Skip to main content

Holiday Weekend

I guess by now you've figured out that my computer and I were separated for a few days. About the middle of last week Bruce came home with some good news--we were invited to the boat races in Lido Key. Our plans were to meet up with both Steve and Barb, as well as Jeff and Connie, however the former couple didn't make it, the latter did. Turns out the night race in Daytona ran until well after midnight Saturday night making the long drive too arduous for Steve. We missed them, however we still had lots of fun.

If you've never been to a speed boat race it's sure something you might want to do if you get the opportunity. It's a bit hard to follow, but exciting nonetheless. After having Jane and Michael over for dinner on Saturday night, we got up a little after 5 on Sunday morning. Leaving the house around 6, we headed down I-4 towards Sarasota. The traffic was light,  the drive pleasant until around Bradenton when the rain started coming down in sheets making visibility sketchy.Soldiering on we arrived very early leaving plenty of time for him to nap!

Jeff's friend Nick's family owns a little beach cabana on Lido Key. I wish I could describe it, but it's well nigh impossible, however, I'll give it a try. There's a courtyard flanked by two sets of low buildings with flat roofs. It's sort of a zig zag pattern with around 30 double doors leading into small spaces with a patio in the front. Each family uses their 200 square feet a little differently, but most have kitchens and bathrooms, as did Nick's. Apparently there is a 10 year waiting list to buy one, most of them are passed down through families. Lest I forget the most important part, there's a nice boardwalk within feet heading onto the lovely white sands and beautiful blue green Gulf of Mexico water.  Because we arrived so early we had a primo parking spot. Around 10 the rain finally stopped in time for the 11:30 race start.

When we first walked onto the beach there were very few people, however by race time the place was packed:
It was all quite exciting. I only took the Panasonic onto the beach, not wanting to mess up yet another new camera, but it served me just fine because of the long zoom. I took this one out in the water. Speaking of the zoom, when you're using it you must hold the camera very still which proved somewhat difficult in the choppy water caused by the huge wakes these boats made. We found out later the top speed was 117mph! As you can see, there was a flotilla of boats on the back side of the course watching the action.

After the afternoon's second race we headed to the same hotel we stayed in a month ago on Longboat Key. While Bruce napped I roamed the shore. Storms threatened once again. While at the cabana, Nick's brother Rick invited us to watch the fireworks at his 14th floor condo overlooking Sarasota Bay. Naturally we jumped at the opportunity!  Here's the view as the sun begins to set. We were fortunate enough to stay at the Ritz during our vacation pictured on the left.

Here's how it looked about 30 minutes later. The bridge on the left is the one that takes you to Longboat Key--note the cars coming in for the fireworks show. Lovely isn't it?

What was so neat about this is that not only could we watch Sarasota's fireworks display, but Siesta Key and Longboat Key's display as well, making it an extra special a treat.  Fourth of July is always a nostalgic time for me as I reminisce each year about being in labor at Lake Eola waiting for the fireworks to begin. I don't need to remind you that our dear Matthew was born only hours later on July 5th.

Although we were invited to Dave and Therese's home on the bay for boating and a cookout, the weather thought otherwise as rain greeted us upon waking Monday morning. After a nice little breakfast at the hotel, we began our trip home. As is most times the case, we meandered even though it was pouring. Turns out, one of the streets we took led us straight into the heart of the Amish/Mennonite community in Sarasota. We just had to stop at their farm stand and restaurant, bringing home several pieces of their famous pies. Bruce was especially delighted to find rhubarb on the menu, a pleasant reminder of his childhood growing up in upstate New York where rhubarb was plentiful.

The traffic on I-75 was fast and furious,  rain making it all the more treacherous, thus we took lovely country roads. Have I told you how much I love maps? Well, consider yourself told. I figured out a new route, and off we went. The scenery was lovely, with winding roads and bucolic pastures filled with wet cows. The rain continued most of our drive home, stopping only intermittently. We came across the Little Manatee River State Park which proved to be lovely and peaceful. Here is Mr. Bruce at the canoe launch trying his luck in the river:
For those among you unfamiliar with this type of water it gets the rusty color from all the downed organic material along the banks. If you click on the photo you'll see a larger version, enough to notice the light rain falling, as well as the bubbles from the fast moving water to the left of Bruce. This is definitely a place we'd love to return to in the cooler months.

We finally got home after 4, by which time it was 9 in London. Poor Matthew thought his mommy and daddy forgot his birthday. Never my love.

Right now the sun is shining brightly, something it's not been doing for the last six days or so, which means I'm outta here!
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Should We Go or Should We Stay?

It is hard to know what to do in the situation we found ourselves. Should we go, or should we stay? My vote was to stay, whereas Bruce wanted to head back to Vancouver because he had loads of meetings and work to do. After losing Baxter so recently, he'd had a hard time concentrating on work, and had only just begun to find his way. While I could understand all of that, now that I'd gone along for the ride, I realized how unpredictable it could be. How long could it take, after all?

Saturday morning Bruce drove over to the dealership to find out what he could while I roamed the property looking for anything of interest. Two things caught my eye, one of which are these cool pinecones on what we would call a Christmas tree.
Adjacent to the hotel there was a large lot fenced off for conservation. Walking around the block I saw what looked like evidence that a beaver had been busy. Further, I saw some cone shaped "structures" in the distance.
I never did see any beavers,…

The Sky

After our friend, Karen Howard, moved to the North Carolina mountains, she said one of the things she missed the most about living in Florida was the fluffy, white clouds, ever present throughout the year. Now I have a better understanding of how she felt.

There is no escaping the sky when you are living this high off of the ground with abundant glass. Because our high rise was the first to be built in this area of downtown, there are few impediments to the view. From what I've gathered, views are both highly prized, and highly protected here. And what is there to see? Having lived here for more than five months now, I've learned that there is a lot to see. Whereas in the summer months, your eyes are drawn to the activity on the water below, in the winter, it is all about sky watching. Will it rain? Will there be fog? Will that yellow circle on my phone, indicating a sunny day, really happen? If so, will there actually be a sunrise or sunset? What about the moon and stars? Wil…

Six Months!

I would be the first to admit that during these months in Vancouver I feel as if I am living in a bit of a bubble. Rarely do I even know the date, so it came as a bit of surprise discovering this morning that six months have elapsed since we arrived on July 29, 2017. Doesn't it seem as if were not that long ago that I was writing this post? Now that was fun to re-read that post! I was wrong, the building I photographed was not ours. Terribly sad to read about Baxie..

So, what do we think six months later? We do love the city, but this weather, yikes! I also read in that post that I was bound and determined that I would not complain, so we'll leave it at that.

Every day last week, in both rain and weak sunshine, I made myself go out and about, not wanting to sit in the condo alone while Bruce is at the office. I visited places both familiar, and not so familiar. More often than not, I began my walk when it was not raining, finishing them when it was. One morning I saw that the …