Wednesday, December 13, 2017

On the road home...


It is a mixed blessing to regret leaving a place. Which is precisely how we felt today upon concluding our stint on Longboat Key.  Around nine-thirty o'clock this morning the bellboy loaded our things into the trunk of the car.  As he did so we willingly and somewhat mournfully shared with him - a young chap who happened to be a native of nearby Sarasota - that this was our first but not our last visit to Longboat Key. My former reservation about the Gulf of Mexico - namely, that it doesn't compete with the intensity of the Atlantic Ocean - had completely evaporated. Everything we had seen of Longboat Key left nothing but the most positive impression. Though I have no doubt the adjacent barrier islands (Anna Maria Island, Holmes Beach, Bradenton Beach, St. Armands, Bird Key and Siesta Key) have their own special allure I can't imagine - unless I am utterly insatiable - that there is much to surpass the enchantment of Longboat Key.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Day at the Beach


Initially this morning I hadn't planned on bicycling today.  My lower back was killing me. I reasoned that it might be wise to take a break especially as we had cycled extensively each of the past three days.  However after my sustaining protein breakfast (and when the pain killers had kicked in) I changed my mind. But I only cycled along Longboat Club Road to the north security gate then turned around.  The sky was clearing nicely, the temperature rising.  As this is our last full day here I felt it was an ideal beach day.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Birthday Party!



Today is my birthday and as a day for a victory lap it couldn't have been more perfect! Our jaunt to Longboat Key - the putative excuse for the six-day birthday celebration - has turned out to be ideal in every way. Granted much of the triumph is serendipitous.  The weather - though somewhat cool - has been predominantly dry and clear.  For the past several days we have bicycled within a ten mile radius, relishing the pleasant winding pathways, the gorgeous scenery and surrounding architecture. Our accommodation at Longboat Key Club is nonpareil, including the beach, pool and hot tub.  The staff are friendly and proactive.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Sunday Morning Breakfast on Longboat Key


As I sat at the dining room table this Sunday morning munching my very agreeable breakfast, staring out the patio window of our suite onto the Gulf of Mexico, I thought how exceedingly fortunate the opportunity is. We're nestled on a sandy stretch at the southern tip of Longboat Key. The weather - though moderately cool today - is clear and sunny.  I attach especial significance to this day because it is the last day of my 69th year.  Tomorrow I turn 69 and spookily begin my 70th year!  Yikes!  Small wonder it is the mainspring for celebration!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Longboat Club Road


Everyone knows Florida is a magnet for northern short-term vacationers ("tourists") and long-term sojourners ("snowbirds").  Apart from the interlopers looking for a week or so of frivolity and indulgence there are those intent upon a 3 - 6 month respite from snow and cold.  The demographics of the travelers generally reflects the age of the participants and retirement affords the critical demarcation. In addition to that distinction, the cost of the privilege to linger in Florida tends to escalate incrementally with each degree of descent along the peninsula.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Longboat Key, Florida


I have always maintained that it requires but a scratch of the surface to discover some pressing sense in almost any of life's otherwise mundane experiences.  Indeed I have frequently derived considerable strength from such analysis. Granted at times the going can be more or less forbidding than at others. Today for example might be an instance of a more convenient communication with life's sometimes imprenetrable truths.

There is something inspiring about turning off a road called Gulf of Mexico Drive onto another called  Longboat Club Road.  The final destination is The Resort at Longboat Key Club.  It is here we're hanging our hat for the next little while.  Longboat Key is a barrier island on the Gulf of Mexico situated on the central coast of Florida about equidistant south of Tampa and north of Naples. Apparently the secret to our discovery of this oasis is that The Resort is part of the Opal Collection of hotels to which we were happily first introduced several years ago at Jupiter Beach on the Atlantic Ocean.  We have plainly not been disappointed to acquaint ourselves with this further family member.  Its ambience has promoted a palpable moment of reflection and consideration.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

News from the South Pacific


Apart from Donald J. Trump's daily diet of the latest shamefully comic political misstep there is nothing that competes with the entertainment value of a newsy letter from old friends.  Naturally these emissions no longer arrive bound in embossed envelopes written on letterhead vellum and scratched in an adventurous turquoise ink by a Mont Blanc Meisterstuck Diplomat. There are however redeeming features of the email communications such as links to referenced sites as well as passable photographs. In this particular instance the drumbeat was from two birds who like us are committee members but who have literally flown the mountaintop of one of Canada's elite residential resorts north of MontrĂ©al to roost in the far-flung outreaches of New Zealand in the South Pacific.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Looking out to sea


As much as I adore bicycling on the beach my primary focus is oddly not normally the Atlantic Ocean but rather the destination to which I am cycling.  This is not to say that the sea is uninteresting (though I suppose in a general way it is); instead the landmarks - being located adjacent the water - are what usually capture my attention.  In the context of our current hibernation on Daytona Beach Shores it is Ponce Inlet which has clearly overtaken my focus since our arrival.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

A day of reflection


Though I suppose it is impossible to get through any day without delving into at least some reflection upon one subject or another, today seemed to lend itself especially conveniently to the endeavour.  First and perhaps foremost is that I hadn't a lot of anything else to occupy me today.  I made up my mind early this morning that I would resist my usual impulse to go bicycling.  My reason was to give my wretched knees some relief from the constancy which seems to affect them adversely.  Besides there is more than a shred of truth in the observation that the routine repetition of anything tends to diminish the value of its overall return. On the balance however my objective was more a concession to lethargy than to quality control.  For example, even after we returned from an early morning venture to the grocery store, I withdrew to my bedroom and buried myself under the duvet in an attempt to get some sleep. But it was not meant to be.  Even wearing my eye mask I could tell the sun was doing its best to shine and that alone drove me mad, knowing that I was missing out on the sunshine!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Whiling away...


I intend to betray my hardwired Protestant work ethic. I haven't the guile to dignify my banausic domestic enterprise.  However it is characterized it constitutes no more than whiling away my time. Though I doubt it matters, there is some elevation in distinguishing my quotidian exploits as spending the time rather than killing it. Indeed if there were any attempt to extinguish anything it is the consuming effort to side-step industry and all that it entails for tireless activity and busyness.