Thursday, February 16, 2006

On the Intracoastal, Hallandale Beach

We are parked at what has to be one of the all-time best urban stealth boondocking locations: at the Wal-Mart in Hallandale Beach (map). I say this because the Wal-Mart property actually fronts the Intracoastal Waterway, and we are parked almost right at the water's edge, with only a strip of grass separating us. Considering the waterway here is otherwise lined with multi-million dollar homes and high-end condo projects, we are living in high style (well, as high as it gets for Wal-Mart).

The property here is also adjacent to one of the handful of bridges that cross the Intracoastal, and a sidewalk connects us to the barrier island and the public beach, just a few blocks from the renowned Diplomat resort. We also found a most excellent Italian restaurant, Nando, just across the boulevard, and had a nice dinner over a bottle of Chianti.

Unfortunately, we will be unable to take more advantage of this nice location, since we are due in Key West this evening, and we must get started here in a few minutes.

Yesterday I spent most of the afternoon parked at Delray Motorsports, who were able to get both motorcycles done before closing. My bike needed a new rear tire, and Louise's needed rear brakes. They both also got full scheduled maintenance routines. The shop was done by 3:30 or so, which gave me plenty of time to load them back up and get the garage squared away before heading to the airport.

Notwithstanding a 25 minute flight delay, we got out of the airport in good time and headed south on I-95. Slow going in spots, due to construction and rush hour, but we got far enough to be comfortable for today. Our first attempt at a stop was at the Seminole Casino in Hollywood, a few miles north of here. Our "Casino Camping" guide said there was RV parking at the south end of the lot. When we pulled in, though, security came over to us and informed us that due to "an incident," about which they refused to elaborate, RV parking was no longer permitted. Harumph. We had already passed the last Elks lodge with parking (in Delray Beach, just a few blocks from the Suzuki dealer), so our attention turned to the Wal-Mart directory and our cheat sheet of "Wal-Marts that do not allow overnight parking." This latter guide is full of beach communities, but Hallandale Beach was not among them.

From here we will head across the Intracoastal and south on A1A, continuing a coastal journey that we started last November but broke off just before New Year's. We will come back to the mainland in Miami, and pick up US1 into the keys.

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