Our friends Marcia and Bob very kindly offer us their lovely Palm Beach apartment as a place to stop, relax, do laundry, and mentally prepare to continue up the coast on Florida’s mostly busy roads. I’ve never been to Palm Beach. Palm Beach is nice the same way that Athens is old: very. The apartment is beautiful. Everyone looks perfect here – pampered and medicated and pressed and ironed. I’d say well fed, but some of the women have that look of not ever eating, staying alive by virtue of sea air and martinis. These particular women smile as if they learned how to do it by reading a magazine. (SUCH a drag, being pretty and pale and well-heeled in southern Florida. Yawn.)
Across from our apartment (it stops being “Marcia and Bob’s” very soon after I see it), is the Breakers Hotel. Heard of it? If not, see the inadequate photo, above. (Once you’ve been to Palm Beach, everything feels somehow inadequate, really…)
Marcia suggested we have morning coffee on their terrace if we get a chance, because it’s a fun thing to do. So we do. We walk in their gardens and, through some magnificent breach of security that I’m sure will result in the dismissal of an employee from some country south of ours, manage to have coffee on the terrace at the Breakers. Beautiful people play with their beautiful children – or, really, watch nannies play with their beautiful children – on the green. As Jerry and I sip coffee and take in the air, Katie Couric walks by us! A celebrity sighting! Experienced really only by me, though, because Jerry misses it and then has to qualify who she is. “The one who did the Sarah Palin interview?” Yes.
We contact Jerry’s cousin Robert (ever “Bobby” to his relatives), who manages to bring together various Florida aunts, uncles and cousins for a meal together: Uncle Frank and Aunt Renee, Bobby’s father Uncle Sid, cousin Richard and his wife, Susie, and Aunt Ann. They all meet up in our neighborhood, very kindly, so we don’t have to bike south again (or re-experience the shame train) for a wonderful Italian dinner with live piano and sax. So much fun!!! Aunt Ann lets me down gently: Katie Couric has been in Sochi, covering for Bob Costas and his terrible seeping pink eye. BUT that night, I google “Katie Couric, Palm Beach,” and she’s definitely in town, hosting a benefit at the Breakers! I am vindicated! I fall asleep that night excited all over again and looking forward to informing Aunt Ann.
The next day we’ll move on to someplace that’s undoubtedly less fabulous. But, as Jerry tells me, “We’ll always have Palm Beach.”