Today it’s raining in South Florida. Not just raining though, a torrential downpour which has laid waste to my plans for more sunbathing time. This is rather sad as I really was hoping to even out that giraffe tan I’ve acquired on my feet before I leave, but c’est la vie.Instead we take an afternoon drive and come out of the storm into marginally clearer skies.
Our destination is the heart of Palm Beach, home of ‘the playboys’ and whose former and current residents have boasted the likes of Kennedy, Jagger, and Trump.
We pass by the old Florida cement houses built low to withstand hurricanes, and painted in pastel pinks, blues and yellows. As we continue down North Flagler drive the cinder blocks change to Spanish stucco style architecture, and open up to giant estate homes.
Turning onto North Ocean Boulevard, the houses have private tunnels to cross the road to the beach, and retail in the region of a cool 125 million. Making ‘country club drive’ in DC look like council houses in comparison; these babies require a full fleet of staff to keep them running.
Looping back into Palm Beach Shores; Riviera Beach is more lively, where locals litter the the sand dunes, and boats enter the Intracoastal strait.
A strip of busy bars marks the hipper part of town, where groups of young people gather under pagodas.
We drive back to Singer Island with the palms either side of me leaning lazily towards the water.
After lunch, it’s still windy, and so I head out onto the quiet of the front beach. I love that it’s so deserted and I stroll as the wind whips my hair and the tide tickles my toes.
I think this is probably my favourite part of Florida. Just miles of sand and the eternal ocean breathing in and out relentlessly.
It’s turtle nesting season and faint tracks indicate where mother sea turtle have hauled themselves on land overnight and buried their eggs.
This also mean the beaches are wild with debris as they don’t clear it this time of year so as not to disturb the eggs. Once hatched the turtles will instinctively return to the sea and start their own mating cycle. I like how they know to head straight for the ocean.
Lolling about waiting for the evening to come by, I write my name in the sand and watch until the water has slowly washed it away and nothing remains to say I was ever even there.
I head back to the condo in time for evening drinks and head off for lazy Sunday evening fare.
It’s been a quiet few days of peaceful R&R here in Florida and despite thinking I might have not enjoyed this sleepy, slow paced vibe, I really have. I head to bed ready for my early start tomorrow venturing to South Beach in search of some more raucous action; but I’ll certainly be sorry to leave this little slice of paradise here in West Palm.