After living in South Florida for nearly two decades, I felt I would always return here to my friends and the ocean and the wetlands and the food and the …. You get the point. This whimsical coastal area is home, isn’t it?
That’s what I thought until a few months ago when everything changed. That’s when I realized I would be leaving my friends and moving to South Dakota. NOT temporarily traveling, but actually putting down roots in a new community.
It came time for visits and saying my goodbyes to all the people that I have known and loved in this community for 15+ years and its bittersweet. We’ll keep in touch, however that’s not the same as looking in each other’s eyes and laughing together at a movie or over a plate of chicken livers.
My friends and I have shared many grand adventures exploring unique nature and great restaurants across Palm Beach county. This week I have indulged in a few including visits to Johnny Mangoes, Gumbo Limbo, Fran’s Chicken Haven, Green Cay and Wakodahatchee.
Green Cay Nature Center overlooks 100 acres of manmade wetlands with 1.5 miles of elevated boardwalk allowing visitors to enjoy the migratory birds and alligators safely. This is the 2nd constructed wetlands after Wakodahatchee opened in 1996 with ¾ mile boardwalk that crosses pond areas and is prime breeding area for wood storks. Each day, the Southern Region Water Reclamation Facility pumps approximately two million gallons of highly treated wastewater into the Wetlands, which in turn acts as a percolation pond, returning billions of gallons of fresh water back into the water table. I’ve put many miles in at both locations of the years with family & friends. http://discover.pbcgov.org/waterutilities/Pages/Wakodahatchee.aspx
Gumbo Limbo Nature Center is another natural gem in Palm Beach County. This coastal preserve and training center covers 20 acres and is surrounded by a rare remnant of tropical hardwood hammock, located on a barrier island in Boca Raton. The preserve has changed much over the years and once included a tower that you could climb and view both the ocean and intracoastal waterway. Today the focus is mainly on sea turtle protection and includes a turtle hospital and release program. It’s a fun and informative place for families to enjoy. http://www.gumbolimbo.org/
I’ll be visiting Morikami with a dear friend next week, but I want to include it in today’s post. Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens is a very special treasure in Delray Beach, Florida. I consistently maintained a membership and watched it expand into a premier destination founded on century old farmland owned by a Japanese colony that intended to revolutionize Florida agriculture. When it didn’t come to fruition many returned to Japan while Morikami stayed behind to fulfill his vision. Today the 1-acre park has strolling paths, a world-class bonsai collection, and lakes teaming with koi. I enjoy how each area flows into the next seamlessly while walking. It’s a very special place. https://morikami.org/
Moving is change. Change is difficult for most people. But I believe this move is going to be the experience of my lifetime. And I’m going to continue to encourage each of you to love one another and explore your outdoors.