At Lido Key beach where I cycled this morning there were four young girls sunbathing nearby me where I lay in my shoreline demesne. I overheard them exclaim with exuberance how thrilled they were to be here. It reminded me of my impressions long ago when in university and traveling for the March Break. They were not the only young people on the beach. There were routine parades along the shore of young friends, couples and children.
From the moment of my awakening this morning the weather forecast was favourable. When occasionally the clouds blotted the sun the atmosphere cooled; but the instant the clouds removed and the penetrating sun returned, it was heat from a furnace! Many of the recent interlopers distinguished themselves with ivory skin. They were intent upon getting a tan. Once again I overheard people talking, this time about suntan lotion, possible burning of their hibernated skin and their earnest hope for colour. People are seemingly paying little attention to the publicity surrounding the disadvantages of too much sunshine. The crystal blue sky and sparkling rays are an irresistible commodity. I noticed with some consolation that there were more people doing as I do when sunbathing on the beach; namely, relying solely upon their jersey as a towel and shoes as a headrest. The economy instilled in me a Bohemian spirit such as I recall from my days as a youth in Key West when I devoted virtually every daylight hour to the leathern transformation of the southern sun. Apparently it is an addiction I have yet to abandon.
On my way home from the beach around 3:30 pm this afternoon I passed a restaurant on Longboat Club Road which invited my presence. No doubt I had a frantic and burgeoning appetite for something stronger than my stock evening meal of celery sticks, green pepper slices, cherry tomatoes and zucchini. To my entire delight His Lordship was instantly on board with the dining proposal! This cooperative spirit is but one of many reasons for our unparalleled compatibility.
Thus enlivened we both made haste to prepare ourselves – that is, in the manner germane to a life of indolence on the Island – then expiated our projected immoderation by walking the full measure from the apartment to the trough! There was some discomfort for having arrived within the hour of the Blue Plate Specials for the elderly misers; but the indignity soon vanished upon discovering that the restaurant was already filled with gatherings of people of every description.
Within moments of having seated ourselves at table overlooking the emerald waters of the inlet from the Gulf of Mexico to Sarasota Bay – and while awaiting the arrival of our opening course of shucked Virginia Bluepoint oysters with lemon wedges – we shamelessly immersed ourselves in our respective iPhones to digest an email from our confidant and wanderlust, Pierre. The communication could not have been more serendipitous! With the exception perhaps of the “Original Mud Pie” with which we subsequently crowned our meal of seasonal salad, King Crab, filet mignon and baked potato, Pierre’s encyclical was “icing on the cake” of what already had proven to be a covetable day! To avoid any unforeseen disfavour to the authenticity or innuendo of the piece it is transcribed below in its entirety. As I have previously reported to Pierre on the heels of similar accounts from him, the vernacular is reminiscent of Uncle Edouard from J.P. Donleavy’s “The Beastly Beatitudes of Balthazar B” (of which a brief synopsis is rendered here):
Balthazar B (whose final name is never revealed) is born to riches in Paris. His father dies when he is young and his mother neglects him for her lovers. Instead he is brought up by a nanny and relies for male advice on his Uncle Edouard, who instructs him in the worldly life of an elegant roué.
Herewith Pierre’s evocative and informative email. A note of caution is in order. These are the words of an adroit member of the Law Society of Upper Canada. As such the reader is encouraged to consider the provocative themes which by design no doubt underpin what might mistakenly be dismissed as trifling codswallop. It is for this reason among others that I am prompted to record Pierre’s engaging observations:
“The Sea of Cortez , or the Gulf of California, is a long , narrow , highly dangerous body of water. It is subject to sudden and vicious storms of great intensity.The months of March and April are usually quite calm and dependable….” an extract from page 1 of the book “The Log from the Sea of Cortez” (1951) by John Steinbeck (1902-1968, Cannery Row, Of Mice and Men, East of Eden, and the Grapes of Wrath his most famous book and others. He was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1962).
It was only fitting that this book was found in my bedside table, instead of a bible, at The Four Seasons Hotel in Los Cabos where I am staying. This is what I am presently reading having set aside my other reading material.
I am here for 6 days for some R&R but since I arrived the sun is shy although it is expected to make an appearance tomorrow.
Prior to my arrival I made a scheduled stop in Phoenix AZ for 3 days to visit a long time friend and law school class mate Jean Marc and his lovely wife Suzanne. They were the best of hosts and we inter alia went out to enjoy America’s favourite pastime; namely, a baseball game. We indulged in beer, hot dogs and peanuts – a must – while the blue sky and ideal 80 degrees dry weather was upon us and of course the song “Take me out to a ball game ” was played. A most pleasant afternoon.
We also went out for lunch to the world famous Arizona Biltmore Hotel, an art deco icon built in the 30s and designed by no other than architect Frank Lloyd Wright. On a prior visit to Scottsdale I had visited his winter home, now a museum, open to the public. The hotel is surrounded by 5, 10 and 20 million dollar homes and when I see this kind of extreme indulgence I wonder if the % of the extremely rich is going up too much while for sure the % of the poor people is going up and the middle class in America is slowly disappearing. I tend to think that future social problems in the US are brewing.
No stay in Phoenix would have been complete if we had not been to another must in the Southwest being dinner in a steakhouse. Carnivores are still alive and well in that part of the US.
I arrived here after a short 2 hour flight from Phoenix. The hotel is a 50 min ride from the airport. In Los Cabos ceviches, tacos, guacamole and fish are the highlights. Margaritas, no doubt, are my favourite drink. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the famous Montreal Greek restaurant Milos which I went to a few times there, opened a restaurant right here at the Four Seasons. The prices they charge here are almost unconscionable. The food however is exquisite.
I propose to go on a deepwater fishing expedition but the sea appears to be quite rough, maybe too rough for my taste. We shall see.
Finally no doubt many are frightened by the recent beatings in the stock market. I remain calm and do not forget that the money is not lost until one sells. In due course all will come back to normal sooner or late. Patience is required. I am determined not to lose sleep over this. Let’s not panic.