West Palm Beach Area Day 2

December 28, 2010 21:04 – 21:04

This morning, we decided first to head to lunch at Tulipan Bakery & Café. Only, it turned out to be take-out only. So, we took out. Karen got a Cuban sandwich, and I got their Milanesa steak sandwich. We brought the sandwiches back to the house and ate in the garden. I discovered too late that the seat cushion was wet. Both sandwiches were quite good. Not stellar, but good. The Milanesa steak was especially good—lightly breaded flange steak coated in a mixture of crushed dried red peppers and Adobo, I think.

After lunch, we headed up to Jonathan Dickinson State Park. The guy at Hobe Sound NWR yesterday said that Dickinson was good for birds. So that’s where we went. Our first stop was to see the Hobe Mountain observation tower. Hobe Mountain rises an amazing 86 feet above sea level!

The observation tower adds at least another 60 or 70 feet. Anywhere else, this would be “ho hum,” but in Florida (an ancient word that means “flatter than the flattest pancake”), 150 feet above sea level gives you a spectacular view.

The path is a combination of boardwalk and stairs. They claimed it was a 10 minute walk. I stopped twice on the way up to snap pictures, and the walk too me less than 4 minutes. It took Karen less than 9 minutes.

From up there, we could see the Atlantic Ocean, the surrounding park, and the 175 acre brush fire that started yesterday when the wind knocked down a power line.

You can also see the curvature of the earth! I could even see Karen!

I saw me, too… sort of:

On the way down, I noticed several cactuses.

From there, we drove to the Kitchen Trail. For the first half of the trail (about 2 miles) all we saw was this, and no birds. The gray backdrop is smoke from the brush fire.

About halfway through, some of the high-flying birds came into view. I don’t know what kind they were. But they were pretty and graceful.

While most of the walk was sandy and dry, there were a couple of streams. Here’s one:

And some trees draped with Spanish moss:

A bit later down the trail, we saw a half dozen or more pileated woodpeckers, frolicking and pecking. I snapped a couple of the peckers pecking.

I also spotted something that looked like an osprey nest. I confirmed it using my spotting scope—a female osprey had already begun nesting. Hard to make out much here:

Our final bird was this lone gray bird. Again, no clue what kind it was:

After leaving the park, we headed back to Caribe House (the name of the house we’re renting). We’d already decided on pizza and salad for dinner, so we settled down and did some research. A short while later, we agreed to try City Pizza, which many say is the best in West Palm Beach. The Greek salad was perfect. The pizza was excellent! It still isn’t as good as Alex’s pizza in Biddeford, Maine (the gold standard for pizza, in my book), but it was pretty darned good. And, the Harp we bought last night to go with it was pretty darned good, too.

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