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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Florida in January, Year 3, Part 2

Sunday:  It's a sunny day but cold.  I bought the Sunday NYT and the Tampa Bay Times and settled in for much of the day.  We did have a good beach walk at half-time during the first football game of the day.  I fixed supper at the condo.  We listened to the podcast of our pastor's morning sermon and did a crossword puzzle.  I began reading Anne of Green Gables which I purchased Saturday at Haslam's.

Monday:  Someone had left cinnamon and MacDonald's syrup in the cupboard so I fixed Jim French toast for breakfast.  Lunch was leftover lemon rotisserie chicken from Saturday's take-out at Publix.   Somehow, in our quiet life here, meals seem very important.

While waiting for the trolley to take us to Pass-a-Grille, we saw two large unmarked buses with police escorts before and behind them go by.  Were they team busses? Alabama or Clemson?   On their way to the championship game in Tampa?  We decided it was fun to think that they were.  Who else would have police escorts?

We had a beautiful walk around Pass-a-Grille along the bay to the very end of the island and then back along the Gulf. We were home for our 5 pm puzzle and drink.

We thought we would go to The Drunken Clam across the street where I was interested in clam strips but when we walked in and saw mostly men drinking at the bar and playing darts, we decided it was not for us.  We went back to the Buona Pizzeria where Jim had his favorite ham and pineapple pizza and I had a delicious chicken marsala ravioli.

I talked to the Gulf Strand manager about renting a place next January.  With a $200 deposit and the possibility of all but $55 of that being returned if we cancelled before 60 days,  I think we might want to risk that amount!   This place is so lovely and so convenient to the stores and restaurants.  We have a full kitchen, two bathrooms, a washer and dryer and a great view of the Gulf.  It could be our home away from home like 225 North Shore in South Haven.

Tuesday:Last night I fell asleep on the couch trying to watch the exciting last quarter of the championship game.  I decided it was worth getting the local Tampa Bay Times when I saw the front page and knew they had the latest sports news.  Today, while walking on the beach, we stopped to talk to a family all decked out in Clemson orange.  They had been to the game.  Jim asked about the decision to go for a touchdown with six seconds left instead of the safer field goal.  One of the women responded, "Go big or go home."

Late in the afternoon I brought a chair out to the beach and read some in the classic "Anne of Green Gables."   But it was hard to read becuase the sun and the gulf and the sea birds were so distracting!

 Dinner was a treat.  We walked to Spinners, the 12th floor revolving restaurant at Grand Plaza Hotel less than a half mile north of us. We timed our dinner for sunset and it was glorious.  Dinner, Chicken Oscar for Jim and Seafood Pastry for me, was delicious.  I don't remember ever eating in a revolving restaurant before--a new experience at our advanced years and it was a delight if not a bit disorienting.  We walked home on the beach under a full moon.

Wednesday: The warmest day so far!  I wasn't even cold walking to Publix for my morning papers.  I hate to leave.  I checked Allegiant and found out I could fly out next Thursday for only $82!  But it would cost plenty to stay here for another week and maybe I'd get bored and lonely.  But maybe not!  It is so beautiful and relaxing and life has been very, very good for these eight days!

We have booked a taxi for 6:15 am tomorrow.  We made it without a rental car.  If, or when, we come again I would like to have a vehicle however, especially if we stay for two weeks.   We could even drive our own car down here in which case Jim could have as many books as he wanted--and maybe even golf clubs!

What did we do with the rest of the day?  Almost nothing.   Reading, walking, and just looking at the sea and sky and birds.  Scott Hoezee posted on the 12Blog about watching gulls and plovers on the Pacific Coast and quoted Marilyn  Robinson in Gilead as referring to "chickens being chickens."   I
watched birds being birds but did wonder why they peck out the eyes of the dead fish first before indulging in the rest of the carcass.

One last sunset was spectacular again.  In 12 hours we hope to be on our way to the airport and in 18 hours home again.

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