If you check out my life list, you’ll see it’s a work (life) in-progress. #48, Take my sister to London, was my dream, but, as I soon learned, not anywhere near my sister’s dream.
It was the eighth day in a row of biblical rain when I called my sister, Alexandra, on a Sunday night in March to complain how tired I was of being in the dark, cold, wet, NYC weather. She felt the same way. We were both feeling spontaneous (which is rare for her) and itching to get away. My original Life List plan was to take my sister to London, a city I’ve always wanted to visit, but it became clear she really didn’t have a desire to go anywhere that wasn’t tropical. Additionally, we both have busy schedules and between that and her grad school schedule/impending wedding, it was becoming nearly impossible to find a date for us to go away together. Midway through our weather conversation, she said, “You know, I have spring break next week and I’m not doing anything.” I scanned my iCal and confirmed if I worked like an animal this week, I could do some light, poolside work the following week. I was in.
I told my sister she could pick anywhere she wanted. She chose Harbour Island, but, due to spring break week and lack of accommodations on the tiny island, we ended up settling for her second choice, Miami. I booked tickets at 2:00am and a week later, we we went from 34 degrees and rainy to 82 degrees and sunny. Five days of heaven.
I learned my sister and I are great travel partners. We only argued about the temperature of the room (she likes freezing cold, I hate being cold). We both liked to split beach time and pool time. We both got burned (BADLY).
Alex did my hair, I found our restaurants. We agreed there needed to be a repeat visit to the J.Crew on Lincoln Road, where we bought straw hats and ogled the decor. We both love to walk for miles (and walk quickly), so we walked nearly everywhere.
She put up with my quest to find the Kelly Wearstler-designed hotels in Miami (The Tides and The Viceroy), and I didn’t complain when we walked our sunburnt selves around in the heat till we found this nail salon/Havaianas store she wanted to go to (My sister’s right. they are the best flip flop ever). She only rolled her eyes a few times while I stopped to snap photos every five feet.
We stayed at a hotel far from the spring break/St. Patrick’s Day action. It was tranquil and spa-like and right on the beach. Perfect for two low-key sisters who like it to be quiet enough to hear the waves during the day, and have fluffy beds to curl up in at night.
We were both very happy. So happy, in fact, there was some jumping for joy.
For all of our differences, we work well together. We can weather storms, think things through rationally, are each other’s sounding boards, personal Googles, and shared histories. We both agreed this vacation was one of the best things we’d ever done with each other and plan on continuing the tradition once a year. It was something that probably wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t put it on the life list. I’m so glad I did.
In the pic at left, we are also two hot messes of frizzy hair and red lobster-like complexions (there’s our DNA in action!)
P.S. She would kill me if she knew I posted this pic, so let’s just keep it (and the one of her jumping for joy) between us.