Espanola Suites Lets South Beach Travelers Live Like a Local

As a longtime Miami Beach resident I have frequent visitors and guests and someone is always asking me for a recommendation on where to eat, shop, and of course where to stay. If you are a tourist traveling to South Beach for vacation or a local seeking a relaxing ‘staycation’ you have many options for accommodations. Miami has something for every budget and every lifestyle ranging from luxury high-rise hotel/residences to large all-inclusive resorts to quaint Art Deco style boutique hotels. Each one targeting and serving a unique audience with a specific set of requirements that will make their time away from home complete. One of my favorite places to send out-of-towners who will be in South Beach for more than a few days is Espanola Way Suites. This to me is one of the best ‘live like a local’ experiences South Beach has to offer.

Espanola Way Suites is located off the ‘strip’ in a lively, but intimate Spanish Mediterranean style village on Espanola Way and Washington Ave. From your balcony you can look down on the unique retail shops, restaurants and intimate cafes. It has been popular with the “bohemian” culture for many years because of the several artist lofts, design studios, theater productions and street performers that call the area home.

The area is historical, but the rooms are updated and modern. The furnished suites are spacious and fully equipped with everything you need for an extended vacation. Full kitchens heat up leftovers from dining out and all the tools if you decide to head to a local grocery store to shop and prepare your own meals.

You never have to worry about feeling crowded, there are only 12 suites in the hotel, ten of them are 1 Bedrooms and two 2 Bedrooms, giving it a real community feeling. The staff is very personable. They pay unique attention to your needs and you are treated like a resident, and not just as an overnight guest. You can truly live amongst the locals and feel a part of the vibrant Espanola community.

The beach is three blocks away and the shopping and dining of Lincoln Road is within steps. If you want to do more than relax you don’t have to go far. Each Saturday night people are literally dancing in the streets of Espanola to the music of local salsa bands. The nightclubs of Washington Ave. are nearby but not too close to that you will be disturbed by the crowds.

I definitely recommend Espanola Way Suites to those who want to know what its like to live in South Beach…everything is convenient and close but you still have privacy and amenities you need.

South Beach Diet Reviews

Since the South Beach Diet was founded, there are thousands of people who have lost weight on it successfully. Dr. Agatston constantly receives feedback and letters talking about the diet. People who lose weight report that the diet isn’t difficult. They never felt hungry or deprived. Most of all, they felt that the basics were easy to remember and follow. After a while, they barely noticed that they were dieting.

The fact remains though that, occasionally, people do fail on this diet. What happens to those dieters?

There are several different reasons for failure. High expectations could cause you to fail. During Phase 1, you would have lost anywhere from 8 to 13 pounds. Then, you switch to Phase 2. At that point, your weight loss slows to about a pound or two a week. You’re tempted to go back to Phase 1. After all, it wasn’t that restrictive, was it?

Now, this could work for some people. But, the reality is that Phase 1 isn’t meant to be a long-term eating plan. You’re limited to a small palette of foods which is fine for a couple of weeks. After that, it gets boring and you start to cheat – just a little. But, just a little snowballs until you are cheating more than you are dieting.

Other pitfalls come in the form of daily intrusions. It could be travel that disrupts your schedule and limits your access to healthy foods. Long work hours, especially late nights at the office with pizza and soft drinks, interrupt your regime. Every day stress makes you reach for comfort foods – baked sweets, pies, cookies and chips.

The biggest culprit though can be the “falling off the wagon and forgetting to get back on” syndrome. You can do the diet perfectly for a while and then a special event comes along – a family reunion or your birthday. So, you take a break and eat whatever you want. But, it doesn’t stop there. The next day you continue to not pay attention. Pretty soon, your diet is a long way in the past and you’re back where you started.

Those are the most common pitfalls associated with the South Beach Diet. To minimize the likelihood that you fall into one, pay attention to a few things. Move on to Phase 2 after the first two weeks. Make time for yourself and your health – it’s worth it.

Finally, no matter what happens, today is a new day. If you’ve fallen off the wagon, just get back on. Just keep in mind this weigh truism. You didn’t gain the weight in a day and you’re not going to lose it in a day. The good news is you can’t gain it all back in a day either.

Travel to South America – How to Start

You set your mind and you’re ready to travel to South America, a magical place of immense beauty where myth and legend continue to walk hand in hand. I’ve traveled 18 months in South America and can give you some tips on how to prepare yourself for an unforgettable adventure.

Common Sense

We all hear the unpleasant stories and South America has a fame of being dangerous. I traveled thousands of miles traversing cities, jungles, islands and mountains. I survived 6 weeks in a street child care center in the favelas of Salvador da Bahía (Brazil) and had the party of a lifetime during carnival. Nothing, I repeat, nothing happened. Use your common sense. Avoid badly lit streets at night and if your sixth sense is giving you the “something is wrong” sign then take a taxi to your destination.

Travel Guide Book

The first thing that you will need is a travel guide book. It will be your best companion in your search for adventure. I can highly recommend Lonely Planet´s South America on a Shoestring
to get you started. The book covers all you need to know to get the most out of your trip and is ideal to plan your journey ahead. I’ve used the guide extensively during my 18 month adventure. They offer excellent separate travel guides of all the countries (besides using the Lonely Planet Shoestring I’ve used their separate travel guides of Peru and Brazil). Their guides are the most popular among backpackers.

Other popular guides are The Rough Guide to South America and the South American Handbook. Ideal, but not practical because you want to travel light, would be to enjoy the adventure with a Lonely Planet and either the Rough Guide or the Handbook.

Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese

The most rewarding thing for me was the fact that you can travel in a huge continent like South America with only 2 languages. Spanish and Portuguese. If you plan to travel just for a few weeks you can invest in a Spanish and/or Brazilian Portuguese Phrase Book. English is not widely spoken and even a basic knowledge of Spanish and/or Portuguese makes the trip so much more rewarding (they’re extremely willing to help you, so don’t worry, be happy).

If on the other hand you’re planning to travel for a few months I can highly recommend taking a language course. Ideal would be in a school in South America (I took lessons in Quito, Ecuador, and had a private teacher for $2.50/h).

Walking Shoes

South America’s nature is overwhelming. You’ll walk for many hours day after day. It would be a shame to walk in the footsteps of the Incas with blisters on your feet. My biggest recommendation is to invest in high quality walking shoes with Gore-Tex.

Health Vaccinations

Yellow Fever (if you plan to go to the Amazon Basin), Typhoid (consists of two injections taken 4 weeks apart), Diphtheria-Tetanus, Polio, Cholera (only when necessary), Smallpox
Medical Kit:

Depending on what you plan to do you can include the following:

Antiseptic cream, aspirin, lomotil for diarrhea, antibiotics, throat lozenges, ear and eye drops, antacid tablets, motion sickness medication, alcohol swabs, water purifier, lip salve, foot and groin powder, thermometer (in a case), surgical tape, assorted sticky plasters, gauze, bandages, butterfly closures, scissors and last but not least, first-aid booklet
Note: malaria pills are required in the amazon basin, please be aware that those pills are very strong and you should check with your doctor before departure

Traveling Gear

Backpack:

Obviously a high quality backpack is a must. Choose the type that has different compartments that can be opened separately. Very handy if you need something quickly. Travel as light as possible. A heavy backpack is destined to undermine your traveling pleasure.

Clothing:

Depends on where you go. If it’s the mountains and the jungle, get some quality clothing from home. If it’s the beach, buy your t-shirts there (cheap).
Camping and Climbing Gear:

You can rent camping and climbing material in South America but the quality may be questionable. Always check the material. Bring your own gear if possible. I traveled 18 months with my own tent and various camping utensils.

Photography

Pictures are something personal. Some people just want some snap shots, others want to publish in the National Geographic. All my pictures were taken with a cheap Nikon F50 camera.
I had two zoom lenses, a 35-80 mm. and a 70-210mm. I also dragged a tripod and an excellent flash with me. I used FUJI slides (100 ASA) but you definitely need 200 to 400 ASA if you plan to go to the jungle. A polarize filter enhances the colours tremendously on sunny days.

Conclusion

South America will embrace you with open arms. It’s nature, people and history are overwhelming. With the right preparation and set of mind you’re ready to travel South America and enjoy an unforgettable adventure.