Sunrise over Atlantic, mermaid show, snapper with friends. Best vacation ever


When the sun came up Friday, I did too. When I stepped onto my balcony and looked out, my first thought was that it’s going to be really, really hard to leave when the time comes. I started doing vacation-extension financial calculations in my head. And it was only my first morning here after arriving at midnight.

Then I just took it all in.

I walked along the beach and breathed in that incredible saltwater air. The sound of the waves crashing, the sunrise, it all was so idyllic. Just what I need right now.

In fact, I was thinking that it’s hard to believe I’m only 1,200 miles from home, as it seems like a world away. I never had been to South Florida in the dead of winter – it always has been the middle of summer. Oppressive heat and humidity never has been my friend.

After walking along the beach for a bit I went back to the resort and had breakfast, which was delicious (fruit plate, yogurt, grains). I walked around the property a while and then decided to go out the front door. I flipped a coin and chose to go left.

I took a very long walk past some pretty homes. The main drag in front of the hotel reminds me of Santa Monica Boulevard, right where you exit West Hollywood and roll into Beverly Hills. It’s very exquisite like that, and has a similar feel. But with water, too.

I came upon a canal lined with homes, and then walked over a drawbridge that opens to let the yachts pass through. The yachts are impressive. One has two helipads. Later, other guests at the hotel told me they believe that one is Steven Spielberg’s yacht.


I also walked past an old church called “Church by the Sea” or something to that effect. I remembered it from when I was a kid and we visited here, two years in a row, 1978 and 1979. As I was daydreaming about that the draw span opened, and a very cross draw span operator ordered me to “Get off your phone and GET MOVING!”

I was struck by how pedestrian friendly everything is (that’s how it should be, of course) and by all the buses running. People of all kinds bicycling and walking all over the place. I swear I saw Nate Berkus ride by on a bicycle, but I doubt it was really him.

This hotel is a story in and of itself (and I plan to pitch it to a paid client, so I don’t want to give away too much). It is the former Yankee Clipper (which makes me laugh because that was the name of a notorious night club in Rock Island, where I live). Everything has been extensively renovated and is now ultra-modern, but the Broward County Historical Society would not allow changes to be made to the “Wreck Bar,” which has windows looking into a pool where live mermaid shows are performed.

I did go to the mermaid show, and it was wild! This is one of only four venues in the U.S. performing live mermaid shows. Apparently, they were a big thing once upon a time. I don’t understand how they can swim with their eyes wide open, no nose plugs, nothing. It cannot be easy. They sit there and smile and such and they really do look like they must be mermaids the way they seem totally unaffected by being submerged!


An incredible tree caught my eye. I think it’s called a Banyan tree. The trunk looked like a bunch of twisted, exposed roots.

I took a couple of naps, and wrote a story for a client. Then an old friend from Los Angeles who lives here now came to the resort with his partner, who is a wonderful guy. It was a very nice evening. I had coconut semolina crusted red snapper. It may have been the most delectable dish I ever have eaten in my life.

I’m not sure what today will bring, but since it’s Saturday, I’m going to try to abstain from work. One of my editors informed me Monday was a holiday (I had forgotten about that) and the office will be closed until Tuesday.


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