In the first week of May, I flew to Miami to celebrate my cousin’s wedding and invited my friend Tolu to join me for a weekend. She had never been to Miami, so I had the privilege of showing her some of my favorite spots in the city.

When I lived in Nigeria, I looked forward to summer and the end of the school year because it meant visiting my parents in Miami.

For me, Miami was synonymous with summer. Even when I did not understand why we crossed oceans to see my parents and vice versa, I found the regular travel exciting. Shortly after school let out in July, my grandma, my siblings, and I would travel from Calabar to Lagos and then through Amsterdam or Paris to Miami.

Brickell, Downtown Miami

During descent, I would pay attention to the pixelated map of the U.S on the airplane tv screen. A white drawing of a plane would hover near Havana, Cuba–a place I would learn more about later. As a kid, I only knew it as a marker that we were close to home.

Summers were a mixed bag of thrill and routine. We visited Disney World, took swim lessons, and day trips to the beach, and saw whales and dolphins up close. Once we spent hours out at sea, on a “cruise to nowhere.” But we also read books at home with my Mom, watched our favorite cartoons, and went grocery shopping at the Target across the street. Now, as an adult, visits to Miami still hold that mix of mundane and exciting moments for me—sometimes more of one than the other.

When Tolu visits, I guide her through some of my favorite spots in the city, and try to see Miami through new eyes.

South Pointe Pier, South Beach

Wynwood Art District, Miami

Morelia’s: For ice cold paletas (popsicles)

Bayside Marketplace, Miami

My favorite things to do in Miami often involve food and being on or near the ocean, and I love sharing those experiences with people. Where’s one place you like to take your friends when they’re visiting you in your home city? Or do you have fond memories of visiting a particular place as a kid? Leave me a comment to let me know.

P.s Miami has myriad and diverse options for food including but not limited to these spots where I took Tolu:

  • Ojos de Agua, Brickell
  • Havana 1957 Cuban Cuisine, Española Way, South Beaach
  • Morelia Paletas, Wynwood
  • NaiYara Thai, Miami
  • CVI.CHE 105, Aventura

As always,

Thank you for reading. For more stories from this city, you can click the magnifying glass icon (top right) and type “Miami” in the search bar.

All photos shot on iPhone 12 Pro.


Same Footprints, Different Sands

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