Yup, that’s where I went. More specifically…

Don’t blame me, it wasn’t my cell phone case!

Or at least that’s where my tour of southern Florida began, the first time I’d seen the state in almost 30 years. In the intervening years, I’d principally registered Florida for its 1) crazy people shenanigans (Chelsea Handler was an excellent chronicler); 2) crazier political shenanigans (occurring pretty much every election since 2000); and 3) craziest weather shenanigans (it seems they’ve had pretty much everything except a Sharknado. . .). The weather wackiness is definitely true, and so are the people, and I’ll get to both in more detail. But I must admit that with all the madness that lay ahead, my first adventure was rather Zen, and here is where it began. . .

This stood near the beginning of my walk through the enchanting Morikami Gardens. Even their website soothes at https://morikami.org

I met up with my dear friend Ruthie at the Morikami Gardens near her home in West Palm Beach. True, on my drive north from Miami I did observe that pretty much every one else on the road was auditioning for a role in the latest Fast and Furious film, but once I made it to the gardens, everything was calm, cool(ish), and delightful.

This is not my friend Ruthie, just an iguana enjoying the sunshine.

Ruthie and I met back at Harvard (again with the H-dropping, Adam!), when she was one of the roommates of my forever friend Mallika (now TV’s top doc and premier Patriots promoter!). I spent many evenings in the dorm room they shared with another dear friend, Elizabeth, eating Doritos and Double Stuff Oreos while watching Beverly Hills 90210. Good times, and we had kept in decent touch over the years, making sure to reserve one evening of every college reunion for just the four of us and our families to have dinner at either Mallika’s or my home. Our last reunion was in 2017, and except for Zoom, I hadn’t seen Ruthie since. It was so good to just walk and chat in person again for a couple hours!

There she is! No, silly, the one on the left!

In addition to her many other talents, I know these days Ruthie is particularly proud of being the mom of a particularly “rad” human recently recognized on the Kelly Clarkson show! He founded a great non-profit that helps South Florida seniors with their tech needs, especially important during COVID times, and I encourage you to learn more and watch the clip on him on Kelly’s show https://www.sftfs.org/kelly-clarkson-show

No longer in the gardens, but a stop almost as serene.

Ruthie and I talked about our experiences over the past year and the love of travel each of our parents had instilled in the both of us, as well as the wonderful life lesson learned that we more often regret the things we don’t do, rather than the things we do; and especially during the pandemic, the only time is now. But soon now had to draw to a close, as it always does, and I headed back down the coast towards Miami, stopping at the peaceful Pompano Beach Pier.

The view from the pier.

Much more madness and merriment lay ahead during the rest of the week I would spent in south Florida, ranging from Miami to the Everglades to a sunset at America’s southeast corner in Key West. It was honestly a lot to process, and I’m still making sense of it. So stay tuned for more of those scribblings soon!

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