FOLLOW ME TO|West Palm Beach 9/15

I usually blog on the train ride to & from the office, but the way my last couple of weeks have been set up, my commute has been spent sleeping, lol. Right now, I’m on my way back to New York from the Maryland Seafood Festival; my third out-of-state trip in 3 weeks. Muva is beat… but in a good way; so let me get you caught up on my 4 days and 3 nights of action-packed adventure in West Palm Beach, Miami Beach, South Beach (and some places in between).

You never truly know someone until you live travel with them. Almost every muscle of a strong relationship is exercised when traveling with your partner. I can’t think of any other single activity where you get to learn: how someone manages money & time, if you can stand to be attached to them for long stretches, their manner towards service industry staff, and how you compromise & persevere through unknowns as a team. Let me tell you, there were several points during our bae-cation where I wondered if Paul’s clothes or my body parts were coming back in his luggage. I’m happy to still be here to tell this story…

Saturday. So right out the gate our trip was ruined. Of course, we picked the weekend that the eye of Tropical Storm Erika was set to hit Florida. I was already disappointed that my mother cancelled on meeting up with us (we’re not even going to talk about that); now this. Luckily, our departing flight wasn’t affected; but one-by-one all of the surprise activities Paul had planned for me (like a helicopter ride and jet-packing) were cancelled due to the weather. Then we had to pay a full extra day for our rental car because we landed a half-hour early. Then while I was insisting that our car was within walking distance of the airport–while he was insisting that I get on the bus–we missed the bus that we ended up having to take about 10 minutes to our lot. Oops! I just stood a few feet away from him while we waited the 30 minutes for the next one. Yes, the same 30 minutes we could have waited to avoid the extra rental car fee.

Exhausted and aggravated on the bus. C’mon, be my fwend.

First, we visited Paul’s mom who was nearby, and hit Duffy’s Sports Grill, for lunch. Mommies and food make everything better; and we were back in the vacation spirit! Ok, I’m lying. Once we got in the car after leaving his mom, Paul said, “ok, let it out”… and I balled my eyes out for a few minutes… then everything was better.

Finally checked-in to our room at the Tideline Ocean Resort & Spa in West Palm Beach. We spent the rest of that evening on the balcony talking love & life over music, wine, and Pinot Negro (Hennessy & Red Bull).

Sunday. Tropical Storm Erika had no mercy on us. Paul told me nothing was going to ruin our trip and to just trust his improv-skills. After breakfast, he took me to a gun range and taught me how to shoot. I did well for my first time and had fun; but I’m a lover, not a fighter, so I let him finish off my rounds and we moved on.

I’m not a killer, but don’t push me. ~Tupac
We took a spontaneous, hour-long, drive to South Beach, Miami. I got a tour of the homes, yachts, and restaurants in the area and we stopped for lunch and drinks at renowned, Mango’s Tropical Cafe. This Coco Loco Martini was everything and their servers were salsa-dancing eye-candy (but I swear I wasn’t watching).

The weather started to clear up and Paul’s mom called us over for a barbecue at her house. Her gated community was gorgeous and had so many amenities. Paul’s sister, Diana, had also come to visit from New York with three of her kids; so we had fun with them goofing around, playing basketball, and riding around the grounds in a golf cart.

Paul’s mom is so cute. She got him this belated birthday cake because he loves basketball, lol.

That night, we were too tired to make our dinner reservation so we called in pizza, enjoyed the Jacuzzi, and played a game of pool (he didn’t let me win) at our hotel. We shared a shower afterwards (with clothes on, of course, Grandma) and I accidentally dropped the shower head on Paul’s foot. I swear to God that thing was made of 100-pound marble. There was blood everywhere! Oops.

Monday. The vacation Gods rewarded us for our positive attitudes. The weather was beautiful when we woke up! We got to spend the day at Rapids Water Park, as planned.

I’m pretty sure I died on a few rides and Paul limped all day from that shower accident, but we had the best day ever with his family.


Tuesday. Another go-with-the-flow day and our last day in Florida. The night before, Paul’s friend, who’s a local (we can’t go anywhere without him knowing someone), referred us to this authentic Mexican spot called, Tacos Al Carbon. Our tacos were so damn good, I didn’t even get a picture. Our tacos were so damn good, I would fly back just to eat there again. Our tacos were so damn good we went back for breakfast, lol.

And then this happened! That’s ME!! AND IT WAS TOTALLY WICKED!!!

So here’s the story behind this picture: The jet-pack company that had cancelled us called and said the weather was cooperating and that we could be done in time for our flight; so we jumped on it. Paul went first and I got awesome footage of him flying. I went second and didn’t do so great. I got frustrated and called it quits once I was able to at least get my legs out of the water a little bit. I watched Paul’s footage of me and I was so pissed that he didn’t catch my moment. He insisted that I never came above the water and there was nothing to ‘catch’. We went back and forth about it a few times and I had a huge attitude while I watched everyone else’s high-flying adventure. I asked the instructor if I could give it another shot and he said “no” because he had another class right after us, but a few moments later I saw Paul talking to the instructor with his arm around him and their backs facing me. Paul came back with a pink life-jacket and said “you have 2 minutes and you better do it”. I have no idea how he made that happen for me, but I love him.

1 hour before take-off. Run to visit Paul’s cute, 90-year-old, great-grandmother. Run to his mom’s house to shower (I wasn’t invited in this time). Run to airport. The moral of this story is:

if your girlfriend is annoying, you should love her, feed her, and tell her she’s pretty anyway.

The end.

For more pics and video clips of our time in Florida (and the 2 trips that I haven’t had a chance to blog about since then) follow me on Instagram @1st.noelle.

Thanks for reading (next post: Follow me to|Philadelphia-Made in America Festival),

~1st Noëlle





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