romance-seekers: there is no romance to be found here. This is strictly good, clean fun for the kids, and boy are there a lot of them.

3) After a day of splashing around getting baked by the sun, there is nothing better than ice cream. On your way back up north, check out Walls Old Fashioned Ice Cream, just off Biscayne. Their ice cream is amazing and the servings are mountainous. If you don’t mind the sticky drip that is forever associated with youth (as opposed to the one associated with adulthood), take your cones to the old-timey Miami outdoor seating area and try to eat it all before it melts.

4) Hopped up on sugar now? That’s to best way to experience the Miami Museum of Science and (don’t forget!) Planetarium. Trust me on this one. First off, the exhibits are tons of fun and great for kids and adults alike. But say you’re not up for shelling out for the $17 adult entrance fee. Not a problem. Just head straight to the museum shop. My dashing boyfriend Bennett took me to the museum once when we first started dating and we never even made it to the exhibits – we just spent hours hanging out and playing in the gift shop. One of the most endearing, lovely dates ever if you ask me. But if you don’t have that kind of stamina, catch an afternoon show in their planetarium, where you can sit in the dark for a while. Remember though, today is inner child day, not highschool teenager day – so no groping, and no illegal herbs.

5) Everyone’s gotta grow up someday though, and you may as well do it in style. Head back up Biscayne, and take your pick: Sushi Square or Michy’s. Both are on Biscayne, just a couple of blocks away from each other.

At Sushi Square, the prices are reasonable, the service is lovely and kind, and the sushi is incredibly imaginative, but not in an obnoxious way. Please please please start with the sushi tower (you will die!) and whatever else you order, try their Julienne roll. With shrimp, jalapeno, cream cheese and parmesan, it sounds barfalicious, but is one of the most wonderful things you will ever eat. This is also a great place to start off another one of those Saturday nights – just order up a few rounds of sake bombs.

Michy’s, on the other hand, is much more adult, upscale, cosmopolitan and whatever-else-have-you. It’s also the best restaurant – hands down – in all of Miami. Heck, it’s probably the best in South Florida. I’m sure you’ve heard the hype before – even old Fish Face had nothing but raves – but this place just doesn’t get old. Even though the prices are a tad on the expensive side, they offer some affordable wines and, best of all, most of their dishes can be ordered as either appetizer- or entree-size. Thus, for the price of two expensive entrees at some over-rated South Beach restaurant, you and your date can share a table-full of dishes – each one more finger-licking than the last. Of course, we are grown-ups now, so we do not lick fingers at Michy’s. At least try not to lick your date’s.

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