Weekend in West Palm Beach, FL

So I got up this morning and it was nice out by me – but I checked the weather and not so nice down south.  I didn’t rush.  I left Gainesville at about 9 am and had a nice 5 hour drive to Hollywood, FL.  I went through rain and sunshine, more rain and clouds and then a bit more sun.  It was a nice easy drive though a bit long.  About the last hour I put the top down and enjoyed the 78 degree breezes.  I arrive at the Riptide Hotel to meet Bill at 2:15.  This hotel is located right on the beach and is rated the #6 hotel in the area by Trip Adviser.  It was okay, nice tiki bar and on the beach side just over the boardwalk.  Ocean views from all the rooms, though the rooms were only your typical motel type, but they did have a mini kitchen with fridge etc.  They had live music at the tiki bar and if the weather had been better I’m sure it would have been a great place to hang out.

Bill and I walked down the beach and back out to AIA and ate at a Greek Restaurant on the Intercoastal, Giorgio’s Bakery & Bistro.  There was a deck out back and you can sit there and eat overlooking the water and see the dolphins swim about.  The food was typical.  We ate and talked for a few hours and then it was time for me to head over to West Palm Beach.

I stopped for gas on the way and got to witness an accident.  A drunk man was apparently having his like Yorkie drive and the dog hit the car in front of him while the woman was pumping her gas.  The dog was not very apologetic, nor was his owner who just said it was the dog not him and wanted to pump his gas and be on his way.  The woman had other ideas and called the cops.  Morale of the story is even if you’re drunk you shouldn’t let your dog drive – there is a reason they don’t give dogs driving licenses in the first place.

I finished my drive over to Laura’s in Lake Worth and abandoned the earlier drama of the day relaxing on the couch with sushi for dinner and a movie on the TV.  On Saturday morning we decided on our plan of attack to see some actual sights of West Palm Beach. According to Trip Adviser list of things to do and see there are actually “sights” in the area.  We choose the Ann Norton Sculpture Garden #3 on the list, The Purple Lotus Kava Bar #5 on the list and, CityPlace #7 on the list.

They were all pretty close together and easy to find.  We paid $5 to get in the Sculpture Garden.  The sculptures were okay.  Mostly made of brick and looking like old chimneys from burned down houses (the artist was from Alabama where this was prominent during the civil war era).  The gardens were very nice, pleasant and quiet.  It was great place for taking pictures and enjoying the views of the Intercoastal, but it didn’t take very long to see the whole thing.

Next we hit the Purple Lotus – let me tell you about Kava.  According to Wikipedia “contrary to coffee and alcohol, and many pharmaceuticals, Kava is known to be non-addictive, and to have no tolerance buildup. Medical literature sometimes claim it has a “potential for addiction” because “it produces mild euphoria and relaxation.”  I’d say it would be tough to become addicted because the stuff is GROSS tasting.  I mean really gross.  You get about 8 oz in a coconut skin cup and you are supposed to drink it like a shot all in one gulp (pretty large shot if you ask me).  Then you chase it with a piece of fruit; they provided apple wedges (one per person).  You are supposed to say Boo-yah which we were told was luck – a toast for luck but according to urbandictionary.com it is more like “An annoying exclamation, often uttered by planetarium-headed freshmen who think they’re karate kid, often in a high-pitched, grating, nasal tone.”  I’m thinking that about sums it up.

Once you drink (and you better finish it all because one slice of apple is not enough) your tongue becomes numb.  You are supposed to become relaxed (didn’t notice) and stress free (already was).  The stuff costs $5 and they have more expensive varieties as well.  Don’t get suckered for more than the $5 because aside from a really bad taste and numb tongue this stuff does nothing.

The review I had read mentioned the decor of the bar and made it sound so cool and hip.  “Come and enjoy the Purple Lotus Kava Bar and our laid back atmosphere, our ambient beats, our relaxing Kava and our sense of community.”  Okay, for me chairs on the sidewalk with some plants to block the view of traffic or inside at a long bar with wooden stool and some exotic masks on the wall does not “laid back and ambient atmosphere” make.  Be wary when you get that kind of talk but no pictures to back it up.  I’m just saying.

On to CityPlace.  This is a nice shopping area with tons of bars, restaurants and outdoor seating areas.  Of course the shopping here is good but really nothing better or different than your local mall (GAP, Victoria Secret, Cheesecake Factory, Blue Martini).  It was fine; we had fun and wasted some time. We had dinner at a Greek place (must be the mood I was in).  This time at the Taverna Opa which again was fine.  We ate outside and upstairs overlooking the shoppers rushing about with their packages.

All in all a nice relaxing weekend but how any of those places made the top 10 of anything I’m not sure.

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