2.11.2017

Tropical Vay-Kay Day Nine - Free Day is ON!

Preamble

We have been looking forward to today all week. Today is our dietary free day. When we have gone on vacation in the past, we've often been far too gluttonous, eating lots of bad things that make us fat. This year we didn't want to undo the positive results of the good health and wellness routines we've established over the past few months, like eating healthy and going to the gym regularly. We knew we probably wouldn't get to the gym much while on vacation, but we could still control our eating habits, notwithstanding the temptation of the overpriced restaurants on Sanibel Island FL where we are spending most of our holiday.

We decided we would try to shop at grocery stores and make our own healthy meals as much as we could on this trip, in part to save some money, but also to avoid the gluttony trap that it is far too easy to fall into on vacations. We decided to grant ourselves one dietary free day on this trip, so we could enjoy a bit of hedonistic eating. That day is today. There are no limits on what we can eat. We plan to gorge on pizza for lunch and eat key lime pie after a greasy, rich dinner.

Phase 1

It was chilly in the timeshare condo when I woke up this morning. I reached for my phone on the bedside table and the Giant Internet Brain, by way of the Weather Bug app, told me it was 57 Fahrenheit degrees outside, a probable record low for our holiday to date.

I got up and looked out at the Gulf of Mexico through the sliding glass doors of the lanai. It looked like the tide was out.

"Can you look up when low tide is?" I hollered to Deborah, who was on her iPhone, still reposed in bed, as I made coffee.

"It's now," Deborah replied a few moments later. It was a few minutes before 7 AM.

"Cool. I think I'll go for a beach walk after breakfast," I said.

I cooked some scrambled eggs for us both and drank a couple cups of coffee before I hit the beach. It was the first time since we have been here that I had to wear my red windbreaker. A stiff wind was coming out of the east, the direction I started my walk toward the lighthouse at the east end of Sanibel Island. With the tide out, I saw more critters on the beach than usual, including some sea anemones and large marine snails, like giant conchs and whatever this guy is...


When I got back to the condo, Deborah and I decided to decamp poolside for our daily dose of natural vitamin D, courtesy of Apollo the Greco-Roman sun god. That is where I am as I write this. The ambient temperature is considerably more comfortable than it was this morning, and the wind has died down a bit. It's supposed to pick up again this evening, when Mother Nature will be presenting a lunar eclipse show for us just after sundown, if the scientists are to be believed. We may have to bundle up a bit for that, but it should be fully visible from the poolside patio. There's also some kind of green comet passing the Earth right now, reminiscent of the Day of the Triffids, but apparently you need binoculars or a small telescope to see it later tonight. In a minute or two, I'm going to jump in the pool before Deborah and I check out bikes from the condo leasing office and bike to a restaurant called Island Pizza to kick off our gluttonous dietary free day. We've been looking forward to this day of unbridled feasting all week, our reward for disciplined healthy eating on the prior days of this vacation.

Phase 2

We biked to and ate lunch at Island Pizza, as I predicted. We topped off a meal of individual 10" pizzas (yum) and shared veggie lasagna (meh) with a slice each of AWESOMELY GOOD key lime pie (see thumbnail). My pancreas was not at all ready for this onslaught of pure refined sugar and didn't really know what to do with it. I immediately got head sweats and felt a little bit physically ill, but it was still delicious.

"You don't have to finish it," Deborah advised, referring to the half eaten key lime pie slice before me.

"Yes, I do," I said. "I'm committed. Plus, if I don't eat it, you will."

I was glad we had biked to lunch, because we definitely had some calories to burn off. We left Island Pizza and pedaled our loaner single-speed, fat tire bikes west on Periwinkle Way, the main drag of Sanibel Island. All the main roads on the island have bike paths adjacent to them. We stopped at a shop and purchased some souvenir tee shirts. Eventually we circled back around to Middle Gulf Road heading east back to the condo, where we are once again poolside, awaiting the arrival of Deborah's sister Julie and their brother and sis-in-law, Mark and Michelle. It's been posited that this wait could be far longer than anticipated for reasons beyond the scope of this post.

Phase 2

"Let's never do this again," I said to Deborah as we forced down hedonistic desserts after dinner at the Island Cow restaurant. "Until next Friday..."

We were nearing the conclusion of our gluttonous dietary free day, where we were allowed, for one day only, to put whatever foods and drinks we wanted into our bodies. Deborah had been looking forward to eating one of her favorite dishes today, coconut fried shrimp. She sucked down 13 of the battered bottom feeders at dinner, granting me the 14th one just so I could see what she was so excited about.

"What do you think?" Deborah inquired, after I had swallowed the morsel.

I am not a huge fan of edible shellfish, so I thought carefully about how to answer before I replied, "Of all the ways there are to prepare shrimp, coconut fried is a pretty good one."

I had coconut fried snapper (fish), but that was probably a mistake. It was a big slab of greasy, battered and fried fish that pretty much punched my stomach in the stomach. I was actually still pretty full from our massive pizza and key lime pie lunch a few hours prior. Nonetheless, in free day solidarity with Deborah, I ate the whole meal and even ordered dessert, a double chocolate milkshake.

"Excuse me," I said to our waitress when she delivered the pancreas smashing sweet treat. "May I please get a side of insulin with this?"

Deborah ordered key lime pie, again. I had a small bite. Not bad.

We're back at the condo now. Deborah and I made a feeble attempt to go stargazing down at the beach when we got back from dinner, but it was still low tide and a chilly, stiff wind was blowing some unpleasant fragrances from the tide pools directly at us, so we aborted.

There is supposed to be a penumbral (read "weak sauce") lunar eclipse tonight. Unlike an actual (umbral) lunar eclipse, where all or part of the full moon gets blotted out, a penumbrally eclipsed moon just dims a little bit. I can pass on that. Also, the green comet everyone is excited about doesn't even appear in North American skies until like 3 AM or something, and it's not even visible with the naked eye. Meh.

I'm going to go sink into a food coma now.

Ciao!

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