Happy Little Cottages By The Sea

Cottage Charm, Coastal Calm

December 15, 2008

Our SoFi Neighborhood

We’ve been corrected. We didin’t live this week in SoBe ( South Beach) , we liveed this week in SoFi which means South of Fifth. Which is even hipper and cooler ! Just what I thought I was- hip and cool! I have walked every square inch of this neigborhood, not only because the weather is so glorious, but because it’s just plain old fascinating. I’m up walking the dogs at 7AM, mid afternoon, sunset and then in the evening before we go to sleep.
We say good morning, afternoon or evening to everyone we see. That’s the Tybee way and it just carries over. We now have some people we see at the same time each day who at first were quite taken back by someone speaking to them, but now there’s a big smile and their face and a greeting back. All sorts of accents, all ages of people. The cutest was the hip hop kids this morning who were not out walking their dogs or going to work. They were coming home from their night out. Big group of gang type attired young folks- of course the dogs went right up to them and this tough kids ( who really were just big kids) started to play with the dogs.

We also saw a group of kids who had just flown in from South America- heading towards the youth hostel right now the street. All excited about being in South Beach! Another is the young couple pushing their baby stroller. We see them every evening. We thought they were pushing their kids, but the dogs would go crazy every time they’d get close. Why- they weren’t pushing kids, they were pushing their pugs. These were not crazy old dog people, these were hip locals pushing their pugs.

The little boutique hotels in the neighborhood are also just great window shopping! The Hotel St Augustine is literally across the street from our building . They have a chocolate lab who is their “resident dog” who greets my dogs twice a day by barking non stop. The Anglers Resort http://www.theanglersresort.com/ is a few blocks away. An impossibly tropical old restored hotel that is now a 43 room very chic hotel. Enjoy the pictuers I took! Then when we walk down Ocean Drive or Collins Ave you walk past art deco hotel after art deco hotel one after another. Each one restored and painted the colors of sherbet ice cream. Or maybe gelato is the better comparison. I literally make the dogs walk for hours just because it’s such great sights to see!

Heaven is a lunch beachside served by a"Top Chef" star….

My dear friend James who I’ve known for almost his entire adult life and certainly his entire hotel career, is now working for the spectacular Ritz Carlton South Beach. We met for lunch at his hotel and he treated me to lunch at his beach side casual restaurant, the DiLido Beach Club. We decided to order a tapas style luncheon and the server brought out goodie after goodie. But the best goodie was still to come! James mentioned the hotel chef was a currently competing on the Bravo TV show “Top Chef.” I had to restrain myself because those of you who read my blog know I love reality TV and yes, Top Chef is one of them!!! James saw my expression and asked if I’d like to meet him. YES!!!!!!!!!!!!

Chef Jeff came out and was delighted to tell us all about the food treats we had in front of us. Of course he couldn’t talk about the show or tell us how long he lasted, we have to wait for the finale like the rest of America. Visit the Top Chef website http://www.bravotv.com/ to see more info about Jeff and of course see The Ritz Carlton South Beach site http://www.ritzcarlton.com/ to see how gorgeous this resort really is.





Thank you James for such a delicious lunch – I’m very proud of you and all you’re accomplishing in your hotel career!


BTW- we finished our luncheon with dessert- something nice and light – 8 different mini scoops of homemade sorbet….. could this day have gotten any better? Coconut was by far my fav!!!