Tropical Vay-Kay Day Four - Soup Bowl Sunday


I'm sitting in the living room of the time share condo on Sanibel Island FL that's owned by Deborah's parents, and where we'll be staying through next Saturday. I've got my feet up on the wicker ottoman associated with the wicker chair I'm sitting in. I'm waiting for a veggie egg fritatta to finish cooking in the kitchenette and the smell of the feta cheese I sprinkled on top is punching me in the nose right now. Deborah is on the couch to my right surfing the Web for information on how hard it is to get licensure as a nurse in Florida, a step closer to our moving here (turns out, it's not too hard). For me, it's pretty simple. Once I get my car licensed in Florida, I can drive for Uber and Lyft here all I want. Boom.

We have an action packed agenda today. The first order of business is to go on a bike ride around Sanibel Island. The time share office lends out free bikes and helmets to guests and this should go smoothly provided there is a bike in my size. It's cloudy outside today and there was fog this morning. It's "chilly" by Florida standards, with temps in the lower 60s, laughable by comparison to Wisconsin, where it's in the mid-20s. I'll be biking in shorts and a tee shirt. Depending on how far and long we bike, we may stop somewhere for lunch, which will present some dichotomous mental challenges, such as what restaurant to eat at and whether to order a cup or a bowl of fish chowder.

After accomplishing the bike ride, we'll probably go swimming in the pool at the time share. If I can squeeze in a beach walk later this afternoon, I can call it a triathlon. That would be superb. There is some sort of sports ball thing going on today that may incapacitate a large proportion of the general population in America. I am looking forward to pretending it's a zombie apocalypse, taking advantage of the abandoned shops and streets.

Phase 1

I'm back in the wicker chair after a roughly eight mile bike ride around Sanibel this morning, per the aforementioned agenda, during which we saw an anhinga, a stork, and some alligators. We also did some window shopping for some souvenirs that inspired a FAWM song idea for me, entitled "Chee Boo Tiki."

I thought of it when I told Deborah I preferred shopping at the "cheap boutique-y" (chee boo tiki) type places rather that the fancy ones.

We biked along an unpaved nature trail where the 'gators were (Achtung Alligatoren!), then on the bike path along the busy main drag of Sanibel called Periwinkle Drive, then down some quieter back roads to return to the condo. It was superb.

That pretty much concluded Phase 1 of today's activities. I'm about to go change into my bathing suit in anticipation of Phase 2, aqueous activities by the pool.

Phase 2

I'm reclined on a poolside reclining beach chair, getting a megadose of vitamin D and writing. We've already swum and hot tubbed. The super annoying beeotchy lady from yesterday was down here earlier, yacking away at the top of her lungs to anyone who would listen. Today, she was an expounding on how water is better than Gatorade for hangovers and dehydration. She wasn't wrong, just annoyingly opinionated. Anyway, she's gone so it's a lot more peaceful down here now, mostly us and a bunch of quiet old retired people.

I spoke too soon. I had not even finished writing the prior paragraph when she paraded back into the pool zone and started yacking again. Now she's ranting about how she doesn't understand why the financial markets are closed on weekends, when shops and department stores are open. What a doofus!

I'm almost overdosing on vitamin D right now, so I either need to move into the shade or get back in the pool. Deborah, reclined beside me, seems unfazed by the early afternoon sun. It's almost 1:30 PM though, and before long we are going to need to make some lunch.

Phase 3

No sooner had I written about the need for sustenance when Deborah said she was hungry. We made our way back up to the condo and she whipped us up some salads whilst I cooked a couple tilapia filets.

After we ate, we sat on the balcony overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Deborah called her brother and sis-in-law to discuss tomorrow's action packed agenda, which involves kayaking in Tarpon Bay. The discussion centered on the best time to go, when the tide is about halfway in or out. Low tide is at 1:30 PM tomorrow in Sanibel, if you care, so we need to go kayaking mid-morning or late afternoon, depending on when Mark and Michelle arrive.

"Do you care if I go for a beach walk?" I asked Deborah after she got off the phone. "It'll probably take me a couple hours."

She did not care.

Phase 4

I walked along the beach toward the east end of the island, collecting a few cool looking sea shells as I made my way toward the lighthouse on the eastern tip of Sanibel. The tide was coming in. It was about a two mile walk down to the lighthouse. On my return trip, I decided to follow the bike paths that run alongside many roads on the island. This gave me a chance to see some of ye olde island, less touristy and more residential than most of Sanibel. I saw a cafe advertising "the best breakfast on the island" and wondered if we might check the place out some morning.

The return walk was 2.4 miles because of the orientation of the streets. I felt pretty good when I got back to the condo, notwithstanding a truckload of sand in my beach shoes. I had achieved my goal of doing a triathlon today, biking, swimming, and power walking. Deborah had fallen asleep by the time I came through the door about 6:30 PM, moments before the kickoff of some sort of sportsball game on the TV that everyone seems really excited about.

"I had an idea on my walk," I told Deborah. "I was thinking we could take advantage of the sportsball to go have a romantic dinner at the Island Cow [restaurant], because there probably won't be anyone there during the game.

Deborah agreed and this proved true. We had a nice meal at the modest local eatery. I had fresh caught local snapper, blackened, and Deborah ordered grilled shrimp. The sportsball was on at the restaurant and Deborah had a view of the small TV on the wall there. She wanted to get back to the condo before half time, and I made this happen, notwithstanding a small delay so that I could identify a bright "star" in the sky overhead using Google Sky Map. It turned out to not be a star at all, but two planets, Mars and Venus, almost superimposed on each other in the sky. I could almost discern them as two points of light really close together, but not quite.

I'm writing this while lying on the king bed in the master bedroom at the condo. Deborah is watching the sportsball out in the living room, but I have no interest whatsoever in the sportsmanship nor the outcome. After I wrap up this post, I'll probably read a bit more of "John Dies at the End" before getting a glorious night's sleep, thanks to my roughly 4.5 mile power walk today.


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