Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sabal Palms and Ice Cream

                On a little one way street in Lake Worth, nestled west of Snook Island and north of Lake Avenue, is an old house. The fact it’s old is not unique in Lake Worth, but this is definitely not an average old house.  According to the City of Lake Worth website, Sabal Palm Bed & Breakfast is one of only two bed and breakfast accommodations in the entire city.

Colleen Rinaldi

I had heard of Sabal Palm Bed & Breakfast over the past few years, but had never done more than glance at the bright red door as I drove past on my way over the bridge. In the convoluted, wonderful connections made possible by Facebook, I “met” Colleen Rinaldi, who, with her husband John, owns this living piece of Florida history.

This summer, I met Colleen in person and enjoyed a nice lunch and a tour of the house. Our company that day was Karen Bain, a fellow writer who loves this kind of stuff as much as I do. We learned the main house, consisting only of the two front rooms, was built in 1936 for the Behr family. In those days, the Behrs owned every child’s dream—an ice cream factory! Charmingly named “Three Behrs,” it was located across town by the FEC Railroad tracks.

The original house was designed by C.G. Williams, and is all cypress with oak floors. It was expanded over the years and now has three suites.  Amazingly, the home still has the original fireplaces and oak floors.  The garage, separated from the main house by a brick patio filled with tables and chairs for relaxing with morning coffee, now has four comfortable bedroom suites.

Sabal Palm has the feeling that bed and breakfast aficionados look for. Walking through that bright front door, I felt like I was visiting a favorite great-aunt’s house—complete with a friendly little furry friend!

Karen and I followed Colleen through the rooms, oohing and ahhing and snapping pictures as fast as our cell phones would let us. When we said our goodbyes, Colleen surprised us each with a little bag of cookies. Do I have to tell you the cookies were gone by the time I reached I-95 (a five minute or so drive)?

Anyone for Tea?

I asked Colleen her thoughts about the house and the history of the surrounding area. Colleen says that we all need to look at the past, look at our history, and respect it. I knew we had a something in common.  Since Sabal Palm Bed & Breakfast is a beautiful, warm slice of history I can visit today and includes cookies—you can count me in anytime! 

Now, if the Behr's still had that ice cream factory.....

Copyright (c) 2012 Ruth Hartman Berge
Pictures by Ruth Hartman Berge 2012

Disclaimer: Since my great-grandfather's home is now a bed and breakfast in Delray Beach, Florida, I have a special place in my heart for B&B's and would spend all of my vacation time in one if I possibly could. Can you tell?


  1. Thank you Ruth!!!! It was wonderful to finally meet in person and to show you my home. I always look foward to your blog posts about all the wonderful places in Palm Beach County. I am honored to be included.

    1. Thank YOU for opening your home to us! I had a wonderful time and think Sabal Palm Bed and Breakfast fits in perfectly with the type of things I like to write about :)