Now for the best part… relaxing with my love. No schedules, no obligations, no plans. Just relaxing.
Did I mention anything about how our luggage arrived in West Palm Beach? It did not arrive on the same plane that we did. Somehow it made it before we did. It was waiting in an office for us and we were just so glad to have it (though I was prepared to go on a shopping spree and determined that the company would pay for it!). No shopping spree necessary. Then when we got to the hotel and opened our luggage we found everything wet. I had wrapped my dresses in plastic bags to make sure they didn’t get snagged, but all of my normal clothes were damp. Awesome. I hung them all up to dry and made the best of it. They smelled a little funny, but I just aired them out and dealt with it. Did you know that at the fabulous Breakers that there is laundry service? For the bargain price of $12 they will launder one shirt. Heck, the shirt probably didn’t cost me $12 brand new.
My point? Once the fancy company part of our trip was done, I was left with no casual and comfortable clothes that weren’t water stained or stinky. So, after we picked up our rental car we went to the Palm Beach Outlets. I found the beloved Nike Outlet and I picked up a pair of shorts and a shirt. Did you know there is a Converse outlet? Be still, my beating heart! I was overly tempted to purchase one of every shoe in my size, but remembered that I had to be able to get all of that home. I settled for two t-shirts from the clearance rack and, after a bit more browsing, we headed down to Deerfield Beach. We checked into our hotel and were told that we had been upgraded to a king size ocean front suite on the third floor! (Drew’s Hilton Honors and work travel gives these lovely benefits.) We went up to our room and straight to the wrap around balcony. Guess what? The hotel is surrounded by palm trees. Those palm trees are precisely three stories high. It was humorous, really. If you sat on the very end and tilted your head then you could, in fact, see the ocean.
That evening we had surf & turf on the patio at Flannigan’s, a casual local place near the beach. I’m not going to lie, it was SO nice to eat ‘normal’ people food, only have one fork and knife at my place setting and drink raspberry tea from a plastic cup.
On Friday I slept until 11am and Drew had to wake me up to make sure I was okay! Oh, I was finally relaxed. It was overcast and drizzly outside, so we lounged on the couch, watched reruns of NCIS and checked the radar every so often. Finally, we decided to give the beach a go. We stopped in the gift shop for drinks and then walked right out onto the beach. (You had to walk through the pool area to exit onto the beach. Drew thinks it’s absurd that anyone would go on a beach vacation and then spend their days at the pool.) We paid the chair guy to set up two chairs and an umbrella for us (yes, that costs) and no sooner than I sat my rear in that seat… it started raining. Raining hard. We just sat under our umbrella and laughed like idiots.
The rain didn’t last long and once it stopped we laid back and enjoyed the rest of the afternoon.
We called the beach a day and headed in to shower before our 5pm couples massage. Oh yeah, couples massage! It was so enjoyable and relaxing. We should definitely do that on a regular basis. We felt awesome and chill, so we walked the 3/4 mile of boardwalk from our hotel to the town center where all the restaurants and shops were. We ate at The Whale’s Rib (though Drew kept calling it The Whale’s Tail, just to make me laugh). We waited for 45 minutes for a table and it was SO worth it. It was a really fun little joint with fresh sea food and a great atmosphere. We even went into one of the beach souvenir stores where I got a “Salt Life” t-shirt and sticker for my car (because if Alex had been there she would have been most interested in those two things).
Saturday was much sunnier and we enjoyed a great afternoon on the beach. We went out to swim and be silly and had such a great time. The waves were big enough to make me squeal and Drew convinced me that if I started swimming toward shore at just the right time then I could ride a wave. He was doing it, so I was sure that I could. As it turns out, I could not. I didn’t ride the wave, I was sucked under it. I can swim and the water was only waist deep, so being pulled under wasn’t a big deal. However, the wave really bossed me around. It pulled the hair band out of my pony tail and yanked my swim suit clear down to my belly button. Oh yeah. I’m totally serious. My one piece, strapless bathing suit was down around my belly button. It felt like an hour, but hopefully it was only a matter of seconds before I gathered my wits and pulled my suit back up. Actually, this may have been Drew’s favorite part of our entire vacation. Note to self: put the halter strap on the bathing suit BEFORE getting in the ocean.
Also, should I be offended that every time I was on the beach in a bathing suit, the Goodyear blimp showed up?
Also, once the ocean claimed my pony tail holder, I was left to the wildness of my curls soaked in salt water. You know all of those pictures of women in magazines with “beach waves”? Well, it’s a load of crap. THIS is real beach hair. At least it’s my real beach hair. Definitely not worthy of a spread in a fashion or beauty magazine.
All you can do with this hair is wash it and start over, hoping to regain some control over the mess.
That evening we walked back into town and ate at a fancier restaurant right on the beach (good thing Drew thought to make reservations the day before). We wanted to go there because the menu listed lobster mac & cheese (that I was bummed to not find at the Breakers this year) and it was recommended for the best sushi. The lobster mac & cheese wasn’t what I suspected, as it was literally a lobster tail laying on top of a bed of mac & cheese, but it was still good. Drew made sure that I tried the sushi, since my only only prior experience was disgusting. I didn’t love it, but it was okay and I’m glad I tried it. I like the California roll and the volcano roll the best. The actually raw tuna? I could do without that. Still, I feel like a big girl for trying something new and it was that much more fun because I could just imagine Alex & Emma giggling uncontrollable at my funny faces and reactions to such strange food.
We enjoyed sitting by the beach and soaking in our last night on the ocean. What a truly fabulous time we had.
Our flight home was fine and according to plan. We were a bit afraid that the expected storms would delay us, but our flight landed at XNA just minutes before it hit. I waited for our luggage while Drew went to get the truck and by the time I walked out the front doors with our bags is was pouring rain. Lightening, wind, and lots of rain. The Arkansas weather tried to kill my vacation buzz, but I didn’t let it. I honestly feel more relaxed and content to be home and in my little world than I have in a long time. I feel even more grateful than ever to have the relationship that I share with Drew. We really make a pretty great team and so very much enjoy being together, no matter the circumstance. Even stuck in an airport for 7+ hours is just an opportunity to people watch, try to spot look-a-likes of people we know and play gin rummy with our very awesome Walking Dead cards. Our vacation as a raging success and I look forward to all of our adventures together in the future.