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Delicious shores and endless brunches of South Florida

When your daughter lives in a tropical paradise, there is no reason you shouldn’t hop on one of the many steeply discounted air fares for a visit. Some of the fares are pennies compared with the fares of old. If you’re willing to travel light, you can stuff that backpack overhead and wing off to luscious locations. I am all in for sleeping on a pull-out couch if it means I can get to the beach.

Going to school in West Palm Beach was an eye-opening adventure in culture and location, the diversity itself blossoming like a lotus flower to her. Cuban eateries, island food and the heady mix of difference was enough to entice her to stay after graduation and put down some roots. Last year she moved south to Fort Lauderdale, where she is thriving with her handmade clothing business.

I’ll admit I had never been to the Atlantic Florida coast before she moved there. I’ve been to the East Coast many times but never to South Florida, and it was an eye-opening experience. We tooled around Palm Beach, which is just across the bridge from West Palm, and the decadence there is stunning.

I grew up visiting Sarasota across the way and located on the Gulf of Mexico, but the upper-crust homes I saw on Palm Beach were jaw-dropping. Our daughter, during college, would bike out onto the island and babysit at some of these lux homes. It’s a completely different vibe, and my husband and I took to it immediately.

When we mention we were visiting Fort Lauderdale, many people would say, “Oh, are you taking a cruise?” There’s a huge port there where cruise ships begin their journey, and for some the only time they go to this city.

As we discovered, it’s a jewel of a place filled with the most beautiful beaches you might see as well as home to the best Cuban breakfast sandwich I have ever sunk my teeth into. There are tiny spots everywhere that have affordable specials, inexpensive happy hours and beautiful white sand to sink your toes into.

My husband and I took off for the beach every day. The skies were azure, the waves and the water the perfect temperature in April, and we lazed like two cats in a sunbeam. We have been working like maniacs in 2017, after coming off a less-than-stellar 2016, and knew that a week in the sun would give us the tenacity to keep going.

Driving forward into the seconds and minutes of a year and immersing yourself in work and living is how to keep pressing. We also know that never taking a minute to breathe burns you out. This slipping away into the air on a jetliner and landing on sandy shores? It is sometimes the only way to revive.

I remember a movie I watched as a teenager in the ‘80s, the rabid movie hound that I am, and it was a remake of the classic called “Where the Boys Are.” Four college girls drive south to Fort Lauderdale for spring break, and adventure ensues. It sounds like a typical throw-away teen movie, but the vibrancy of the location always stayed with me: the lush tropical beach and the muted pastels that color the homes and businesses that line the curvy state Road A1A. It seemed the perfect place to vacation at the time, set to a killer soundtrack of synth pop tunes.

As an adult it’s still the perfect place to vacation. Beach culture makes you shed your properly attired self and forces flip flops and messy hair to take its place. Your real-life cares melt away as your skin begins to glow from the sun, injecting a much-needed shot of vitality that sinks deep into your bones, enabling you to go home and continue the work before you.

Our eight glorious days flew by along with the dear faces we stayed with and left behind on the ever-pounding blue ocean of South Florida. I can still feel the warmth on my face, see the tan lines that haven’t yet begun to fade and remember the endless brunches and laughter. Brunching is serious business there.

Never stop traveling, seeking, doing. It can be done on a dime if you have the gumption to make it happen.

Published: April 14, 2017
New Article ID: 2017704149973