I meant to write this earlier in the week but we got home quite late on Monday and all I wanted to do after work on Tuesday was sleep and eat saltwater taffy (which you can buy in bulk at my local HEB– sooooo dangerous!) The rest of the week I’ve been busy working and using a free trial gym pass (more on that later).
Anyway, without further ado, here is an excessively long recap of our time in Florida!
We flew out to Fort Lauderdale early Thursday morning and had a short layover in Dallas. One thing I miss about living in Philadelphia is the abundance of Dunkin’ Donuts– I would pass at least 3 of them in the 2 miles between my apartment and office! The closest one in Austin is nowhere near my home or work, so I took advantage of our wait and picked up a latte at the airport.
We got into Fort Lauderdale in the early afternoon but then had to wait over an hour to get our rental car. The drive up I-95 to West Palm Beach was slow due to an accident. By the time we got to the condo it was almost 5 PM and we were STARVING. Thankfully, my dad was prepared with some fixings for sandwiches. A few hours later the three of us (dad, Gentleman, myself) went into downtown West Palm Beach to World of Beer , which is exactly what it sounds like. I had a blend of Delirium Tremens (one of my all time favorite beers) and a cider. I wish I could find a World of Beer menu online so I could figure out the name. At any rate, everything was delicious. Also, World of Beer doesn’t serve food but they had menus for a bunch of the restaurants nearby and will let you order delivery. Very nice! So we had some sushi from Kabuki with our beers.
The main goals for Friday were to go to the beach and to show the Gentleman around the area. (He’d never been to Florida aside from a childhood trip to Disney World). We woke up to this view from the condo balcony:
After breakfast we went for a ~1 hour walk along the intracoastal to ogle fancy houses and boats.
Our walk included a detour to a gym the Gentleman had read about online. Going to the gym wasn’t a super high priority for us since we were on vacation and– minus a few rain showers– the weather outside was so lovely. But we figured it would also be nice to get in a few workouts, especially since running outside wasn’t an option for me (womp womp). Everyone at Rhanddy’s was super nice and we only paid $30 for the two of us to use the gym over 4 days. It’s a small gym–not many cardio machines–but the Gentleman was able to most of the strength training equipment he uses at his gym in ATX. I will definitely come back here the next time I’m in West Palm.
The next item on the agenda was the beach! We drove over the bridge into Palm Beach, past more mansions (even bigger than the ones in West Palm!), and ended up at the municipal beach in Lake Worth.
The beach was great fun. We had some nice waves and the weather was PERFECT. And I don’t really consider myself a “beach person” given that I burn really easily and can’t really swim beyond a doggie paddle.
But the best part about this beach was the ice cream store next door!
After the beach we drove around Palm Beach a little more…
Followed by dinner at Flanigan’s and an early bedtime.
Saturday was our Miami day. The Gentleman and I rarely make specific plans when we travel; instead, we tend to come up with 1 or 2 ideas (“eat Cuban food”) and then improvise around that. Cuban food is not exactly hard to find in Miami but we specifically sought out Versailles. It’s a little touristy but my dad recommended it, and since my dad was born and raised in Cuba, I trust his opinion on Cuban food.
And holy hell was this food good.
My only regret is that were too stuffed to grab anything from the attached bakery.
After lunch we drove around and ended up in Key Biscayne.
Then we did some walking around in downtown Miami followed by beers at Elwoods.
Remember how I said we tend to improvise a lot when we travel? Well, on the drive into Miami we saw a billboard for the Dania Casino and Jai Alai. “Do they actually play jai alai there?!” asked the Gentleman. Since he was driving, I consulted my phone and confirmed that yes, they do actually play jai alai there– and you can place bets on it. He was very intrigued and insisted that we go after our jaunt into Miami. I was a bit skeptical because I don’t like to gamble (and he generally doesn’t either) but he convinced me that it would make a great story. And so, after our beers in Miami, we headed back up I-95 and made a detour to watch some jai alai.
I actually had a really good time at this! We stayed for 3 out of 13 games. I didn’t bet any money but the Gentleman put a few dollars down and actually won some back on the 2nd game. I preferred the pairs matches because with 4 people they can keep the ball going longer and it moves really fast. I also enjoyed the colorful commentary from some of the gentleman seated behind us who seemed, shall we say, connected…
We spent most of Sunday hanging out in West Palm Beach. I saw my aunt and uncle who I hadn’t seen in years and had lunch at Isabela Seafood, which is a teeny Cuban seafood store in a strip mall. It’s easy to miss from the road but very worth it– my salmon and yellow rice were delicious.
We went to the beach in the afternoon, but this time we went to Lantana and brought along my dad. The weather was a bit cloudy and colder than on Friday, so we didn’t stay too long. Also, there were a a bunch of pelicans hanging around and periodically diving into the water. They must be very used being around people at the beach because they had NO problem diving in just a few feet away from us.
Monday was our last day in Florida. We were planning on going to the gym in the morning but the weather was just too beautiful to pass up another walk along the intracoastal.
We also squeezed in one more trip to the beach. We went back to Lake Worth because I was insistent on getting another cone of Key Lime Pie ice cream. No pictures from that trip because I was too busy playing in the waves like a small child. After the beach it was time to shower, pack, say goodbye to my dad, and drive back to the Fort Lauderdale airport. This was such a great trip and it was so hard to head back to work on Tuesday. I miss the beach! The silver lining is that we we still have souvenirs waiting to be opened: