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  • Writer's pictureDanielle Waugh

WPB: West Palm Blog

Hello from my new, mostly empty apartment in West Palm Beach! This was my third day in South Florida, and first day at my new job. My first impression of the area is that it is bright and colorful -- especially after a month or so of gray New England weather. The weather has been a bit of a shock to my system, but I really can't complain about 75 and sunny! There is so much to explore, and I already have a list of beaches, snorkeling spots, and restaurants I want to start to check off the list.

My move down really started last Thursday morning. I packed my little Ford Focus completely full of boxes (mostly clothes) and drove about 9 hours to Pennsylvania. Maine couldn't let me go without one last snow storm -- and my sedan, lacking snow tires and four wheel drive -- struggled to spin down Commercial Street and on to 295. Once my fiance, Jeremy and I were out of the state, the roads were fine and the drive was a breeze. I only cried a little bit pulling out of the driveway...

It was a nice treat to have my stop in PA coincide with my mom's birthday! I haven't been able to spend her birthday with her in many years. We met my parents for dinner in the York area and slept overnight at their place. The next morning, we drove from PA to VA to catch the AUTOTRAIN! I had never heard of the Amtrak Autotrain before, but my cousin Morgan had and recommended it as a way to cut down on the driving. It's like a car ferry... but on rails! The 18 hour overnight trip boarded in Lorton VA at 4pm (but you have to get to the station 2 hours early to get the cars loaded) and arrives in Sanford FL the next morning at 8am. We upgraded to a sleeper cabin that has bunk beds in the hopes that we would get a good night sleep. I had to sleep in the top bunk and despite a sleeping mask, earplugs, and a dose of NyQuil -- I struggled HARD to comfortably sleep that night. The good outweighed the bad though. We were able to get some work done on the ride down, had 2 meals on the train, relaxed a bit, and avoided putting all those miles on my car. While it wasn't the most comfortable or luxurious travel -- it saved us time and stress and I'd do it again.

Jeremy gives the Autotrain one thumb up!

Jeremy and I got to our new home in West Palm around noon Saturday. We were extremely tired after moving in my carload of possessions, getting cable/internet installed, and setting up our new sleeper couch... but decided we should go out that night and see a bit of downtown WPB at night. I am SO GLAD we did! We instantly fell in love with the energy of City Place, a large outdoor mall area near the intercoastal. There was live music, al fesco dining, crowds of people going to shows, shopping, families -- definitely my favorite spot here so far.

Sunday we spent most of the day driving around the area, scoping out beaches and shopping districts. We drove past Mar-A-Lago and took a picture, just because... gawked at the ritzy homes in Palm Beach, stopped to dip our toes into the water, then drove to Singer Island for another beach. We ended the day by the pool in our new apartment complex -- which is a huge, resort style living area (very common down here). Sadly Jeremy had to fly back to Portland Monday morning (we will be living separately for a little bit).


He left just in time for me to focus on my new job at WPEC. Investigative reporting is a new challenge and I have so much to learn about the area and company. But I'm really eager to get to work and very excited to see more of what South Florida has to offer. If you've been to WPB please let me know your favorite spots!

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