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MIAMI WORKCATION

Updated: Feb 26, 2023

Our Miami workcation was a perfect blend of business and pleasure, as we explored the vibrant city while working on a diversity, equity, and inclusion project. From sampling delicious cuisine to enjoying the local culture and performing at a local club, we made unforgettable memories while getting the job done.


Day 1: Arrival in Miami


Justin and I arrive in Miami and head straight to our hotel, The Mandarin Oriental, Miami, which we booked through Amex Fine Hotels program. We love the fact that we can get a $100 daily credit, daily breakfast for two, and check-in at 12 pm and check-out at 4 pm. After checking in, we freshen up and head out to explore the area.


As we walk through the colorful streets of Wynwood Walls, Justin and I discuss our work and the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We both believe that every individual deserves equal opportunities, and we try to make sure that our work reflects those values.


Strolling down Lincoln Road, we talk about my dad, who was Black, and how growing up with interracial parents has influenced my perspective on race and the importance of celebrating diversity. I've dedicated my work to fostering inclusive environments where everyone can thrive.


For lunch, we go to a Black-owned restaurant, Rosie's, and enjoy some delicious Caribbean-style dishes. We highly recommend the jerk chicken and plantains, while Justin loves the fried fish sandwich. Supporting local and minority-owned businesses is a great way to make a positive impact in the community.


After lunch, we stop by the Maryjane Claverol boutique, owned by a Latina designer, and I can't resist buying a pair of statement earrings. Justin loves to photograph the vibrant colors and patterns of Miami's architecture and street art.


In the evening, we have dinner at La Mar by Gaston Acurio, a Peruvian restaurant in the hotel. The food is fantastic, and we both enjoy the ceviche and the lomo saltado. The restaurant has a beautiful view of Biscayne Bay, and we take our time savoring the meal. We end the night with cocktails at the MO Bar + Lounge, where we both try the signature MOjito.





Day 2: Executive Coaching and Exploring Miami


I wake up early and take a stroll to a nearby coffee shop for my morning caffeine fix. I decide to try out one of Miami's popular local roasters, Eternity Coffee Roasters. Justin, being a late riser, catches up with me later, and we have a light breakfast at Zak the Baker, a locally owned bakery that is known for its delicious pastries.


After breakfast, I head out to meet with my client in South Beach. Justin decides to take the opportunity to explore some more and heads to Little Havana to check out the street art and grab some authentic Cuban food at Old's Havana Cuban Bar & Cocina.


I spend most of the day in meetings and working with the leadership team, focusing on executive coaching and DEIB training. I take a quick break to check emails and make a post on LinkedIn to share the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace.


Justin meets me at the client's office at 4 pm, and we take a walk along Ocean Drive, one of Miami's most iconic spots. We grab some cocktails at The Betsy Hotel's rooftop bar, which offers a beautiful view of the ocean. We then head to Taquiza, a locally owned taco shop that is known for its delicious and authentic Mexican street tacos, for dinner.


In the evening, we change into more casual outfits. I put on a colorful dress by Mara Hoffman, paired with comfortable sandals by Melissa Shoes, while Justin sports a button-down shirt and shorts by Faherty. We end the night by taking a moonlit stroll along the bay, enjoying the sound of the wake and the salty air. It's the perfect way to end another productive and enjoyable day on our Miami Workcation.


Day 3: Workshop and Exploring Little Havana


Today is a big day for us! We are co-facilitating a workshop on diversity, equity, and inclusion in leadership for a large hospitality association in Miami. We arrived early to set up, and the participants slowly started trickling in.


We started the workshop by sharing statistics and insights on the lack of diversity in leadership positions in the industry, and the challenges faced by underrepresented groups. We then delved into the root causes of these challenges, and how to create a more inclusive and equitable workplace.


The participants were engaged and asked thoughtful questions, and we had some great discussions around allyship, microaggressions, and the role of leadership in creating a culture of inclusivity.


After the workshop, we debriefed and reflected on the experience. It was energizing to see the impact of our work, and the progress being made in this industry. We talked about how this work is a continuation of our passion for DEI, and how we can continue to push for change in our own business.


We left the conference center feeling inspired and accomplished. We decided to take a stroll in Little Havana and get some Cuban coffee from Ball & Chain, a local jazz club that also serves as a coffee shop. We walked around the neighborhood, admiring the colorful murals and street art, and even picked up some handmade jewelry from a local vendor.

For a late lunch, we went to a farm-to-table restaurant called Plnthouse, located inside the 1 Hotel. We enjoyed the fresh and healthy food, and I couldn't resist getting some of their skincare products, which are all-natural and locally sourced.


After lunch, we headed back to the hotel to freshen up and change for the evening. I wore a power suit by a Miami-based women-owned business called Fractal, paired with earrings from a local jewelry designer, Leetal Kalmanson. Justin opted for a casual but stylish look with a graphic t-shirt by a local LGBTQ-owned brand called the House of Avalon, paired with jeans and sneakers.


We spent the rest of the evening exploring Miami Beach, walking along the oceanfront and enjoying the warm breeze. We grabbed drinks at the Broken Shaker, a funky cocktail bar with a laid-back vibe, and ended the night with a delicious dinner at Stubborn Seed, a modern American restaurant in South Beach.


Day 4: Wrapping Up Work


I wake up early and go for a run through the streets of Brickell. It's quiet and peaceful, and I love the feeling of the morning breeze on my face. I stop at a local coffee shop called Pasión Del Cielo and grab a cappuccino before heading back to the hotel.


Justin is still asleep when I get back, so I take a quick shower and change into my work clothes. I'm wearing a sleek navy blue suit by local Miami designer Trisha Pasricha, paired with simple jewelry from Black-owned brand Love Cortnie and comfortable heels from LGBTQ-owned brand TomboyX.


I have my final executive wrap-up meeting with the C-suite from 10 am to 2 pm. We go over the progress we've made and discuss next steps for our diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy. It's been a successful few days, and I feel proud of the work we've accomplished.


Meanwhile, Justin spends the morning editing some music on his laptop. When my meeting ends, we head out for a late lunch at another Black-owned restaurant called Maska. The food is fantastic, and I highly recommend the chicken tikka masala and the lamb chops.


After lunch, we head back to the hotel and spend some time strategizing and planning for our own business. We talk about our goals and how we can continue to grow and make an impact in the DEI space. In the evening, we decide to do something fun and quintessentially Miami.


We head to The Palace Bar, a popular drag show spot, for some entertainment and laughs. I order a mojito, while Justin gets a Miami Vice, a mix of piña colada and strawberry daiquiri. We reminisce about the places we've been and the food we've eaten. Justin talks about how much he enjoyed the seafood at Garcia's and the views of the Miami River. I mention how much I appreciated the sustainable practices at KYU and the plant-based options at Planta.

After the show, we walk around the area and find a late-night spot called 1-800-Lucky, a food hall that offers a variety of Asian-inspired street food. We try some dumplings, bao buns, and sushi rolls, and everything is delicious.

As we head back to the hotel, we talk about how much we've enjoyed our time in Miami and how much we've learned from each other. We feel inspired to continue our work and make a difference in the world.


Day 5: Last Day in Miami


We wake up feeling relaxed and refreshed, with no agenda except to enjoy our last few hours in Miami before our evening flight. We take advantage of the Amex Fine Hotels benefit of a late check-out and spend the morning lounging by the pool at The Mandarin Oriental. The views are stunning, and the water is the perfect temperature. We grab a coffee from the hotel's cafe and enjoy it poolside, feeling grateful for this moment of peace and luxury.

As the day heats up, we decide to head to the hotel's spa. Justin gets a massage, while I indulge in a facial. The spa is serene and luxurious, and we leave feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.


After our spa treatments, we have a light lunch at the hotel's restaurant, La Mar. We enjoy ceviche and sushi rolls, with a view of the water.


As we head back to our room to pack, we reflect on our time in Miami. "I'm so glad we took this workcation," I say to Justin. "Me too," he replies. "It was the perfect mix of work and play, and I feel like we accomplished a lot."


We freshen up and check out of the hotel, grateful for the late check-out that allowed us to make the most of our last day in Miami.


We head to Miami International Airport, where we check in at the American Airlines terminal. We're excited to visit the Centurion Lounge, a benefit of our Amex Platinum card. We're not disappointed - the food and drinks are all complimentary, and the use of regional chefs means that the food is hot, delicious, and unique. We sign up for a free 15-minute massage and indulge in some pre-flight relaxation.


As we board our flight back to Austin, we feel grateful for this wonderful trip and the time we were able to spend together.


Here are some actionable tips for making the most of your workcation in Miami:

  1. Stay at a hotel that offers work-friendly amenities, such as The Mandarin Oriental, Miami.

  2. Support local and minority-owned businesses, such as Rosie's and Maryjane Claverol.

  3. Take time to explore the city and appreciate its diverse cultural offerings.

  4. Use your workcation as an opportunity to have meaningful conversations with your travel companion, like Justin and I did about DEI and our personal experiences.

Additionally, here are some tips for promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in your daily life:

  1. Educate yourself about different cultures and perspectives through reading, travel, and engaging with people from diverse backgrounds.

  2. Speak up when you witness bias or discrimination, and actively work to create inclusive environments in your workplace and community.

  3. Be mindful of your own biases and work to overcome them by actively challenging them and seeking out diverse viewpoints.

  4. Support minority-owned businesses and organizations that work to promote equality and social justice.

Where did we go? What did we do? What did we eat & drink? What did we wear?


Day 1:

  • Mandarin Oriental Miami: https://www.mandarinoriental.com/miami/brickell-key/luxury-hotel

  • Rosie's: https://www.rosiesmia.com/

  • Maryjane Claverol: https://maryjaneclaverol.com/

  • Earrings by Maryjane Claverol: https://maryjaneclaverol.com/collections/earrings

  • La Mar by Gaston Acurio: https://www.mandarinoriental.com/miami/brickell-key/fine-dining/restaurants/peruvian-cuisine/la-mar-by-gaston-acurio

  • MO Bar + Lounge: https://www.mandarinoriental.com/miami/brickell-key/fine-dining/bars/mo-bar-lounge

Day 2:

  • Eternity Coffee Roasters: https://www.eternitycoffeeroasters.com/

  • Zak the Baker: https://zakthebaker.com/

  • Old's Havana Cuban Bar & Cocina: https://oldshavanacubanbar.com/

  • Taquiza: https://www.taquizatacos.com/

  • Faherty: https://fahertybrand.com/

  • Mara Hoffman: https://www.marahoffman.com/

  • Melissa Shoes: https://shopmelissa.com/

  • Fractal: https://wearfractal.com/

  • Leetal Kalmanson: https://www.leetalkalmanson.com/

  • House of Avalon: https://www.houseofavalon.com/

  • Broken Shaker: https://www.freehandhotels.com/miami/broken-shaker/

  • Stubborn Seed: https://www.stubbornseed.com/

Day 3:

  • Plnthouse: https://www.1hotels.com/south-beach/taste/plnthouse

  • Ball & Chain: https://ballandchainmiami.com/

  • All-natural skincare products by Plnthouse: https://www.1hotels.com/shop/body/plnthouse

  • Fractal: https://wearfractal.com/

  • Leetal Kalmanson: https://www.leetalkalmanson.com/

  • House of Avalon: https://www.houseofavalon.com/

Day 4:

  • Trisha Pasricha: https://www.trishapasricha.com/

  • Love Cortnie: https://lovecortnie.com/

  • TomboyX: https://tomboyx.com/

  • Maska: https://maskamiami.com/

  • The Palace Bar: https://www.palacesouthbeach.com/

  • 1-800-Lucky: https://www.1-800-lucky.com/

Day 5:

  • Mandarin Oriental Miami: https://www.mandarinoriental.com/miami/brickell-key/luxury-hotel

  • American Airlines: https://www.aa.com/

  • Centurion Lounge: https://www.americanexpress.com/en-us/lounge/the-centurion-lounge

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