After leaving Gulf Port, we went back to the mooring field in Sarasota and stayed several days. We took advantage of Enterprise’s weekend special and drove to check out 3 possible homes for “Submit”. Saturday was laundry day. Note to self, make sure the lid is tightly secured on the liquid laundry detergent before putting it in the bag with the clean clothes.
We enjoyed lunch at a Columbian restaurant. Reggie’s pulled port was very good. My chicken in mushroom cream sauce was ‘to die for’. A fun place to eat, I believe we were the only ones there who claim English as our first language.
The next stop was Marietta’s Museum of Whimsy and Arts. We had to run through, as we only had 30 minutes before they closed. It is perfectly named. All the art belongs to Marietta and it is certainly whimsical. There were bathrooms for men and women. I know, not really unusual. We were encouraged to visit both bathrooms, as they were also filled with fun art. There were chairs and benches made from drift wood painted with animals, made from horse shoes in animal shapes and just painted with whimsical colors and designs. “Please feel free to sit in any of the chairs.” Most of the figurines made us giggle or at least smile. The second room featured a light show, as well as paintings, furniture and figurines. Room lights were dimmed and tiny multicolored lights danced on the ceiling. We were then told to clap and make noise, which excited the lights and caused them to glow brighter, multiply and pick up the speed. When those lights disappeared, three life sized wire dancers filled with LED lights twirled from the ceiling. Quite beautiful. Out the backdoor was a beautiful garden filled with a wide variety of flowers and of course, more fun sculptures. I’m sure we missed some, as they were often tucked in some obscure places. Marie, you would have loved it. I’m sorry we forgot our camera!
Today we are motoring into a strong wind. There are tons of people boating. The osprey with their chicks don’t seem to mind.
We were traveling along through red mangroves, palm trees and varieties of southern pines. Pelicans were flying over in formation or diving for fish or perching on pilings and docks. Rays were leaping out of the water. Dolphins raised by the boat. We passed by osprey nests almost close enough to touch, with parents feeding their young. Dinner at anchor, at sunset, in the cockpit, lightning flashing from thunderstorms in-shore.
It occurred to us that, on this gorgeous, sunny day , were sere seeing and enjoying our surroundings, but what was once spectacular and unusual has become commonplace. Folks have asked us to include pictures, but we think of pictures as having to be of something special and the familiar does not seem special. We forget the awe we experienced in our early visits.
Perhaps because the scenery has become familiar, the highlights of this trip have been the people. Friends from visits past. New acquaintances who feel like old friends. New memories created and old ones shared.
As we wind down this trip, we are thinking of tasks necessary for putting “Submit” to bed for the next 9 months or so. We are thinking about projects at home, re-launching “Knot Ready” for the summer, splitting and stacking fire wood, repairs and excursions for the old motor home, a granddaughter’s graduation, visits to family moving farther away, friends to visit, grandchildren to squeeze and children to hug.
Reservations have been made for a place to stay in Miami before catching our flight. A car must be rented to take us from Port Charlotte to Miami. Some hapless sole must be corralled into picking us up from the airport near midnight. We hope to reciprocate someday with an early morning delivery or late night retrieval but never seem to pay back as much as received.
We are also beginning to think about and make tentative plans for our next visit to ”Submit”. Bahamas? Mexico? The Florida Keys? Cuba? By ourselves? Buddy boating with friends? Arrive a little earlier and stay a little longer?