Escape to Cocoa Beach

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On August - 3 - 2022ADD COMMENTS

Well-known for its seamlessly endless miles of pristine beaches, Cocoa Beach offers a stretch of ankle-deep water, where you can park your chair and umbrella for hours on end; as well as big, fun, rolling waves perfect for surfing and boogie boarding. This makes Cocoa an ideal year-round destination for families and beach goers with varying interests. 

view from Sandcastles

We stayed at Sandcastles Condominiums, in one of Jill Bavetta’s magnificent, 3 bedroom/2 bath, oceanfront condominiums, which offer wraparound balconies with sweeping views of the beach  and top notch amenities. To book, contact:

In addition to the beach, there are a number of up-close-and-personal animal experiences in nearby Merritt Island. Space enthusiasts will also want to check out the Kennedy Space Center and may even have the opportunity to witness a rocket launch.  But by far, our favorite experience was located a scenic 40 minute drive from Cocoa Beach, where we  enjoyed one of the most unique, fascinating experiences in the world.

Bioluminescence Adventure 


Florida bioluminescence is the #1 kayaking trip in Florida and one of only a few locations in the world in which to experience bioluminescence. Florida Adventurer Tours took us on the adventure of alifetime! 

While kayaking at night can be thrilling on its own, when you throw bioluminescence into the mix- things become particularly magical. Paddling out on the Florida waters after the sun goes down is the only way to see dinoflagellates, AKA tiny, glowing plankton. 

When dinoflagellates are disturbed by motion around them, they emit a green-blue glow. This is why kayaking is the best way to witness this marvel – when the hull of your kayak cuts through the water or you plunge your paddle into the sea, these microorganisms sense the motion and fill the surrounding water with an other-worldly glow. Be sure to place your hands in the water to watch them sparkle with hundreds of twinkling lights- like handfuls of stars.
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Cèrto Risto & Pizza- Authentic Italian Food in a Great Location

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On July - 11 - 2022ADD COMMENTS

Cèrto Risto & Pizza recently opened in the Coral Gables/ West Miami area and locals couldn’t be happier. “Cèrto”which means truth, is used a great deal in Italian as an affirmation, and the truth about Cèrto is that it offers guests a comfortable, convenient setting in which to enjoy a variety of authentic Italian dishes. “I wanted a short, positive name that would give customers a good memory when thinking about their visit to Cèrto, shares Certo’s owner, Giovanni Astudillo (Gio), who was born in Ecuador and moved to New York when he was 16 years old. Gio finished high school and attended college before deciding to dedicate his life to  the restaurant business. He  saved money little by little with the hopes of one day opening a small restaurant.  Gio gained extensive restaurant experience at New York’s Barbetta,Remi, Palio and Becco to name a few.

In Miami, Gio helped to open Anacapri on Ponce de Leon and was instrumental in the opening of  Farinelli, where he served as General Manager. He later became the GM of both Apizza Brooklyn locations. After years of hard work, Gio’s dream of opening his restaurant came true, and Cèrto was born!

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Stars will descend upon Miami during the Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by Capital One (SOBEWFF®) this week, from February 24  through February 27th. The Festival will not only feature culinary greats such as Guy FieriRachael Ray and José Andrés but will also see major star power with the likes of Maroon 5 front man Adam Levine and his wife, former Victoria Secret Model, Behati PrinslooEva LongoriaFrench MontanaKate Hudson, and more as they arrive at the magic city to showcase their skills during the nation’s largest wine and food event. Read the rest here »

The Art of Banksy: “Without Limits”

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On January - 24 - 2022ADD COMMENTS

 Fans of the acclaimed and provocative British artist Banksy can now experience his iconic works up close as The Art of Banksy: “Without Limits” exhibition opened in Miami at Ice Palace Studios on January 14, 2022, as part of its North American debut.

The exhibition – custom-built to fit the venue – includes several experiential areas and more than 155 of the artist’s works such as certified originals, prints, photos, lithographs, sculptures, murals, and video mapping installations created only for this tour.

Tickets start at $27.20 and are available through and The exhibition is open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays and Wednesdays through Thursdays, and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.   

Building upon the incredible success of The Art of Banksy: “Without Limits” in Europe, the Middle East, Australia and Asia, the exhibition celebrated its U.S. premiere in Atlanta in September 2021. Due to popular demand, the show in Atlanta was extended. Miami is the second city on the national tour where the exhibition will be showcased for a limited time, followed by Charlotte, North Carolina, and other cities to be announced later this year. To date over 1.2 million people have visited the exhibition around the world.  Read the rest here »

Loretta and the Butcher

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On January - 11 - 2022ADD COMMENTS


Tucked away unsuspectingly in Coconut Grove’s bustling Commodore Street, Loretta and the Butcher is a quaint and charming cafe/restaurant that serves simple, albeit expertly prepared dishes hailing from Argentina and the Mediterranean, as well as a wide array of unique wines. The brainchild of longtime friends and coworkers, Mariano Codaro and Costa Grillas, who met  in Miami in 2007 and worked  together for almost a decade before teaming up to open up their dream boutique restaurant: where residents from the community could feel at home and enjoy a great meal at a fair price with impeccable service. Loretta and the Butcher is that dream fulfilled!

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Vera Wang Toasts Rebecca Moses Miami Exhibit with Vera Wang PARTY Prosecco Photo Credit: @loamismedia

On Thursday, 12/2, Vera Wang raised a glass of her new prosecco, Vera Wang PARTY, to her friend and fashion & art icon, Rebecca Moses in celebration of the opening of her new solo Miami exhibition Bubblegum, Lipstick, and Hope. Inside the walls of Ralph Pucci International, attendees including editor in chief of ELLE Decor Asad Syrkett, Donna Karan, Chris Lavish, Katya Tolstova and many more sipped on Vera Wang PARTY throughout the evening while enjoying music by Danilo de la Torre (adoradrag).

As guests entered the exhibit, in front of Moses’ impressive larger-than-life murals, they were greeted by an Italian ice cart for the debut of the new delightfully delicious premium ice cream collaboration between Vera Wang PARTY prosecco and Aubi & Ramsa – The Hibiscus Bellini Sorbet. Available for a limited time only HERE, this prosecco-infused treat boasts notes of hibiscus and rosehips for spoonfuls of well-balanced flavor with just a touch of sweetness. 

Bubblegum, Lipstick, and Hope features 200 female portraits reflecting hope, passion, determination and the desire to stay true to one’s own voice even in the most challenging of times. The exhibit, which will be on display through December 9th, expands Moses’ signature style: connecting art and fashion. It is a world of fashionable delights, colorful dreams, bold  patterns, and stylish environments. Women holding their heads up high, putting on their best to champion themselves with dignity. There is no standard of beauty. Each remarkable woman is her own champion.