Friday, July 26, 2013

The Gold Coast of Florida

The beautiful state of Florida is an amazingly diverse state.  Here in North Florida where we live there are rolling hills, huge old live oak trees with Spanish Moss, a Deep South feel, and a much slower pace of life.  Travel down to central and southern Florida and the terrain is totally different.  There is a much more dense population, and a faster pace  of life in most areas.

My husband was scheduled for a meeting and dinner speech in South Florida last week,  so away we went driving South down the center of the state on the old Florida Turnpike, which is a toll-road that feels like a huge conveyor-belt all the way down.  There are several service-plazas along the way where gas and restaurants are available. It  is a comfortable and stress-free road to take down through the state.

We were headed toward Palm Beach County to a town called Manalapan, Florida where the meeting was being held.  This part of the state is often referred to as the Gold Coast of Florida.

State of Florida
Gold Coast is highlighted in red.
Photo from the Internet

After exiting the Turnpike we headed east toward Highway A1A which would take us along the coast and finally to our destination.  We were driving along in the car as I took the below photo, but you can still get a feel for how beautiful the Atlantic Ocean was on this particular day.

Atlantic Ocean

The rounded-leaf plant seen in the background in the below photo is a Sea-Grape plant. They are native to coastal beaches and are very plentiful in South Florida, often being used as a landscape plant.

Driving along Highway A1A on both sides in the below photo you can see Sea-Grape plants.  Plus take a close look at the large Coconut Palm tree on the right and you can see the coconuts growing about a third of the way down the tree,  just at about the same level as the power lines.   See those little round clusters ... they are coconuts!

If those Sea-Grapes were not planted there on the right in the below photo, you would have a clear view of the Atlantic Ocean.  It is so beautiful traveling down Highway A1A. and often getting to see the Ocean along the way.

In this Palm Beach County there are so many amazingly beautiful homes on both sides of the highway.  This particular home is located on the beach side of the highway.  Can't you just imagine the view they have from the back of their home as they look out over the Ocean.

Another view of this beautiful home!

On the other side of Highway A1A in some locations you are traveling past the Intercoastal Waterway which is shown in the below photo.  My husband found a pull-off on the highway and I was able to jump out and grab a few photos of the beautiful Intercoastal Waterway. 

There are some amazingly beautiful homes along the Waterway and lots of those homes are complete with boat docks as seen in the below photo.

This below photo gives you a good idea of the Intercoastal Waterway there on the left and across the street and through the trees are homes with the Atlantic Ocean behind them.

In the below photo is another view of the beautiful home on the Ocean side.

We arrived at the hotel where the meeting was being held.  It was called the Ritz Carlton Hotel until this recent July 1st when the name was changed.  It is located in what is called Manalapan, Florida, which is a small coastal town with only 2.4 square miles.   It was a very pretty hotel, but  I did not take many photos because there were so many guests around the hotel and it was necessary to  respect their privacy.

I was able to take this photo of the pretty hotel lobby in the below photo.  It would have been so nice to have been able to take lots more pictures to show the beauty of this hotel, but at least I got this one,  plus one out on the back patio.

From this patio you can see the pool area and beyond the pool you can just barely see the Atlantic Ocean out on the horizon.  During our visit it rained a good bit, but on this particular day there was not a rain cloud anywhere to be seen.

This photo was taken off the dock behind a seafood restaurant where we enjoyed dinner and met with one of our daughters who lives in the South Florida area.  As you can see the rain was coming, but it was still a peaceful, beautiful evening.

This little fella was so cute walking all around the dock which was close to the outside dinner tables of the restaurant.  I bet he gets lots of snacks to eat from folks at those dinner tables.  Look at those cute little delicate toes and his unusual head feathers.

He was tame and did not seem bothered by our presence at all.  He is SO adorable!

The day was coming to a close and the sail boats were resting for the evening.

It was great to have a nice visit with daughter Carmen and three grandsons Connor, Casey and Carter.  This part of the family had not been able to join us for the mountain trip a couple of weeks ago and it was wonderful to be able to visit with them during this trip.   They live over in Palm City which is not too far from were the meeting was being held.

We also were able to have a short visit with daughter Debi and twin grandchildren Ethan and Elly who also live not too far from this area down in Davie, Florida

Daughter Carmen and grandsons Connor, Casey and Carter

The end of a wonderful day!  The sun was setting behind the rain clouds.

It was a nice meeting in a lovely location.   It was great being able to see two of our children and some of the grandchildren.  It was nice traveling down to South Florida and seeing a different kind of beauty and it was fun trying to capture some of that beauty with my camera.

Thanks for joining us on our trip down to the Gold Coast of Florida.  

Wishing you many blessings and good wishes for a happy last weekend in July.

No comments:

Post a Comment