Just north of the island of Palm Beach, smack dab in the middle of the Lake Worth Lagoon, sits a 169-year-old cabin plucked from the shores of Cape Cod. Just looking at it will sober you up. The cabin arrives every winter from its former home up north thanks to Capt. Pete Mason, who dropped the building onto a catamaran platform three years ago. Now, Mason rents out the monstrosity to party planners looking for a location that seems, well, barely afloat. The two-story structure looks straight out of Mark Twain, like a hunting lodge made of long-leaf yellow pine. A pilot house upstairs looks pulled out of a tugboat. The gregarious Mason says it's the perfect spot for a soon-to-be groom to usher in his vows, although it isn't cheap, at $1,800 for an eight-hour bash. "They bring the food and girls," he says, "and I provide the platform." A recent bachelor party, outfitted with six dancers, lasted till nearly sunrise. "That was a bit too long," Mason says. "But I didn't have the heart to kick 'em off."

Sunsport Gardens Family Nudist Resort
Given South Florida's subtropical climate, it's summer nearly 11 months out of the year. And about seven of those are so hot and muggy that your T-shirt is soaked with sweat the minute you walk outside. So it's no surprise that it's not the most popular destination for camping trips. But that doesn't mean our region is unsuitable for the practice; it's just that all the naysayers are going about it the wrong way. There's no need to fret about the heat. Just grin and bare it. That's right, take it off! After all, isn't camping supposed to be about freedom? And there's no better place than Sunsport Gardens Family Nudist Resort to release your inner Adam or Eve. The place is appropriately situated in the rural Loxahatchee Groves and includes all the amenities you need for a refreshing night of clothes-free camping. Wanna play some nude volleyball? No problem. The approximately 40-acre resort offers plenty of recreation, from tennis and fishing to a nature trail to even a spa and sauna. To quell your appetite, Sunsport Gardens has its own full-service restaurant for meat-eaters and veggies alike. So, if you're gonna spend the night with Mother Nature, there's no need to do it half-assed; do it bare-assed.

Prestigious Pine Crest Preparatory School has been sending academic overachievers to Ivy League schools since 1934. But no alum has been in the news in the recent year as much as the Class of 1998's (and Boca Raton's own) Mary Ellen Cook, better known as Mary Carey. The star of fine pieces of pornography like Grand Opening and Boobsville Sorority Girls, Carey used her double-D breasts to their fullest in her run for governor of California. Of course, we all know who won, but did you know that Carey's hole was punched on 16,174 ballots, landing her in tenth place of about 135 candidates, snugly between businessman George B. Schwartzman and pro-marijuana legalization attorney Bruce Margolin? Her platform contained novel initiatives, some of which might have succeeded (taxing breast implants and legalizing gay marriage included). But many think that her campaign was just a big publicity stunt for her career in porn. If so, it may have worked. The 24-year-old Carey has recently announced that she has begun to write and direct her own films and has just finished Mary Carey Rules! 3, the adult video world's version of a sketch comedy show, which should be out by the time you read this.

They draw constant derision, what with their silly accents, their tucked-in shirts, and their strawberry-shortcake tans. But who among us would truly banish the tourists? In a world without tourists, who aboard the Jungle Queen would we moon from the riverbanks? Who would patronize those delightful rickshaws? Who would keep the economy flush enough so that we don't have to pay a state income tax? Where would we find authentic French Canadians to jeer? And how would we justify all the goofball beach bars, the salt-smeared crab shacks, the lame-crap outlets, the insistence on covering "Margaritaville" for the umpty-jillionth time. Would we have to admit that this cheap pleasure culture is of our own making, not theirs? Moreover, tourists remind us that we are all but delirious guests on this mortal coil. Live each day in South Florida as though your flight for Sheboygan leaves in the morning, for one of these days, you'll be right.
Not Dubya. Not Jeb. Delsa. The 43-year-old single mother of two was recently installed as the new chief of police for West Palm Beach. That makes her the first woman and the first African-American to serve as the city's top cop. Essentially the CEO of the largest municipal department in Palm Beach County, Chief Bush is responsible for overseeing a $40 million budget and a staff of 281 sworn officers, 111 civilians, and three K-9s. Bush, who moved to Palm Beach County from Mississippi at age 4, helped raise her six brothers and sisters while her single mother packed tomatoes in local fields. At age 14, Bush was inspired to become a law enforcement officer when her mother was shot by an irate lover in Lantana and sheriff's deputies responded to the family with remarkable kindness. She put herself through college and joined the West Palm Beach police force in 1983 -- becoming its first female African-American officer. This year, Bush's department is expected to process 42,300 police reports, recover 1,050 stolen cars, seize 803,448 grams of narcotics, and get 6,000 kids to attend police-sponsored talent shows on Saturday nights. When not out busting bad guys, the chief does her homework: She is pursuing a doctorate in educational services at Lynn University.

In the delightfully ephemeral world of television news, most female anchors rely on two God-given gifts: girl-next-door beauty and the uncanny ability to unleash a vacuous giggle on the male co-anchor's cue. A notable exception to the rule is NBC 6's Emmy-winning Jackie Nespral, whose dark good looks are rivaled only by her wit and drive. Nespral, a South Florida native who attended the University of Miami and Florida International University, started her journalism career in Spanish-language news as a reporter for Television Marti and later as an anchor for Univision's Noticias y Mas. That experience allowed her to become television news' Hispanic Jackie Robinson when, in 1991, she was chosen to anchor NBC's Weekend Today. Fortunately, Nespral's South Florida roots continued to tug at her from New York, so she returned and can now be seen anchoring NBC 6's 5 p.m., 6 p.m., and 11 p.m. weekday newscasts with the professionalism and charisma of a groundbreaker. Readers' Choice: Dwight Lauderdale, WPLG-TV (Channel 10)
Look, we don't want to rain on weathercasters' parades, but they are at the very bottom of the television news ladder. Half of them steal their forecasts from the National Weather Service, and they're still wrong a lot. Their greatest talent, generally speaking, is the ability to pretend they're looking at an imaginary map. And then there's the fine art of determining whether a particular day is "partly sunny" or "partly cloudy." Weathercasters are often relegated to clown status, like Al Roker, Willard Scott, and Brian Norcross. That's why we prefer weather babes. You know, beautiful blonds like Dale Gribble's wife on King of the Hill. Then there's Pamela Wright, a brunette. Raven-haired, really. The woman clearly has a very high heat index. And we'd really love to find her dew point. (You gotta love weather double-entendres, don't you?) Keep castin' Pamela. Only please, please, stay away from the sidelines of football fields. We like our sports analysts to know what the hell they're talking about, no matter how hot they might be.

Readers Choice: Jackie Johnson, WSVN-TV (Channel 7)

Daytime news broadcasts are often quite fascinating. Not for news, which they generally lack, but for the bizarre and unsettling combination of gruesome fatal accidents or murder stories with the cheery talk about other goings-on and weather. The juxtaposition can produce a disturbing effect that David Lynch can only envy. But Channel 10, the local ABC affiliate, takes its daytime seriously. Anchoring the show is the best name in television news, Diane Magnum, a polished veteran with a strong background in reporting. From the first moment, you realize you're in relatively capable and serious hands. Once past Magnum, the program has its secret weapon: Glenna Milberg, who may not be a journalistic heavy hitter but who knows her way around a story and almost always does a solid job. While Jildah Unruh plays the role of Channel 10's take-no-prisoners investigator, Milberg is its balanced professional -- and her touch especially feels right during those live daytime reports under the noontime Florida sun. What you end up getting isn't just traffic and weather but political news and, quite often, an in-depth report on the most interesting story of the day. It's good enough that you can barely believe it's only noon.

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