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Leamington Hotel at 307 NE First Street in Downtown Miami, Florida

Surprised by some reviews of the Leamington Hotel, what the hell did you expect? If you want luxury, pay for it. This is an old building in the middle of OLD Downtown Miami, recently the old human-powered elevator with a state-of-the-art elevator. Having to pay for parking is a shock? DUH! There is no need for a car here, public transit is everywhere. The free MetroMover rushes by the hotel every few minutes, and stops a block away. The free trolley stops at Bayfront Park a block away, which takes you all the way north to Midtown and the Design District. The free trolley system takes you several miles, this is a generous city.

Back to the Leamington Hotel, where I have stayed more than once. I have reserved through sometimes months earlier, no problem checking in. The large lobby has three tables with chairs plus three sofas where guests can enjoy the complementary breakfast. It’s usually coffee, toast with butter and jelly, and chunks of banana nut bread or similar. Guests can watch the large TV screen and relax.. A beautiful Christmas tree plus wall Christmas decorations is a welcoming sight during holiday season.

Shops and restaurants everywhere here, plus a 24 hour Hispanic cafe across the street and 7-11 at the corner. Get up early for the sunrise at Bayfront Park, then stroll north to Miamarina and the Bayside Shops. Tourists and locals walking around all night, yes there are a few sketchy characters.

Had a large room to myself at the fourth floor corner at the Leamington Hotel, with street views up to two blocks. Everything has worked fine, carpet looks fresh. Yes there is chipped and blistered paint plus misaligned tiles in spots, which don’t affect your livability. Great hot shower in tub. The stairway is the fire escape, and be patient waiting for the elevator if staying on upper floors.

The staff was quite pleasant, and housekeeping did my room even on Christmas day, quite impressed. The maid leaves an envelope on your room’s desk with her name, thanking you and letting you leave her a tip if you wish. When checking out, the kind Hispanic lady tells me ‘Thank you for staying with us, it was a pleasure to serve you’ We need more like her.

Palm Beach County Florida

Originally called Palm Beach, an early resort catering to the very wealthy. West Palm Beach grew as a bedroom community for the resort workers. Bahamian immigrants also arrived and joined with locals.

Palm Beach County is still an important agricultural producer, with a lot of undeveloped land along the north side of the county. Many migrant workers live near the fields.

West Palm Beach is the northern end of the Tri-Rail commuter train route, which runs south to Miami.

Boca Raton, Delray Beach and Hutchinson Island on the Atlantic Coast are among the largest communities.

Interstate highway I-95, the Sunshine State Parkway, plus US highways 1 and 441 run through Palm Beach County

An Afternoon At Pass-A-Grille Beach

Was feeling a bit of cabin fever setting in, so headed out this morning and walked over to Amscot. There I got a day bus pass and walked two blocks down to McDonald’s for a small decaf. A cup of morning coffee is always enjoyable. The bus stops directly in front of McDonald’s, so waited there a few minutes as I finished my cup, then hopped on the 19 to the Central Avenue bus depot. Get there and five minutes later the beach bus arrives, so set off on the long ride to Pass-A-Grille beach.

This is the little old fishing village where St Pete Beach began, and is now preserved as a historic district. No high rises here, not even a gas station, just quaint old cottages reminiscent of Old Florida. You can walk along the bay side shore for over a mile until you reach the Land’s End Cottages on First Avenue at the south end of the island, then walk a block west and reach the Gulf of Mexico. There is a long rocky fishing pier there that provides a panoramic view of the beach stretching for several miles to the north and Shell Key to the south. At night you can see the lighthouse beacon at Egmont Key even farther south. Walked north along the beach to the Paradise Grille on the waterfront at ninth avenue. This is a relaxing place where everyone gathers to eat drink and enjoy the view. A beautiful day it has been.