Lazy Saturday on the Island

When I was still working for a living I regretted getting out of bed after 7:00 am – even on a weekend when vacation time was sparse. Now that I have been retired for five years it is seldom that I get up much before nine o’clock in the morning. Today however we had appointments to have our nails done at nine o’clock so we were out of bed and into the shower shortly after seven o’clock. The awakening was abrupt but I sought to adjust by having at least a sliced green apple with a restorative cup of chilled black coffee. The partial observance of habit succeeded to focus me upon the day without the customary complement of steel cut oats. Besides we had decided last evening to go to the Blue Dolphin restaurant for breakfast after our manis and pedis.

The Blue Dolphin was busy today as one would have expected mid-season. We had to give our name at the front desk then wait about twenty minutes before being called. I briefly visited a resort wear store in the same little mall but didn’t see anything that sold itself to me. On my return to the front of the restaurant I sat on a bench reading Jane Austen letters from 1796 et sequentes. Soon we were called and seated at a comfortable table with three chairs. Our server was as usual the young expectant mother whose baby is due on March 16th she told us. The entire staff is efficient and convivial. Another of the regular servers – a buoyant good-looking young man who is from North Carolina but here for the season, living in an apartment on St. Jude Street nearby Harry’s delicatessen for which he also works as a caterer – delivered our orders and we chatted briefly, joking about his growing hair (which is still short by normal standards). Another new affable server, a tall, lanky young man with a pronounced chin and goatee, poured extra coffees for us. They are all very attentive.

Once we finished our respective meals – clean down to the plates – we didn’t linger but headed home. At home I donned my routine cycling garb but this time added my large blue and white striped beach towel to the bicycle basket. It had started out cool this morning – just slightly above 65 degrees Fahrenheit – so I wasn’t convinced I’d do anything more than sit on the beach. As it turns out the temperature climbed quickly and later when lying in the sun on the beach by the sea I succumbed to the inevitable allure of the emerald brine.

There were noticeably more people by the sea today than yesterday. Most were still older people or young couples (some with babes in arms) but generally few children between the ages of 5 and above. One couple had brought their Border Collie which I believe is forbidden on the Island but the dog was so well behaved that no one would have had the temerity to complain.

Uniquely today I didn’t precede the beachfront jaunt by going to the bench overlooking Sarasota Bay in Bayfront Park – though I did go to the Park to take a drink of water from the fountain before heading to the beach.

When I initially arrived at the beach there was a couple nearby playing what sounded like an AM radio station on their “boom box“. Privately I imagined going to them in the abusive spirit of Jack Nicholson in “As Good as it Gets” and suggesting the jerks might consider turning off the offensive sound device or at least diminishing the sound to a point that it didn’t intrude upon the public! Hadn’t they any thought to enjoy the sounds of the crashing waves and the squawking sea birds instead! Eventually they had the courtesy to depart and I glowered at them as they did so, further speculating whatever hateful indicia I could derive from their appearance and demeanour. I am a remorseless curmudgeon!

The sky cleared to near perfection as I dawdled upon the sand. It took all my effort to withdraw from the burnishing rays which I knew were making a leather veneer of my old carcass. But as I had imagined – though I hadn’t actually checked – the hour was already approaching three o’clock and it would be close to 4:00 pm before I completed the cycle home. It was a providential resolve because I was quite drained upon my arrival home. After casting my beachwear and towel into the laundry I revitalized myself by showering and then prepared my evening meal which as usual is sliced raw celery, pickle cucumber, green pepper, Sugar Bomb grape tomatoes, Roquefort cheese and fresh squeezed lemon juice. To this I added tonight fresh cooked shrimp. On the side, a fresh 2-inch salmon filet (cooled, cooked in the microwave exactly one and a half minutes).

My cocktail of choice while recording these trifling events was a mixture of Pomegranate and S. Pellegrino. Dessert was All-Bran and Almond Breeze.