November in Miami

photo-98The dark cold has descended upon the northeast. We’ve entered that time when you need to be bundled up to set foot outside, and everything is brown and lifeless. That’s why I jumped at the chance to go speak in Miami this past weekend. The occasion was Jen Dziura’s Bullish Conference. It was full of life management sessions aimed at 20-something women. I had a great time. A few observations:

* Sitting by the pool in November feels extravagant. I brought my laptop and spent an hour working, but still — I was in a short sleeve shirt and watching people swim. That alone was worth the flight to Miami (where, on the way down, someone managed to get sick all over the place — and it wasn’t even that bumpy!)

* I don’t actually like speaking with PowerPoint. I do it, but it feels more genuine just to try to engage with the audience without slides.

* Dear Surfcomber hotel: Your space is lovely, and the manager’s wine reception is a great idea. But when it’s 72 degrees out, you really don’t need to run the air conditioning. I practically froze in the hallway. I came to Miami to get out of the cold!

* I really like Worn magazine. The tagline is “Where Ideas Get Dressed” and there was a sample copy of this fashion magazine in my gift bag. Haley Mlotek, who moonlights as Jen’s virtual assistant, is Worn’s publisher. My favorite part of Vogue is the last page where they do a little essay on some object of desire, looping in history, sociology, etc. Worn is a whole magazine of that, only the essays are longer and not as pretentious. Plus, the models are pleasingly diverse — not a small thing. I’m not sure how mainstream the mag can go. It only comes out twice a year, and costs like $9 a pop. But it was intriguing as a concept.

* Flying on the weekend after Thanksgiving is nuts. I flew deadly early both mornings (7:45 flights, which means getting to the airport around 6:30) and both times I waited in 30 minute security lines at that ridiculous hour.

* Some cities are set up to party. In Miami Beach (where my conference was held) the bars stay open until 5 a.m. In New York, not a particularly staid place, it’s around 2! As I was checking out of my hotel at 6 a.m. on Sunday morning, two dapper gentlemen dressed in white walked in to the lobby, clearly coming back from the evening. I felt incredibly uncool.

* Mojitos taste better the closer you get to their native land. One of my fellow conference goers remarked at dinner that the mojitos tasted “vegetal” and it was true. You could taste the garden on the mint.

How was your Thanksgiving break?



16 Responses to November in Miami


  1. Sarah (SHU) says:

    Ahhhh you were here ! This was actually a cold weekend :) next time you are down I would love to meet up if you have time!! Under less pregnant curcumstances we could have run together :)

    • Laura says:

      @Sarah – I would have loved to see you! It was just a very quick trip — landed 11 a.m. Saturday, spoke and did conference stuff, then flew out at 7:45 a.m. Sunday. But I was loving even your version of cold – and would love to get down there again and hang out!

  2. I got sick. Also worked on a grant proposal due Monday, only to get notice this afternoon that they had decided to cancel the funding call. At least I was able to go back to bed at that point.

    • Laura says:

      @NicoleandMaggie – blech. Hope you start feeling better! Too bad the grant is off the table, but yes, nice to sleep…

  3. My weekend was good! Hosted my first Thanksgiving dinner, had a quiet Friday, a productive Saturday, and a restful Sunday (church, a tea party for me and my girls with a friend).

    • Laura says:

      @The Frugal Girl – congrats on hosting your first Thanksgiving! I hope the turkey turned out wonderfully.

      • It did, actually! It was moist and flavorful, thanks to the salting, and it only needed to roast for about 90 minutes, thanks to the spatchcocking. :)

  4. Ana says:

    We had a pretty blah weekend. Little guys were sick, then I got sick. And it was so cold and windy Thursday-Saturday that it was hard to get out.
    Mmmm. Mojitos.

    • Laura says:

      @Ana – oh yes, mojitos. Rarely a bad idea :)

  5. Shelly says:

    I flew to Toronto for the weekend and coming from Winnipeg it was a bit warmer and I will take that! But Miami sounded wonderful compared to freezing and snow here. I had a networking dinner Friday and a meeting all day Saturday but was able to sleep in Sunday (which I haven’t done in months!). I was also able to connect with a cousin I haven’t seen in over 10 years before flying home. It was a lovely weekend and now back to chaos…

    • Laura says:

      @Shelly- sleeping in and reconnecting sounds great. Though it’s funny to think of Toronto as “warm” compared to other places!

  6. oldmdgirl says:

    Had a really great weekend. My parents came to town, there were NO FIGHTS, Thanksgiving turned out well, took the kiddo on not one, but two playdates that were fun for me too, went to the zoo, the library, saw Hunger Games, got a bunch of work done and started nailing my boards questions. I was sad when it ended!

    • oldmdgirl says:

      I almost forgot, the kiddo slept until almost 8 every. single. day. I’m not kidding when I say it was a great weekend.

      • Laura says:

        @oldmdgirl – that does sound like an amazing weekend! I dream of being able to sleep in past 8 on the weekend. Ah, someday.

  7. ARC says:

    Miami is on my list of places I’d like to see someday. I took 4yo T up to Vancouver to spend a weekend with a friend who I haven’t seen in 5 years. It was amazingly fun, and actually vacation. I had my doubts, with a preschooler in tow :D

    • Laura says:

      @ARC – I would have doubts too! But last summer I took kids 1 & 2 on a road trip when they were 5 and almost 3 and it was actually decent. There really is something about being <2.5 that makes everything less enjoyable.