West Palm Beach

Cait and I had been planning a trip to West Palm Beach for quite some time to visit her family and were both excited to see some real deal south Florida blue water.  Unfortunately, our flight from New Orleans to Atlanta was massively delayed, and fortunately our flight from Atlanta to West Palm was also delayed.  Point being – we successfully arrived in South Florida about 1 AM.  In typical fashion, I couldn’t find our rental arrangement and we were forced to find a last minute (albeit better price) arrangement, which worked out pretty seamlessly – Point goes to me…

For the last few days, I’d been struggling with a sore throat.  Not just a little bit of a sore throat, but the kind of sore throat that on Thursday morning I woke up wondering if I had swallowed broken glass.  Arriving so late totally sucked, so after greeting the family, Cait dosed me with Alka Seltzer Plus, which helped us get a few hours of sleep (thankfully these treatments continued throughout the duration of the trip).

Saturday morning kicked off with Sailfish Marina (a favorite local breakfast / brunch spot) and feeding the aggressive Jack fish that swarm the docks outside.  If you haven’t seen them for yourself, it’s pretty incredible.  I think we both were a bit cautious about falling over the dock – I’m telling you – these fish were piranha level aggressive.  Regardless of the fish, I’d recommend this place.  Tons of boats tooling around, bloody mary bar, and pretty decent food.

We headed back to the house to suit up and snorkel the rocks under the Blue Heron Bridge at Phil Foster Park.  Pretty decent snorkeling I guess, especially by Florida standards.  The water was a bit cloudy, but the sheer amount of boats across the bay at Peanut Island were certainly stirring the sand and silt up.  The park had some cool underwater features built by the Boy Scouts to attract wildlife and a hoard of discarded shopping carts serving the same purpose.  It was weird to have so much natural wildlife right under a busy urban bridge, but who cares – it was a cool couple of hours.  Next time we’ll bring the GoPro, totally meant to bring it but forgot…

We spent the afternoon swimming in the pool at the house and running back and forth to the family gathering.  Why we didn’t take pictures of anyone else, I don’t know, but we did get this shot of Mom with her two kids (which I am particularly fond of).  

About 6 PM we showered and headed to Big Kahuna Tattoo in Boca Raton where Cait’s cousin EV works.  Totally blew the GPS directions and drove straight past the exit, but not too far to hit a return route and make it almost on time.  Pretty cool little shop, very cool cousin.  Hung out for a few hours, got a couple tattoo’s, and hit the road in time for a moonlit walk on the beach.

Cait's TurtleJosh's White Shark

It’s important to note that at this point: I’d had Cait’s engagement ring in my pocket for several days.  I’d given up on keeping it in the box, because that’s far too obvious and would be an immediate giveaway.  Years ago, I could’ve blamed it on my cigarettes, but alas, no more.  Not only did I have it in my pocket, but I opted to place it in a brand name Zip-Lock storage bag in case I pulled a typical Josh move and ended up in the water or worse…

We drove down to a closed portion of the beach where a security guard with a mouth full of gold teeth gave us the classic, “I didn’t tell you it was okay to go on the beach if you get busted” suggestion.  With zero confidence of not getting arrested, we headed off into the dark.  The moon was huge as we walked, and I rehearsed my speech over and over- knowing I would surely blow it when the time to deliver finally came.

I probably blew it…

I initiated a stop on the beach where we spoke briefly about how we felt about each other.  It was pretty surreal, giant full moon on the horizon yet otherwise complete and utter darkness.  In my mind, it was pretty romantic; but you’ll have to ask her about the experience firsthand…  I reached for the wadded Zip-Lock bag in my zipped up pocket (of course), as Cait repeatedly told me to shut up and tried to push me into the ocean while I somehow managed to get the ring on her finger.  I’m sure she thought I was joking.  After a few minutes of hugging, kissing, and her realizing this wasn’t a fantastic stunt, we headed back engaged as a couple to be married in front of family, friends, God, and who knows else…

Sunday we headed out to the beach at Singer Island, basically a mile away from Cait’s mom’s house.  Absolutely beautiful beach where apparently Caitlyn’s mom is somewhat of a local celebrity.  I lost track of counting people she knew at about 10, but trust there were plenty more.  Got some great time in the sun, although Cait and I were unable to fully submerge (rewind to tattoo shop last night).  Either way, I had a much easier time relaxing without that ring zipped up in a plastic bag in my pocket…


We headed to the last Florida dinner at IL Belagio in West Palm Beach.  Absolutely gorged ourselves in preparation for the early morning flight out of PBI international airport.  Originally, we were going to be traveling back to Louisiana together, but Cait had to take a flight to Minneapolis to join the rest of the Imaginal Marketing team for an Aveda meeting at Estee Lauder.  I should add that my flight left at 5:15 AM which had a 4:45 AM boarding time.

We had a great visit, it was awesome meeting new family and friends, and getting the royal treatment.

Leaving at 5AM – sucked.
Getting engaged to my best friend – didn’t suck

Until next time…



Check out the trip’s entire gallery here.

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