Posin’ at the Breakers

When most people think of West Palm Beach they think of palm trees, money, valet parking and fine restaurants. West Palm Beach is one of the richest counties not only in Florida but in the United States. Rush Limbaugh, Donald Trump, Venus and Serena Williams, and dozens of other rich celebs call this town their playground.

But, we didn’t come to the city for any of these reasons. We came to visit our dear friend Lynn who had recently relocated there. She’s young, hip and her career is well underway, and we wanted to spend the afternoon with her. What better way to enjoy West Palm Beach than to head out for drinks at The Breakers – a massive resort located only minutes from her apartment.

We drove to the hotel and, as regally as we could, told the massive security guard at the gate that we came only for drinks. We tried to find the self-park area, but, we were forced in the end to reluctantly use the valet. So we pulled our dusty late-90s Oldsmobile with the manual locks, not so quiet engine and multiple dents into the valet alongside the Mercedes, Town Cars and Bentleys. We kinda felt bad for the guy who had to drive our car.

Strolling into the hotel with its high, painted ceilings and beautiful furniture, we were immediately greeted by a friendly resort guide who offered us a map and a little history.

By the late 1800s, Henry Flagler, co-founder of Standard Oil, had retired from the day-to-day operations of the company to pursue his interests in Florida which included the development of the railroad and the real estate along the coast. In 1896, as a travelers’ hub for his Florida East Coast Railway, he built The Breakers.

The state-of-the-art hotel burned down twice but was rebuilt bigger and better each time. Today, the 140-acre resort has 540 rooms, two 18-hole golf courses, five swimming pools, a private beach, shops and nine restaurants. The tour guide encouraged us to come back and get the Tuesday tour which is apparently led by a colorful, long-time employee.

So, in our flip flops and summer clothes (and Kimmer in his nicest tee) we made our way to The Seafood Bar for a drink. The bar gets its name not only from the amazing views of the Atlantic, but the glass bar top which contains live fish swimming amongst coral and sponges oblivious to the martinis clanging upon their windows. We each ordered a different specialty drink: Kimmer the Basil Martini, Lynn the Pineapple Infused Martini and I had the day’s special – a watermelon mixed drink. At $13 each, we enjoyed them and the view for all it was worth, since that’s about all we could afford.

We walked around a bit outside before returning to the valet to see which poor sap drew the short straw to pick up our broken down heap. Kimmer’s a generous tipper, and I hope whatever he slipped our valet was enough to offset his disappointment. Photos below – see more about the Breakers on their website.