Jan. 3: Swap Shop, Palm Springs FL

Cars at a drive-in theater

photo from the Swap Shop web site

It’s Day Three of my virtual Drive-In-a-Day Odyssey, and I arrived at Palm Springs’ version of the Swap Shop, a south Florida institution. Some places, including the Swap Shop web site, like to call it the Lake Worth Drive-In, but it’s west of the city of Lake Worth. Google Street View from May shows the sign as Swap Shop Flea Market & Drive-In.

The differences between yesterday’s Swap Shop in Fort Lauderdale and this one are extreme. Where Lauderdale was an indoor-outdoor shopping complex with up to 14 active drive-in screens, Palm Springs is a flat lot with two screens, although it does have a secondary parking lot for flea market customers. On a Tuesday, there wasn’t much activity.

With two screens, I only had two movie choices. I just saw Rogue One, so I was stuck with Why Him followed by Office Christmas Party.

Miles Today / Total: 39 / 71 (rounded to the nearest mile)

Movie Showing / Total Active Nights: Why Him / 2

Nearby Restaurant: Since I don’t count McDonalds, I drove just a little past it to the Chicken Grill House for a Peruvian take on one of my favorite meats. It was only about a mile away.

Where I Virtually Stayed: The second-closest hotel was the Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach. Since I can’t afford that even virtually, I settled for the closest hotel, Woodspring Suites Lake Worth. It’s an extended-stay place and nothing like a resort, but $89 a night beats $649.

Only in Palm Springs: When a freeze hit Palm Beach County in 2010, folks thought their green iguana problem might be over. No such luck. By 2013, the iguana population was growing again, according to a report by WPTV. The spiny, sharp-clawed critters tear up yards, attack pets, and can sicken humans who touch them or their droppings. So if you see one, don’t grab it.

Next Stop: Ruskin Family Drive-In Theatre, Ruskin FL

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