Bob Ingram’s Visit: A former husband is an enduring friend

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Suze and Bob rejoin on Pompano Beach at Light House Cove, 11/28/11

 

Bob takes in the sea breezes and salt air with Light House Point in distance

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I guess we’re making a winter visit a tradition as my dear ex-husband, Bob Ingram, and I now mark his second annual visit to my Pompano Beach home. We planned this one to include a long, four-night trip to Bob’s old haunt in Key West. Bob stayed there off and on for a few years and a long time ago, during our time as a couple, we had a stay there as well. This trip, though, Bob had hoped to find his friends, Suzie and Martha DePoo of the famous Key West DePoos, but no such luck. Suzie, well into her 90s had recently passed, and Martha no longer made the Keys her home. They are both part of a famous art family. Martha’s work is really lovely.

 

Bob gives a thumb’s up to the great Mile Marker 88 Restaurant, a fantastic recommendation from my neighbor Allan.

We left for Key West on Tuesday, the 29th, with perfect, albeit breezy weather and great traffic. I drove. This is a big deal. Since Martijn died I developed a sort of phobia, along with my grief and depression, about driving. This is the longest drive I’ve ever made, and with Bob’s boisterous but welcome banter I found the trip effortless.

We had a great mid-way destination, Marker 88 Islamorada’s gourmet restaurant with it’s killer views and friendly wait staff. We made it from my door – exactly 200.5 miles on the nose – to the Herron House, booked through Expedia, in about 5 hours.

Poolside, Heron House B & B

Poolside looked great but it was the old bait and switch for us! The first room they offered, I guess the Expedia penalty room, was dark, dank and dismal. My heart sank. Eventually we got the little hovel room in the back, one click up from a motel room and with a horrible odor! We made the most of our situation, but I knew there was no way I would last there for four nights.

That first afternoon we walked everywhere, searching for the Bob’s old haunts. After a pretty ambitious loop, we discovered The Gardens Hotel, literally one street away from our B & B, and across the street from one of Bob’s treasured haunts, his friend Chris’ old house where Bob used to stay. Now this is THE SPOT. We tried to change but knew we were unable to get out of our reservation. Alas. As a consolation, we were invited to wander the brilliant gardens, ergo the name, and as our tour guide had a rather affable drunk who claimed to be JRR Tolkein’s cousin. Never mind. We loved this place and if I go back, it’s the spot for me. We happened to find, quite by accident a remarkable Italian restaurant for dinner, La Trattoria, and we were transported from our ‘housing’ misery by an exquisite dinner worthy of Italy herself. Thereafter, accidental tourists that we were, we came upon the newly refurbished Tropic Cinema, an extraordinary homage to real theaters, where we saw the creepy film, “martha marcy may marlene,” which I could have done without.

The next day we jam packed with walking, more great eating, and a ride on the cute Conch [pronounced konk, as in konk on the head] bus which gave us a great hour-an-a-half downtown to the Southern Most Point tour. We were drawn back to The Gardens Hotel where by chance we had drinks with Kate Miano, the wonderful owner. She referred us to a local eatery where we had yet another fabulous meal.

Bob and I had agreed that two nights were reasonable for this trip, so we pulled out of Key West on Thursday, hoping that Herron House management would let Expedia know they agreed to let us out of the contract. We’ll see… fingers crossed.

 

Spidey Man on Sitar, Duval Street, Key West

 

Conch Republic Headquarters, Simonton Street, Key West

Errick Johnson at Blue Jean Blues

Our trip back was quick, with good weather, some nice pit stops, and we went for an early dinner and show at my favorite local watering hole here, Blue Jean Blues, where the young and extremely talented Errick Johnson counted as Bob and my favorite part of our week together. Check our Errick’s website and if you can, catch him.

Friday found us at the Boca Art Museum and an exhibit of Federico Uribe. Wild creativity. For this exhibition, Uribe constructed most of his works from shoe laces, and various Puma sneaker parts, from insoles to soles to grommets.

Puma Palm

 

Sneaker Gazelle

 

Book Tree

Saturday we had a grand tour of Miami’s Lincoln Road and South Beach courtesy of our next door neighbors, Sharon and Allan Schatten with yet another fabulous dinner at YUCA, Young Urban Cuban American right on Lincoln Road.

Sunday I was busy preparing for my first official party, hosting a bevy of my neighbors for a backyard evening. Everyone brought a dish to share, the weather was perfect and the party was a success.

L to R: Cindy, Barbara, Allan, Sharon and Bob

The week drew to too soon a close with Monday evening bringing us to the Hard Rock Cafe and a concert by Philadelphia’s own, Hall & Oats. Bob is now en route back to his Wildwood by the Sea home, and I’m headed off to a Holiday Party from my Master Gardener Group.