I really did not know what to expect as I left Juno Beach and made my way south. The Intercoastal waterway on one side and Atlantic on the other. A1A and Highway 1, the Dixie Highway, rolls through the coast and I have not really needed a map. Navigation has been simplier since I entered Florida. The occasional right turn inland over a large draw bridge and through a port is the only deviation.
Palm Beach was an eye opener. I do not think I have seen a display of wealth like that before. The road is two lanes and it is maintained much like a private driveway. Hedges are trimmed by hand. Lawns are mowed and palm trees are pruned. I actually saw a mounded lawn that was so perfect it could have been a green at Augusta. I did a double take to make sure it was grass and not synthetic. Enormous estate homes on the inlet side of the road with docks for mooring yachts and ski boats. Cross the road and the accompanying beach houses are marked as private beach access boardwalks down to the water. Much, much different than the north coast.
The closer I got to the population explosion of Miami the more traffic and lights appeared. My four hour trip to the keys was looking less likely. Not that I minded, I was really enjoying the changing city scape. Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood Beach and then South Beach. Each area grows in size and the towers along the beach get higher. By the time you see the Trump International Towers you realize that Miami is very close. Canals line the water front and docks and boat lifts are backyards. The visual change is stunning.
I felt a little out of place though. As you enter South Beach the motorcycles become zippy transportation for loafer wearing business men. A long haired Italian gentleman ripping through traffic on his bright red Ducati Monster was just one example of the two wheeled set in Miami. I was pretty chuffed with myself. I drove right through the middle of Miami with just the road signs to guide me. That is very unheard of for me. I usually have a pretty good idea of my route. Seven hours after leaving my motel in Juno Beach I stopped to collect my thoughts and grab a burger. The Keys were still more than two hours away with traffic and I needed to adapt. Decided to overnight in Homestead and hit the keys with fresh eyes today….