I had left Key West an hour or so before and the mid-morning gripes were affecting my vitals.
The Blue Lagoon Motel Resort didn’t provide free breakfast so I decided to head out and stop en route somewhere.
The day was grey and a little overcast with the odd spot of rain.
Going back up the Keys I think the view was slightly better, even if the weather wasn’t. (see a map of my travels so far here)
Stopped at the Cracked Conch Café in Marathon about half way up. Three egg omelette with sea food. Not sure what was in it, though it did promise conch and shrimp and other seafood bits.
I enjoyed it with toast and home fries rather than fruit. Not keen on that whole sweet and savoury thing they do. That is why I have resisted pancakes with maple syrup so far on this trip.
Looking at the reviews of the place just before I sat down to write this, they are “mixed” to say the least.
The place has no air conditioning so all the doors and windows were wide open. This is a small source of irritation to me. Ever the anal retentive, if I am alone I love to read the paper as I eat.
The Miami Herald like many of the newspapers here is printed on very thin paper and it is in a broadsheet format. End result it is like a sail.
Also, for some reason American newspapers seem to spread the stories over different pages and different sections.
Probably harks back to the old cliff hanger days of the West or the western.
It has been a running gag for years in the show and on the blog about the dying cowboy expiring before he can tell where the gold is hidden. Still makes me chuckle.
In newspaper terms it would be:
“The gold is…is….. “(Cont’d Section B page 6)
So every time you try and read a story you have to do a lot of searching and a massive amount of folding in order to get the details.
“Gulf oil latest. BP today…” (State D5)
“Evangelicals frown on yoga…” (Lifestyle C6)
“Billionaire facing 30 years in jail over DUI death…” (National. B3)
Try doing this with a howling gale and a fork in one hand!
Rose was attentive and kindly.
“I’ll get to you before my big party arrives” she promised.
When I left half-an-hour later there was still no sign of any big party.
She was wearing a T-shirt exhorting you to vote for a political candidate. The back of the shirt said “VOTE”; the front told you for whom.
I am an old fashioned Englishman at large in a foreign country.
Rose was probably in her late 50’s.
No, this was not a branch of “Hooters” and no, I wasn’t going to stare at her front in an attempt to get all the details for this blog. Back to one of the T-shirts from yesterday:
“Please stop your breasts pointing at my eyes”
Full of conch, egg and other seafood-related stuff, I carried on north.
Today was going to be a dawdling day. I reckoned an easy drive would be to Boca Raton.
Fairly hellish on the interstate with traffic jams and about $6 worth of tolls to pay until I arrived.
I settled on this place as it resonated with me. I had heard of it but was not entirely sure why.
When I arrived, I knew immediately.
You need money to be here. A look at the Wikipedia (so not necessarily 100% accurate) list of its residents and you know why the seafront road seemed to be a mass of gated properties and “Clubs/Resorts”. Valet parking and uniformed flunkies and barriers and security were in evidence everywhere.
Jon Bon Jovi. Jason Bonham. Jennifer Capriati. Andy Roddick . Bernhard Langher and Chris Evert apparently live here. Ernie Wise had a place here too.
No point in stopping here, I thought, so a further eight or nine miles brought me to the comparatively downmarket town of Delray Beach.
Booked into the Colony Hotel built in 1926. It has an old fashioned feel to it and is not that expensive…on the surface
“Loretta will show you to your room” said Bill the rather camp receptionist.
I was on the first floor.
Loretta had already opened the gate to the rather rustic elevator.
I got in and said:
“My, this has a few years on it”
She said nothing.
One floor up. She pulled the gate back and said:
“Room 103 round the corner”.
I gave her a dollar. It seemed a lot for so little effort.
Tipping is endemic and I can understand the need for it, bearing in mind the paltry wages that are paid: $7.25 per hour around £5?
However, apparently if you are in a job where you get tips, the hourly rate falls to $4.19 per hour. Less than £3 per hour. With that in mind I hoped that Loretta had a busy day travelling between floors.
However, a walk up East Atlantic Avenue and it is obvious that everything is about money.
Nearly every restaurant boasts a greeter and valet parking. I felt very out of place.
My luck was in as there was “Big Al’s” which was a walk up sort of place with a few tables outside.
Philly Cheese Steak. Fab. When I had finished and was clearing the detritus away, I realised I had so much melted cheese down my front I was not really going to go anywhere after this without people pointing and laughing.
I paraded (in a rebellious student sort of fashion) up and down the street for a while allowing the “Preppies” and the “Princesses” to get a good look at this wild-haired unshaven food-stained man. Greeters didn’t greet and the valet parking guys ignored.
Back to the room with its “Key Largo” rotating ceiling fan and noticed a laminated sheet headed:
“Restore, Rejuvenate & Renew”. It was a flyer for Yoga classes. On the reverse was guide with photographs for a 5 to 10 minute workout described as “In Room Yoga”.
I just hope for their sakes no Evangelical Christians turn up.