Day One: Getting There

Trip to Newburgh was pleasant and non eventful. Saw a bald eagle soaring over the a river just before Fishs Eddy. Marvelled at all the Kill names (meaning River)--my favorite being Beaver Kill. We lunched at Wegmans in Binghamton and within 4.5 hours we were at the tiny airport JetBlue flies out of in Newburgh. We did a little rubbernecking in Newburgh just to get the lay of the land and was delighted by many scary things...the best being the enormous mountain of mulch available at a landscaper...I mean a MOUNTAIN. Bigger than a warehouse pile of the stuff. They also had this amazing little pile display of pick the color of mulch you want...every earthtone (and beyond) available for you to plant your cannas in. Whoa.

Plane a little late...but with the scale of the airport--the whole security mojo was almost pleasant as there were no lines and plenty of people doing the screening. Flight took off 15 minutes late but we had 3 solid hours of television(24!) and drawing along with the offering of snacks and coffee and water. So, time went quickly.

Fort Lauderdale's airport was still in the swing of things at 10 pm. It is a big, white, "high tech" functional building with potted full sized palm trees in the baggage claim area. Baggage claims were brisk. Car pickup was fun as we had the chance to actually pick out our car. So, we are driving a lemon yellow PT Cruiser. We found our way with mapquest and made short order of getting to our hotel.

The hotel is filled with stripes. Walls, draperies. And tons of over the top flowers, some spray painted blue as orchids dont come in these colors. There is beach access and a wandering pool fantasy-- a venetian approach with bridges and more stripes on umbrellas as the water meanders into areas of chairs...all pointing the same way for the hoards to claim them for the tanning ritual.

There are endless plants I cannot name. Bouganvilla trees with these poundcake scented clusters of pink flowers. Amazing plantings. Amazing trees. Linked diamond pools surrounded by walkways with topiaries and the bushes cut like balls. All of them amazingly maintained. Bal Harbor is not for the weak...My head is spinning.