Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Spirit Journey & Manatees - Part 2

We deplaned and as I walked down the jet way at the Tampa Airport my ears were still not clear. But as I entered the airport and saw my honey waiting for me with open arms, I just fell into them. Sean hugged me warmly and I felt a bit better. I hugged his brother Phil too. Then they began to ask about my trip and I was having trouble hearing them. Sean looked at me and said that I didn’t look well. I smiled gamely and said that I felt I would recover on the beach far better than in the snow. Phil knew the airport pretty well, so we followed him to the elevators and down to the parking garage. Sean carried my Ixspa bag. We got to Phil’s caddy, threw my bag into the trunk and took off.

I had last been to the Tampa and St. Petersburg area in 1985 and my, had it grown since then. As we drove along heading south on route 75 I could not believe the new buildings and increased highway traffic. When we got off of 75 onto local roads, there were so many new condominiums! It was as if they had paved and built up on every available square inch of Florida, except of course for the golf courses and beaches. There were so many stop lights and it seemed like it took forever to get onto Estero Island. Young and tan people in swimsuits were hanging out everywhere as if it was spring break; but it was only February. I felt so white and sickly pale sitting in the air conditioned car coughing and feeling like death warmed over.

Finally we reached Phil’s condo which was about 5 stories tall and shaped like a “u”. Phil’s unit was on the third storey. In the middle of the “u” were a swimming pool and Jacuzzi and it opened to a stunning view of the Gulf of Mexico. Woohoo! Now we were talking. Vacation here I come. So I trudged up the flights of stairs to Phil’s condo and once let in, collapsed on my bed dead to the world.

They let me sleep until dinner time. I awoke, groggy and stuffed up and not really feeling like doing much. We had dinner at some fish place where all you could get was battered fried fish, which I don’t like. Though, they both assured me that they had eaten well all week.

The next morning, I awoke early feeling a bit better and Phil was up. I accompanied him for his morning constitutional walk on the beach. The sand was hard and white as we strode across it; him going for time and me looking for shells. It was too cold to go in the water. When we got back to the condo, Sean was up. We went to a local chain restaurant where Phil could get a senior citizen’s discount. Man, that place was cheap. But, you can’t really fuck up breakfast. The hot aromatic coffee was most welcome. Sean and I spent the rest of the day in and around Fort Myers.

Sean and I rented a sit on top Kayak for two and paddled around the local estuaries. He kept telling me to look out for dolphins as he and Phil had seen them swimming along side the small power boat they had rented to explore this very area. I really wanted to see them, but we never did.

The ever elusive dolphin.

We visited a place called dog beach and I wished we had brought our dog. I became very tired and crapped out and Sean had to paddle the whole way back. I felt so guilty that I wasn’t paddling, but Sean said that he was fine with it. I love him so much sometimes. By the time we got back to the kayak rental place and to the caddy, I was all in. I fell asleep in the back seat on the way back to the condo. The back seat of a Cadillac is very comfortable, actually all the seats are, just in case you were wondering. Sean woke me up and I could barely walk up to the stairs to our place. I begged off dinner and I think they brought me something, but I was so out of it that I don’t remember. The next day we were going to drive via Alligator Alley to Key Largo.

No comments: