Paul Rubio

Sushi Sama serves delectable Peruvian-influenced Japanese fare.

Sushi Samba on Lincoln Road serves delicious Peruvian-influenced Japanese fare.

South Beach tends to make us all feel a bit more body conscious than usual, but luckily, great healthy fare is readily available. These three fabulous sushi restaurants offer myriad light dishes and raw fish masterpieces with minimal consumption remorse!

Sushi Samba (600 Lincoln Road) – Peruvian and Japanese cultures crossed for two major events in history: the Peruvian presidency of the controversial Alberto Ken’ya Fujimori, and the conception of Sushi Samba, an exquisite taste explosion of East-meets-South. The “sashimi seviches” blend the tanginess and zest of Peruvian flavors with the tenderness of top-grade sushi, most notably through the “Yellowtail Sashimi Seviche” bathed in ginger, garlic, and soy and the “Lobster Sashimi Seviche” infused with mango and lime. Regardless of the countless sushi options, the highlight of any trip to Sushi Samba is still the exceptional “chicharron de calamar”—cornmeal-crusted calamari with tamarind sauce, tomato salsa, and plantain. The innovative drink menu focuses heavily on the sweet and fruity. Sushi Samba is located on Lincoln Road, up the street from the Ritz-Carlton South Beach.

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Orlando Gay Days is full of pool, parks, sun, and speedos

During the last two decades, Orlando Gay Days (June 1-7, 2010) has swelled into a weeklong, citywide celebration of love, life, sex, and everything G-A-Y. The right-wing protests have faded, and with over 150,000 attendees, Gay Days offers events and parties catering to all crowds: muscle boys, bears, butch lesbians, fem lesbians, families, pre-ops, post-ops, sports fanatics, teens. It’s the most anticipated annual event in Florida and a mind-boggling explosion of gay subcultures. Read More »

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South Beach (seen here behind the Delano Hotel) will be swarmed in May for both Aqua Girl and Miami Sizzle

Although plenty of people “in the know” are busy primping for Orlando’s Gay Days in early June, Miami hosts two LGBT throw-downs during the month of May, one catering to gay women, the other to the African-American community.

1) AQUA GIRL – May 12-16, 2010.

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Universal Studios offers annual park passes for $140

Being a Florida resident definitely has its perks. Besides oodles of sunshine and great temperatures year round, residents are privy to irresistible offers for deeply discounted theme park fun in their home state. Most notably, cheap annual passes or multi-day theme park passes make a spontaneous trip to Orlando that much easier and hassle free. In order to get these tickets, you must be able to show a Florida driver’s license or student I.D. from a Florida school. Read More »

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Schnebly Redland's Winery is about 45 minutes south of Miami

While the primary definition of a wine describes the end product of fermented grape juice, the tertiary definition includes the fermented juice of other fruits and plants. Schnebly Redland’s Winery in Homestead, Florida (about 45 minutes south of Miami) pushes the envelope of wine making, specializing in wines derived from tropical fruits. Read More »

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The Aventura Mall in Miami has lots of great dining options

South Florida visitors renting cars should definitely make a trip to the awesome Aventura Mall in North Miami (19501 Biscayne Boulevard). The flagship triple-story mall  houses many global top performers such as the most lucrative Abercrombie in the United States, a massive Crate & Barrel, the latest and greatest Nordstroms, as well as 248 other shops and restaurants. It’s the fifth largest mall in the United States. Read More »

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Versailles Cuban Restaurant in Little Havana

Miami is globally famous for it’s exceptionally large Latin American immigrant population. The foods and flavors that have accompanied the waves of immigration have endowed the city with sumptuous and authentic tastes representative of Latin America’s 20 countries, most notably Cuba, Peru and Mexico. Read More »

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The Mall at Millenia in Orlando, FL

No trip to the epicenter of consumerism is complete without an excursion to Orlando’s prolific shopping malls and outlet malls. While the cheesy tourist shops on I-Drive specialize in super cheap, low quality souvenirs and $2 T-shirts, several shopping venues off Interstate 4 (I-4) offer premium goods at bargain prices. The two malls below boast the most comprehensive selection of brands and promote a luxurious yet affordable shopping experience. They are a mere five-minute drive between each other, and easily accessible from all Orlando hotels, such as the Westin Imagine Orlando. Read More »

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Disney's Blizzard Beach

Though most associate Orlando with heat and sun, a few locales offer both genuine and synthetic escapes to the frigid cold. Three permanent winter wonderlands are highlighted below.

Disney’s Blizzard Beach (1500 West Buena Vista Drive): Florida’s first ski resort cum water park, Blizzard Beach debuted in 1995 and has since grown wildly popular, welcoming nearly 2 million guests in 2009. The kitsch blizzard motif is found throughout the park’s dozen-plus rides, including Snow Stormers, Toboggan Racers, and Meltaway Bay. There is free transport to Blizzard Beach from all Disney properties. Read More »

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Snow White's Scary Adventures at Magic Kingdom

Those of us who were raised in Florida have experienced Disney World at least two dozen times in our lifetime, thanks to close proximity to the theme parks as well as amazing Florida resident deals year-round. And those of us who have ventured on every single ride at the Magic Kingdom, Epcot Center, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, and Typhoon Lagoon too many times, have clear favorites and priorities when returning to Disney’s famed attractions. Additionally, we all have one ride…or two…or three that give us butterflies from the very thought of being subjected to bespoke torture. Below are three rides I avoid like the plague.

Snow White’s Scary Adventures at Magic Kingdom: I don’t think I ever got over the wicked witch’s vicious antics in Snow White’s Scary Adventures. From ages three to seven, I was too young to decipher between fiction and reality, and mistakenly thought the witch cardboard cut-outs were going to come after me. Though I laugh at this now, I would avoid this ride for kids that are prone to fearing monsters under the bed and in the closet.

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