I was pretty surprised as well. I've seen other washingtonias recover quickly from defoliation after an Oklahoma winter before if covered and kept dry. So I'm not totally shocked that they lived. I need to stop by this business on a day when they are open so I can ask if they were protected or not. When I went by in February all of the palms were uncovered and all of the washy leaves were brown. The butias and sabals had a bit of green left then, but it was a sickly green that you know will turn brown.
If I find out they were all unprotected, I will be pleasantly surprised with the washies' resilience. If I find out they were all protected, I will be a little surprised that the sabals and butias didn't perform any better than they did.
The only way I won't be a little surprised is if I find out that the washies received protection, but not the others.
By the way, I hope your enjoying your change of scenery in Florida.