Groove Cruise Miami is a Transcendent Journey

An excerpt from Hedonist Shedonist, the full article link is here.

I have traveled the world and experienced countless euphoric wonders, but few of them have managed to even graze “just the tip” of the majesty of the Groove Cruise. Even when you strip away the electrifying DJs, non-stop 96-hour party, breathtaking Bahamas beach, unobstructed views of sunrises and sunsets along the amazing ship, there is still so much more to the Groove Cruise. There is a special magic sauce erupting like a geyser from the ship —  it was flowing from the people, better known as the Groove Cruise Family, or #gcfam.

Picture over 2,700 people more amped up for this trip than they have been for anything else all year. This family is here to smile, hug, love, party and have the most epic time of their lives. With an 80% retention rate, these people are more than friends, they are family — and they likely have been grooving and cruising together for many years.  We were virgins, yet instantly felt like part of the fam’.  There are no cliques on board, just open arms. People have such a phenomenal time that they book next year’s Groove Cruise before they have even gotten off this year’s cruise!

I have been to many festivals and raves (Ultras, EDC, Life In Color, Bonnaroo, Phish Festivals….), yet the intoxicating vortex of energy swirling around the ship from the attendees was unlike anything I have ever experienced.  Not only were the people fun, adventurous, sweet and loving, but they were also good-hearted.  This is a trip where five iPhones and a diamond cartier watch were lost and instead of being pocketed by attendees, they were turned in to the ship’s Lost and Found.

Besides the people, the costumes were our favorite part of the Groove Cruise. The costumes were as prolific as an end-of-the-world gay party. People really GET INTO THEIR COSTUMES that range from the hilarious and debaucherous to the interactive and nostalgic. There are six different theme parties during the journey….

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Aventura Dance Cruise Ignites Your Latin Dancing Spirit

As originally appeared on Hedonist Shedonist

Picture this: the sounds of Latin music permeating the entryways as you approach a massive 855-foot long vessel. Light-footed aficionados swirl in tandem with international flags whirling in the wind. As you stroll along starboard and gaze upon the expanse of sea, you feel an unbridled excitement bubbling inside and all around you. At this moment, you feel the keen awareness that it’s going to be an epic time. Don’t believe us? Just click the video below.>

After a few hours, however, you realize what an understatement that truly was,  because we had a freaking blast on this years edition of the Aventura Dance Cruise (ADC). The 7th annual Aventura Dance Cruise chartered the entire Carnival Ecstasy cruise ship, so every person on board was there for the same reason — a love for Latin dance, its music and its culture. Each person on board signed up to be utterly immersed in salsa, bachata, kizomba, merengue and any other latin dance you can dream of.  No matter you interest or skill-level, what resulted was a sort of kinship that had over 2,400 people dancing, drinking and singing on every inch of the ship until the wee hours of the night.

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The festivities were opened and closed by one of Latin music’s most influential vocalists and living legend José “El Canario” Albertowho rocked the ship with two performances that brought back a tidal wave of beautiful nostalgic memories.
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We hung out with El Canario and his entourage during the private ADC party on a Bahamas beach. All of the artists were very approachable and took time to hang out with all their fans.
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Lique Miami-A Refreshing New Waterfront Dining By Betty Alvarez

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I arrived to this quaint restaurant in North Miami which I have only heard about, Lique. This waterfront dining spot is owned by restauranteurs Peter Cumplido and Alex Podolhy who are also behind Fort Lauderdale’s Sweet Nectar. This soon-to-be hot spot has Executive Chef Renalto Medeiros at the helm and I was about to embark on a never-before breathtaking dining experience in a chilly night but that did not stop me.

When I entered the restaurant I realized that I have been here before when it was Rouge Waterfront Dining where everything was red. But this time around, the restaurant is transformed into what it seems an enchanted garden with luxurious white decor furniture, greenery all over, the contemporary pieces that was all over. The decor is truly spectacularly very fresh and inviting. We sat down to our table to begin our journey.

Our dining experience was by candlelight. A nice touch for a romantic experience if you are dining with a loved one. In my case, I was dining with one of my best friends so that did not happen. LOL! I ordered a nice Pinot Grigio and she ordered a nice fruity tall glass drink that our waiter recommended. I was jealous as her glass was bigger than mine! When we were hended our menu it was unique as it was a wood platform wit the menu attached and the logo of the restaurant on the back. It was great as everything was on one page.

Appetizers and small plates is what we suggested therefore it did not disappoint. First serving was the Truffle Big Eye Tuna Carpaccio. I wanted something healthy but nice to start therefore the Tuna was a nice healthy alternative. What a delight! The truffle made the Tuna stand out as all my taste buds sky-rockted. It gave it a distinct flavor. Then came the Bone Marrow-a plate of 4 big oxtail bones filled with shredded beef with toasted bread besides each bone. A true delight to savor.

If the Bone Marrow is too much for you, the Beef Cheek Toast would be more appropriate as it has the same shredded beef on top of a toasted bread. Another real treat is the Escargot Tortellini. A plate of 4 tortellini smothered with creamy sauce with bits of bacon was the utmost satisfaction that we got. It was my first time in a long time that I tried escargot but it actually tasted like beef. Tasty and delicious!

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Lastly, we just had to have dessert therefore our waiter suggested the apple pie but this was not any ordinary apple pie. This was a Desconstructed Apple Pie. The pie was served with 4 fluffy pastries on one side, cinnamon ice cream in one jar and the apple filling in another jar. One had to place all of these items in the plate. It was delish and proved that by this time we were completely full.

Other than the plates we tried, the mediterranean-style cuisine also had more selections of tapas, raw seafood, and a sushi bar. One can sit at the dock area gazing as the marine boats pass by and enjoying a nice night out under the stars. A suitable place to dine with a loved one and/or with friends. A true gem!

Grovetoberfest 2014 Photographs and Recap

The epic Grovetoberfest, the “most scenic beer festival in the world”, returned for the fourth time to Coconut Grove and served over 300 great beers from across the world.  Over 7,000 beer enthusiasts showed up to pound some brewskis, eat some food, dance, smile and laugh. Grovetoberfest is all about the craft beer and has a strong focus on the local craft beer scene. Some of Miami’s top chefs like Chef Todd Haven and Chef Giorgio Rapacavoli rocked the Kitchen Lab, where they demonstrated gourmet cooking with craft beer. Beer Tasting 101 was hosted by FIU’s Beer Academy and taught newbies the basics of craft beer tasting. People were also dancing to the live music all day long. Grovetoberfest is always a blast and if you missed it we feel sorry for you. Fear not though, because Sprung Beer Festival  is right around the corner in March!

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Lenny Kravitz Rocked Miami to Celebrate his New Album “Strut”

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His musical talents and sexy persona inspire adulation, lust, love and respect across music fans of both sexes. Yes, Lenny Kravitz is quite a beloved man in Miami. Our hometown rockstar just released his new album “Strut” and came home to Miami to celebrate it with a very intimate performance. We were blessed to be invited and were absolutely blown away. We have been to many concerts, but being so close to a rockstar like Lenny, to feel his intense energy in a room with less than 100 fans in it, was simply amazeballs.  He absolutely killed it, playing his famous hits as well as songs from his new album. Even when he was playing with over 12 band members, one could really feel the depth of his sound. It was a unique and unforgettable experience.

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We know you are craving to get your hands on that new Lenny album. If you purchase Strut from Walmart (Only $10) you will also receive an exclusive digital copy of the Lenny Kravitz Live in Miami 6-song soundcheck performance as well as the full digital album download. You can view the Lenny Kravtiz interview and music videos from the Miami performance here. 

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Thank you for rocking out Miami, Lenny!

Keep up with new artists being featured by follow Walmart Soundcheck on Facebook:@WMSoundcheck :: Twitter: @WMSoundcheck :: Instagram: @WMSoundcheck

Win A Guitar Autographed By Lenny Kravitz

 

 

Lenny Kravitz Rocked Miami to Celebrate his New Album "Strut"

Soundcheck.LennyKravitz-37

His musical talents and sexy persona inspire adulation, lust, love and respect across music fans of both sexes. Yes, Lenny Kravitz is quite a beloved man in Miami. Our hometown rockstar just released his new album “Strut” and came home to Miami to celebrate it with a very intimate performance. We were blessed to be invited and were absolutely blown away. We have been to many concerts, but being so close to a rockstar like Lenny, to feel his intense energy in a room with less than 100 fans in it, was simply amazeballs.  He absolutely killed it, playing his famous hits as well as songs from his new album. Even when he was playing with over 12 band members, one could really feel the depth of his sound. It was a unique and unforgettable experience.

Soundcheck.LennyKravitz-38

We know you are craving to get your hands on that new Lenny album. If you purchase Strut from Walmart (Only $10) you will also receive an exclusive digital copy of the Lenny Kravitz Live in Miami 6-song soundcheck performance as well as the full digital album download. You can view the Lenny Kravtiz interview and music videos from the Miami performance here. 

Soundcheck.LennyKravitz-17

Thank you for rocking out Miami, Lenny!

Keep up with new artists being featured by follow Walmart Soundcheck on Facebook:@WMSoundcheck :: Twitter: @WMSoundcheck :: Instagram: @WMSoundcheck

Win A Guitar Autographed By Lenny Kravitz

 

 

Downtown Bistro Miami Now Offers Dinner

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Le Steak Tartare au Couteau- raw filet mignon cut by hand, capers, onions. anchovies, dijon mustard & quail egg. It was a very French way to consume filet. The bread was crunchy enough to be included with the Rice Krispy brothers and the quail egg you dumped into the shimmering slimy filet was fun and quite tasty.

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Lost my snailginity with this Escargots à la crème- Snails in a heavenly creamy Sauce and now hunting for these glorious creatures in my backyard. The texture was a cross between an artichoke and mushroom. The sauce had a zesty kick and complimented the escargot marvelously. The American in me kinda wished they were deep fried though.

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The Ravioli de Short Rib, Sauce quatre fromage, gambas pochées & asperges- Short Rib Ravioli with 4 cheese sauce, poached shrimp & asparagus was executed superbly. The four cheese sauce was rich and was a nice contrast to the short ribs. The fatass poached shrimp on top really set the dish off. A beautiful and unique plate.

Read the rest of the article and see the photo gallery at Hedonist Shedonist