Thursday, April 2, 2009

A Trip to Florida



Henry James wrote that the most beautiful words in the English language are "summer afternoon." I think my favorites are "We're at the beach!"

TD and I are back from Florida where we visited my parents in Sarasota/Siesta Key. Siesta Key has one of the prettiest beaches I've seen -- a long graceful arc of fluffy white sand, sparkling turquoise water, and infinite blue sky. In the winter my parents take a cottage on Palm Island. My uncle Brian and aunt Monica are nearby too and we visit our friend illustrator John Pirman so it's a nice trip.

We spend as much time as we can on the beach.


I brought an Irish novel to read, At Swim, Two Boys, by Jamie O'Neill. I love the way the Irish write; they reverse the order of words, like the title itself, which American-style would be Two Boys at Swim. Also, when things are good, they say, "That's grand."


At rest, TD.


I went for a run on the beach with no shoes which I haven't done in a long time but I love running in the shallow water where it glitters in the sun. After the run, I bent over to splash my face and my back gave out. Ouch. Couldn't move. Gave out the next day too. So on Saturday afternoon I found myself in downtown Sarasota in a darkened office lying stomach-down on a massage table with my face in that donut hole thing getting massage therapy. Not exactly what I planned for my beach vacation, but what can you do? I was glad to have someone look at it. The massage therapist said I was a "weekend warrior."

On Sunday it rained so we drove into town to poke around. Some things were closed but we found a great used book store, Parker's Books, with aisles of books carefully bound and shelved.


We drove to Towle's Court Art District, a small artists' colony of galleries and studios housed in a historic enclave of Old Florida-style bungalows and cottages. Shoogie Boogies was open, a charming gallery selling photography, soaps, and garden accessories.


A small black cat kept watch over the proceedings.


By Sunday afternoon the sky had cleared and the sun was out. On Sunday nights before sunset at the beach drummers come out to "drum the sun down" so we bicycled over. Dusk is my favorite time of day, when the light is fading and everything looks softer and less intense. As the sun descends over the water it casts a silvery light that is magical. A lot of people came out to the beach for a walk.


It was grand.

2 comments:

Charles Henry said...

Looks lovely. I'm jealous.

Mr. Peacock said...

Wonderful posting....
what a nice trip.
except for pulling your back out.