Recently, Martin and I took a day trip down to Pompano beach for an interview he had. I’ve always loved the Palm Beach and Broward county area of Florida. It’s been a few years since I’ve visited there, but, growing up, I went there frequently thanks to my grandparents having a condo right in Boca Raton. My grandparents on my father’s side bought a condo there to escape the harsh and cold winters of Ohio. They joined that commonality of senior citizens known as the ‘snowbirds’, who migrate down south when the northern part of the U.S becomes a frozen tundra of ice and snow. Me and all my cousins spent parts of our childhood in that Boca condo, enjoying the pool, or bronzing on the beach, and always in arms reach of good Italian food, thanks to my grandmother being an exceptional cook.

So, when Martin and I went down for his interview, needless to say, was a bit nostalgic for me. I recognized the general area where I was, the main traffic arteries through Boca and Pompano, Military Trail, Glades Rd., Camino Real…Martin had never been to Boca or Pompano, so I took this opportunity to be his tour guide. It had been about three years since I’d been down there, but I still remembered the general area. After his interview, we went sightseeing…

Martin had never visited Boca Raton, one of the most beautiful cities in Florida. Boca Raton has always been a sought after vacation destination for many, with it’s classic Florida beauty. High rises, hotels, sprawling coastal mansions all in bold, tropical colors…Boca is a place synonymous with wealth. You know you’re in Boca when sitting in traffic, there’s a Bentley to the left of you and a Ferrari on the right, and a Mercedes in front. This being said, it’s common to encounter some otherwise unpleasant, egotistical attitudes of people. Many of the residents of Boca are retirees, self-employed moguls, part time snowbirds, or just people who have attained financial success. Some of them are needy, high maintenance, and pretentious.

Case in point: While we were waiting for our meal, I overheard an older woman, probably in her 60’s, complaining of having no olive oil for her bread. A server was next to her taking another party’s order. Instead of waiting, the woman proceeds to tap the server on the shoulder, requesting olive oil. The server told her she’d be with her in a moment, she was taking an order. The woman grows increasingly annoyed, voice more stern, demands some olive oil so she can eat her bread before it gets cold. The server finally turns around and tells her, frustrated, that she will get her the olive oil. The server comes back with the olive oil, and calmly tells the woman, I have other customers here, you’re not the only one. Sitting there at my table observing, I couldn’t help but think, some of these people are nothing but whiny children in grown up bodies. God forbid they wait for something. It made me think of sociological principles and how demographically speaking, the more affluent an area is, often times, tends to have people with this elitist attitude,as demonstrated by this woman next to me. I wanted to just smack her and say, Wake up! The world does not revolve around you and your need for olive oil! Martin just laughed and said it reminded him of the French. I love Boca for its landscape and architectural aesthetics, but the people, I can do without.

I can always tell when Martin is hungry; he gets quiet, but seemingly hurried at the same time, but he does a good job of not making it too obvious. Me, I get rushed and my patience level thins. We both needed to eat, so I took him to Mizner Park, a beautifully constructed outdoor mall with shopping, eateries and entertainment. Mizner Park definitely captures the beauty of South Florida; the architecture is Mediterranean, with balconies and pillars. The buildings brightly painted pink, and a beautiful brick drive down the center of the mall, lined by palm trees.  It really is a beautiful place.

Mizner Park

Mizner Park

Mizner Park

Sipping vino & enjoying my favorite chair at Mizner...

After walking around for a bit, I suggested we had lunch at an Italian restaurant, the Villagio. The aroma of Italian spices hit me and I was craving some kind of carb-filled delicacy. We took a seat outside. Martin ordered a tasty chicken dish with a cream glaze, and I succumbed to my pasta weakness, ravioli. It’s always been my number one pasta dish, since I’ve been little. I really liked how they made the sauce; a red and white combined to make what they called ‘pink’ sauce. The filling was your typical ricotta cheese but with spinach mixed in. Bravissimo!

My meal

Following our lunch, we decided to take a drive up A1A, and enjoy the coastline. I wanted to show Martin Delray Beach. Delray is only a few miles north from the Boca and Pompano area, but encompasses a totally different feel from the aforementioned. Delray has more of a small town quality, your typical beach town. A lot of surfers, bicyclists, skateboarders and people bumming around in their cut off shorts and beach hats. It’s at a more laid back pace. We put some coins in the meter and walked around for a bit, to downtown Delray and along the inter coastal waterway.

Delray beach

Along the inter coastal

Martin shies away from the camera, so if you’re wondering why there’s so many photos of me, that’s why :). He prefers to be the photographer (haha). While in downtown Delray, caught this beautiful mosaic fountain with a cute aquarium theme, with fish and other wildlife. Loved the strong azure color of it…

After exploring Delray, we began our trek back to the car, I would have liked to stay in Delray a bit longer but the responsibilities of life were calling… work, errands to run, etc. But the good thing is that Boca, Pompano and Delray are only about 3 hours away…will I be back? You bet.

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