Disclosure: Although I was invited by Lincoln Motor Company to experience this Lincoln Day of Discovery and given the car for the day, all opinions come from the bottom of my tiny blogging heart. ❤
Whether it’s my schedule or my thoughts, I am always racing. In Miami, living slowly is a catchphrase that’s easily thrown around yet difficult to live by. The days feel shorter and I always find myself wishing I had more time. Except, of course, during rush hour on any given day. That’s when time completely stops and I can almost watch myself age in the rear-view mirror. Few things are as stressful as being caught in Miami traffic. One of my main goals in 2016 has been to achieve tranquility in the moments I need it the most, but truth be told, that is easier written than done. That is why when, halfway through the year, Lincoln Motor Company offered me a day of “quiet luxury”, I simply couldn’t resist the opportunity to hit the reset button and try again. The itinerary was full of all the things I love about Miami; good food, gorgeous views, and great venues.
Brunch at Miami Beach
The day started with delicious mocktails (I had to behave since I knew I’d be driving a fancy MKZ later) and a family style brunch at Byblos Miami adjacent to the Royal Palms Hotel South Beach Miami. Sharing the table with like-minded individuals, designers, and engineers at such a charming venue felt like being at a friend’s home. Over great conversation, we enjoyed a special three course menu which included organic and earthy Mediterranean flavors. My favorite item on the menu was the hand-rolled couscous which took four days to make (talk about slow living!).
Usually, the idea of driving down the MacArthur Causeway to get from South Beach to Miami’s mainland, in 90° weather, at the height of tourist season, would be enough to dissuade me from going anywhere at all. However, I knew I’d be driving the brand new 2017 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid and was anxious to try all the new features: The auto-hold feature makes stop-and-go traffic bearable and protects high heels from scuff marks! Since the car comes with a Revel® audio system and promised to have me feeling as if I were on-stage at a concert, I played some tranquil bluesy songs to get into that artsy vibe.
Art Conversations at PAMM
If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you know I love The Pérez Art Museum Miami. Lately, this has been one of my top ten spots to spend a day in Miami. I’ve claimed this as my second office; they just don’t know it yet. This time, we toured outside to understand the architecture and design of the building and its hanging gardens. In complete awe of the designed sustainability of this structure, which through no coincidence follows the same thought patterns of the MKZ hybrid I’d been driving, I fell more in love with this place than I already am.
Then we met artist, Victoria Gitman, who spoke with us about the processes in her painting of a drawing. The oil painting is so small, I’d missed it on each of my previous visits to PAMM. But hearing an artist speak passionately of the process of slowing down her art to the point of replicating each pencil stroke to perfection, inspired me to think of ways to live more conscious of the environment that surrounds me. Before I knew it, it had been hours and I’d been wandering aimlessly in and out of galleries. Taking one last look at the gorgeous city views and palm trees, I got in the MKZ looking forward to a serene drive back to the beach. (Did I mention the seats give actual massages? Think auto-spa).
The truth is achieving this feeling of tranquility and serenity takes work! While I am well aware that such tranquility does not come from the material things that we possess, I am equally aware that there are so many external factors that impede a peaceful heart. A long commute in Miami traffic, the lack of time to stop and listen to the best notes in your favorite song, and the tension of our circumstances can all affect our ability to stop and appreciate the small things. This usually leaves me feeling more anxious than tranquil. I’ve learned however that achieving serenity takes actively creating moments of mindfulness, quiet, and peace. I am thankful that I was given a day of quiet luxury with the Lincoln MKZ.