I'm freshly returned from a five-day South Florida extravaganza that included just about everything I needed it to, if not wanted it to.
|I had been in Napa Valley driving the redesigned 2014 Subaru WRX.|
It was a stopping point on my way back to Atlanta from Napa Valley and the San Francisco Airport. I'm not wild about the four-hour-plus flights required to ferry the distance between Atl and SFO, but there's no better choice really. At least on Delta there isn't.
Even though I no longer have sufficient clout to have Delta move me from steerage into First Class with any regularity, I can usually position myself in one of Delta's Economy Comfort seats where I am typically surrounded by Diamond and other Platinum members of Delta's less-than-elite Sky Miles Club bellyaching with one another about rarely receiving an upgrade. “Economy Comfort” is the new “First Class” for any Sky Miles member who flies less than 150,000 miles a year. Damn Northwest!
When one is 28 on an upgrade list with 67 people and there are only four remaining First Class seats, odds aren't good that an upgrade is coming his way. Delta boards by zone with those of us Gold, Platinum and Diamond members who didn't get upgraded, being called as a group right behind First Class. This has turned into a cattle call that often involves 30- to 40-percent of the plane. When everyone is special, no one is.
|This is one fine-looking sedan.|
My flight from San Francisco to Atlanta, however, was fine, as was the connecting flight to West Palm Beach. Because of the flight's length and the three-hour time difference, I didn't set foot in Florida until about 5 p.m. Then it was a 20 mile slog south to Delray Beach. Chevy was kind enough to have a new Impala waiting for me at PBI. It's a delightful sedan that is as drivable as it is great looking. This is the second time I've spent several days in one and I continue to be amazed at the number of people who want to stop me to talk about it. I am at a loss as to why it wasn't on the list of nominees for North American Car of the Year. It certainly should have been.
Thursday morning I had plans to see an former par amour, who I had been out of touch with for about seven years. We breakfasted at the Green Owl, a longtime morning spot favored by Delray Beach locals. We followed the food with a leisurely walk to the beach.
|Mmmmm...Fah's Wonton soup!|
I don't want anyone reading this to think that I ate and drank my way through my five days in sunny South Florida, but I got back to the house just in time for my buddy Amy and I hit my favorite Thai place, Boca Raton's Fah, for lunch. Loaded with carbs, we scooted up to Boynton Beach for a couple of craft beers at Due South Brewery. We wound up the evening at the Funky Buddha Lounge and Brewery back in Boca. I do like craft beers!
|Enjoying a Carmel Creme Ale at Due South.|
Friday a bunch of friends headed to Outback for lunch. I guess there's nothing like a hangover to bring out the lust for red meat. I'm more of a Chinese-food sort of guy after a night of over-consumption, but mine wasn't the hangover being addressed.
|Friday night's party was a blast. I left my party hat in SC, but still managed to have a good time.|
Ostensibly I went to FL for two birthday parties; the first of which was Friday night. This is actually a combo birthday/holiday party in its fifth year. I had missed three out of the previous four. This is a creative bunch when it comes to refreshing-adult beverages. I introduced everyone – well, everyone with judgment sufficiently impaired enough to say, yes – to cinnamon tequila. A wonderfully spirited holiday shooter.
|The night was Dark and Stormy....|
My buddy Tim dispensed Dark and Stormys concocted with Gosslings 151 Rum. I had no clue there was a Goslings 151 Rum. Learning new things is good.
|The Funkabilly Playboys.|
As the party was winding down, a couple of us headed to Boca Raton's Duck to hear a set from the Funkabilly Playboys. It was well worth the trip. They rocked the joint.
I was left to my own devices during the day on Saturday. That's what happens when you stay at someone's house with children who participate in organized sports. I mostly lounged around until I linked up with friends at the Village Tavern in Boynton Beach late in the afternoon.
Sunday I devoted to introspection....and drinking beers at the homes of a couple of buddies where we watched the Miami Dolphins kick around the despicable New England Patriots. The week before I cursed the Dolphins, but I joined most of the country in cheering them on in last Sunday's game.
That evening was the second birthday celebration I traveled to FL to attend. Being a school night, it was somewhat more laid back than Friday night's affair. That was fine with me, I had to get up Monday morning, pack and be at the airport for an 11 a.m. flight. I also wanted to catch the Steelers game, in which they wound up pounding the Bengals.
We did get back in time to wander next door and play a few hands of “Cards Against Humanity.” This is an adult card game designed mostly to make you laugh. I won't go into the graphic details here, but it's a riot. It's not for the squeamish or the easily offended. Check your political correctness at the door. But it's about as much fun as up to six people can have for 25 bucks.