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Another Work Trip to South Florida Means Another Olger Night Out While Brooke and the Kids Go Hiking

 

My "boss" Vincent sent me back down to Florida to shoot a couple yachts during the Palm Beach International Boat Show.

I really wish he'd get more of a heads up when he goes on these trips so we can plan to meet him. Actually this week wouldn't have worked with my work schedule anyway. Maybe next time. 

I wanted to bring them along, but her coworker was on vacation. So a solo trip it was.

I only had to shoot one morning after a couple boats fell through. So I decided to explore the coast between Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale.


I ended up at Cafe Tecun in nearby Lake Worth.

And then I made my way down to Fort Lauderdale where I'd meet with my buddy Olger.
 

I didn't really want to swim. It was super windy and not all that warm, but I did want to check out the ocean.

I was expecting bigger dunes at Delray Beach's Atlantic Dunes Park, but it was a nice beach.


There were a bunch of jellyfish washed up on the shore. At first I thought it was garbage, but when I got closer, I was like, "Woh!"


I kept driving and driving along the A1A until I was in Fort Lauderdale.

When kind of sick of driving, stop for ice cream? The Midtown Creamery had Oreo-coated waffle cones and Nutella-Oreo ice cream.  10/10 would try it again.

I was really tired, but needed to stay up until Olger got off of work. So I went for a walk in an older neighborhood north of Los Olas Boulevard.





I kind of love good Florida architecture.


 
Olger and I decided to get some classy Italian after walking up and down Los Olas.
 
Hey, it's Olger. I love spending time with this guy after so many years apart. My forever bestie.

Just around the corner from my ever-so-humble motel room was the Kona Bay Cafe. It looked kind of run of the mill, cheesy Florida diner, but it turned out being a top 10 breakfast. 


Then I spent the rest of the day hiking. First was the Hypoluxo Scrub Natural Area.



I met a long-time local who gave me a tour of the unique dry and sandy environment. He also told me a bit about his life including building Alligator Alley across the Everglades. 

I'm a sucker for pines wherever they may grow.



Prickly pear in Florida. I suppose the sand doesn't hold water well.



 
Since I had nothing else to do I drove over to the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. This is the closest section of the Everglades to Palm Beach.


I wasn't sure what I expected. Maybe more trees.



A part of the wildlife refuge is a series of impoundments where the Fish and Wildlife Service studies fluctuations in water levels.


A river then separates the impediments from natural Everglades that is only accessible by boat at the NWR. 



Even if the canoe rental was open, I'm not sure I'm brave enough to canoe the Everglades by my lonesome.

Then I checked out the cypress forest down the road.

Back at the Barefoot Mailman Motel, I decided to walk around town.







Between the inter-coastal waterway and ocean are series of islands that make up the coast.

My third hike of the day, Lantana Nature Preserve.

I ended the night chilling on the beach. It was amazing the variety of environments I explored over two days. Beaches and dunes. Desert-like scrub land. The water-logged Everglades. And tropical forests.

The next morning, I got a Cuban breakfast at some strip mall before heading north to Orlando via the coast.

Meanwhile back at home we had cinnamon swirl french toast from bread we picked up nearby at Butter Bakery. 
 
Brooke's is invisible.

The kids are obsessed with board games recently. After breakfast we played Sorry. Blankie had to play too and almost won!

Back in Florida I had found the perfect Florida locale, Jupiter Island. If I could find an AirBNB on this island, it would be a perfect family vacation launching point.

I really wanted a Jewish Deli, but found a European one instead. Unfortunately they weren't serving sandwiches for some reason.
 
Instead I got Vietnamese.
 
I thought we all needed a day outside today after spending too much time indoors the last few months. We headed to Lake Maria State Park to do their Hiking Club Trail. In the parking lot I saw this couple get out of a converted ambulance. 

Kids: We hate hiking! 
 
Once they get to the trail: run and get excited to find sticks. 

"Oo frozen water!"

Another Minnesota Hiking Club trail completed and more miles added.
 
We were going to stop and pick up something to make for dinner when at the last minute I decided to take the kids to Noodles, their favorite.
 
I finally ended up in Orlando with some time to kill. I found a cool neighborhood, but I don't think I'd come here for anything other than Disney.

Back at home, Meadow and I played Scattergories. Love getting to play all these games with her.

"Mama take my picture"

Poor buddy fell and scraped his nose on the sidewalk the other day. 

"Take my picture too"

I couldn't wait to see these goofs.

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