Worth Avenue in Palm Beach, Fla., Courtyard

I may have sat in President Kennedy’s chair

Our Friends shopping on Worth Avenue

Our Friends shopping on Worth Avenue (photo by dorothyadele)

A recent trip to Worth Avenue in Palm Beach triggered memories from a previous trip when we naïvely entered an expensive, renowned restaurant when we were in our 20s. What could have been an embarrassing mistake became a memorable experience.

The trip began when I vacationed with my friends in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and we drove to Palm Beach to spend the day. We arrived in the morning and strolled down Worth Avenue. Worth Avenue is often compared to Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, Calif., and Avenue Montaigne in Paris.

Exclusive fashion boutiques, jewelry stores, antique shops, fine furniture stores, restaurants, gift shops and spas composed — and still compose — Worth Avenue. Ferraris, Bentleys,  Mercedes-Benz and Rolls-Royce automobiles  were parked on the palm-tree-lined street. Brightly colored flowers cascaded over arches and poured out of tubs and baskets outside the shops and in the courtyards.

Friends are strolling on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach,Fla.

Friends are strolling on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach,Fla. (Photo by dorothyadele)

We window shopped, and watched diamond-adorned shoppers saunter in and out of Gucci, Van Cleef and Arpels, Hermes, Neiman Marcus and Cartier stores. Many shoppers wore hats and sported designer clothes, shoes and bags.

By mid afternoon, we were hungry and we looked for a restaurant for lunch. I suggested that we drop into Ta-boo for a quick bite. I did not realize that it was famous,  and President John F. Kennedy, Frank Sinatra, Donald Trump, Jimmy Buffett, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Rod Stewart and many other celebrities had dined there.

I was first to enter the restaurant , and I stopped like I had hit a wall. I spotted shiny silverware and crisp starched white tablecloths, and I knew that it wasn’t in the average price range for us 20 somethings.

I considered bolting out the door and sprinting down Worth Avenue in search of McDonalds‘ golden arches. Instead I casually glanced back at my friends with an uh-oh look and smiled. We quickly decided to stay.

My friends liked new experiences and were unlikely to get upset over a lunch. Also, it would have been awkward if we darted past the maitre d and out the door clutching our wallets. I bet that would have raised some eyebrows.

Though Ta-boo was upscale, we enjoyed our lunch and had a great time. My friends teased me that they would not allow me to suggest dropping into a restaurant for a quick bite ever again.

I fondly remember our lunch at Ta-boo. Who knows, I may even have sat in President John F. Kennedy’s chair that day.

Boca Raton Resort & Club Courtyard

Boca Raton Resort & Club Mixes Old With the New

As I step out of my car and enter the Boca Resort and Club in Boca Raton, (Rah-tone) Fla., I am usually struck by the palm tree, white SunPatiens and fushia-Bougainvillia filled-flower gardens. I look for pink arched stone entranceways, wrought iron railings, spired and clay colored tiled roofs that transport me to an earlier Mediterranean era. On this visit, I can’t miss Doggy John the contemporary French Bull Dog sculpture that sits proudly in front of the resort. DSC00195

The Boca Resort blends Mediterranean architecture from many eras. Currently contemporary sculptures are displayed throughout the resort from the Baker Sponder Gallery. Guests may pick up a pamphlet at the concierge and tour at their leisure.

Horse With Saddle greets visitors in the middle of the palm tree lined lobby. Cream carved pillars, arched doorways and windows, and flower-carved ceilings

Boca Raton Resort & Club Lobby

Boca Raton Resort & Club Lobby (photo by dorothyadele)

Guardians Grace

Guardians Grace (Photo by dorothyadele)

In the courtyard, near the Adam and Eve sculpture, water splashes into gold, blue, white, green, red, yellow and pink mosaic tiled fountains. The soothing drizzling water reminds me of a rain shower on a book-reading day.

Adam and Eve Bronze Sculpture

Adam and Eve Bronze Sculpture (photo by dorothyadele)

Jelly Baby Family

Jelly Baby Family (photo by dorothyadele)

Contemporary art is meticulously mixed among Mediterranean design influenced by history. It give the Boca Resort an “old world” but new feeling.

The Boca Raton Resort and Club

Boca Raton Resort & Club in Boca Raton, Florida

The Boca Raton Resort and Club

The Boca Raton Resort and Club

After several years, I recently returned to Boca Raton Resort & Club in Boca Raton, Florida. There is nothing comparable to approaching the impressive, ornate resort from the palm-tree-lined entry road. I am not a resort-type person because I prefer quiet vacations. However, the Boca Resort and Club’s amenities outweigh any inconvenience from crowds during the busy season.

The Boca Resort and Club offers a beautiful beach, several pools, golf, tennis, croquet, a spa, fitness center and a marina. They even have children’s programs. (My children participated in these programs many years ago.)

Previously, I accompanied my husband when he visited Boca for business. We loved the resort and brought the children with us on vacations.  The Boca Resort excelled in customer service.

During one of our past visits, I had a great experience. We did not tell the personnel at the resort that it was my birthday, but when we returned to our room, the management sent us chocolate covered strawberries with a birthday note. I presume that someone saw my birthdate on my license and followed up. We were impressed!

Last week my daughter and I visited the Boca Resort and Club. I felt that their 

The Ferry From the Resort to the Beach Club

customer service had changed from my past experiences.

Tennis was one of the highlights of my Boca Resort experience.  Over the years, the tennis staff would fit me into a tennis game on short notice (even when I was a beginner and could not hit the ball even if my life depended on it).  On one of my trips when I was about 35  years old,  an 80-year-old man beat me in tennis.  It was extremely embarrassing.  I remember that I had a cocktail at the pool bar just to recover. My husband asked me repeatedly if the man was really 80.

When I arrived at the Boca Resort last week, I stopped into the tennis shop and asked if I could get me into a tennis game. (I have improved since the mean 80-year-old’s victory over the helpless 35 year-old.) They took my name and room number.  When I stopped into the tennis center on my departure day to exchange an item, I mentioned that I never heard from them. They told me that I was not on their list, but they could have used me that morning in a game. I was disappointed.

The morning that I planned to leave, I had another issue. I was reading and relaxing in my room (in a robe) when I realized that I had not checked in for my flight. I called the business office and asked them if they would please print my boarding pass.  The man who answered the phone told me that I had to come  down to the kiosk and do it myself. I jumped into my clothes and hurried to the kiosk. I could not get the boarding pass to print and still needed assistance. I finally found a manager to help me.

I feel that the Boca Resort and Club is still a beautiful resort but their customer service has declined in some areas. However, my husband and I are going to give it another try.

On a positive note, my daughter and I had a blast. We excel at eating  and enjoyed the resort’s restaurants.  We ate sushi in Morimoto, seafood in Cielo, we had  a fun casual dinner in 501 East Kitchen and Bar. (The only complaint about 501 East was that my daughter wouldn’t let me order the cocoanut cake, because she wanted the monkey bread.)

We loved our room and they allowed us an early check in and a late check-out. We ate, exercised, relaxed, swam and bonded!