Tag Archives: Miami

A case for track pants..

*This is Miami – post 14.

So I was relaxing on a reclining chair in our living room and sipping on my afternoon espresso when I looked down at my track pants and sneakers…and realized that I’ve been wearing some version of track pants and sneakers for the whole time I’ve been here (well minus those nights I’ve spent on South Beach of course!) ..  This is something I almost never do in Lebanon..unless I’m going to the gym, in which case I come home and change right after..

Not that this is all that significant, but it sure is something I miss about being home..No one cares how you dress, what brands your wearing, whether or not you match..everyone is just..well..CHILL..

If it was up to me, I’d spend my whole life in track pants..they’re just so comfortable! Ahhhh.

Yup, I have no shame. Here are my dirty sneakers and track pants..glamorous I know..And in case your wondering, yes..that is a fireplace in the background..I never understood why the previous owners wanted a fireplace..we live in FLORIDA for God's sake! We haven't used that thing in the 15 years we've lived in our house!


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“Lebanon” coming soon to DVD.

*This is Miami – post 13.

You know, I was really hoping to see the movie “Lebanon” while I was here.  I remember reading about it while I was in Beirut, but it was my Mom who mentioned it to me once I got home and told me that she would like to see it with me.  But after searching all of the cinemas in Miami, even the obscure Indie cinemas in Miami Beach, I still can’t find ONE that is screening the film!  What is up with that??  And the movie was released not even two months ago..??!!

I guess my Mom will have to wait until it comes out on DVD.  I wonder if it will even make it to Lebanon..does anyone know if it’s showing there?

This is so annoying!  Especially after reading a review in the Miami New Times titled Lebanon – the best movie of the year, where the author writes..

“Lebanon, written and directed by Samuel Maoz, is not only the year’s most impressive first feature but also the strongest new movie of any kind I’ve seen in 2010.” Read more here.


Well thanks for the help Fandango!


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I left Paris Hilton, and came back Mother Theresa!

*This is Miami – post 6.

My brother turned 13 a couple of weeks ago, but like the sweet little brother he is, he wanted to wait until I came home to have his birthday party.  So last Saturday, we had a pool party for him and all of his school friends..A pool party is one of the most stressful types of parties parents can have  for their children..soooo many things can happen!  So, to take some of the pressure off of my Mom, I told her I would help her with whatever she needed..little did I know what I was getting myself into!

The kids started to show up at around 3:30 -first came the boys..who, initially, were very interested in the humongous slide we had gotten for the occasion.

Water slide

Ha! This only kept the boys entertained for so long..

Well that lasted for all of 15 minutes..you know, until the girls showed up.   I shouldn’t have been surprised when my Mom told me that my brother had hand picked all of the girls that were to attend his party.  (Gone are the days when my Mom just invites everyone in his class)..and who did he choose to invite?  Well the entire cheerleading squad of course!  Ughhhh!  These girls,,these girls!  They looked more like 20 than 12!  One after one they began to stroll in.. with their short shorts, their faces full of makeup and their hair done – did they not get the memo that they were going to a POOL party..and the bathing suits they had underneath??!!  To all of my female readers out there – did you wear string bikinis when you were 12?  Please tell me NO!

With eyes wide open and a scowl on my face, I watched each girl walk past, taking note of every detail about them and watching their every move – nothing was going to happen today..Not under my watch!

You should have seen me!…standing at the side of the pool with my arms crossed and my eyes darting from the slide, to the pool, to the jacuzzi, to the bushes, to the snack station..scanning for any suspicious behavior!  Of course, the kids eventually caught on..suddenly their loud conversations turned to whispers when I came close..and the ones who were holding hands decided it was best to stop.

And then, I said it..those 5 dreadful words, that every child hates to hear..

“I was your age once!”

And with that, I covered my mouth with my hand..shocked that I had, in that very  moment, become my overbearing mother, and was doing everything I had always hated!  I decided to step off for a bit and go mingle with the parents who were all sitting in the patio completely unphased by what their kids were doing..

The pizza was eaten, happy birthday was sung, and the gifts were exchanged..

After the last kid left at around 10:30pm I collapsed on the couch, exhausted..muttering to myself how I was never going to have kids.  My family all found this very amusing, especially since I was known to be quite the wild child and the black sheep of the family when I was younger..My Grandfather said it best when he exclaimed..“9 months in Lebanon have done you well Danielle!  You left Paris Hilton, and came back Mother Theresa!”

lol..Grampa..I gotta give it to you, you’re good.

Paris Hilton

Then - Danielle pre-Lebanon

photo credit

Mother Theresa

Now - Danielle post Lebanon..

photo credit


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From Gemmazye to Miami Beach..

*This is Miami – post 5.

Power 96 Miami

Miami's most popular radio stations..96.5, 99.1, 100.7

I’ve been in Miami for 5 days, and must’ve heard this song 100 times!  It reminds me so much of when I first moved to Lebanon (in December) and used to go out to Gemmazye (specifically GEM) a lot- they would play this song all of the time!!..Ok, so maybe Miami is a bit behind in music..but still, it’s so funny hearing it here 9 months later.. 😉

I went on Power 96’s website and looked up the top 20, and sure enough, it is the number 2 most popular song on Miam’s most popular radio station.

Power 96 Miami

Top 20 countdown on Power 96 in Miami..Stereo Love is number 2..


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Casa Romeu

*This is Miami – post 3

A staple in our household, Casa Romeu’s menu is never too far away.  Usually, after long weekends spent running errands and shuttling around my brother and sister to any one of their many practices – my Mom never feels to cook..and hey, I don’t blame her..let her rest!

..And I’m sorry..but..who wants to cook, when you can order this?

Cuban Food

Ordering in from Casa Romeu..!! A weekend MUST!

Pictured here you have:

Arroz y frijoles negros (you know what those look like!) -White rice and black beans

Bistec de pollo a la plancha con platanos maduros (2 dishes in top middle) – Grilled chicken with onions and fried plantains.

Rabo Incendido (middle dish on bottom) – Stewed oxtail

Churrasco con platanos maduros (on the bottom right) – Skirt steak with fried plantains.



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No billboards, just blue skies!

*This is Miami – post 1.

Had to pick up my Grandparents from the airport yesterday..I forgot what it was like to see a highway without any billboards on it..Outdoor advertising really isn’t popular at all here!

Outdoor advertising Miami

No billboards (ok, maybe just one!)..just blue skies!


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So happy to be home..

*For the next two weeks, this blog will become “This is Miami” instead of “This is Beirut”..but not before I talk about my flight back home..

I arrived at Rafic Hariri International Airport with only one friend to see me off..You know, it was 2:30 a.m on a Friday morning, how could I have expected more friends to come with me?  I mean, it was a working and school day the following day..people have to get their sleep.

But that didn’t seem to stop everyone else!!..Families and friends swarmed around loved ones showering them with love..food..and gifts up until the last minute..It really was so sweet to watch..

Rafic Hariri International Airport

"Bye Habibi! Bye Habibti!"

Rafic Hariri International Airport

At the airport..When is my gate going to show up? arghh!

Check-in and passport control went quite smoothly.. I wasn’t asked a barrage of questions like I was anticipating..the most exciting thing probably being the herd of leggy Eastern European models that sauntered past everyone  – naturally attracting stares (from men) and glares (from women).  They looked as if they had just left a fashion show or photo shoot..fully made up and with their hair done..I suppose these types of things are normal, as many of the flights to Europe coming out of Rafic Hariri Int’l Airport leave in the weeee hours of the morning.

We boarded the plane and I suddenly became very happy that I had decided to change my seat from an isle to a window at the last minute..Although I was given a seat in the last row of the plane..I was the only one that had a whole row to myself!

And it was the same on the second leg of my flight as well..except this time, almost everyone had a row to themselves..I really was surprised at how empty the flight was from Rome to Miami..these airlines must  really be operating and such a massive loss!  In any case, it makes such a difference to be able to relax comfortably and really sleep on a long flight..it’s probably why I feel so good now..

Alitalia Airways

Me..stretching out my legs on z plane..

Aside from having extended leg room, the other highlight of the flight was when the crew members of Alitalia handed out delicious gelato..not some gelatinous desert or tasteless cake..but delicious Italian gelato..I was in heaven!

Alitalia Airlines

Me..with my legs stretched out..reading about sushi traditions in Osaka, and enjoying my Italian gelato..yes I took off the paper before I ate it! 😉

As was to be expected US Customs and Immigrations officials made up for the lack of questions I was asked at the airport in Beirut..I’ll spare you with the details, but let’s just say I felt like I had been subjected to an hour long interrogation!  Exhausted and sweaty..I came away from it scot-free, it probably helped that I was traveling in my birthday, and was even able to keep my Lebanese sweets that I had packed for my family!!

Speaking of those sweets, they were quite popular with everyone..especially with my Step Father whose grandparents are Palestinian..and even with my brother and sister who had never tried them before!

Lebanese sweets

I wasn't able to make it to Tripoli to buy the sweets..but Al Baba (or as I mistakenly called it, Ali Baba lol) did just fine!

I can’t even begin to describe how it felt to be in my father’s arms at the airport,,or how it felt to watch my brother and sister running down the driveway with “Happy Birthday balloons” when they saw me pull up, or how it felt to hug and kiss my best friend – my Mom – and my grandparents after 9 long months..

Let’s just say, I’m so happy to be home..


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