Like the Bahamas, or Cuba before Castro decided he wanted to run the place into the ground, Key West is one of those surreal locations that seems just to be waiting for you to show up and spend your money. But if you're going to make the road trip all the way down there -- a journey for which you should definitely rent a convertible if you don't already own one -- you should have the right roof over your head. Do not stay at any of those massive resort hotels, so far removed from downtown, where all the action is. Bed-and-breakfast Eden House is within easy walking distance of Duval Street, the main thoroughfare, and it beats the holy hell out of the resorts, both in atmosphere and price. At the busiest point in the season, around mid-March, it's $110 per night for a bedroom and bathroom and up to $350 for the bottom half of the Conch House, which includes kitchen and private Jacuzzi and comfortably sleeps four. In the dog days of summer, rates drop to $70 to $265. And each room is its own little world, hidden away from other rooms by a jungle of vines, trees, and ferns. When you're lying amid this flora, sipping a fruity drink, you'll know you've finally reached paradise.
Like the Bahamas, or Cuba before Castro decided he wanted to run the place into the ground, Key West is one of those surreal locations that seems just to be waiting for you to show up and spend your money. But if you're going to make the road trip all the way down there -- a journey for which you should definitely rent a convertible if you don't already own one -- you should have the right roof over your head. Do not stay at any of those massive resort hotels, so far removed from downtown, where all the action is. Bed-and-breakfast Eden House is within easy walking distance of Duval Street, the main thoroughfare, and it beats the holy hell out of the resorts, both in atmosphere and price. At the busiest point in the season, around mid-March, it's $110 per night for a bedroom and bathroom and up to $350 for the bottom half of the Conch House, which includes kitchen and private Jacuzzi and comfortably sleeps four. In the dog days of summer, rates drop to $70 to $265. And each room is its own little world, hidden away from other rooms by a jungle of vines, trees, and ferns. When you're lying amid this flora, sipping a fruity drink, you'll know you've finally reached paradise.
Let's face it: The Hollywood Broadwalk is cool because it's retro. This slice of blacktop on the sand is sooooo '50s. Rather than art deco like South Beach, this place recalls the time when cars had fins and families were, well, families. And what exactly was the glue that bound those bratty brothers, sarcastic sisters, and beleaguered parents? It was mini-golf. And this tiny, fenced-in course really has a 1950s feel about it. None of that high-tech stuff they have at those modern amusement parks. No giant windmills, triple-switcheroo clown figurines, or electronic sirens. Nosireebob. FunTyme costs but $5 for adults and $3 for kids, and you get a free game if you rent any of its bicycles or scooters. And if you must meet someone on Broward County's most retro waterfront, all you really have to say to 'em is "Let's meet at the mini-golf course" and they'll know just what you're talking about.
Let's face it: The Hollywood Broadwalk is cool because it's retro. This slice of blacktop on the sand is sooooo '50s. Rather than art deco like South Beach, this place recalls the time when cars had fins and families were, well, families. And what exactly was the glue that bound those bratty brothers, sarcastic sisters, and beleaguered parents? It was mini-golf. And this tiny, fenced-in course really has a 1950s feel about it. None of that high-tech stuff they have at those modern amusement parks. No giant windmills, triple-switcheroo clown figurines, or electronic sirens. Nosireebob. FunTyme costs but $5 for adults and $3 for kids, and you get a free game if you rent any of its bicycles or scooters. And if you must meet someone on Broward County's most retro waterfront, all you really have to say to 'em is "Let's meet at the mini-golf course" and they'll know just what you're talking about.
Less than eight months ago, Thomas Abrams was the toast of the town, raking in millions as a big, swinging financier and earning respect and admiration for his foundation, which he claimed provided millions for impoverished children. Then in October, the day before he was to host a $25,000-a-plate fundraiser at the Breakers, organizers had to tell the likes of Dan Marino, Eunice Shriver, and Buzz Aldrin that the gala was off. Instead of spending the weekend at the five-star resort regaling celebrities with unsubstantiated claims that he created the X-Men comic book hero Wolverine and played fullback for the Miami Hurricanes, the man who managed 260 accounts worth $6 million from his lavish Fort Lauderdale office was busy. Seems the FBI wanted to talk to him about evidence that showed he had bilked elderly investors out of more than $20 million. Six weeks later, Abrams was arrested and charged with six counts of wire fraud, six counts of mail fraud, and three counts of money laundering. Unable to get his hands on bank accounts the feds froze, the 39-year-old was forced to cry poverty; taxpayers are now picking up the tab for his defense. But whether he's convicted or not, his life will never be the same. In March, the feds auctioned off $700,000 worth of his beloved toys and sports and historical memorabilia. Gone are dozens of autographed bats, balls, jerseys, helmets, and gloves. Gone is a signed copy of Richard Nixon's August 9, 1974, resignation and Gerald Ford's September 8, 1974, pardon. The Harley and Jag? Gone. In retrospect, his fall from grace might have been expected. After all, here's a guy who made millions yet couldn't afford a dictionary so he could correctly spell the name of his company, Pheonix Investment Management, and his charity, Pheonix Foundation for Children. But spelled correctly or not, this is one bird that will only explode in fire, never to fly high again.
Less than eight months ago, Thomas Abrams was the toast of the town, raking in millions as a big, swinging financier and earning respect and admiration for his foundation, which he claimed provided millions for impoverished children. Then in October, the day before he was to host a $25,000-a-plate fundraiser at the Breakers, organizers had to tell the likes of Dan Marino, Eunice Shriver, and Buzz Aldrin that the gala was off. Instead of spending the weekend at the five-star resort regaling celebrities with unsubstantiated claims that he created the X-Men comic book hero Wolverine and played fullback for the Miami Hurricanes, the man who managed 260 accounts worth $6 million from his lavish Fort Lauderdale office was busy. Seems the FBI wanted to talk to him about evidence that showed he had bilked elderly investors out of more than $20 million. Six weeks later, Abrams was arrested and charged with six counts of wire fraud, six counts of mail fraud, and three counts of money laundering. Unable to get his hands on bank accounts the feds froze, the 39-year-old was forced to cry poverty; taxpayers are now picking up the tab for his defense. But whether he's convicted or not, his life will never be the same. In March, the feds auctioned off $700,000 worth of his beloved toys and sports and historical memorabilia. Gone are dozens of autographed bats, balls, jerseys, helmets, and gloves. Gone is a signed copy of Richard Nixon's August 9, 1974, resignation and Gerald Ford's September 8, 1974, pardon. The Harley and Jag? Gone. In retrospect, his fall from grace might have been expected. After all, here's a guy who made millions yet couldn't afford a dictionary so he could correctly spell the name of his company, Pheonix Investment Management, and his charity, Pheonix Foundation for Children. But spelled correctly or not, this is one bird that will only explode in fire, never to fly high again.
Spady Cultural Heritage Museum
Located in the 1926 home of Delray Beach educator S.D. Spady, the museum is a tiny gem of cultural preservation. Runaway slaves seeking refuge from bounty hunters settled in Delray Beach around 1894. The museum features the history of two African-American communities that sprang up from the ground they settled: The Sands, located on Fifth Avenue north of Atlantic Avenue, and Frog Alley, on Fifth south of Atlantic. Many local families loaned photographs to the museum for the exhibit, allowing the museum patron to peek into a little-documented slice of black history. Included are photographs taken in Frog Alley after a hurricane swept through the community in 1947, pictures of area businesses, and photos of residents. The S.D. Spady Cultural Arts Museum opened in July 2001. Museum hours are Tuesday and Thursday from 1 to 4 p.m. and by appointment.
Located in the 1926 home of Delray Beach educator S.D. Spady, the museum is a tiny gem of cultural preservation. Runaway slaves seeking refuge from bounty hunters settled in Delray Beach around 1894. The museum features the history of two African-American communities that sprang up from the ground they settled: The Sands, located on Fifth Avenue north of Atlantic Avenue, and Frog Alley, on Fifth south of Atlantic. Many local families loaned photographs to the museum for the exhibit, allowing the museum patron to peek into a little-documented slice of black history. Included are photographs taken in Frog Alley after a hurricane swept through the community in 1947, pictures of area businesses, and photos of residents. The S.D. Spady Cultural Arts Museum opened in July 2001. Museum hours are Tuesday and Thursday from 1 to 4 p.m. and by appointment.
"Where can you take us to see an alligator in the wild without getting too close?" Chances are that if you ever find yourself hosting two or more out-of-towners, you'll be asked this silly, impossible question. The answer to your out-of-town trouble may just be a visit to this quirky, 50-acre wetlands preserve in suburban Delray Beach, preferably during the early-morning or late-afternoon hours if you want to catch some good wildlife action. The wetlands actually consist of converted percolation ponds used by the Palm Beach County Department of Environmental Resources Management to reclaim treated wastewater -- and don't worry, you can't smell it. The ponds were modified to support a variety of vegetation types including aquatic, emergent, transitional, and upland plants and are now home to more than 100 species of birds, turtles, and, of course, alligators. A sturdy, one-mile boardwalk meanders through several of the small lakes; there are two observation points and plenty of signs to identify and inform your guests about the vegetation, birds, and other wildlife most common to the area. The wetlands are open from dusk to dawn daily, and admission is free.
"Where can you take us to see an alligator in the wild without getting too close?" Chances are that if you ever find yourself hosting two or more out-of-towners, you'll be asked this silly, impossible question. The answer to your out-of-town trouble may just be a visit to this quirky, 50-acre wetlands preserve in suburban Delray Beach, preferably during the early-morning or late-afternoon hours if you want to catch some good wildlife action. The wetlands actually consist of converted percolation ponds used by the Palm Beach County Department of Environmental Resources Management to reclaim treated wastewater -- and don't worry, you can't smell it. The ponds were modified to support a variety of vegetation types including aquatic, emergent, transitional, and upland plants and are now home to more than 100 species of birds, turtles, and, of course, alligators. A sturdy, one-mile boardwalk meanders through several of the small lakes; there are two observation points and plenty of signs to identify and inform your guests about the vegetation, birds, and other wildlife most common to the area. The wetlands are open from dusk to dawn daily, and admission is free.

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