Tuesday, March 15, 2011

West Palm Beach Florida

When I received a call from my mom  last month about taking a trip to Palm Beach, Florida as a girls getaway, I immediately replied "sign me up!"   The trip would be a quick one but a much needed vacation.  Work has been insanely busy over the past few months as well as my life outside of the office, so a break sounded like paradise.

This was our first trip with just us girls and I was ecstatic.   West Palm Beach is not only a city of unsurpassed beauty, but it is a big vacation spot because of the vibrant downtown shopping on Worth Avenue, the exciting dinning experiences, and the beautiful homes that surround this town.

One of my favorite parts of my trip was going to the historic sites and learning about the history of Palm Beach County.   So being the nerd that I am, I thought I would share a little history.

Among the first residents in Palm Beach County were African Americans and many of whom were former slaves or immediate descendants of formers slaves who had escaped to the State of Florida from slave plantations located in Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina.    Runaway African slaves started coming to what was then named Spanish Florida in the late 17th century and they found refuge among the Seminole Native Americans.

A must see when visiting Palm Beach is taking a tour of the Flagler Museum.   Henry Flagler, who made his home in Palm Beach, was instrumental in the county's development in the early 20th century with the extension of the Florida East Coast Railway through the county from Jacksonville to Key West.   Flagler's houselots were bought by the beneficiaries of the Gilded Age, and in 1902 Flagler himself built a Beaux-Arts mansion, Whitehall, designed by the New York–based firm Carrère and Hastings and helped establish the Palm Beach winter "season" by constant entertaining.    The town was incorporated on April 17, 1911.

 The other historic site that was absolutely incredible, was The Breakers Hotel.    We went there our last night to see the hotel and experience the infamous bar.    The main dinning room and bar was absolutely stunning!    What was the most exciting part of our adventure to the hotel was that a wedding was being held at the hotel.   

The Breakers Hotel- Front Entrance

Wedding Cocktail Reception in the Atrium

Some of the restaurants I highly recommend you try should you travel to this tropical place.  If you love Italian food then you will love Cucina Del Arte and Bice.   For a cute place with fun decor, Michael R. McCarty's is an excellent place to dine!   For some delicious ice cream, visit Palm Beaches two famous ice cream shops- Sprinkles Ice Cream (is a favorite to frequent celebrities) and Sloan's Ice Cream.  

The only way to vacation is to allow yourself to be on vacation.   Simple and easy right?   Not according to my vacation record since I graduated college.    Work follows me wherever I go and I did NOT want it to take me away from this vacation.   So when my plane landed into the tropical state, I knew that my blackberry was in need of a SERIOUS timeout.    Of course I knew it would be a little challenging to ignore work emails, but I made myself try.    This was a rare trip and an opportunity to spend some quality time with two of the most important people in my life.     Although my trip was only a few days, I made sure I did some serious R&R and took in every minute.    I spoiled myself with delicious food (especially sweets and carbs!).   Took naps on the poolside (which I never do!)    Started reading a book that I have been wanting to read but haven't had the time, and I am loving every page of my book.  (stay tuned for my next post)   This is my idea of a vacation- escaping from the things that you do and deal with all the time.

Singer Island Marriott Resort Swimming Pool

A vacation is meant to replenish and rejuvenate you and that is exactly what I did (despite the time change happening on the day I return).   Nonetheless this vacation will remain to be one of my most favorite vacations and a time I will never forget.    I am so incredibly lucky to have a sister who loves me and knows me better than I do sometimes and a Mother whose love for their family and for life is contagious.    They are two of my best friends and I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to spend time with them in the beautiful Palm Beach.    Making time for yourself is critical in helping make sure you are balanced and if that means you have to get on an airplane to give yourself a break, then good for you!

Have you ever been to Palm Beach?   Do you have a favorite vacation memory?    What is your idea of a vacation?    How do you prevent work from getting in the way of your vacation?  I would love to hear from you.

"The time to relax is when you don't have time for it."  ~Attributed to both Jim Goodwin and Sydney J. Harris

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