Did you know there’s another Becky Haggard in Miami?
I do. She’s my sister in law. Her name is McCarran now, but everyone who grew up here in Miami knows her as Becky Haggard – as that was her maiden name. I’ll introduce myself as Becky Haggard and somebody will be like, ‘You’re not Becky Haggard.’ And I’m like, ‘you must know my sister in law’ It’s very funny.
What part of town do you live in?
We live in Pinecrest.
How long have you lived in Pinecrest?
We have lived in Pinecrest for 17 years. I was born and raised here – what’s now Palmetto Bay. When I grew up it was unincorporated Dade.
Would you share a little bit about your family?
I am married and I have two children. My daughter Madison is 17 and she’ll be a senior at Palmer Trinity. And our son, Carson, is 14 and he just finished his freshman year at Gulliver, so he’ll be a sophomore next year.
What keeps you busy during the week?
Keeping up with my kids and their different activities. In my former life, I was a public defender at the Dade County Public Defender’s office. I stopped practicing law when we had our children. When they were younger, I was super active at their schools, as a room parent and as President of the Parent’s Association. As they’ve gotten older, I do all sorts of different things behind the scenes and just kind of keeping our family going.
What part of it do you enjoy the most?
I think the best part of being active in their lives is getting to know their friends and seeing them grow up and having a pulse on what’s going on. Their daily lives are so hectic and so different than when I grew up. It’s nice to be a part of their experiences.
How often do you come to the Pinecrest market?
We come every Sunday when we’re in town – my daughter and I in particular. It’s our thing to do. She started going on her own, two years ago, and then we started going together. It’s our quiet time – and if the boys are in town, they will join us. It’s definitely something that she and I like to do together.
What’s your ritual like when you come?
We try to find a parking space – that’s always the challenge. We will order food if we’re going to take something home with us. For my son, we’ll stop at the pizza place or the hibachi place. And then, we head straight to you guys for our Rainbow Smoothies – which we love, love, love. Then, we do a big loop and take a peek at whatever’s happening. We see the new booths, sometimes we’ll get flowers or guacamole or cheese. It depends on what we’re in the mood for.
What do you like most about the market?
I love that it’s outdoors and I love seeing so many familiar faces and lots of new ones. We love the dogs and, all of the little children, and the babies. It’s a nice way for people in our community to get together and take advantage of all that our city has to offer. There’s so many things going on, any given day, it’s a nice time to stop and reflect on the interesting mix of people here. And, it’s one of our great venues.
What else do you enjoy from our stand?
I get your Turmeric Tonics. They are my savior. I exercise a lot and as I’ve gotten older, sadly I’m always sore. I don’t know if it’s mind over matter, but it just makes me feel so much better when I take it. Maddie and I tried the Turmeric Golden Coins a couple of weeks ago, which are great. We bought the Sweetheart Lychees for my son two weeks ago. Those are the best. And, the Rainbow Smoothie is so refreshing and typically what we usually start our Sunday morning with, instead of breakfast.
What do you think market is missing?
Live music that would be cool. I think they’ve done a better job, there’s a lot more vendors then when we first started and now they have more seating, which is nice.
What other activities do you enjoy with your kids?
We spend a ton of time together. My kids are super active. They both play sports and I love watching them. My daughter runs and plays lacrosse and my son is a football player. We are all big Florida State fans, so we go to football games when we can. And, we like to go down to the keys. That’s a special treat for us. We have a house there, and it’s a great place to spend time together.
What restaurants do you like to go out to and what do you recommend to order?
We love Cafe Portofino. It’s in the Marshals shopping center on 136th street. It’s a nice Italian place and their food is always delicious and their service is great. I always get the Capellini Castegliano which is pasta with pink sauce and shrimp – and they know that. We also like to go to Sage by Chef’s Kitchen, which is a great hole in the wall. The food is always delicious and Hector is great. Now, you can actually sit down and order. Maddie and I like to go there a lot. We also like A-Pizza Brooklyn. My son’s favorite restaurant in the world is Five Guys, because he likes the burgers. We also like to stay home and cook.
What do you like to cook?
I make pork chops. My Mom’s Cuban, so I do Palomilla steaks – my kids like that. I like to make breakfast more than anything.
Do you have a good breakfast recipe?
We love French Toast Casserole. Tear 1.5 loaves of bread (half oatmeal bread, half hardy white bread) into pieces and bake at 325 it until it’s dried out. Whisk together 8 eggs, 2 cups of milk and 2 cups of cream, a little sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon – and pour over the bread. Let it sit overnight! Bake it for 45 minutes and serve with maple syrup and chopped pecans.
What do you like to go for a special occasion?
We like the new place, Fiola, in South Miami. It really pretty, quiet, and the food is really, really good. Their short rib ravioli is delicious.
What is Miami’s best kept secret?
I love the Deering Estate. I also love the area by the Chinese Bridge. Even though I’ve lived here my entire life, I didn’t know that it existed until a few years ago when I started running back there. It’s really quiet and and scenic; there’s always birds and wildlife around there.
What is a worthy splurge for you?
A night out with my husband. It doesn’t have to be anywhere fancy. Anywhere we can spend time together.
What’s a fun rainy-day activity?
Sit at home and read or watch movies with the kids and my husband.
Where’s the most romantic spot?
Anywhere near the water is pretty romantic. There’s so many beautiful views from all different places around here.
Are there any community groups or philanthropic groups that you all participate in that are important to you?
We are very active with the Polycystic Kidney Disease Foundation. My husband has PKD and he had a kidney transplant almost three years ago. We’ve been super active in fundraising and creating awareness. Our family hosts a casino night every year in the spring time. It’s always a great event and we’ve raised over a million dollars in the last nine years. My brother was my husband’s kidney donor, so it’s really an important cause for us and for our family.
What is PKD?
PKD or Polycystic Kidney Disease and basically it’s a genetic disorder. It effects over 600,000 Americans and it’s a quiet disease that nobody really knows about. It results in cysts forming on the kidneys which effect their function. Three years ago we, he and I moved to Tampa for two months and he had a kidney transplant and did his recovery there. Thank goodness he’s super healthy now. And my brother is a hero because he donated his kidney to my husband.
What is it like for you to have that bond between your brother and your husband?
It is insane. It was one of those very surreal experiences. My brother is a Black Hawk pilot in the army and called me one day and said, I want to get tested. He was a match. I was worried about my brother and also worried about my husband. At the hospital, I was visiting both of them, and after the surgery, my brother lived with us, in Tampa, for a couple of weeks. Now, they have this very special bond. We are eternally grateful for his selflessness. When you’re in the moment you’re just kind of surviving. When you think back on it, you’re like, wow – I can’t believe how things worked out.
When is your fundraiser and how do we learn more?
The event is typically in May. It just happened. You can learn more at www.pkdcure.org
How is it diagnosed?
My husband’s mother, grandmother, and uncle had PKD. It’s genetic and hereditary. So, we knew about the family history. The way we found out was when he went in for an MRI for back pain. The doctor said, ‘you have a herniated disc, but did you know that there’s something going on with your kidneys?’
Is there a question you would like to ask us?
How long does it take for you guys to set up in the morning? You guys are always so cheerful and happy, it’s always nice to see you guys and you bring a smile to our faces.
(A+W) We arrive around 6:30 and are set up by 8:30. We are always smiling because its our favorite day of the week!
Are there any words of advice, a challenge or questions that you might like to pose to our community?
Be kind to each other. We’re all part of the same community. Sometimes we forget that, and I think being kind would make our community that much better.