Sarah and I set off this morning nice and early for West Palm Beach, top down and sat-nav primed!

Me on Juno Beach, West Palm Beach, Florida

I had a story about a Frenchman called Drefuss buzzing around my head, it must have been on the radio when I fell asleep last night. He was wrongfully imprisoned at the end of the 19th century and prompted a famous author to pen “j’acuse”, pointing the finger at the French Army and establishment… must look it up in more detail.

Anyway, it took us about 2h 45 to get to West Palm Beach (aka Palm Beach) from Kissimmee and we headed straight to a pedestrian friendly area (a rarity in these parts) where we wandered around some shops, grabbing some lunch in an Italian place next to a fountain in the square.   I had a walnut, gorgonzola and pear salad… no real gorgonzola, soft walnuts… but the pears were ok.

Sarah on Juno Beach

On the advice of the waitress, we headed North on I-95 to Juno Beach to stroll along the sand and dip our toes in the Atlantic.

Juno is a very nice, sandy beach with coast guards actively patrolling. Considering it is so close to such a built up area, I was pleasantly surprised by how relaxing it was – and how quiet.

Only one comically pumped, bandana sporting, bronzed Miami-style runner to speak of!

Following the beach stroll, we got back in the motor and set off north on route 1, heading back homeward with a vague notion to stop somewhere on the way for dinner.

Where are the towns?

Sarah and I drove around Florida a fair bit and I have no idea where they keep their towns!

The feeling you get is that everyone lives in one giant suburb with 3 lane highways ploughing through the middle giving no clue as to the character of the places you are passing. For a European, this is really frustrating as in general if you get of the main motorways in Europe, you will find something resembling a town that you can stop in and walk around, instead you are forced into a mall, some form or drive through or purpose built car park.

Now, vague notions to stop somewhere can work in Europe where the roads generally take you through towns and villages where you can spot a potential venue… in this part of the States at least, you are specifically routed past anything of interest, pushed in rows of 3 or more at 55 mph north, south, east or west.

We did stop somewhere called Stuart that resembled a town in some respects but it was difficult to find and this was after a few failed efforts to find somewhere that would be nice to walk around and find a place to eat.

Once you have figured this out and you make a real effort to leave the main drag, you can sometimes find places that resemble towns and find a good place to eat.   We managed to stumble upon Stewart, and had a fun meal, the home made Lemonade and Orangeade were a highlight!