#39 December 2011 New Smyrna - Merritt Island - Boca Raton - Ft. Lauderdale - Marathon
|Tree within a tree|
|Our friend, Duffy|
Always a treat that we anticipate is anchoring in our friend, Bobbi's, backyard on Merritt Island, and visiting with her. Duffy's prepared to fend for himself while the 3 of us go to our favorite Mexican restaurant there.
|A tranquil reflection and a benefit of anchoring|
Friends in Ft. Pierce, Marlene and Chuck, graciously let us tie to their dock while we had our dinghy repaired. We used their car and enjoyed some of the history of their city.
|One of the gardens at the resort|
Boca is known for its affluent social community and high income demographic. It has a strict development code banning outdoor car dealerships within the municipality. No billboards are permitted in the city. Many buildings have Mediterranean and Spanish architectural themes, initially inspired by Addison Mizner, and significant landscaping is in place.
|Dome in entry of an entry!|
During the city's early history during the Florida land boom, Addison Mizner's Ritz-Carlton Cloister Inn was built in 1926 on 356 acres and later renamed the Boca Raton Resort and Club. Today it's often referred to as the "pink hotel" and its 1969 towering addition is visible from miles away on the Intracostal Waterway. Its architecture reflects Spanish-Mediterranean, Moorish and Gothic influences. Hidden Gardens, barrel tile roofs, archways, ornate columns, finials, intricate mosaics, fountains and beamed ceiling of ornate pecky cypress characterize this magnificent place. I spent an afternoon being pampered with the 4 ritual baths, steam room, inhalation room, and the best massage I've ever had. That experience defies description. Each attendant spoke with a different accent and I was "Miss Laura" to each of them. If you're from the 50's and remember the TV show Queen for the Day---Queen for the Day, I was!
|Entry to the Cloister Inn|
Our sweet friends, Reid and Lynn,gifted us with "free range" at this Boca Raton Resort and Marina. For a peek into the luxury, see www.bocaresort.com. This resort employs 2200 representing 60 nations.
|A Portion of Boca Raton Resort|
|A mere $13,900,900|
|Wine bottles line arched doorways in one of the many resort bars.|
Interestingly, I learned that Boca is the spam capital of the world, being the source of a significant proportion of all spam generated worldwide. Given the area's appeal, the personal fortunes of typical spammers,and the area's notorious past as a fave of organized crime, this really shouldn't be too surprising. The city was once called the "only coastal city in FL where there are more sharks on land than in the water" and has been described as the "Capone-Chicago of cyber fraud". Again, "old news" but in 2007 it was reported that there were nine known gangs operating in Boca Raton.
|Boca Raton Resort and Marina|
Despite the magnificence of the homes (see run-of-the-mill mansion below), the yachts, mega-yachts, and super-yachts are unbelievable to behold! One small marina had some 80' to 125' yachts.
|An "average size" Boca Raton Mansion|
|Just another little shanty as we bid Boca adieu!|
|This guy was larger than a dinner plate. He had dozens of family and friends swimming in his company. Did you know the jelly fish is the only immortal animal?|
|Bill and Kelly|
This is definitely a "happnin'" place with a bunch of old folks who love to and are very adept at partying. There is music within walking distance every night of the week and it's actually music to which us old geezers can cut a rug.
We're also trying to whip ourselves in shape by following our very fit leader, Tom, on bike rides. Unfortunately, exercise doesn't "keep" and we've been lax for a month or or two.
Bill's project while we're here is to install a new freezer and refrigeration system. I have a list of sewing projects to knock out. Hopefully we can find time and energy to take care of the boat's needs after living like teenagers on spring break!
This month we celebrated 3 years of full-time cruising AKA "living aboard". The learning curve was straight up the first year but now we feel we're on an even keel with all things being easier resulting in our loving it more. Wouldn't go back to land for anything. We realize this life style is "temporary" causing us to be thankful for our health, agility, and physical ability to live as Sea Urchins.