Welcome to Miami: Day 1

Hello everyone, I  have been in South Beach Miami for the past 5 days to have a bring it to the ocean sort of spiritual cleansing retreat in honor of my cousin Brandon, who was murdered on October 22, 2017.

His, mother, my Big Cousin Dana Roberts along with her sister and my cousin Robin Roberts came along with me.

My hopes for the trip was more of a step I thought would help get her and us on a road to the grief process that’s not so damaging to our mind, body and soul.

After losing several of my loved ones, one to murder in 2006, Melvin Paul Jr, I learned through pain the reality of the grief process. Initially you’re in shock not really grasping that your loved one is gone. After that comes denial then reality slowly catches up to you then smacks you in the face and you realize your loved one is gone and that’s when it gets tough.

So I planned this trip for Dana to find some peace, in knowing by seeing that God is wonderful and he loves us so much that he makes all things so beautiful for us to enjoy. For instance, I love being by water, I love going to Lake Ponchatrain in Nola when I need a lil boost.

Everything is made up with water, I’m not sure if there is anything that does not have water in it. We lived surrounded by it in the womb, love soaking in a bath and it resfreshes you physically and emotionally.  The earth is mostly water, sitting there with unseen life, it makes you think that life will continue regardless if can see it or not. The ocean and it’s tides coming in, gifting us with treasures from it. It’s something in the waves that feels so giving..

The ocean also feels like it’s cleansing the soul. The act of placing  your toes in the wet sand, walking along the shore and then being brave enough to actually jump into the ocean itself,  like a water baptism renewing your life, reminding you of your purpose.

Miami, I’ve been there in the 90s and I forgotten beautiful it is, how fancy it is and and how it gives off this aire of Prosperity within your reach.

Miami did something to me, it changed me in a sense, not so much as wanting to attain wealth and riches, but it made me realize how we all share a common denominator, which is wanting the best for our family. Like, duh I wouldn’t mind if I knew how to tap into the millionaires club. lol

Unlike New Orleans, I have to say Miami isn’t as embracing, loving and hospitable, but as I said Miami does represent family and I love that. It made me feel that my choice to come to Miami with my family at such a difficult time was the best.

We stayed at the Royal Palm on South Beach, the Beach was literally our backyard. The the the resort was beautiful, the staff was amazingly helpful and our room was very nice. We got in very late, but we still went out take a little look-see around and grab a bite to eat. We we noticed several people going in and out of this restaurant Cafe like place called the pizza bar, where we were greeted with a very handsome white man with gold and lots of charm. He gave us a little history on the pizza, well the establishment, as well as tips on where to go that I will share with you as well. If you are ever in South Beach I highly recommend the pizza bar, slices were huge like it could cover your whole face and very very delicious, nice light crust. We also went to the 24 hour humongous Walgreens. Collins Street it’s definitely the place to be.

It’s pretty late, but I wanted to get started on writing about my trip and and inform you all that I made it back safe home to New Orleans. I must admit I was tempted to stay, even had the thoughts of moving to Miami one day after seeing all of the wonderful things there, but once I got off the plane in New Orleans, saw the Louie Armstrong statue as I went down to collect my baggage, the doors open and that smell, that intoxicating smell and feeling of New Orleans overcame me as it always does each time I come back. There’s nowhere like New Orleans, not even Miami with all of its Glitz, glamour, wealth and beautiful beaches, there’s nowhere like New Orleans you can ask anyone.

For now here are my day one pictures. I hope you guys enjoy looking at them and I will add to my Miami trip after my brain gets back to normal LOL.

A native of New Orleans, who left her beloved New Orleans to spend twenty years of living in the land of Minnesota Not So Nice. Minnesota was full of opportunities but would learn that the soul of the state and the people who made it was just as icy cold as the temperatures. After the years and my 40th birthday flew by, I decided it was time to pack up my youngest child and come back to my roots, my birthplace the city that not only birthed me but gave me life. I would not be who I am without my New Orleans beginnings. I am all things that would challenge the belief of growing up in New Orleans. I was a 16yr old teen mother of a premature baby born with a severe medical disability. And only With the help of my mother, was it possible for me to BE! I was able to endure and survive the obstacles laid before my child and me. In a city that was built by my family, but did not allow for us to reap the benefits I overcame. Charity Hospital was my second home — a building filled with miracle workers who made it possible for my daughter to have life. I have lived a life of rainy days with peeks of sunshine, that are my children, including those not of my womb. I'm the proud mother of three and a grandmother of three. My dream was to live the life of the nursery rhyme of ”The Old Lady Who lived in a shoe,” and for the most part, I did. I cared for several children over the years as a special needs foster parent. I would learn that my love was not enough for some children, but I loved them through their pain. I'm not sure if I ever had a case of true love or came close to what love looks like on television, but I had my share of men and the mirage of love. I survived two abusive marriages. Though I longed to return to New Orleans on a daily bases, I must admit my move was one of the best decisions made for me. I am a college graduate; I was a successful entrepreneur. I coowned a soul food restaurant and catering company in Minnesota for 12 years. I developed the talent of creating custom cakes after the murder of my beloved cousin Melvin Paul. He survived Katrina only to go to Minneapolis six months later to be murdered over a parking spot dispute. But with the challenge of creating a simple wedding cake, I was able to find healing. I created the House of Cakes in honor of him. Minnesota life had me pretty materialistic. I worked to the point I do not remember much, but work and handing my children love money. I thought by having the big house on the hill, a husband, having a family, the ultimate provider and being involved in all things that matter, plus having the funds to match would cure me of what I was told was a generational curse of lack of everything from money, love to even self-love. But for the most part, that life poisoned my heart and soul. I was blinded by visions fed to me by the media. I was told I wasn't anything unless I was better than the Jones's. I lived being ok with a broken, bleeding heart. Life like this did not exist in my family while living in New Orleans from what I viewed with my eyes and soul. We may not have had all the things I acquired over the years, but we were happy, we were together. Family outside of New Orleans wasn't family anymore. We lived separate lives and had awkward moments when we bumped into each other in public. I hated living in Minnesota even though life their helped me in so many ways. I felt deep down the only way to repair it was to get back to my roots, my soul, my home, myself, my New Orleans. I'm here, and I love it. Even being in the so-called Blighted Area of New Orleans and not having all the financial and material security, I'm happy. I am determined that She, yes, New Orleans is a woman is just like me; together, we will overcome and will rise from all that tried to kill our spirit. Nothing like starting from the bottom and making your way back up!. I just know in my heart that New Orleans will provide for me. There's a bank account with funds in it owed to me by way of back pay for my ancestors. And I will receive my inheritance, and I will continue the traditions and customs of the old to keep the heartbeat of New Orleans beating. I'm down in the boot, living the life that feels right to me awaiting my destiny...

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