2.13.2017

Tropical Vay-Kay Day Eleven - Wintermission

Preamble

I don't know if Deborah's sister Julie coined the term or heard it somewhere, but during my five mile morning walk with her and Deborah's brother Mark, she used the word "wintermission" to describe the act of escaping life in the cold northern latitudes by going somewhere tropical for a while. That's exactly what I am on right now...wintermission.

Unfortunately, Deborah's and my wintermission ends Tuesday, when we have to head back to Wisconsin. I will "spin that into a positive" though by pointing out that it is still only Sunday morning as I write this, which means at least another full day and a half of enjoying the tropics. I really want to move to the Sarasota FL area within the next three years, the sooner the better. If I do, then I need to find a term to describe escaping Florida's ridiculous summer heat by going up to my folks' cabin in northern Wisconsin in July and August. Any suggestions from my clever readers on a good term for that?

Phase 1

As I said, I went on a five mile walk this morning, along the beach to the Sanibel lighthouse and then back along the bike paths that line the main roads on the island. I normally do my walk solo, but I was joined by others this morning. Deborah and her sis-in-law Michelle walked about a mile with me along the beach until they turned back. Mark and Julie slogged out the whole five miles with me. A couple of dolphins were breakfasting close to shore on our beach leg, and I caught some video. Enjoy it vicariously...



When we got back from our walk, we found Deborah and Michelle down by the pool and joined them. The douchey redneck people were back, talkin' smack about nothing. I don't know why they annoy me so much. Just not my types I guess. But as long as they keep to themselves, they can do whatever they want.

Deborah filled me in on the day's tentative plan, which mostly involves an "early"* dinner at an eatery called Cip's before we drive up to Sarasota, where we'll spend tomorrow, our final full day of our tropical vacation. On Tuesday morning, we'll wake up before the butt crack of dawn to drive up to Tampa for an early flight back to Wisconsin by way of a layover in Minneapolis.

When we came back up to the condo from the pool, I put a load of Deborah's and my laundry in the condo washing machine and made myself a small lunch of a single turkey burger with some cheese on it. I ate it on the lanai while using Mark's small set of binoculars to look for dolphins in the nearby sea. Then I brewed half a pot of coffee and made myself a poor man's latte (half a glass of coffee, half a glass of unsweetened almond milk). I suppose I'll attempt some meditation here shortly, even if it devolves into a power nap.

Today is the sixth Sunday in 2017, so it's my social media free day. I have been on hiatus from social media since the new year, and it has been fantastically liberating, but every fortnight or so, I allow myself some leeway to check in and see if anything important happened in virtual reality world (note: to date, nothing has...). I signed onto Facebook this morning and approved/denied a few friends' posts that I was tagged in, mostly vacation related ones from my fiancée (score!) Deborah that I already knew about. I also voted at least 10 people off of the proverbial island, unfriending those I either don't actually know or don't interact with (it is supposed to be "social" media after all). I suspect they will be none the wiser, but if anyone is offended about this, I want them to think about how retarded that is. Then I logged out again for a couple weeks.

I fell into a fitful power nap this afternoon. When I awoke, I packed my duffel bag in anticipation of driving back up to Sarasota tonight. We are going out for one final overpriced vacation dinner in Sanibel, at a place called the Fish House, before we leave. I have not been to the Fish House yet, so I am curious to check it out. The menu looks pretty good. I might risk getting an order of conch fritters there, just to say I did, but it would be purely gratuitous. I don't even like shellfish all that much, which is why I have avoided ordering paella every time we have visited a place that has it. They put mussels on paella, which to me taste pretty much like licking the inside of a stagnant tide pool (prime mussel habitat).

I was going to bike over to a nearby nature area and look for alligators, but the condo rental office closed early today, so I wasn't able to check out a bike from the corral. I can't deny that I am a little bit bored sitting here on the lanai, waiting to go to dinner in about 45 minutes. Writing this post is helping, but I think I'll pause here and take a quick stroll down to the beach for a contemplative farewell to Sanibel before we bolt, possibly forever (Deborah's folks are likely selling their timeshare properties this year, and although we could still visit Sanibel in the future, there are other places we want to visit...). I'll write some more later.

Phase 2

The Fish House restaurant was pretty good. I broke my prohibition on shellfish and had a broiled seafood platter that included shrimp, scallops, and mahi mahi, with red potatoes and beans and rice as sides. I did not die and the shrimp was actually pretty good. I even had some of Julie's discarded calamari.

After dinner, we made a quick stop at Jerry's grocery store so Julie could buy a few essentials before the rest of us headed back to Sarasota. The drive north was fairly smooth and we chillaxed with the Goldbergs for a spell before hitting the hay. Tomorrow, we'll cruise around Sarasota and see what we can see.

Ciao!


*Note: Early in this case just means trying to beat the evening rush of people, so probably around 4:30 PM.

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