Sunday, February 7, 2010

Singer Island

Every year in Janauary Gregg and I take a mini "pre-tax season" vacation. Our first one was the January after we met and we went to Ireland... not surprisingly we haven't managed to live up to that one yet. We generally stay close to home now and find a nice hotel somewhere in FL (past weekend trips include St. Augustine, Naples and Miami). This year we stayed at  The Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa, which used to be The Resort at Singer Island.


We really love staying on the beach; nothing compares to the sound of the waves at night or leaving the balcony doors open and smelling the salt air. I really love getting up super early and bringing my camera down to the beach. I grabbed my camera bag and tripod and headed down about 6:15 only to witness one of the saddest excuses for a sunrise I've ever seen... with one very brief moment of color:


After that, the sky was very boring. However, as would most photographers I know, I did not give up that easily. Heck, I have all of my camera equipment, an ocean, beautiful morning light and hours before Gregg would wake up... right? While standing there attempting pictures of the less than spectacular sunrise, a surfer walked up from the parking area with his surfboard under his arm. We chatted for a bit and then he headed down to the water. He spent less than an hour out there, just paddling around. Believe it or not (and it's almost impossible from these pictures) he said he's been doing this for over seventy years! Pretty incredible.

 

Right before heading back up to the room (to read on the balcony, another of my favorite things to do) I snapped a few pictures of this lifeguard shack, which is very common around here but a nice photography subject:


Around 11, we took off on our bikes and headed north on A1A. We stopped an chatted with a older couple who were out walking and had stopped on the intracoastal side to look at something. Thank goodness Gregg is very sociable because while he was being friendly, I was walking silently through the brush to capture this guy:

   

I was later told by one of my Palm Beach Photo Walker friends that he is a Yellow-Crowned Night Heron. Learning all of these birds names is a challenge to me but I've been trying very hard and learning a lot thanks to my photographer friends, especially Julianne (Juliboc on DPC). You just have to look at her bird collection, it's truly amazing.

We continued to ride north, our ultimate goal being The Waterway Cafe on PGA Blvd. On the way we passed MacArthur Beach State Park and decided to stop to check it out. I really can't believe neither one of us had ever been there before. (According to the website the park is in North Palm Beach but I'll still include these pictures in the Singer Island blog post). VERY beautiful place, nice quiet beach and even kayaking is available (one day soon).


  

Alternate A1A is definitely a road worth driving or riding on, especially up that way. I think I was frustrating Gregg a little because I kept stopping to take pictures. The sky was not beautiful that day (and it was VERY windy) but in spite of that, I think the pictures turned out ok. It's just so peaceful and natural...


We did end up having lunch at the Waterway Cafe and rode back to the hotel (after a few beers and the wind picking up, this was no easy feat). It was a pretty long ride but it really made me realize (once again) what a beautiful place Palm Beach County is. One of my favorite shots of Singer Island is of the resort, from the beach side, and it is my Palm Beach County photo of the week on DPC.


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