Travelling is always nice. But this was Extraordinary.
Having endured black (darkness) and white (snow) for a winter as long as the law, we ached for sunshine and warm climates. Palms, beaches, and luxury without bounds is a good recipe for any ailment, but a particularly good cure for a Finnish winter. So, courtesy of Sealed Air, we stepped off our plane at West Palm Beach, where our personal chauffeur and a brand new Cadillac Escalade waited… sweeeeeet, I think I thought, and I might have said it out aloud. This is the life I was built for. Everything else is a lie. Woohaaaa!
Breakers Hotel, well, I’ve seen better. Just kidding. The pure opulence of this massive castle is, is, is… totally ambassadorial, for lack of a better description at the time of writing. After half an hour I was calling it home. Another half an hour later, and I could swear I was born here.
There were at least a dozen swimming pools to choose from, all lined with all sorts of lovely. We sauntered down to the ocean, because we felt the need to feel sand between our toes. James, our beach butler, kept topping up our drinks. If you gotta burn your pale skin, this is the way to do it.
Some days later, me and my new fellow Winning Performer friend Jan from Germany suited up for jet-ski action. Sadly, no pics, as we were ripping it up way out on the ocean. The waves were pretty choppy that day, but we went faster than squirrels up a tree, and had a blast skipping across the foam. Want a waverunner. Now.
Breakers courtyard being dressed up for a Sealed Air cocktail party. The big event was later in the week; the appreciation dinner and awards ceremony. I got a great opportunity to chat with our legendary CEO, who turned out to be a magnificent sport, smart as a whip and easy-going. To impress, I do believe I made some pretty big promises… well, you have to stand out if you want to be back.
After ballroom dinner, the excitement, the film cameras. They announce your name, you walk hand in hand with your girlfriend/wife on a red carpet up to the stage, shake hands with the big cats, and bask in glorious glory… I can’t downplay it; it really is quite special, a very proud moment.
When I jumped on the plane to my work interview in Gothenburg almost exactly three years ago I only expected a job as any other so I could feed my growing family. Now, despite a MA in International Relations and a reasonably strong curriculum vitae, I feel no urge to move on. I’m simply happy. I just never had a job before where I was not bored.
Bike touring in Palm Beach. The island has the population of Karis, but with 20 billionaires living here, it is the richest spot on the globe.
When in Florida, you will meet alligators. Had my CSI Miami moment on a fan boat on the Everglades. “Won’t get fooled again…”
Don’t you look at me like that. I am not a ham sandwich.
Yo bubba. Look at them gators!
This picture is for Scarlett. Now she can tell her friends that her really really cool dad had an alligator in his lap. And then she will add, in ill-feigned humility, So, did your dad ever do that?
We went out on a yacht. Well, this is Palm Beach, after all. You would, wouldn’t you? Now pass me a cold Bud, captain.
House-spotting is a much nicer hobby than train-spotting. Besides, we’re far from Glasgow here. I amassed quite a collection of mansions along the shoreline. This white piece of architectural art depicted here was one of my favorites. Insider info: all floors inside are glass…
Well, wouldn’t say no.
Yah, if you insist.
Manicured to the millimeter. By CAD and laser. Probably.
Marilyn Monroe gave me a kiss. Could’ve been a drag queen, but why spoil the fantasy?
We had dinner at the Ragtops out on town. All fifties, boys got sunglasses, girls got scarves, there were hotdogs and icecream. The older Sealed Air guard, especially the Americans, loved it. I found it a bit crude. What a hateful European attitude… The Elvis replica man had an awesome voice, tho.
Heaven is a hard place to leave behind. I had lobster every day. But most of all I’ll miss the hundred-dollar breakfasts we had every morning, in a big dome decorated by someone with close ties to Michelangelo. I’m not sure how to function in the future without my perfect eggs benedict and freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice. I’ll just get cranky, I’ll guess. I’ll scream dammit, where are my strawberries!
And then I’ll wonder why no one rushes to my side, ready to meet my ridiculous and immediate demands with impeccable professionalism and a smile to boot.
Oh, Palm Beach. Wait up for us. I’ll just meet targets and increase sales by double digits every year for 3-5 years, and we’ll be right back… and the Breakers staff will say “How nice to see you again, Mr Pie…“