Last week, I wrote about worlds. Throughout the past four years, I’ve written extensively about my travels, hidden gems along the way, and happy places. Places that just hit me a little differently deep down. Places that I will jump at to experience over and over. Places that provide a quite particular and personal experience.
How have I found these experiences? The only way that I know how…brochures! (Ha! Just kidding.) I just go. I go and find them. I go and feel the vibe personally. The exploration is half the battle.
Nestled just south of the mega mansions in America’s third wealthiest zip code is a half mile swath of land, if that, that is home to one of my new favorite places. Two of my new favorite places, to be precise: the small public beach run by the Town of Palm Beach, Florida, and the ridiculously beautiful Palm Beach Par 3 Golf Course, also owned by the town.
In the land of billionaires and private beaches, we enjoyed this little public nook, two hour free parking and all. Christy, Banks, and I hung out there on a sunny Thursday amidst a smattering of scantily clad women and men. (It is South Florida, baby!). It was just a vibe, really. Beautiful blue water. Boats zipping by. Not a care in the world.
But it was Saturday at the beach that really hit deep. Christy stayed home, as Banks and I braved the windy day. As we wandered out for a more adventurous boys day, the sea breeze had the waves crashing. I asked Banks if he was ready, and he asked ready for what? To ride your first wave, son. Shaking with excitement, he said he was ready. We tried, we failed. We tried, we failed. And then with me a mere feet away, a big one got him, and he somersaulted and twisted his way back to shore. Proud as can be and laughing uncontrollably, I shuffled to shore to congratulate him as he stood up. Unsure of what had just happened, he looked at me shocked. I gave him a high five, told him great job, and asked if he was okay. After a brief confused second, he started shaking with excitement again, ready for round two (and three and four).
I had driven past the golf course a couple of years ago, musing to myself that it looked quite beautiful. Fast forward to Thursday after the beach, and it was time for my maiden voyage. Sandwiched between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intercoastal Waterway, the course is prime property. Three holes play along the waterway, three holes play along the ocean, and the others have various views that might bring you to your knees. I was in love, straightaway. Two near holes in one, four birdies, and even par on my first 18 made it even better.
But there was time for more. 9 more until a ravishing sunset hit, and then another 27 Saturday night in already worn clothes and almost comical wind. Happy places could care less about details like that, so why should I?
I’d like to shout out Aunt Robin aka Rockin’ Robin (tweet, tweet) for hosting such a beautiful Spring Break 2021. There are so many great memories: local food, drink, Miami, the safari, etc.
What could have been better?
Well, I tried a golf course on Friday that was absolutely terrible, so that was a miss. (I did, however, play with a couple of cool dudes.) The restaurant, al Fresco, that was recommended by literally everyone I met was completely booked by the time I called, so that was a miss. And it would have been awesome to have the jet ski down there, zigging and zagging amongst the yachts and speedboats of the rich and famous, so that was a miss.
But the cool thing about happy places is that they have a way of inviting you back. To repeat those things that you love to do, and to correct those things that you might have missed.
Next month, I’m headed to West Texas to an area I know little to nothing about. (I’m still waiting on the brochure in the mail 🤦🏽♂️.). And I have a feeling, just a little gut feeling, that it’s going to hit hard too. The freedom of wide open spaces is an exploration invitation that I have a difficult time passing up.
Have a great week.-Benj
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