Editor’s Note: Road Trippin’ with Audrey
I’m not going in the pool if you don’t get in … and get your hair wet.
This was the ultimatum on a sunny fall day from 7-year-old Audrey. My daughter stood, arms crossed and tapping her foot, at the edge of the baroque pool at Hotel Victor, a modern, art deco building overlooking South Beach’s Ocean Drive.
My plan had been to stay comfortable and dry, lounging poolside watching her splash around, rather than submerging myself in the crystal blue waters. But here we were, all suited up, and she was serious. She had talked a lot about swimming at the “fancy hotel” during the six-hour drive from Jacksonville to Miami, on our first mommy-daughter trip.
I glanced back at the terrycloth-covered cabana where my towel and magazine lay and then at Audrey. How could I deny her? That face … I dove in headfirst, and the tone of the weekend was set.
We were in town to attend a benefit, and I had set up other meetings to make it a productive work weekend. Running Flamingo sends me all over the state, making it hard sometimes to spend the quality time I want to with my loved ones. But in preparation for this Outside issue, I had a chance to combine the worlds of Flamingo and family.
With Audrey at my side, we tore up the dance floor at the Imagination Ball, which benefits the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts; meandered through the maze of painted murals at Wynwood Walls; waded into the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean; and dined at Gianni’s, a lush patio restaurant inside the famed Versace mansion. It was a blast being present in the moment with her.
“I’m the CEO,” she told our waiter at Gianni’s, where we sat by the mosaic-tiled pool eating pasta and writing a poem about our trip.
The idea to write the poem (we took turns making up lines) came to me after a recent photoshoot for Flamingo at Chinquapin Farm, a quail plantation near Lake City with a long history of raising champion field trial dogs. Exploring the property, from the main house to the barn, it struck me that poems featured largely in the decor, with framed works by Tom Word and many others hanging on the walls. These odes to Chinquapin—love letters of a sort—are all gifts from visitors inspired by the camaraderie, tradition and the natural beauty of the place.
Hopefully you too will fall in love with our feature story, a bit longer than those poems, on Chinquapin Farm. In this issue, we also cruise through Sarasota in a ’65 mustang named Sally, play the Black Course at Streamsong Resort, walk 1,000 miles with Carlton Ward Jr. and march through the Everglades with Maj. William Lauderdale and Osceola.
Like the story of these two warriors, not all of life’s tales of adventure have happy endings. Three years running, devastating storms have hit our state as we’re in the midst of producing our Outside edition. Those impacted by Hurricane Michael tell their stories inside our pages.
As you make your way through Flamingo, don’t be afraid to jump into something unexpected. Like me at the pool with Audrey. You’ll be glad you got your hair wet.