Emigration Diary: Alligators and Lobster Skin
My sister lives in West Palm Beach, Florida and George and I finally made it down there to visit last weekend. We took advantage of living with other adults who can look after our children and went. This was only our second weekend alone since the eldest was born and probably my last bit of breathing space before my training starts in the summer so it was a trip we both needed. I spent some time in a pre-vacation salon as New Yorkers do and arrived there with an impressive tan. Chemical, yes but the first time I have ever been brown. Even George kept double checking me.
I liked West Palm a lot. The weather was a bit stormy for the first two days but even so the temperature was perfect for walking around the surprisingly many little bars and restaurants, all heavily advertising various happy hour deals on cocktails and appetizers. Although, the pool was a little chilly, the hot tub was delicious, even in the rain, possibly even more so because of it. Half-joking I demanded to be shown alligators and the next thing I knew, we were kayaking down the Loxahatchee River through eerie, overhanging trees, flanked by seven-foot-long alligators and whatever other intimidating creatures that lurked under the black swamp water only inches from our plastic boats.
On our last day, after picking up supplies from a supermarket with valet parking, we headed to Palm Beach to experience the gorgeously fine sand and warm soupy sea. It’s hard to believe that this was still the Atlantic Ocean. I spent too much time here buried, undisturbed in a book and as we ate dinner later I became acutely aware of a familiar hot, stinging across the backs of my thighs. My light golden glow of a tan had been replaced with a roaring ruby-red burn causing me to limp around like an old lady. You can take the girl out of Ireland, I guess but there’s no shedding that Irish skin.
So we’re back in New York now where Memorial Day has passed, the pool is open and it is officially summer. It’s looking like it’ll be quite a stressful, busy one for me, I’m glad I had the opportunity to escape to paradise for a bit before diving in.