Monday, April 25, 2005

Sunday Afternoon Vacation

There are a few things in life I find myself amazed by time and again through the years and yet somehow I don’t learn the lesson of that amazement in a “for keeps” kind of way. One such amazement would be the beauty that is the beach and why I don’t go more often. Once in a while when I finally find myself there, I swear it will be my new hangout. Then about a year later I find myself saying the same thing once again when I happen there out of some oddity again. What is that?

Today I stumbled upon another such place.

After church and lunch at the new church property, Lynette and Lynn and I went to the convention center in West Palm for a “women’s something or other.” It had a title but I can’t remember for the life of me what it was called. Cally met us there and we wandered the booths and watched a fashion show and sampled a few things. Cally got asked if she was interested in being a model (she wasn’t).We kept leaving Lynette behind because she shopped the jewelry and purse counters for way too long at a time; we were really just there for the free stuff. It wasn’t all we’d hoped it would be, (we’d hoped for free facials, pedicures, manicures, etc) but we got our tickets for nothing so who’s complaining. However, we were ready to leave within about an hour of wandering and signing up to win things. Upon our departure we saw some interesting looking homes rising above a wall that stood as a barrier between the Convention Center parking lot and the neighborhood to the south. It was obvious they were renovated homes as that neighborhood used to be pretty slummy. The neighborhood had the somewhat upscale look of old homes transformed. We decided to drive around and see how cute and charming they were and all the cool details you only find on the older homes in south Florida. We started seeing “For Sale” signs here and there and wondered what the asking prices were getting to be in this area. We rounded a corner and came upon an open house in progress. Lynette said we had to go in. So we did deeming her our official spokesperson. On the outside, the house was maintained although not at all that charming or attractive in color or style. The house we had seen a few blocks over oozed charm and this one looked ordinary. But upon entering it, we were amazed at the decorating and all they had done to transform it. It was really interesting inside. It was only a 2/1, somewhere around 1150 sq. ft. and they were asking $449,000. I couldn’t believe it. It was a corner lot and the only yard it had was in the front, and a huge park was situated across the street to the side of it. But it wasn’t a particularly pretty park. There were about 30 guys playing soccer when we were there. Not exactly private feeling as a fairly good sized window looked out on it. $449,000! I couldn’t believe it. Judy, it had nothing on your house except some lavish decorating. There was plenty of not-so-nice ambiance nearby and yet somehow they are commanding (or at least trying to command) those prices in that area.

Geez, my neighborhood is way more private and has huge yards, why can’t Lake Park get on the updo track and become a Flamingo Park or a whatever the other names of those areas were? It has so much more potential for revitalization. I would seriously like to revitalize my house. I have so many good ideas. My neighbor in the big house across the street and over is planning to refab his house. Maybe we could get the trend going here. One day this area will be like an Old Northwood or Flamingo Park, you wait and see, and then the prices will really hike. I couldn’t believe how those homes in West Palm had no land and I was just amazed at prices that reflect what you would pay in PGA National with a pool and all the land and upscale style. Really wierd how this market goes.

Anyway, from there we took Cally to her car and decided to get out at City Place, walk around and get a drink and then sit and enjoy the day. And it was such a day! The sky was Santa Fe blue like you wouldn’t have believed and made an intense backdrop for the palm trees when I looked up. The air was low 70’s, felt like high 60’s because yesterday it was as hot as summer here rendering anything under 85 as quite cool. The breeze was blowing, the fountains were splashing and they did that thing every half an hour where the fountains shoot up in time with the music. It was a gorgeous Florida Sunday and City Place is really beautiful with all the steps and the old Harriet Himmel building and the stones and the fountains and the colors and the people everywhere to watch. I don’t know why I don’t go more often and buy a coke, sit at a wrought iron table and enjoy the view. It was really like an afternoon vacation with the mood music playing at Bellagios. Didn’t cost me a thing because Lynn bought the coke since I drove. Wasn’t that nice? Lynette bought Cally a cd she had been talking about all afternoon before she left. Lynette went in Starbucks for iced coffee and there was the CD for sale, so she got it for Cally. What a nice surprise that will be. It was like a rich day in paradise and it was free. That’s beauty in and of itself. Maybe next week I’ll land myself on the sand at the beach and take another Sunday afternoon vacation. Life is short and who knows how long before someone starts charging for a day at the beach. I’m not taking any chances ever since I heard they plan to start making you pay to park at City Place. As of today, though, I happily report that parking is still free. Free, I love that word.


  1. Free parking! That's worth commenting on. Liz, I am sure that if you hang on to your place, that in a few years (if that) it will be in the high price range. It's one of the few places that havent been hit with the real estate bug in a big way. Even so, Lake Park prices have nearly doubled in recent years. So hang in there, I say. You're sitting on a gold mine.

    And keep an eye on those guys in the swing. One of those high flyers might swing right through your kitchen window.

  2. Absolutely, prices will reach those levels in your neighborhood. It's the keeping the place intact while you're waiting that's tough. I can not fully describe the relief that I felt when I managed that time and space confluence of the maintenance vs when to sell successfully. Your day will come.


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