Today is also a much needed alone time day for Deborah and me. Her folks, Howie and Sandy, are heading back up to Sarasota this morning so they can pick up Deborah's sister Julie at the airport. Julie will come down to Sanibel with Mark and Michelle on either Friday or Saturday. If she comes down Friday, she'll stay in our rental condo Friday night (and bear witness to our unbridled free day gluttony) because she can't move into her rental condo (in the next building) until Saturday afternoon. We may or may not spend Saturday night in her condo before we head to Sarasota on Sunday. In any case, Deborah and I have some respite from family obligations the rest of today and tonight. I'm not sure what activities we'll do, but I suspect there will be a bike ride for sure.
"Can I make you some eggs?" I asked Howie.
"Oh sure, I'll have an egg," Howie replied. "I thought I'd have it with my leftover steak from last night."
"Just one egg? How do you want it?"
"Yep, just one," Howie replied. "Over easy is fine with me."
I filled a coffee cup chock full of strong, dark Chock-Full-o-Nuts coffee with a dash of unsweetened soy milk before cracking a bunch of organic brown eggs into a butter laden frying pan and cooking them up. Howie warmed his leftover steak in the microwave and I stuck an over easy egg on top of it when it came out. Sandy and Deborah had a couple eggs each and I ate whatever was left, supplementing with half an overripe banana and a tasty apple.
"Is it supposed to be like this all day?" Deborah asked, referring to the light misty fog that was obscuring the morning sun.
"Nope," I replied. "This is supposed to burn off and be totally sunny by 10 AM." It was about 9 AM. "Maybe in an hour, do you want to go bike around and explore?"
The timeshare condo management company maintains a corral of rental bicycles, free to transient residents like us.
"Sure," Deborah replied.
About an hour later, we headed out of the condo into a bright sunny day, fully intending to check out a couple of bikes.
"Let's check the corral and see if there are even bikes available," I said. We did. There weren't. Only one bike remained in the corral.
"I'm surprised by that," I said. "I guess people must get out on bikes pretty early, when it's cooler outside. Do you want to go for a short beach walk instead? Maybe when we get back there will be some bikes available."
"Yeah, we could do that," Deborah said, and we walked about a mile round trip along the beach.
"Is your foot getting better?" I asked about a quarter of the way into our walk. "I don't think you could have walked even this far a while ago." Deborah has an 11 year old foot injury that still causes her quite a lot of pain when it is overexerted. Walking exacerbates it. Interestingly, biking does not.
"That's true," Deborah replied. "It does seem a lot better. I really think the LDN is helping, along with the Cymbalta."
"What does Cymbalta do?" I asked.
"I take it for pain," Deborah said. "But it's an anti-depressant."
We saw a couple of ibises feeding on the beach.
Upon our return from the beach walk, the bike corral was almost completely full of bikes, but now Deborah was feeling less inclined to go biking, so I begged and pleaded.
"Pleeeeeeeeeez," I whined. "I really want to bike to that Bailey's nature area place and see alligators." Deborah relented.
"OK," she said. "But I need to change into a different shirt."
After her wardrobe change, we checked out a bike lock key and some helmets from the condo office and pedaled our way to the Bailey Tract nature area, where we saw a few alligators, such as this guy.
"I have a riddle for you, Deborah," I said as we tooled around the small nature preserve some more. "What do you call someone who volunteers helping and protecting alligators?"
"Tell me," Deborah requested, after thinking on it for a minute.
I looked her in the eye and said, "It's a 'gator aide."
It was a bad pun.
When we got back to the condo, I was almost nauseous from the vitamin D overdose I had been subjected to whilst biking under the hot South Florida sun. I cracked a diet root beer and reclined on the king sized bed in the condo to compose this post, up to this point. I'll probably eat something here in a few minutes and then I predict an afternoon spent poolside.
Deborah and I are sitting on collapsible beach chairs on the beach in front of the timeshare condo, facing the setting sun for maximal warmth and, in about an hour, a romantic sunset (blech!). It actually got kind of breezy this afternoon, by comparison to our previous days here, and even though it is 74 Fahrenheit degrees according to Deborah's weather app, it feels borderline chilly because of the wind and the fact that I'm wearing nothing but a bathing suit. It's still better than being in Wisconsin in February. Sadly, we'll have to return to the northern tundra next Tuesday. Bad as that is though, we still have a good solid four more days here and we are going to milk it hard.
After the bike ride I so eloquently documented in Phase 1 of this post, Deborah succumbed to a power nap and I read some more of my novel, "The Circle" by Dave Eggers, which, no doubt by design of the author, further fueled my hatred for the Internet, social media, and the millenial generation that has been assimilated by the Giant Internet Brain (resistance is futile!). It's a fantastic book. I thought it might be, after I heard an NPR radio program suggesting that it had ALL the computer-generated criteria of a bestselling novel. But I wasn't entirely sure, because "50 Shades of Grey" also ranks high on many of the same criteria. Now, as I approach the final 20 pages or so of the novel, I am 99% sure it's fantastic. The 1% of doubt I have is that I cannot currently figure out how the main character's inner conflict will get resolved in those final pages. If the author pulls it off, I will give the book full marks for awesomeness.
Up at the condo, thawing on the kitchen counter, are some chicken and fish filets that I'm going to cook in butter (buttah!) for dinner after this romantic sunset nonsense goes down, although it might not...
"Honey, I am so cold!" Deborah just yelled at me from her beach chair a foot away, because she's listening to music and can't regulate the volume of her voice. Even though it's 74 degrees and we are sitting in direct sunlight, she is bundled up in a hat and black hoodie, with a towel over her legs. She and I have very different core body temperatures. I'm completely comfortable here in my bathing togs, barechested and bareheaded. She's cold.
"Do you want to go to the hottub?" I asked. "If we do, we might miss the romantic sunset...but it's only going to get colder as the sun goes down."
"Then I vote for hottub," Deborah said, without hesitation. That's what I love about her...she puts pragmatism ahead of gushy romantic sh!t. So it looks like I will have to pause my writing here to go immerse myself in hot water. Stay tuned...
I cooked up the fish and chicken for dinner, as well as a bit of stir fried veggies to use up some of the produce lingering in the condo fridge. Deborah made a salad too. It was a good feed. I had not eaten lunch, so I was pretty hungry. Only about half the stir fry survived my ravenousness and is now back in the fridge in a Tupperware container.
"Can I turn on the TV?" Deborah asked. "I want to get more news about the travel ban case." Apparently, less insane people on the bench of some appeals court somewhere ruled that Donald Trump could take his Muslim travel ban and shove it right up his moronic arse. It seemed like a common sense outcome, but in this day and age you can't be too sure. I didn't care to have annoying news on while we ate and stated my objection, but told Deborah she could do whatever she wanted.
"You know Trump lost the case," I said. "What more do you need to know? Is more analysis by political pundits going to change anything?"
She knew I was right, but she's a news junkie, so she turned on the TV anyway. Some liberal commentators were congratulating themselves and lambasting Trump's lunacy, as they must do to get the kind of ratings their advertisers pay big money for.
We're on the slow descent toward bedtime now. I'm writing this post, Deborah's washing her face, and we're probably going to toast the conclusion of a fun day with a couple of diet root beers now.