Sat. Sept. 23, 2017:
Clearwater to Palm Beach, FL:
We drove back across Florida, back to the east coast, to Palm Beach. We stopped again at my beloved Dunkin’ Donuts so I could try the pumpkin spice flavour shot. I had forgotten to put on deodorant, so when we pulled into the parking lot I grabbed it from the trunk. I saw that some other cars were pulling in, so I left it in my purse for later and ran in for my coffee fearing a morning rush. Only once I sat down in the car with my coffee did I realize that I had already tried the pumpkin spice when we were in Boston a few years ago. I was not a fan of it, I found it too sweet. Ah well, it was not that bad the second time around. Plus it gave me an excuse to demand a second, afternoon stop for another coffee.
We passed by a guy in a parking lot selling “commemorative” Hurricane Irma t-shirts, it was super tacky and way too soon. About an hour into our 3 hour drive we stopped at another Dunkin’ Donuts. It wasn’t exactly afternoon yet, but I really needed a second coffee. Two nights on a crappy motel bed with a loud a/c amount to really crappy sleep. There was no sign of pumpkin spice coffee in bags and they only had XL t-shirts for sale. The line was so slow because of the two indecisive ladies at the front, one of whom tried to order a donut that they did not even have available, that the lady behind me gave up and went back to her car to go through the drive-thru. I was annoyed that I had to specify that I wanted a hot coffee, like duh, of course I want a hot coffee, I did not say iced coffee so by default it’s hot. It was weird. I also picked up some iced coffee at Dunkin’ for the following morning.
The daily rain came early, arriving around noon. We were staying at a resort, The Breakers, in Palm Beach. The plan for the rest of the day was to just hang out on the resort, so it’s good that the rain came early instead of messing up our relaxing afternoon. The hotel only had valet parking which pretty much settled our lunch and dinner plans. We had not passed anything on the way in that we could walk to either. The hotel was so fancy that Brent’s name was printed on the keycards. Our bathroom mirror had a small TV in it and speakers in the ceiling. From our room we had a partial ocean view. We could also see the lawn down below where the staff were setting up for a wedding.
I was starting to get hangry. I had not gotten any food at either of our Dunkin’ Donuts stops because we were going to get lunch on the way. We just didn’t anticipate not passing anything. All I’d had to eat thus far was Oreos. We wandered the resort to look at all of our food options. On the way we saw two cute green lizards. We also saw an Indian wedding, it was so weird to see hotel guests gawking and photographing and filming the celebration as if they had never seen anything like it before. We had to take a detour to get around the celebrations. We walked by the stairs down to the beach and I noticed that the ocean conditions were rated as high level of danger- no thank you. The last thing I wanted was to get swept away by a rip current.
For lunch we went to the Beachclub Bar because it closes the earliest. The Seafood Bar did not have a menu listed and was open until 11pm, making for a great dinner option. The Beachclub Bar had a similar menu to the other restaurant but with a few more choices and a nicer patio. I had the Cubano grilled panini. I had to redeem the sandwich after the atrocity I had eaten at the Miami baseball game. I was tempted by the crabcakes but there’s no way a seafood bar doesn’t serve crabcakes. The chimichurri fries on the side were ok. The sandwich was the real standout. I also ordered a sangria slushie, finally fulfilling my desire for a frozen alcoholic drink.
We figured we would be done lunch by about 3pm and we would head back to the hotel room to wait out the rest of the UV. I wanted to catch up writing in my book and Brent still had a few pages left to read. The Stella Artois cider was the perfect drink for this. Safe from the threat of the UV, we headed out to check out all 4 pools. The first one was too cold for my liking. At the second pool I opted for the hot tub instead. It felt so nice to sit in the warm water and float among the bubbles. The best part was that there was no one there. I could have stayed in there for hours. I missed the third pool because I was in the bathroom. The fourth pool I dipped my toes in and decided it was way too cold, it was in the shade too. I would have gone into the hot tub but there were weirdos in there. I sat on a deck chair while Brent waded out into the ocean. I was not having it. I sat and watched as the ocean currents and waves almost knocked him off his feet. I also watched as dumb surfers tried to surf the small waves. They kept falling. It was great.
Eating Oreos while reading in bed is possibly the best way to spend an afternoon. We were both quite tired, we queued up Arrival but Brent ended up falling asleep halfway through. Afterwards we watched Atlanta. At around 9pm we headed down to the Seafood Bar for dinner, even though Brent wasn’t all that hungry. We hadn’t eaten in a while, unless you count the half bag of Oreos I devoured.
The crabcakes at Seafood Bar were everything I wanted. The difference between ti being an appetizer and a main was one extra crabcake and a side of asparagus. Not worth it. Especially given that Brent had ordered a large seafood and linguine dish, so when we traded halfway we each got just the right amount of food: half a main and half an appetizer. The seafood was good but the noodles were way too salty. I couldn’t finish my portion of the noodles. I couldn’t resist ordering the blackberry lemonade: it had house-infused vodka and freshly made lemonade. On the way out we passed by the bar and saw that indeed, the bar was an aquarium top. Alas, there were no seats. On the way out we saw some horrible looking middle-aged, overly tanned, ladies in way-too-tight way-too-short outfits. A real live, cougar sighting, one may say.