Miami Randomness

Carlos arrived in Miami a few hours after I did. When I kissed him hello he asked if I’d been drinking. “Just one Cuba Libre with Carrie,” I said. He sat down. He stared out the window. “You’ve only been here a few hours and already you’re drinking? … That’s not good,” he said.

We weren’t off to a very good start. I took his photo while telling him, “Cheer up! We’re in Miami, trick!” … That didn’t help. I promised no more drinking unless he was with me. He stopped pouting and we went for a walk.

The first order of business was to buy the boys a post card. I wanted to send it right away so it would arrive home before we did – We found a CVS and I bought one. (I later wrote the message, addressed it, put postage on it, and sent it… To this day, it has not arrived.) … While Carlos paid for the post card, I wandered outside. This dog was tied to the bike rack. I thought he was cute.

Both of us were starving so we continued to walk, in search of lunch. Carlos was looking for familiar fast food. I was looking for something new and exciting. This is a metaphor for our relationship in general. Carlos wants the comfort of the predictable. He wants things to stay the same – he wants to know what to expect. I, on the other hand, want to explore and discover. I want to try anything and everything. I think that frightens Carlos sometimes.

Eventually, Carlos relented and let me have my way, again, pretty typical for us… I think I’m just more willing to “argue to the death” as he says, and he gives up.

I was on a mission to find Cuban food. Every time someone who seemed “local” would walk by, I’d nudge Carlos and say, “Ask them!” and he’d say, “No, you ask!” … This happened a few times. When I finally got up the nerve to ask an elderly Cuban guy hobbling by with a cane, (I assume Cuban only because he was wearing a straw fedora, but I could be wrong), I realized we were standing in front of a place called “Bernie’s L.A. Café.” I saw some Cuban food on the menu in the window so we went in. The bilingual waitress was super nice, the prices were decent and the meal was simply amazing – very fresh, high quality food.

We both got the Cuban sandwich, (and tostones just because.) They served these really tasty pieces of toasted bread with a basket of different hot sauces. Mango habanero, (judging from the amount left in the bottles), is the most popular, and it was certainly my favorite.

The tostones came with “mojito dipping sauce” … I don’t know what it was made of but I need to find out. It was one of the most delicious things I’ve ever had. The sandwich portion was so big that we both only ate half and brought the leftovers to our room for a second meal later.

By the way, another must visit place – InStyle Cupcakes. Last time I went to Miami, Carrie introduced me to them. I like cupcakes to begin with, but with varieties like Dulce de Leche and Churro, I became a little obsessed. Since I knew we’d be back in Miami, I took to Twitter stalking them. If we’d have been given more free time, I was more than willing to invest the money in taking a taxi to visit them, but thankfully InStyle delivered a box to Carrie’s room.

Surprisingly, though I’m not crazy about fruit-flavored things most of the time, guava is my favorite. Next time I’m in Miami and don’t have such a full schedule, hopefully they’ll agree to a taste-testing tour of their actual location… for journalistic purposes of course.

Anyway, after lunch we stopped at Whole Foods which was like a block from our hotel, to buy bottled water and some snacks, etc. for our hotel room. We don’t usually shop Whole Foods cause we’re too poor, but it was a good experience. (And their sushi is awesome.)

After dropping our things off at the hotel, we went back out to make the most of our day. We met with Dean of, who I’ve been in touch with via E-mail, Facebook and Twitter for over a year now, but had never met in person. We had a nice chat and he gave us a lot of tips about where we should go for fun before dropping us off on Lincoln Road.

I could have walked around hand-in-hand with Carlos all night, but I had a busy two days ahead. During those busy two days, Carlos began to feel some discontent growing inside him. At first he couldn’t sort out just what he was feeling and why. I became frustrated with his negative attitude, chalked it up to simple macho jealousy issues – so we argued, (apologies to whoever slept in the room next to 307 that night.) …Once we calmed down, we talked and talked until we unraveled the problem.

It turns out, Carlos is feeling “stuck.” He see’s me following my passions and he’s proud of me, but he doesn’t feel like he’s growing or achieving anything himself – and he doesn’t know what to do about it.

I told him he needs to mix it up, try new things, and see what happens. He was resistant at first, but then he made the brave decision, against his natural tendencies, to see what possibilities are out there. I’m happy for him because I know what he’s capable of despite what he was told growing up – despite what he came to believe about himself, and despite the challenges of living in this country as an immigrant. He’s the only one whose been holding himself back.

All these years he’s supported me while I follow my passions – now I will be there for him.

Disclosure: I went to Miami at the invitation of Telemundo. I have not been paid by any companies or restaurants mentioned. All opinions are my own.

Special Thanks to Corrientes for the use of their song “Tiempo y Espacio” which was perfect for my video. (Check them out:


  1. aye carlos! Igual ke mi novio…every day off im like lets go fishing, lets do this, go eat somewhere exotic… but sadly we do the same thing… we go to the gym… go to one of the only 3 resturants he likes, go to the mall and go home…jajajaj your guys relationship is the EXACTLY the same… so i get some of the similar things.. javier sometimes gets celoso when i do things he doesnt. im so glad you had a great vacation! Next time me invitas jajajajaj ntc i might run off with a musico…. pero ke bonito

    p.s. love dog picture but video was too depressing for me :)

  2. Thanks for the restaurant/food tips. I’ve been wanting to go to Miami for a few years now, and if I ever get my act together and go, I’ve got a few places to try.

  3. Ay esta! Isn’t it amazing when the truth is able to work its way out? A lot of my friends warned me against going to school to become a nurse, because I would be “rocking the boat” and possibly causing Hugo to feel displaced or left behind or even out shined. And for my man, the spotlight is NOT where he wants to be, and I keep dragging him into it, lol.

    • It’s such a relief when we figure out what the root of the problem is. It’s so easy to cover it up with other petty things, and it’s even more difficult to untangle when you mix in cultural and linguistic issues. Plus, Carlos has to be pushed to be introspective and I’m not psychic, so… Ay mi madre. LOL.

      I’m glad you’ve gone out there and achieved some of your goals despite the challenges.

  4. Love the personal accounts and all the juicy detalles hermana! De veras que el viaje a Miami te dejo inspirada. Que bueno :-) And tell Carlos to keep trying, even when he feels discouraged… whatever he’s meant to do I’m sure he’ll find out a tu lado.

  5. Hello :)
    Thanks for using our song for the video. Very cool blog and pics (you’re making me very hungry! lol… :)

  6. the same sort of thing happened to me and my hubby around our 11th wedding anniversary… it was terrible feeling excited about the future when the man I love was seriouly mopee and grumpy (and also sensitive about casual daytime drinking). My big project ended and my life and our relationship returned to a happy state.

    My man is not a fan of change either and is surprisingly easily threatened by any kind of adventure I want to experience (even though I love him to bits — if he’d only accept that he’s stuck with me FOREVER!)When I decided it was time for me to see some ancient architecture, you would have thought I was telling him I wanted to have an affair or something! He just couldn’t be happy for me that I was doing something that meant alot to me… maybe he was sad that it didn’t involve him. I offered but he refused to come with me to Rome saying it was acomplete waste of money…. he just doesn’t see why I have to go anywhere, ever.

    • I remember that trip to Rome that you took. It’s baffling to me that someone could find that a boring waste of money – but I totally understand the situation. You’re right – Carlos and I can be similar to you and your husband in that way.

  7. You have such an amazing way of telling stories. That’s why I love reading your blog. I’m happy when I see you’ve got a new post… and I tell my husband what ‘latinaish’ is up to. He knows you as latinaish. Sometimes I’ll read a post to him, since he’s not a big reader, unless it’s about fútbol, but mostly I just retell the story.
    Anyway, I’m glad you got to the bottom of Carlos’s discontent. I think we all feel like that sometimes.

    ps. I made the kids write 6 postcards while we were in Bolivia, and no one got any of them!

    • What is happening to our postcards?! lol… I would love to know where they are.

      Thanks so much for your kind words. You gave me a big smile. I love to imagine people reading my blog to their spouse or finding it worthy enough to share. That means a lot to me.

  8. I like the palm tree picture!

    The food looks delicious. I don’t know any Cuban specialty, I’m only familiar with Mexican and Latin American cuisine in general. In Salvador, I fell in love with Pupusas… I litteraly ODed on these!

    • Everyone loves pupusas…mmm… so delicious :)

      I don’t get to try much Cuban food either. Most of the restaurants in the U.S. are Mexican – and while I love Mexican, I try other Latin American food whenever I can. The dishes are so diverse, it’s a shame most don’t try anything other than tacos, etc.

  9. Your husband no busca cosas nuevas porque te tiene a vos.
    You search for new things y por eso estás con Carlos.
    ¿No es verdad que la metáfora de esta relación is a perfect circle?

  10. Very interesting read, Tracy! My husband is sort of in the same situation. What is it with these men?

    BTW, mojito can either be the Cuban drink made with hierba buena or a garlic dipping sauce. Both of them equally delish!

    • I definitely knew about the mojito drink – the mojito dipping sauce was something new. I love them both!

      As for the men, hmmm. What to do, what to do.

  11. I am almost speechless Amiga, what a wonderful post. You go between the personal and “heavy” stuff and the fun and light stuff so effortlessly… wow, mis respetos!
    I am so happy you guys were able to get to the root of the matter. I´m sure deep down Carlos knows he LOVES change and challenges, otherwise he wouldn´t have married you! The ever evolving and ever changing/bubbly/full of life you are is his constant. No?
    Let me know if I can be of any help… maybe some insight into what he might find interesting or in what areas of his life he might need some change. Sueno a comercial! But it´s not, just a friendly offer from the heart. :)
    Un abrazo y mi admiración total Tracy!

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