Tropical Vay-Kay Day Seven - It Is Only Wednesday


Last year at this time, Deborah and I were on a cruise ship "sailing" the high seas of the Caribbean. It was a good time, though I don't feel strongly compelled to ever repeat the experience. It's something I checked off my bucket B list, but it was never on my bucket A list. The only reason I did the cruise last year was because it was more or less free and I wanted to know what a cruise was really like.

After the cruise last year, we spent a week at the timeshare condo on Sanibel Island FL that Deborah's parents own. This year, we are only vacationing at the time share for a week and spending the additonal days with Deborah's family in Sarasota FL. It's been pretty awesome so far.

Phase 1

Deborah's dad Howie had his mind set on going to the Lighthouse Cafe for breakfast, notwithstanding Deborah's and my goal to eat out less this week, to save money and to eat healthier. I didn't really want to go, but Howie said he was buying, so I collected myself and we went. I had passed the Lighthouse Cafe on one of my long walks earlier in the week and remembered seeing their sign advertising the "best breakfast in town." I haven't been to enough Sanibel Island breakfast places to assess this claim, but it was pretty good.

After we ate, I decided to walk the 2+ miles back to the condo by way of the beach, and began slathering on sunscreen at the table in preparation for this. The Lighthouse Cafe was, not surprisingly, a couple blocks from the lighthouse on the eastern tip of Sanibel, a barrier island that runs west to east. I proceeded there to begin my beach walk.

During the two+ mile trek along the beach, I saw some elaborate sand castles that someone had built, and quite a few dolphins feeding a few yards off shore. Here's a decent video of the dolphins.

I also called my mom en route and we talked for a goodly amount of time about various things.

When I was close to the condo, I saw Deborah and her mom, Sandy, sunbaking on the beach. I finished my conversation with my mom and hung up. Moments later, Deborah's dad, Howie, came down to the beach and wanted to go on a beach walk of his own, something we had discussed earlier over "the best breakfast in town." So I joined him and did a couple more miles of walking. All told, I walked over five miles this morning and burned about 800 calories. My feet were killing me afterward, mostly because of having to compensate for the slope of the beach. But I felt great. During my walk with Howie, we came across a large beached jellyfish. I have no idea what species it was, but here is a picture. If any of my readers can identify this jellyfish, please leave a comment.

After the walking was done, I rested for a spell. Then Deborah and I did a grocery store run to pick up some food for our final few days on Sanibel, mainly salad fixings and some veggies. As I have remunerated before, we are making an effort to avoid eating out at restaurants for financial and health reasons, and we've been doing a pretty good job of it.

"My dad wants to take us out tonight," Deborah informed me as we drove back to the condo from Jerry's grocery store.

"I thought we were trying to eat out less," I said, feeling anxious about exorbitant ritzy restaurants with limited food choice options.

"He's buying," she said. "He wants to celebrate our engagement." Oh yeah, Deborah and I decided to become officially engaged this week, after living together for over a year as domestic partners effectively already married. But people seem to need these things to be officially "on paper," so...there it is. Woohoo! That's part of what I called my mom about. Before you get too excited though, we've been planning to get hitched for a long while, since we are perfect for each other, so it's the natural next step, and it's just going to be a quick and quiet trip to the courthouse. We'll plan some kind of party after the fact, but it was one of my prenuptual conditions that there be no ceremonious fanfare about it. I get extreme anxiety about stuff like that, so I need to set good boundaries.

Back to the condo, we donned our swimwear and went down to chillax poolside, Mad Men style. I swam a little and then read some more of my creepy novel about social media called "The Circle," by Dave Eggers. The Circle is a huge, monopolistic social media marketing firm with it's creepy privacy invading fingers into everything. The plot centers on main character Mae's experience working at (and being manipulated by) the company, which is basically a fictional Google (eff Google!). It's a pretty good book. I bought it after hearing a public radio show about a computer algorithm that predicts which novels will make the New York Times Bestseller List. Apparently, "The Circle" was the only book that met ALL the criteria used by the algorithm to choose a bestseller, so I thought, why not? Normally, I try to get my books from the public library, especially now that I am willfully reducing my consumerism to boycott Donald Trump's presidency (as soon as he resigns or is removed from office, I will begin patronizing Corporate America again...please join me in this passive aggressive revolt!).

Phase 2

We went out to dinner at a ritzy fish place called the Timbers. I tried to order a kind of fish I hadn't had before, fortuitously one of the less expensive ones on the menu, but they were out of it, so I went with my usual standby, grilled grouper. I asked for extra fresh vegetables as a substitute for potatoes and that wish was granted. I had anxiety the whole time we were there. I'm just not comfortable in fancy restaurants, even if someone else is buying. I'm not sure exactly why, but it's a fact.

After dinner, we spent some time in the hot tub back at the condo before winding down for the night. I'm getting deep into the "The Circle" novel and will more than likely finish it before we leave Sanibel on Saturday, as long as people quit harassing me. My anxiety is diminishing now.

In the morning (soon after this post publishes and you read it), I'll make eggs and coffee for Deborah's folks before they have to head back up to Sarasota. Then Deborah and I will go find something interesting to do, perhaps by bike or kayak. Stay tuned.


PS. Recalling our wild manatee sighting a couple days ago, even though the waters we saw it in were technically too cold for the sea cows, I'm wondering if global warming is allowing manatees to linger in cooler waters longer. Purely speculative.

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