Friday, March 30, 2018

Nec Plus Ultra

The first clue I had this morning - apart from the glistening blue sky, yellow sunrise and entertaining squawks of subtropical birds - was the sound of symphony music on Sarasota's FM Channel 89.1 when I turned on the bedside Bose radio. It isn't often that my first try with a hotel radio station is as fortuitous.  My sleep last night was better than it has been recently.  Even though the mattress initially felt less than firm, it turned out to have been comfortable. After my shower I opened the balcony door and sat on a patio chair at a round glassed table, munching my slices of orange and drinking my green tea while reading the March 28th edition of Vanity Fair. As I glanced up at the nearby tennis courts and golf course through the swaying palm trees I was feeling undeniably smug. My delight was further gratified by a bowl of diced red, yellow and green peppers with white onion, chunks of Norwegian smoked salmon and one scrambled egg; and a toasted English muffin with fresh ground peanut butter.

Thus energized we were not long in preparing ourselves for our constitutional morning walk.  We headed directly to the beach as is our custom.

We were far from the first to arrive.  Today is Good Friday and as might be expected there is a healthy gathering of family members for the Easter Holiday Weekend - though I have to say that the frequency of morning athletes is considerably more characteristic now than I recall when I was young.  I had for example earlier noticed a runner along the path below our balcony suite.

Our exercise took us to the southern extremity of the resort where an inlet intercepts the barrier island and mainland Sarasota which is connected by a most agreeable bridge.  As the Gulf of Mexico enters Sarasota Bay there is a breakwater which appears to be made of fossilized shells.

We walked as closely as possible to the shore in order to afford ourselves the benefit of the more flattened beach which was otherwise softer and more dense further inland. Before long however my object as usual was to return to a chaise longue for an hour or so to capture the glorious sunshine.

We had begun our walk around 9:30 am.  By ten o'clock the chairs and umbrellas were beginning to fill with activity as well as a vast number of obviously "reserved" additions of beach towels and other beach paraphernalia. The notable difference for beach activity on the Gulf Coast (unlike the Atlantic Ocean) is that the preponderane of sunshine is mid-morning to late afternoon as the sun follows its customary trajectory to the west. This entailed the momentary necessity to reverse the established position of my chaise longue towards the east.  But the movement of the blazing orb was rapid as it rose in the sky.  By the time noon approached I was starting to point once again at the shore of the Gulf of Mexico.  As tempted as I was to indulge myself endlessly in the scorching heat I reasoned I should move into the shade.  I headed back towards the central part of the resort, specifically the pool area.

The pool was packed with young parents and their shrieking children.  Nonetheless I again succumbed to any open lounge chair and laid back for a tiny bit more sunshine!  Hopeless addict that I am!  As I lay there a young father and his two boys appeared caring backpacks.  I learned (as I had guessed) that they had just arrived at the resort but their room was not yet ready.  The father asked if he might use the chaise longue immediately adjoining mine.  After the boys escaped to the pool the father and I began a casual conversation.  They were from Jersey, having taken the 7:00 am direct flight.  His name was Perry Troisi (or something close to that).  I learned that he was of Italian descent. When I had difficulty understanding the spelling of his name I had mistakenly assumed it was of French origin.  He told me when he visited Italy he was mistaken for relationship to an Italian actor of the same name (perhaps Massimo Troisi).  We then gabbed about Tuscany, Montepulciano and Sardinia (both Costa Smeralda and Cagliari).

Finally I took my leave, wandering through the front lobby then to our suite.  Once again I admired the beauty of the surroundings.  I confess I am smitten!

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