I’m en route to West Palm Beach today so this means another two internal flights this morning. I’m not entirely sure what possessed someone who is completely petrified of air travel to book all their stops using aeroplanes; but here we are once more.Today however, flying is a breeze and I don’t even break a sweat as we bounce through the clouds. As this is now my fifth flight in under two weeks perhaps this is merely the effect of systematic desensitisation, or perhaps I’m more foolhardy following my fleeting dalliance as a Hells Angel in Savannah. Either way, I’m craving some kicks fast and furious style and am even a little disappointed when there’s not too much turbulence (I said a little!).
I land in Florida a quick four hours later to be greeted by audio clips from the local mayor welcoming me as a collect my luggage. I’m met at the airport in an SUV then head out on the coast to my beach front digs.
Driving in the sunshine and palms replace the more whimsical oaks I’ve come to love over the last few days, and I pass by old style low rise houses and strip malls. Suddenly the scenery shifts as we soar across the Blue Heron Bridge which spans the inland Intracoastal Waterway to bring us to Singer Island. High rises now litter the skyline as boats speed by on the water.
I arrive at the apartment I’m staying in to find statues of dolphins and turtles decorating a lobby with enough marble and regal upholstery to rival a five star hotel.
From the corner spot on the 15th floor I can see the aqua marine waves of The Atlantic licking the white sandy shore line on one side of the road; coupled with the serene salty indigo still of the intracoastal on the other. It’s quite a sight to behold.
I walk outside to check out the gorgeous pool whose deck leads directly down onto the beach below; afternoon sun seekers lounging lazily in their tiny swim suits.
It’s really rather luscious and I’m already having fantasises of purchasing a little retirement condo of my own when I cash in on my 401k (which I will obviously acquire following procurement of American husband). It’s not hard to see why this idyllic setting is the summer home preference of many East Coasters, but I’m itching to see if Florida will give me more than just sun, sand and sangria. After these past few weeks I realise I’m all about the soul too.
Back inside, and 5pm means it’s drinking time (although any time is drinking time for me). Wine consumed, and it’s off for crab rolls and 2-4-1 cocktails at a local sports bar where big screens show all manner of American sports fixtures.
Later I retire as the muggy humidity fills the air; which is inky bruised with giant clouds. The wind glances the leaves of the palms as it blows in off the ocean.
I’m pensive as the sound of water lulls me to sleep. I’m not really sure how I’m going to feel about Florida yet, and it’s truly worlds away from the southern sweetness of Savannah I’m now missing terribly. I can’t quite tell what sort of personality will emerge from this peninsula over the next few days-too loud? too shy? Sincere or superficial? I drift off, my final thoughts musing that I’ll just have to see where the tide takes me… and hope for sure I can swim.