West Palm Beach: A Vacation From Our Sabbatical

· by wendy · united states

Traveling isn’t that difficult, but it does wear on you. After months on the road, we “needed” a vacation! Instead of heading home straight from Asunción, we flew to Miami.

You’d think that what with all that bussing under our belts, traveling by airplane would be less strange. Think again. First, on our flight to Lima, Peru, we watched as a group of guys dressed in suits continually stood up and took photos of people and videoed from different angles of the aisle. This would have never happened on a flight to or in the U.S.! Also on the same flight, we watched a movie that ended with the events of September 11th. Not cool. Then, on our flight from Lima to Miami, a lady across the aisle from us obviously couldn’t get comfortable. I’ve never seen such weirdness.1 What’s also interesting is that I just complained about the guys photographing, but then whipped out my camera to catch this lady in action.

Upon arriving in Miami, we absolutely knew we were not in South American any longer. The bathrooms had TOILET PAPER! And it was FREE! And we were allowed to FLUSH it! And….the toilet flushed ITSELF! Shocking. Despite the glorious bathrooms, we did still feel like we were on a travel adventure since we didn’t know where we were and had to sort out how to get to our next destination. Turns out there’s a train from the Miami Airport that goes through several cities such as Boca Raton and Ft. Lauderdale, all the way to West Palm Beach. It helped ease us back into our American surroundings. Taking slow, cheap transport is completely normal and comforting to us now, I suppose.

All that worrying I did about how I would feel when I got home was delayed at least for a little while. Not only do our friends, Chris and Crystal, live in an awesome beach town which is not at all like our hometown of Cincinnati, they too are the thrifty sort. Thank goodness because we probably couldn’t have mentally handled too much of just “normal”. Even normal is expensive to us considering our current $20 daily food budget barely covers lunch at say…Chipotle. Still, we allowed for some overages and splurged a little from time to time such as to hang out at the Tiki Grill at Riviera Beach Marina. We also visited an arts and crafts show at Sailfish Marina. Hanging at marinas is not a rough life at all. You know what else doesn’t suck? Conch fritters.

The rest of our visit consisted of buying a brand new wardrobe, receiving pedicures and a haircut from Crystal (yes both of us have prettier feet now), hanging poolside and enjoying many foods and beverages. Not a bad way to return to the States!

Not only did Chris and Crystal show us a great time, they also asked us a ton of questions about our travels, so hopefully we have now talked about it enough to get most of it out of our systems. I’ve heard that when someone returns home from a journey such as ours, that they are surprised to find that no one really cares to hear about it. I’m sure this is the case and we’ve vowed to try to keep our “OMG when we were in Bolivia” and our “One time when we were in Paraguay” stories to a minimum!


Cost: $6.90 USD each one way
Distance: From Miami Airport to West Palm Beach
Duration: 1.5 hours

Tiki Waterfront Sea Grill
Waterfront restaurant with live music
200 East 13th St # A
Riviera Beach, FL 33404
(561) 845-5532

Sailfish Marina
98 Lake Drive
West Palm Beach, FL 33404
(561) 844-1724
Thursdays 6 p.m.-9 p.m.: Arts and Crafts Show with 35 vendors

1 Our friend Todd told us about a flight attendent clipping her fingernails in the aisle during one of his flights to Buenos Aires. She couldn’t be bothered to get the drinks while her fingernails were so chaotic, I guess. Anyone else find this to be inappropriate and just plain nasty?!

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