"To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield"
- Alfred Lord Tennyson, 1833

"live deep and suck out all the marrow of life"
- Henry David Thoreau, 1845

"Some guys, they just give up living
And start dying little by little, piece by piece
Some guys come home from work and wash up,
And go racin' in the streets."
- Bruce Springsteen, 1977

"...to the heart, there's no time for you to waste.
You won't find your precious answers now
by staying in one place."
- Frank Turner, 2009

"The best things in life aren't things.
They're living and breathing."
- Michael Franti , 2011

"I owned every second that this world could give,
I saw so many places, the things that I did"
- Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic, 2014

All written content and photos by Rob Fulfer unless otherwise indicated.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Singing about Singer Island

We took a nice quiet beach trip over the 4th of July weekend to Singer Island just north of West Palm Beach, Florida. Unlike most of our trips which are pretty active and we usually have to come home to rest from them, this was a great time to just relax on the beach and pretty much do nothing. We flew into Ft. Lauderdale via some free Southwest flight credits and drove north stopping in Lake Worth for a quick bite of lunch at one of our favorite little South Florida delis called Too Jays. We arrived at our hotel in the torrential downpour of a nasty thunderstorm, but the weather quickly improved and obliged us the whole weekend with mostly sunny skies and a nice sea breeze to push the humidity away.
We stayed at the Singer Island Hilton, a beach-side property we stumbled upon during our last visit to this area. While it's a bit older hotel than we anticipated and was going through some renovation, our room was quiet, clean and had a nice ocean view (photo below) for a respectable price, plus we earned valuable Hilton-Points we can use for free lodging during our upcoming trip to Ireland. The beach it sits on is clean and wide with great swimming.
Besides the beach and the Hilton-Points, our biggest reason for selecting this particular location is because it is very near one of our favorite restaurants in South Florida, Captain Charlie's Reef Grill which we have driven 50 miles one-way to get to before (see previous blog). Yep, it's just that good and it was our destination that first evening we arrived. The long menu of specials is hand-written each day (photo below) and we chose to start from it with an incredible T-WA (tropical western Atlantic) shrimp appetizer that Ashlee has proclaimed one of the best dishes she has EVER had. Our entrees were sesame salmon and blackened tripletail (a fairly common Atlantic fish similar in taste to snapper). Both dishes were excellent. We got desserts to go (too stuffed to even think about dessert after our dinner). We chose the pineapple cobbler and banana/mango cake (more like bread). These were both quite enjoyable later on back in our beach-side room.
We were going to go to Capt. Charlie's every night, but then thought that sounded a little weird, so after a great day lounging on the beach with an occasional dip in the cool, refreshing ocean, we decided for a change the second night for dinner. We headed over to the lovely (and new) Garden Mall area and found the Yard House Restaurant. This is a favorite small-number chain of ours that we discovered out in Las Vegas recently. Not only do they have 100 beers on tap (which Rob loves), but their food is excellent. We had delicious chicken lettuce wraps for our appetizer and an Asian chicken salad and a hot pastrami sandwich infused with jalapenos for our dinner entrees'. Can you tell this trip was all about eating and relaxing? After dinner we caught a showing of "Away We Go" at the mall's nice movie theatres. It was a great quirky little movie that we were happy to catch here since it's in somewhat limited release across the country.
Saturday, the 4th of July, was another grand day on the beach. The crowds picked up a bit from the previous day, but it still wasn't packed thanks to Hilton's private beach. We had planned to go back to Capt. Charlie's that evening for dinner and were greatly disappointed (but not really surprised since it is a local establishment) to see they were closed for the holiday. Guess we should have asked about that on our first night there. Glumly, we opted for our second choice a bit further south in W. Palm Beach at another very nice mall complex called City Place. From some earlier research Rob wanted to check out a place called Brewzzi (yes, more for the beer than the food - see his beer blog for more info on that). It was a very nice restaurant and the food was pretty good, but it just didn't compare to The Reef Grill. After dinner we parked in downtown West Palm and strolled around their free Independence Day celebration called "4th on Flagler." They had closed off busy Flagler Avenue along the causeway and had music stages and vendors set up as tons of people milled about waiting on what was sure to be a huge fireworks show over the water at dark. We planned on staying for it, but the humidity and the tiredness of being in the sun all day took its toll and we decided to head out before the start of the fireworks, hoping to miss all the traffic and instead catch a show nearer to our hotel. When we got back to the hotel we were in luck as folks from the Hilton and the neighboring resort were having a small albeit pretty good fireworks show on the beach which we could see with ease from our balcony (and air-conditioned room). A great way to end a pretty darn good 4th of July on the beach.
We slept in Sunday morning, packed up our stuff and headed to the Palm Beach airport for an early afternoon flight home. As we said, the trip was quick, quiet and relaxing and we thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish.

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