The water temperature here in South Florida is eighty degrees. I am watching the weather in New England. Denver, too. After Thanksgiving, my daughter and her boyfriend flew back to zero degrees in Colorado. Today the storms across the midwest are headed towards the mid-Atlantic and New England. My husband now admits he’s glad we’re here. So much so, he joined me for a walk this weekend.
We hadn’t been to the beaches of Boca Raton yet. Driving along Route A1A from Boynton to Delray and through Highland Beach, the first public parking we came to in Boca was at Spanish River Park. A public park with plenty of parking spaces. A pleasant surprise. We set off down a trail to a boat and canoe launch on the Intracoastal side. It reminded me of a wooded trail I used to walk at Stratham Hill Park, not far from my house in New Hampshire, without the hill climb.
Picnic tables and grills can accomodate well over a hundred gatherings.
Sunset was a ways off, but dark rainclouds were rolling in. It didn’t deter us from continuing our walk. It was still warm, getting a little wet is not a problem in Florida. Sometimes it’s a welcome way to cool off, although today the temperature was perfect.
It was not as dark as it appears in the above photo, it’s the clouds moving in from the west. It really looked more like this:
These guys passed by and made me smile. Love the palm tree canoe, the epitome of the tropical lifestyle.
We wandered through more picnic areas, trying to find one of the tunnels we heard about that allows you to access the beach without crossing busy A1A. Families and groups of young people were barbecuing and celebrating. People love to decorate a picnic down here. They bring balloons and matching table cloths. Music was playing and the aroma of steak and burgers filled the air.
At the entrance to one of the tunnels, we found a plaque commemorating the barefoot mailmen who traveled the beach between Palm Beach and Miami, delivering mail in the early 1880’s. It was a three day trip each way, walking barefoot along the surf line. One of the mail carriers actually drowned in the line of duty. Talk about “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”
We passed through the tunnel onto a beautiful stretch of beach.
This sign made me slightly nervous. Warning. Sea lice may be present. I wasn’t planning on swimming but the sign didn’t say whether the lice were in the water or the beach sand or the tall beach grass. Do they get in your hair like the other kind of lice? I immediately felt itchy and started obsessing about sea lice.
Rich told me to forget about it as raindrops started to fall. The clouds were dark and heavy so we walked down the beach to a lifeguard tower with an overhang and hung out for awhile, admiring the view. Looking north:
There’s nothing quite like a cloud covered Florida sky. We were rewarded with a rainbow.
The beach attendant had told us the park closed at 5:27 p.m., a rather arbitrary time. “It’s based on the time of the sunset,” Rich said but I think he was making that up.
The clock in my car said 5:27. It took some time to find the exit and when we finally found the exit gate it was locked. Our friendly attendant who let us in for free despite not being residents of Boca had skated at 5:27 and not a minute later. Rich wondered if this might turn into a horror movie. A Night in Spanish River. We eventually found an open gate and drove towards downtown Boca Raton in search of a restaurant.
I knew the area well, I walked here often when I worked a temp job nearby, through the fountains of Boca. I also attended an anti-gun rally in the park. I knew there were lots of restaurants nearby, a world of cuisines to choose from.
It didn’t feel like Christmas, but as we passed the nativity scene Rich pointed out that the setting was authentic. There are palm trees in Bethlehem. This is true. Snow has nothing to do with Christmas.
My friend Kathy King sent me a very funny video about snowbirds. After spending all day Friday trying to obtain affordable healthcare in the U.S., I got a laugh out of the line about bringing six months of medication to Florida. The video was produced by Medipac Travel Insurance because no Canadian is foolish enough to cross the border into the country with the world’s most expensive healthcare without purchasing travel health insurance.
I still need to actually sign up for a plan now that I am registered. Follow me later this week, when I have a day off to do this time consuming task.