Kate and I took a road trip this weekend to visit her brother Mathew, and his wife Robin who were vacationing in Palm Beach Florida. Mapquest routed us across the state on primarily picturesque, and rural two lane roads across old Florida crossing just above Lake Okeechobee.
What you mostly see is endless cow pastures, and sod farms, oh yes and lots of road kill. The trip across the state is also an entomologist's dream trip, and requires gallons of windshield wiper fluid to be able to see the scenery. I have a couple of theories about sod farms. The first one is this is how farmers learn their trade. You learn how to plant grass seeds, water the grass, drive tractors, and when you get this down pat, you move to Iowa, and grow corn. The other theory is that you couldn't successfully grow corn in Iowa, and you moved to Florida to grow grass.
The other thing I noticed about the trip was all of the signs that tell you not to anchor or dredge. I have boated for a very long time, and I have never once had the thought that hmmm, this seems to be a nice place, maybe I should do some dredging here. Tourists must be sneaking in and doing dredging when nobody is looking, and taking muck home as a souvenir instead of buying it in a gift shop.
After a nearly four hour drive, we arrive in Palm Beach. We're not there five minutes when we spot a six foot monitor lizard sleeping on a roof. These things are all over town, and a resident said everybody carries a bag of raw chicken parts to lure them off of the roads so they can get their cars by. The lizards also keep the large numbers of feral lap dog packs in check. These packs may look cute at first, with all of their ribbons and bows, but ankle wounds are very common here. It's definitely a case of little Fifi has a Mohawk, tats, and a very bad attitude.
We drove around to look at the houses, but you can't see them. All you can see are these massive hedges down every street. I think this may just be an elaborate way for the residents to hid their RV's and travel trailers.
We wandered over to see the famous Breakers hotel. The first thing you see is a fountain being held up by naked women, and then you notice the bullet holes. I suspect that vigilante groups are doing drive by shootings to protest the flagrant public nudity. In Sarasota the residents demanded that Michelangelo's statue of "David" had to wear a loincloth for the safety of all. I call this the Ashcroft syndrome.
From the Breaker's seawall we were lucky to see one of the harbingers of the upcoming winter season. Small boats were going out to greet the first of the freighters coming down from the Hamptons carrying winter resident's cars, possessions, and staff. This is very similar to seeing the car carriers parked in the middle of the road on Long Boat Key delivering the Mercedes, and Bentleys for the winter season.
It was not time yet for high tea there, and I abhor cucumber sandwiches with the crusts crust off anyway. The concierge was also giving us his best evil eye, so we wandered down to look at the town docks.
Despite the wealth of the residents, you can clearly see the harder economic times are having an impact on the area. The docks have lots of empty spaces for super yachts.
And just look at the deplorable condition of this Rolls Royce roof. The local paper reported that recently there was the first repossession of a Rolls Royce in town since the Great Depression. Hard times abound for all. The Rolls got towed by the city shortly after I took the picture, and I refused to give the picture to the city without a warrant.
We checked out of our room located on the edge of town, and went down to the famous Worth Avenue shops to look around. We tried to go into Tiffany's, but the doorman suggested our attire wasn't appropriate, and he gave us an address for a gift shop he thought we would like. He also arrange for the local police to give us an escort to it. Now that's old fashioned southern hospitality for you.
We hope you enjoyed our visit to Palm Beach, and this week I am visiting Sanibel Island, the famous shelling capitol of the world. I'm packing extra bandages, you need them after walking on all of those sharp beach shells, they're just like broken beer bottles.