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    #HelloHighlights: Miami In 12 Photos

    I visited Miami about half a dozen times when I was engaged to fiance #2. He loves Florida and moved to the state before our final break-up in 2010. I never returned until this year, after I made myself single again (I’m very good at this) right before Valentine’s Day. I had a fantastic time “living my best life” on my solo trip. #YOLO My highlights below:

    Hola! Hi! :)

    Lisa Chau / Via Via Private Collection
    Lisa Chau / Via Via Private Collection

    My recent trip was anchored (pun intended) by the 2018 Miami International Boat Show hosted at the Miami Marine Stadium on Virginia Key 15-19 Febrary. I spoke with Manager Larry Berryman to learn that the show started in 1941 with approximately 50 boats under one tent in the Coconut Grove area. Today, the show boasts 700 boats under tents and another 700 in the water.

    Lisa Chau / Via Via Private Collection

    175 different boat brands are represented during the five day event, which attracts attendees from 50 states and 35 countries. Outside of the United States, guests primarily come from South America and Europe. (I arrived by Ocean Drive Limo, driven by the company's CEO Richard Bennetti.)

    Lisa Chau / Via Via Private Collection

    In addition to boats, enthusiasts can shop for gadgets, toys and navigational tools. I’m a fan of the Deep Trekker underwater drone. Nonetheless, of the many photos and videos I posted on Instagram with #LGCmiami021518, my clip of the Lillipad diving board demonstration was by far the most popular with over 12 thousand views as of 19 February.

    Lisa Chau / Via Via Private Collection

    I went to Boulud Sud for my first dinner in town. Opened on 8 January in the JW Marriott, the restaurant replaces DB Bistro. I was pleasantly surprised by the quiet, elegant dining room. Dishes are made from the highest quality ingredients and prepared fresh to order. The apricot and pistachio Freekeh is my new favorite comfort food. The baklava was perfect in my opinion because it is not drowned in honey. On the recommendation of my wonderful server Raphael, I had the intstagram-perfect Grapefruit Givre created last year with sesame foam, Turkish cotton candy and grapefruit sorbet.

    Lisa Chau / Via Via Private Collection

    After my three and a half hour dinner, I walked back to the Intercontinental Hotel on the waterfront. It’s conveniently located in the financial district, and I had great views of the Biscayne Bay from my room on the 30th floor. The Club Lounge one floor below is a nice perk that offers a breakfast buffet in the morning and happy hour in the evenings.

    Lisa Chau / Via Via Private Collection

    Less than two blocks away from my hotel, I hopped on the free, fully-automated Metromover to visit the Frost Museum of Science. Opened last year, the modern complex houses an aquarium and planetarium for family-friendly outings. The downtown attraction drew in over 28 thousand visitors during its opening week, and over 700 thousand in its first year.

    Lisa Chau / Via Via Private Collection

    Next door, I visited the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) for modern and contemporary international art from the 20th and 21st centuries. Opened in 2013, the museum encompasses 200,000 square feet of space. I was most fond of On the Horizon: Contemporary Cuban Art from the Jorge M. Perez Collection.

    Lisa Chau / Via Via Private Collection

    For my second night out, I headed to the Mandarin Oriental on Brickell Key Drive. Also on the waterfront, I caught a beautiful sunset before having a dinner at La Mar by Gastón Acurio. Since it was Chinese New Year, diners were treated to a dragon dance during their meal.

    Lisa Chau / Via Via Private Collection

    I think I may have had Pervuvian food once before. Thanks to my very attentive server Nick and thoughtful Executive Chef Diego Oka, I dined on a selection of the latter’s favorites. I had my first taste of veal heart, among other regional ingredients such as choclo (giant white corn). Everything was beautifully presented, even my request for a large glass of ice. The Carretillero (spicy cebiches) was my favorite. 10/10 would return with a date.

    Lisa Chau / Via Via Private Collection

    I really had a fine time in Miami. The city is not just sunny beaches & dance clubs. It’s also art, science and gastronomic paradise. Palm trees and sunsets. More...

    Lisa Chau / Via Via Private Collection

    I may look into job opportunities at the University of Miami again… In the meantime, I’ll keep sporting the palm tree shirt I wore when I met saltwater angling authority George Poveromo. If you'd like to see more of my photos, please express your interest in the comments section. Or suggest other destinations that you would like to see me cover. Thank you for sharing in my adventures! :) #HelloHighlights

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