This entry contains my second and final batch of pictures from my South Florida trip last week. The pictures here were taken mostly in and near Deerfield Beach, Fla. (my third such visit there this year as I noted in my last entry).
The surf as seen from Deerfield Beach, Fla., on a hot South Florida day, 12:22PM, Aug. 2, 2009. This was part of a round-trip approximately 9 mile walk from near the Deerfield Beach pier to the Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse and back.
August 1, 2009 ...
Picking up from my previous entry, my dad and I drove up from Key West to Deerfield Beach, Fla., after he decided that he would not be moving to the former place from Flagler Beach. There was no reason to stay there for the whole time.
Here we were riding north on A1A through Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, located north of Fort Lauderdale proper, 4:22PM, Aug. 1, 2009
The Hillsboro Inlet Park is located at the edge of Pompano Beach, Fla., next to the Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse. The inlet marks an access point between the Intracoastal Waterway and the open Atlantic Ocean. Reaching this lighthouse figured in a long, hot, chafed walk the following day.
We continued north on A1A to Deerfield Beach, Fla., where we stayed in a place that I KNEW the previous two times I was there I would stay in my dad and I ever were there: the Royal Palm Motel. (The other two times I stayed with Gary in his landlord's condo in nearby Boca Raton while our traveling companions -- LP in January and Chris T. in June -- stayed, respectively, in the Comfort Inn and Howard Johnson Plaza Resort.
Traveling in style ...
Here we arrive in style in Room 10 at the Royal Palm Motel, 5:08PM, Aug. 1, 2009. My dad travels with cardboard boxes and plastic bags for luggage. The larger green duffel bag is mine, the smaller dark one is his. I believe Queen Elizabeth II travels this way to Sandringham.
The room was large with a kitchen area and an old window a/c that had a hard time trying to cool the room.
This was a bit earlier when I walked over to the beach at Deerfield Beach, Fla., 5:55PM, Aug. 1, 2009
Tropical moonlit South Florida night ...
The waxing gibbous Moon rises through the silhouetted coconut palm trees, Deerfield Beach, Fla., 8:32PM, Aug. 1, 2009
August 2, 2009 ...
The next day featured the round trip 9 mile walk south to the Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse and back. The pictures were taken along the beach during that walk.
A lone coconut palm at the end of the pedestrian promenade along South Ocean Blvd. (also, confusingly, called SE 21st Avenue) and SE 4th Street, Deerfield Beach, Fla., 12:18PM, Aug. 2, 2009.
I'm reposting this picture from two entries ago. It is a picture of yours truly walking in the surf in Deerfield Beach, Fla., 12:37PM, Aug. 2, 2009.
Oooh, that Sun was fierce. I had to be slathered way up on SPF50 suntan lotion. I also wore a t-shirt, even when I went into the ocean. Unfortunately, I didn't put on enough suntan lotion below the knees and I got rather burned down there, esp. on the walk back.
The weather during most of my six days in South Florida, except for the first afternoon, was hot and somewhat abnormally "dry" with fewer than average numbers of diurnal thunderstorms. Only occasionally a few showery cumulus congestus clouds rolled in from the Atlantic, esp. in the morning hours.
A billowing cumulus congestus clouds lurking about six miles offshore to the east-southeast, Deerfield Beach, Fla., 12:37PM, Aug. 2, 2009
The view to the northeast from Hillsboro Beach -- the adjoining, VERY upscale residential town just south of touristy Deerfield Beach, Fla., 1:54PM, Aug. 2, 2009.
We repeatedly stopped so that I could jump into the ocean. The result was that I was wet and dry, wet and dry, except (wearing bathing trunks and boxers underneath them), I sort of got chafed down there.
Here is the view looking due south from the surf, Hillsboro Beach, Fla., 2:01PM, Aug. 2, 2009. The Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse was just coming into view with my crummy cellphone camera.
The lighthouse is just barely visible from Deerfield Beach during the day. At night, its white flashing 20-second interval light -- rotating clockwise as seen from overhead -- is easily visible.
This is probably right about where we should have stopped and turned around to go back.
By early afternoon, the sky had "dried out" with no shade and shower-producing billowing cumulus clouds in the sky. The only thing in the sky visible in the picture below is the distant blimp.
That is my dad farther ahead in this image. The bright white object shimmering in the Sun in front of the lighthouse is actually a series of slanting metal roofs on a large structure at the Hillsboro Club.
The Hillsboro Club, it turns out, is a very exclusive, posh combo golf - swim - and - beach club. I did not know that when I had to run across it barefoot, desperately looking for a hose I didn't find (please see below for explanation), and then slipping as a confused gatekeeper in his little enclosed space looked on, kindly opening the gate for us.
After a two hour and 15-minute, approx. 4-1/2 mile walk, we made it to this lighthouse. It's a 136 foot high octagonal skeletal with cylinder structure made of iron constructed in 1907, with a second-order bivalve Fresnel lens.
The lighthouse was automated in 1974, and (after going out in 1992) was renovated with its 400 pounds of mercury (which was used to float the rotating mechanism) was removed and a new specially designed ball bearing installed so that the Fresnel lamp could be re-lit in 1999 and (after a ball bearing failure) was re-lit in Jan. 1999 and re-re-lit in Aug. 2000.
Today, the lighthouse stands at the entrance to the Hillsboro Inlet and is operated by the U.S. Coast Guard, which as a small station there.
This is a view of the little "off limits" Coast Guard station with the Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse behind the bungalows and palm trees, 2:28PM, Aug. 2, 2009.
We had left the beach and -- violating a bunch of no trespassing signs, but unimpeded by any fences -- we walked onto the grounds of the Hillsboro Club.
There was a conveniently located hose for me to wash the sand off my bare feet on the Coast Guard grounds, but my dad (for probably the first time ever in his life) thought it a bad idea to violate the no trespassing sign.
In the end, I ran across the blistering blacktop and onto rough course grass (in front of people) to find a place to put on my sneakers after wiping away the sand. I never did find a hose.
The REALLY WEIRD aspect to this story is what I discovered tonight in this write up about the Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse. I specifically refer to a discussion of the Barefoot Mailman Statue located on the grounds of the Coast Guard Station and what the historical meaning of that is. Again, I did not even know about this until tonight when I was looking up info about the lighthouse itself. Odd.
As it is, the whole thing could have been avoided if I had brought my sandals.
That is my final picture from the walk. What happened is we got out of the Hillsboro Club grounds (I had my sneakers on by that point) onto A1A. We walked over the drawbridge to a small shopping area on the other side of the Hillsboro Inlet Park to a pizza place in an otherwise nearly empty mini-shopping area. The guy behind the counter had a computer with internet access and he looked up a taxi cab for us. It was the Yellow Cab with the number 954-777-7777.
Long story short, no frickin' taxi cab showed up after 30 minutes and two phone calls to two truly clueless dispatchers, and we WALKED back. The first part was pure hell along nearly shoulder-less A1A in the blistering heat. This was the WORST part of the trip. As for my dad, recall he is 68 years old. You suck, Yellow Cab.
After about a mile and a half, we found an access point and returned beach side and continued the remainder of the walk in the intense, cloudless sunlight at the edge of the surf. I wore suntan lotion and a towel over my head in between jumping in the ocean on occasion.
Aug. 3, 2009 ...
The next day we did laundry at the Coin Cove Laundromat, pictured here at 11:17AM, Aug. 3, 2009. We also walked to a nearby very large Publix, where we bought lunch that we brought back to the motel room, which had a full refrigerator.
Later we went to a happy hour at the Oceans 234 restaurant. I have not mentioned what was ultimately a lot of crummy service at the three places I had gone to on previous occasions, including Flanigan's Seafood Bar & Grill, the Whale Rib, and the Patio Bar & Grill in the Howard Johnson, although on the second night I went back there and it was much better. Service in all these places had been much better during my first two visits.
Yours truly having a vodka cranberry drink at Oceans 234 restaurant, Deerfield Beach, Fla., 4:56PM, Aug. 3, 2009
The "Reflectionary of Me ..."
Evening fell on my final full day in Florida ...
Here a nearly full Moon rises up over the Atlantic and the coconut palm trees in the foreground, Deerfield Beach, Fla., 8:16PM, Aug. 3, 2009
It turned out that my friend Brian was in Miami trying close a deal on some real estate and that he was planning to go to Fort Lauderdale that night. He drove the extra 15 miles to Deerfield Beach and met my dad and me at the Patio Bar & Grill. My dad went back to the room and Brian and I took off on a four-hour, high-speed, whirlwind tour of three gay bars in Fort Lauderdale, not to mention (as our first stop) the Seminole Casino Coconut Creek.
I'm not including pictures of that since it just makes no sense. As when Brian and I went to Las Vegas in 1997, I didn't gamble on this very abbreviated gambling expedition.
Aug. 4, 2009 (leaving Florida) ...
My first bona fide Elvis Sighting ...
A journey of a 1,000 miles (well, 902 miles from FLL to DCA) ...
... as shown here on Spirit Airlines flight 394 approximately 50 miles off the South Carolina coastline at 39,000 feet, around 3:37PM, Aug. 4, 2009 (Yes, I turned on my cellphone camera briefly) ...
OK, that's all for now. I will avoid any political or weather discussions right now. My next update will be toward the end of the week.