I had never been to Florida in September before last week. It was always during a school vacation in February, or early in the spring, when you just couldn’t stand the cold Long Island weather one second longer.Visiting Florida in September is much different from coming down during the winter. For one thing, it is quiet. The snowbirds are still up north. There is little traffic. The pool temperature matches the air temperature: 86!
Outside my window is a huge avocado tree with enough avocados on it to make guacamole for a small Third World country. As I studied the local flora and fauna I made my way over to the grapefruit tree my grandmother planted some 35 years ago. I guess that September is not grapefruit season because there was only one grapefruit on it and it was green.
Florida is fun because happy hour starts at 4 p.m. and as I overheard someone in the pool exclaim, “Drinking is encouraged!” The early happy hour makes way for the early dinner hour, which makes way for the early bedtime hour. All of this is mandatory. Planning your next meal is big time stuff. Planning your next cocktail is bigger.
Down at the pool I figured out that there are early pool people and late pool people, most of whom who are straddling Styrofoam noodles. I question the sanitary aspects of the noodles and decide to just swim laps. They move out of my way. Most of the talk while floating on the blue and yellow noodles has to do with colonoscopies and other procedures I have yet to encounter up close and personal.
I’ve been coming to Vista Pines since I was 10 and suddenly I realize something: They will let me live here. I am old enough. OUCH!!!
I still see myself as the little girl in pigtails holding a coconut and catching kingfish on a party boat. People have rigged up all kinds of apparatus to keep the sun off of them. My favorite is a head umbrella made to look like a myna bird that this woman wears in the pool as she does her arm exercises. It’s attached to strings and (of course) a noodle.
Grandma and Grandpa won’t let me pay for anything during my vacation and constantly try to slip 20s in my pocket for a manicure or ice cream. Yes, Florida is a good place to relax. My biggest decision of the day is whether to go to the pool first or the ocean; go for a run or a bike ride. Tomorrow we will have crunchy grouper at The Shrimper. And I can’t wait!
Meanwhile, back in Eastport:
Congratulations to the members of the Eastport South Manor Community for the Arts on a successful golf outing last week at the Rock Hill Country Club. It takes a village and these people worked super-hard to carry this off for the third year.
Not one detail was left out. Our government officials could take some lessons from the officers of this organization. Should any of them ever run for office, they would have my vote in a flash.
And now, off to the pool … or maybe the ocean.