Friday was my last day before the two-week holiday break and to celebrate, Mr. R. picked me up from work and we headed out for date night. It was early, so before we went downtown we headed toward the beach, driving north along A1A to the Jupiter inlet.
It was an absolutely beautiful late afternoon with the temperature in the mid 70s and the water was smooth. As we watched boats effortlessly navigating the inlet I could feel the tension of a hectic work day melting away. The sun sank lower and we turned south heading for Clematis Street in downtown West Palm Beach.
We had a little trouble finding parking. It turns out there was a Slutty Santa Pub Crawl, which made for awesome people watching when we found our favorite table outside Bar Louie. With Mr. R.’s Stella and my Cosmo, we settled in to wait for the sun to go down and the holiday lights to twinkle to life.
For Christmas, Clematis is always festively decorated with garlands, designer Christmas trees, LED motion icicles, and rows of lights strung down the center of the street all the way from the east end at Bar Louie to the 500 block, home of O’Shea’s Pub and Respectable Street. My only tiny whine: in years past, the lights were blue, lending a funky surreal glow to the revelry. This year the lights were white. Oh well.
Sitting outside at Bar Louie, we enjoyed our cocktails and some appetizers like the boneless chicken wings and their signature bruschetta, and watched as the crowds of Slutty Santas grew larger and sluttier. I was a bit disappointed that the naked guy from Halloween didn’t make a reappearance.
It was nicely dark when we finished our refreshments and the street was beautifully festive. After paying our server, we made our way east toward the waterfront to view West Palm Beach’s annual contribution to holiday decor, the 35-foot tall Christmas tree sculpted from 600 tons of sand.
The photo doesn’t really do it justice. The color changes, the lights twinkle and fade, and the whole thing is set to music. Here is the link from this year’s Tree Lighting Ceremony. I want to point out WPBF’s very own Erin Guy as this year’s host.
We had a genuinely nice date night. It was a fabulous beginning to a hard-earned vacation.