Sunday, April 5, 2015

Ft Lauderdale to Palm Beach

Brad and I arrived to Ft Lauderdale Friday afternoon and headed to Las Olas marina...home sweet home. One thing I found so different here are the stationary concrete docks. We are used to the floating ones on the west coast that move up & down with the tides, and these fixed docks can pose a challenge when boarding. Sometimes you have to use a step ladder, leap, lunge or squat...can be akward in a dress and it's quite funny! All to keep the boat secure in case of a hurricane.  
We enjoyed an easy dinner our first night at a local restaurant and tucked in early. We had an early am as our new captain "Bish" was coming aboard at 8am & our body clocks were on west coast time. Danny wasn't able to join us for our east coast run, and Brad used an agency to find a good guy and met him before he departed Florida a little over a week ago. I also interviewed him on the phone and he sounded like a nice guy with great skills as a US Coastguard captain as well as a trained chef.  
Here we are making our provisioning runs... Our rental car worked out great. Lock & load baby!
First on the task list was a trip to West Marine. This Lauderdale location is their largest "superstore" in the US. Oodles of everything you could need for boating and more! The centerpiece of the Ft. Lauderdale store is a Megayacht fly bridge displaying the nation’s largest retail presentation of marine electronics and audio systems. Pinch me!
Next on our list was Whole Foods...It was fun shopping with Bish and creating our menus as we perused the aisles. 
Upon returning to the boat & unpacking the groceries, Bish whipped up some delicious appetizers for our guests arriving that evening. We have our friends Sid & Susan joining us for the next week as we cruise north to Amelia Island, and this is a great night to start off our adventures. Fun is on the docket!
We had our Floridian friends Mike, Denise and her husband Dick join us for cocktail hour, and then they took us all to dinner on Dicks new Chris Craft. It was a gorgeous evening on the intercoastal and I absolutely love cruising it.
The interesting nugget I came across was the "no wake" manatee zones due to the endangered manatee population. If you don't know what a manatee is, they kind of look like a walrus and are also called a "sea cow". They are protected and a big dealio here in Florida...I think they literally weigh a ton and grow to ten feet long. Handsome fellows they aren't, but they do love their lettuce and are docile sea creatures.
At sundown we heard the wail of a bagpiper and he played his Scottish tunes across the bay in front of his house for about a half hour. Brad remembers him playing there ten years ago! It looks like his house is for sale now. He was a sweet man, said hello and wished us a blessed Easter Sunday. 
            Brad riding shotgun...
Here's Sid... Our cheerleader of the sea. 

We then arrived to a restaurant called "Shooters" where we docked and dined at. This place is "the" people watching spot!
Back in the day, this was a salty dog watering hole and quite the "scene"  hosting bikini contests galore... Albeit a frat party for aging gents. 
So happy that wasn't the case today. This place has been resurrected as an upscale dining spot, and much more civilized! I'm surprised that they didn't change the name of thier restaurant when they re-opened however. Too funny!

Easter morning we departed at 8am and headed north en route to Palm Beach. It looks like the locals have their own style of Easter decor. Ha!

This is what outdoor living looks like here. E-gads! I can't imagine living in a mesh cocoon outdoors. I know it's to keep the summer bugs and critters at bay, but it looks like a monkey cage. I should spot a jungle gym at any moment. 
Sid and Brad sharing some good laughs while underway...
We only cruised at 5 knots, as this kept us on time for all of the bridge openings north. Each bridge opens at various times throughout the day and Brad (aka Mr. Smartypants) had meticulously planned & plotted our course of action. It was intriguing to see the architecture of each bridge we passed. We would radio ahead to their tower to alert them of our intent & request permission to pass. 
Suzy-Q looking stylish as her vacation gets underway!
Some of the larger intercoastal residences. 

            Bish hard at work grilling 
                 up a healthy lunch. 
    And delicious it was!! He's fantastic!
A great view behind us of the following seas as we cruise up the intercoastal. 
Once again... Another bridge. This one was more like Seeping Beauty's castle.  
Intercoastal dining...options abound! I wish we had as many dock & dine options at home. 
After an enjoyable and relaxing 7 hour cruise, we arrived in Palm Beach & pulled into our slip for the next 2 nights
This is our slip neighbor... A rather odd looking electric boat that I just read about in a popular boating magazine. It's a interesting design concept for sure, just not one I'd subscribe to. 
Bish getting us tied up and tucked in for a few days. I love the marinas' golf cart & dockside service! They've thought of everything here. This über boat valet service reminds me of the ski valets at Deer Valley where they hand you Kleenex  when you get off the ski lift...but different. Ha-ha!
The weather is sublime and nice as can be. No wonder those coop'd-up snowbirds head south to escape!! It's a pretty spectacular scene. 
As soon as we docked, Brad took a long nap and woke up with the flu. Poor guy! It was a long night and I stayed with him while our friends went to dine. He felt better the next morning, but had to cancel golf that he & Sid had planned on. Such a bummer. Here's what they sadly missed...
Brad slept some more and felt well enough for he and Sid to join Suz and I for lunch while we perused Palm Beach and did some shopping. As soon as we finished lunch, he headed right back to the boat afterward to take it easy. He did pose for me luckily...while Sidster steals my patented sassy move. Such a gangster. 

The environs of Palm Beach are just picturesque and Worth Avenue is the bastion of Palm Beach shopping. 

Below is one of the little "Via's" off of Worth where smaller boutiques and quaint restaurants can be found. So charming! We saw many elderly couples dressed to the 9's, and truly decked out! They were enjoying long lunches and walks in town. So sweet to see. Everyone we met was nice as can be. 
All of the landscaping is quite lush and so well manicured. They really take great pride in their city. 
Suz and I wore ourselves out and headed back to home base and had dinner with the boys there. Poor Brad was still not feeling great so it was a nice low key evening. Tomorrow we depart for Melbourne Florida... I wonder what adventures await!

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