Staying in Miami

Affordable vacation

Staying in Maimi could

Pool view

pool view from the 15th floor

be expensive however there are few travel hacks we used on a recent stay that made the experience both enjoyable and affordable. I am going to offer some suggestions that worked very well for us this weekend.



The first thing we needed for our stay in Miami was a hotel. We booked our hotel two ways one was thru Priceline because they had the best deal at the time and the second was thru reward points on the Hyatt Credit Card. The current offer for Hyatt credit card is $3,000 spent in 3 months earns you $40,000 points that 2 nights free at this time. You can earn an additional $20,000 points if you spend $6,000 total in 6 months. The time I booked the hotel per night charge was 15,000 points so that is 4 nights free.

The hotel we stayed at was The Confidante. The hotel has 2 pools one for kids and one adults only. The adults would steal the kids floats because we are bigger. a rooftop gym

adult pool

adult pool at the confidante

and plenty of happy employees to make your stay memorable. The hotel is located next to the boardwalk and has a great sandy beach.


Suggestions for Stay at The Confidante

  • Don’t bring your car or rent a car during your stay, At $44 per night for parking it’s better to Uber or Lyft here are some promo codes. My uber code $ 5 OFF is yaroslavg10ue My Lyft code $5 OFF 4 rides is GOLUBEV85016.
  • If you do need a car to consider getting a car rental for just 1 day. Pick it up in the morning and drop off the car in the evening probably the airport would have the best options.
  • Check out the hotel Bird & Bone restaurant at the hotel validates parking $10 off the $25 daily parking fee.
  • The hotel has a great happy hour for drinks 4-6pm half priced and the Poke bowl is $8.
  • Bring a refillable water bottle plenty of water stations around the hotel, front desk area, gym, pool bar and more. I suggest Bubba Mugs because they have a lifetime warranty and your drink stays cold for 12 hours.

 Not only is this sustainable behavior easy to follow through with and very inexpensive, it provides significant environmental benefits.


  • Snorkeling, If you here on vacation and the water is flat and clear a good snorkeling option is the available walking distance from the hotel if you have your mask. The rocks on the beach located between 29th street and 32nd street provided a great opportunity to see lots of tropical fish. The only catch is it needs to be High Tide during low tide the rocks are exposed and the fish swim away to the real reef.

Be respectful of the sea life don’t touch the rocks or the sea life.

  • Bike Rentals, The hotel offers complimentary bikes however they are the first to come basis and only 4 bikes are available. The Citi bike station is located through Miami and a good option.
  • The hotel is pet-friendly and there is a dog park walking distance from the hotel. The parks name is Pinetree Park. The park also has a kayak lunch site if you happen to have a kayak with you.

Here a few links to checkout

Restaurant walking distance


Hugh Taylor Birch State Park


Hugh Taylor Birch State Park

The Park is located on East Sunrise Blvd and A1A. The fact that this park has more than 200 species of wading birds is impressive. I am more impressed with the Gopher tortoise and yes I did see one during my visit. The Gopher tortoise is considered a

gopher tortoise

gopher tortoise

keystone species because he digs holes that provides shelters for at least 360 other animal species, Gopher tortoise is the State tortoise for Florida.

The park does also have a freshwater lagoon, Kayak and Paddle Board rentals are available. If you have your own kayak or paddleboard it’s pretty easy to drop it into the water. I do suggest bringing water shoes the muddy water does not feel great on your feet. The freshwater lagoon is about half a mile long, however, there are 2 narrow paths one at the beginning of the lagoon on your right and another at the end of the lagoon that adds

Hugh Taylor Birch State Park

Hugh Taylor Birch State Park

a little more distance. When you paddle the lagoon large iguanas could be noticed on the trees in many different colours some are really good at blending in. The Iguanas are not native to Florida and they are called chicken of the tree in Carribean islands. I just like the way they look the once with the spikes are my favorite.

” keep our state parks clean use reusable water bottles and don’t litter”

The park is great for bicycling and in-line skates, the trail is 1.9 miles one way around

Hugh Taylor Birch State Park

Hugh Taylor Birch State Park

the park. It is highly recommended to wear a helmet because you are sharing the road with cars that are in the park, The park is also across the street from Fort Lauderdale beach making it easy to park and enjoy a full day without paying an arm and a leg. The Park and Ocean restaurant located near south is a perfect place to enjoy a quick-lunch and adult drink. They do offer outdoor seating and the prices are not bad.

overall this is a nice park that is located in Fort Lauderdale. I do suggest the park for both locals and tourists. The park has plenty of other features their website is listed below the address and remember to keep our parks clean for everyone’s enjoyment.

Open Larger Map for Hugh Taylor Birch State Park


3109 E Sunrise Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304
phone (954) 564-4521
Hours :  The park is open from 8:00 a.m. until sundown

Admission Fee:

$6.00 per vehicle. Limit 2-8 people per vehicle.

$4.00 Single-occupant vehicle or motorcycle.

$2.00 Pedestrians, bicyclists, extra passengers, passengers in vehicle with holder of Annual Individual Entrance Pass.


Ichetucknee Springs State Park

Personally I’m not a big fan of snakes, however, it seems that my wife on her recent visit to Ichetucknee Springs State Park filmed one swimming in the spring. She absolutely loved it, being able to observe wildlife in its natural environment is an amazing experience. I believe the snake in the video is a Florida water snake. If anyone’s got more information about it please share.

This spring is located 50 minutes from Gainesville. Ichetucknee Springs State Park offers tubing, kayaking, and paddleboard rentals. If you plan on spending a week here I recommend buying your own tube and bring own snorkel gear. I have had great experiences with the brand Intex. “In-park canoe, kayak and stand-up paddleboard rentals are available from 8 am to 2:30 pm daily. tube and raft rentals are available from 8 am to 4:30 pm daily,” per the park’s website.

” keep our state parks clean use reusable water bottles and don’t litter”



Hotel Recommendations

Normally when we are visiting I Recommend staying in Chiefland. This little town is located one hour from the spring is also located driving distance from multiple Springs. The interactive map below shows a few large springs in the area.

Park information Ichetucknee Springs State Park

Address: 12087 Southwest, US-27, Fort White, FL 32038
(386) 497-4690


Park Hours 8 a.m to sundown.

The Dania Beach Erojacks

I updated some video and pictures

Our Travels

Dania Beach Snorkeling

Eagly Ray at Dania Jacks Eagly Ray at Dania Jacks

If your in Fort Lauderdale or just happen to be in the area check out the Dania Jaxs. Its artificial reef located 300 feet from shore. The Jaxs stretches 1,500 feet until the first reef edge. The reef is located inside Dr, Von D Mitzell Johnson State Park. Once you enter the park drive until the first parking lot on your right. Get your gear and walk towards the beach, a bathroom and outside shower are located on your left after you cross the bridge. The bridge goes over Whiskey Creek. Whiskey Creek is great for paddle boards and kayaks. I do suggest wearing long sleeves to avoid the mosquitoes and noseeums if you decide to paddle here in the afternoon.

View original post 323 more words

Dania Beach


Welcome To South Florida

Welcome to South Florida you just landed in Fort Lauderdale Airport better known as FLL. If you already picked up a car and on your way to check in your next stop would be to get food. The areas blowing up restaurants so that should not be a problem. If you’re staying in an area there are plenty of parks to explore only minutes away from the airport. I’m going to talk about a few that are located in Dania Beach and Hollywood the neighborhood south of Fort Lauderdale.

Continue reading

Goethe State Forest



Goethe State Forest

Driving Goethe State Forest

The Goethe State Forest is located 2 hours north of Orlando. The park offers wonderful hiking trails for someone looking to get away from the noise and just relax. The park also has roads so if you wanted to stay in your car and slowly drive-thru in air conditioning go right ahead. Thier are campsites available at this park they are clean but primitive. I do recommend bring food and water if you plan on spending the whole day here.

Continue reading

Shark Vally

Everglades National Park

Baby Alligator

Baby Alligator

If you’re hoping to see Sharks in shark valley your going to be disappointed. however, if you looking for a walk/bike thru the Everglades and see some wildlife your going to be surprised. Shark Valley is located in the Everglades National Park, Its 40 minutes drive from Miami and 1hr 20 minutes from Fort Lauderdale.


Continue reading