Saturday, February 23, 2019

Polished and Pumped

My attempt to get a head start on the day partially fizzled.  I was able to gas up the car and put it though the wash, no problem; but when I landed at Ace Hardware my enthusiasm had got the better of me. The place doesn't open until 8:00 am.  This is Longboat Key after all, not the customary vernacular for the working classes on any level! Rather than give up I decided to kill some time (it was by then only 7:35 am) by driving further along Gulf of Mexico Drive. I hadn't any destination in mind.  On my way I thought about checking out "the Village", the old residential area of Longboat Key at its most northern end near Longboat Pass (the bridge leading to Bradenton Beach on Anna Maria Island - or Key - as it is sometimes called). The Village is nearby Mar Vista Restaurant which we've inhabited several times.

Reportedly the Village is notorious for peacocks.  It is also the stepping-off point for taking a launch to Jewfish Key. I didn't see any peacocks but the drive around the land's end was pleasant. I was greeted affably by the many people out for their early morning walk with their dogs (which were sometimes surprisingly vocal).

This strictly residential area (single-family dwellings mostly, some low-rise apartment buildings) is a reminder that Longboat Key was not always the exclusive condominiums that mark the Island's southern end mostly developed in the early 1970s and thereafter. On the opposite side of Gulf of Mexico Drive from where I was this morning, there are other quaint residential areas reminiscent of what was at one time predominantly cottage country.  Increasingly it is becoming developed for year-round residences, many of which are extravagant.

My purposeful dawdle having been accomplished I returned to Ace Hardware and made my purchase (a miniature toilet plunger - don't ask).  Within moments thereafter we were ushered to our customary vibrating chairs at the nearby salon for manicures and pedicures.  Afterwards we put on the nosebag at the Blue Dolphin Cafe ("casual American breakfast"). In each of those three emporia the staff are exceptionally attentive and professional, one of the many reasons we are so very comfortable here.

But the winning feature of Longboat Key for me is the beach. I headed there immediately upon our return to the condominium. Once again today I strolled along the beach to the pier near Aquarius condominium resort. The beach was magnificent; roaring surf, foaming waves upon the glistening sandy shore. I went for a swim in the clear jade water at the beach nearby the pier.  The beach there was completely empty except for the occasional straggler to and from the pier. Not only was the water clearer today than yesterday, it was also warmer.

Early tomorrow morning we leave for Key West.

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