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Spring Blooms in Miami

Every spring I find myself on the lookout for beautiful blooms, botanical gardens and colorful fields. This year I've stumbled upon some stunning sites across Miami-Dade that will marvel you.

Sunflower Field: Homestead

Homestead is home to much of the floriculture and agriculture industry in SoFlo. There are several flower patches to see in Homestead but none quite as enchanting as this seemingly endless field of sunflowers. The best time to see this is in the morning when the sun is east as the flowers grow to face the sun and your pictures will turn out great ! If  natural lighting and photos aren't important to you then just before sunset is also a beautiful time to visit. This sunflower field is located at the intersection of SW 200 St and SW140th Ave in Homestead. It took me about 30 minutes to drive there from Midtown Miami but it was well worth it. I've left t a map for this location since its been a bit tricky to find in the past. 


Freund Flowering Trees : Homestead 

Not very far away from the sunflower patch is Freund Flowering Trees located at 21950 SW 217 Ave, Miami, FL 33170. This is a business that sells exotic Flowering Trees from all over the world. Many of their trees bloom in spring forming a colorful array of foliage on the property. One of my favorites is the light pink Cassia bakeriana native to Thailand. It slightly resembles the Japanese cherry blossom however this bloom fades to white as it matures. You can visit on Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m and 4:30 p.m. 

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens: Old Cutler Bay 

Driving through Old Cutler Bay is a fairytale on its own with arched buttress trees kissing over the winding road. Making Fairchild Gardens your Old Cutler Bay destination is like the icing on the cake. It is breathtaking. Rated one of the best collections of tropical flowering plants in the world, Fairchild Gardens is an absolute must see during spring when many of the plants bloom. The property is massive and there is so much to explore, including an arboretum of over 700 species grouped by family on a 12- acre stretch. You can visit between 9:30a.m and 4:30p.m at 10901 Old Cutler Rd Coral Gables, FL 33156. There is an admission fee but it's worth every penny. If you're looking for a specific flower, check-out their site to see which plants are in bloom by date to best plan your visit. 

If road tripping to flower fields or admission prices aren't your thing, a great way to see spring blooms is to simply walk around your neighborhood. You'd be surprised how many thing you miss while driving and how much the. I've seen many yellow, lavender and light pink blooms along many avenues in Miami, so get outside! You an find out more of what's blooming near you by visiting the Wildflower Foundation's site . Happy spring. I hope you enjoy the blooms as much as I did.

4 Films Every Heartbroken Traveler Should Watch

Grab a pint of  Häagen-Dazs or Ben & Jerry's and get cozy because this movie night will take your heartbreak and turn it into wanderlust.

1. Under The Tuscan Sun

A new divorcee gets the trip of a lifetime from her best friend to go to Tuscany, Italy where she decides to stay and never look back. Who wouldn't? With breathtaking landscape scenes of Tuscany, Positano's coast and Florence you will quickly fall in love with Italy. The screenwrtie does a fantastic job at capturing the smells, tastes and feeling of Italy. Throughout the film Frances learns the importance of sponteniety, self love and finding/ creating happiness. Although she sees the casualties of love, Frances remains hopeful as she helps two young lovers be together. This film will evoke many laughs a few sighs and after many years it remains a favorite.

2. Leap Year

After patiently waiting on Jeremy to pop the question, Anna hops on a plane, boat, buggy and travels by foot determined to get to Dublin to surprise Jeremy with the unconventional Irish folklore tradition of proposing to him on Feb the 29th. With the green Irish countryside speckled with pubs, farms and castles as her backdrop, her journey to Dublin is quite picturesque. There is a humorous contrast between Anna's uptight and controlling persona and the very laid back feel of Ireland. Throughout the film Anna learns to stop trying to control the universe and let fate work its magic. There is also a drastic and abrupt shift in her ideas of what is important in life and what she wants verses what she needs. This movie is filled with Irish humor and will have you belly laughing. It teaches many lessons about love and life and is inspiring.

3. Eat Pray Love 

Liz finds herself stuck in a marriage, job and life that she does not want. Determined to get out she decides to embark on a spiritual, physical, and emotional journey which leads her to Italy, India and Bali. These three destinations represent three different stages of her path to self discovery and self growth.

EAT: Italy

From shopping to eating this part of Liz's journey is about indulgence. If it brings her happiness she goes after it. She savors all the flavors and aromas that Italy has to offer. Between the pizza, pasta, and gelato, the Italian scenes will leave your mouth watering. 

PRAY: India

This stage of Liz's journey is vastly different from her time in Italy. She strips herself of physical pleasures and luxuries while focusing on her spiritual life. Here she takes on a life of simplicity which involves fasting and a lot of meditation. She learns the importance of being still and quiet and listening to what God is telling you. The colorful and vibrant scenes display how inviting India is.

LOVE: Bali

Liz ends her year long journey in Bali where she tries to find a balance of her lifestyle in Italy and India. The beauty of Bali is breathtaking. It is very suiting that amongst the tall palm trees and the vast green rice fields Liz finds her soulmate. 

4. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants II

These four best friends who are many miles apart have a tradition of mailing each other a pair of lucky jeans which oddly they can all fit. Whenever one of them is in need of a little luck or support, they get the 'traveling pants' to wear. They each make summer travel plans to go after a dream. For Carmen that's an acting workshop in Vermont. Bridget digs up the past in Alabama where she discovers the truth about her mother's suicide, and later in Turkey where she goes on an incredible archeology trip. Tibby pursues her dream of finishing a script in New York City. Lena follows her heart back to the beautiful Greek isles where she first fell in love, with the hope to restore her relationship. Throughout the film they each have their fair share of heartbreak and learn that by holding on to their strong bond of friendship they can overcome anything. This one is a great pick for a girls night in.

Most of these films have best selling novels which delve even further into these stories on love and travel. I hope these films bring you cheer and inspire you to plan your next adventure !

Adrienne Justine

Happy New Year from TST

Happy new year to all my stylish touristas! Wherever you are in the world I really want to wish you a year filled with prosperity, happiness, courage, and lots of love.  I have a feeling that 2017 will be our best year yet. I can only imagine all the travel plans that are already in your calendars. I've never booked a one-way trip abroad before and that is definitely on my to-do list for this year. This new years eve was a little bit different for me. My wish was to spend it on the beach watching the fireworks. Instead I spent the countdown at a family gathering with a few people that mean a lot to me, so that was special. Afterwards I headed to the nearest beach to await the year's first sunrise. Apparently I wasn't the only one with this idea. 

This morning was absolutely magical and a perfect start to my year. I'm going to make a conscious effort to spend more mornings like this. I've always felt at home at the beach and I find so much tranquility, reason and renewal there. How could you not with views like this?

Of course I had to be extra cheesy and write 2016 in the sand so the wave could wash it away. 

With the first cracks of sunlight bursting through the clouds my favorite song by the Beatles played in my mind "here comes the sun da da da da .."

Here's to doing more of what you love in 2017. Happy new year !!
The Stylish Tourist

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