Rachael & I have been a type of modern day 'Pen Pals' since La Luna Rose very first begun. We hosted a competition, she entered (and won!) and we've been emailing and commenting on each others social media posts ever since... Although I am yet to meet this ray of sunshine, I've got a feeling that one of these days soon we'll be sipping coconut mojitos, chowing down on Key Lime Pie & chatting all things Travel, Jewellery & business together!
For now, we caught up with Rach and heard more about her life in Miami, what a day in the life of a blogger looks like and of course, her hot spots and must visits around Miami and the Southern Florida area. Without further ado.... let's escape to Florida for 10!
Hey Rachael, Thanks for taking the time and talking us through your life in Miami – I can’t wait to find out more! Before we get to the good stuff, can you tell us a little bit about you and what you get up to Monday – Friday?
For sure! I'm fortunate enough to say that running Summer of Diane is my full-time job, so my week primarily consists of trying to strike the right balance between all of the "behind the scenes" and "in front of the lens" work. I start (& end) most days responding to emails, but also typically find myself spending time on social media, engaging with my audience, taking product shots, shooting outfits, writing, working on my website, etc. The added bonus of setting your own hours & working from home is that no matter how busy my day is, if the sun is shining, I will typically turn my pool into my "office." Fun fact: cabanas are a great place for phone meetings.
Sounds amazing! So what keeps you busy on the weekends?
One word. Beach. If I had my way, I'd spend every weekend outside, preferably on the water. Weekends are also when I get the most quality time with my husband, Steven. Thankfully, he's just as much of a beach bum as I am, so we like to stroll the boardwalk, take a dip in the ocean, & lounge like lizards in the white sand. I think it goes without saying, but this is also when I force him to take roughly 400 photos of whatever I'm wearing because #nevernotworking, ya know?
And what's one of your favorite parts of the city?
Besides Miami Beach, I would unequivocally have to say Wynwood!
What makes that area so awesome?
Wynwood is a part of the city that was once an industrial district, but has since been converted into a mecca of art & entertainment. The walls of the warehouses are covered in beautiful murals that have been painted by some of the best street artists in the world. Wynwood also has great boutique shopping, awesome food, live music, festivals, & a number of killer coffee spots. Also, the art is forever changing, so no matter how many times I visit, there's always something new to discover.
Rad! I spent 2 weeks in Fort Lauderdale & South Beach, Miami 7 years
ago….partying! I’m dying to go back, it was so much fun and so beautiful! On that note, If we only had 5 days in your neck of the woods, where would you be taking us for some killer breakfast dates?
Ahh, so hard to choose, but if I had to pick my top 3 I would have to say (in no particular order): (1) Green G Juice Bar for my favorite pitaya bowl in the city, followed by (2) Dreamer Miami for a latte & another smoothie bowl (and they have the most kick ass tropical decor ever!), and last but not least I would say (3) News Cafe because it's such an iconic South Beach spot for me. Plus, News offers some of the best people-watching you will find on Ocean Drive--It's really a right of passage.
How about shopping. You have some pretty killer threads in your wardrobe (we’ve seen them on the ‘gram!). Where are the best spots to shop in Miami?
Thanks; you're too sweet! Admittedly, I actually do a lot of shopping online, but only because I'm a huge fan of some brands that just aren't available in Miami--or even the states for that matter. With that being said, Miami has some amazing shopping. A few of my faves include: Frankie Miami for higher end unique pieces, Mimo Market for more boho trendy styles, Frangipani Miami for super eclectic home decor, and Golden Bar for a mix of clothing & home decor. This list wouldn't be complete without swimwear though, so two of my favorite shops to score resortwear, bikinis, etc. are iShine365 & Mermaids Boutique.
Once we’ve loaded up our suitcases with new awesome gear, which beach would
you send us to for some R & R? What makes it so good?
I think it's pretty obviously by now that my favorite beach would have to be good ol' South Beach. I typically park around 1st Street near South Pointe Park and make a full day of it. I love that area because of how shallow & calm the water usually is. This makes for excellent floating around conditions (because let's be honest, it's not really swimming) and is also ideal for spotting sea creatures! I've seen baby dolphins, sting rays & all sorts of fishies (e.g., needlefish) swim right past me. There just isn't anything better than that.
Now, we’ve decided to get a van and hit the road in Florida. We also have a tent!
Where should we go?
Funny you should ask that because I just so happened to have spent most of childhood camping all over Florida in a Volkswagen Westfalia Van with my family! I would have to say hands down take your tent to Bahia Honda State Park in the Keys. You can set up right next to the ocean & wake up with one of the most stunning views in all of Florida.
Woo! I’m excited now. Where’s your top place to travel to in Florida?
The Florida Keys, all the way. It's as simple as that!
Now we’ve heard about the Keys…. Have you explored much down that way? Or is that more of a tourist-y thing rather than, Im-from- Miami type of trip….
Absolutely, I've been up & down that spit of land many times over, and it's one of my favorite places in the world. I came to the Keys often as a kid with my family so it feels very nostalgic to me and it will always hold a special place in my heart. I'm constantly encouraging people to check it out for themselves to see if they feel the same magic that I do. From hidden beaches & pirate bars to Hemingway's house & sunsets in Mallory Square, I have no doubt that the Keys will easily steal your heart too.
We also heard that’s where Key Lime Pie comes from….Is that what everyone down there eats everyday!? :P
Yes, yes, & yes! Key Lime Pie all day, every day! It's my absolute favorite dessert and after years of rigorous field research, I can definitively say that not all Key Lime Pies are created equal. I'm what you might call a KLP sommelier of sorts, and if that's not an actual thing, it should be. My perfect KLP has to be dense, creamy, & tart with a buttery graham cracker crust, Most importantly, however, it should NOT be neon green. I've never had a bad slice in the Keys, but if I had to pick my top 2 favorite they would probably be from Kermit's & Mangrove Mama's.
Moving along from Pies…My Mouth's watering! What’s the most memorable place that you have ever traveled to?
That's a tough one! I'm an island child through & through so I would have to say that the most memorable place I've ever traveled to is the Virgin Islands--specifically, St. Thomas & St. John.
Why was it so rad?
St. Thomas was awesome because I'd never seen an island so rocky & mountainous. I'm used to flat & sandy islands, so it was a really cool change of terrain. Then we took a catamaran over to St. John for a day trip to snorkel in Honeymoon Bay & I got to swim alongside a 5-foot spotted eagle ray, which may or may not have been the coolest moment of my life.
Awesome. Is there any place you're saving up for to travel to next? (Perhaps coming to visit us in Bali!?)
I would love to come to Bali! My husband & I keep throwing around the topic of visiting that side of the planet, whether it's New Zealand, Australia, or Bali. I'll definitely keep you posted!
And last but not least, whisk us away. What does your dream vacation look like?
My dream vacation is anywhere tropical with ample amounts of ocean swimming, snorkeling, seafood eating, late nights, laughter, & time spent with the ones that I love. Oh, and a ton of photos! Because if I'm going on vacation, I want to be able to bring you along with me :)
You can follow Rachaels Miami adventures over here on instagram.
And if you just got inspired by Rach's gorgeous selection of La Luna Rose pieces you can shop Rach's style here!
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