My journey from Los Angeles to Sarasota turned out to be an eleven hour hell-ride. We left LAX on time, arrived in Phoenix an hour later, and then settled in for a 3 hour delay. This was tedious, noisy, and expensive, as of course every item for sale in the airport was at least double the normal price. At least I did get to see a pretty sunset over the mountains as we flew out. The flight to Tampa was five hours, and I was very tired and dangerously irritable by the time we arrived, which was after 9 PM eastern time.
But I still had many miles to go before I could sleep, as I had to then rent a car and drive south to Sarasota. Arriving at my mother’s around midnight, a wave of excitement overcame my fatigue, and I felt suddenly happy to be back in my former home state. But there was no time to hit the Everglades or Disney World, as I needed to get to bed.
The next morning I awoke to a beautiful sunrise over the lake that is my mother’s back yard. Her house is on an Audubon bird sanctuary and there are literally a hundred types of birds living there including blue herons, egrets, and pelicans.
I decided to have breakfast on the lanai as the sky began to brighten. I was disappointed though, that my favorite Jeweled spider (shown below from last year) was missing. Apparently, he disappeared six months ago and has not been seen since. Rumor has it that he is now in Cuba.
It was an overcast day so I didn’t go to the beach, deciding instead to head to Sarasota and walk around the city. I called Jonathan and he let me know that the weather back in LA was overcast as well, so I wasn’t missing anything. While driving down route 41 I knew I was back in good old Florida, with its mullets, Walmarts, confederate flags, ramshackle barbecue joints, and religious quotes on the sides of hardware stores.
We stopped for lunch at my favorite Florida buffet, the Golden Coral. It is an American family-style restaurant chain that features a grill and their famous Brass Bell Bakery.
After lunch, we spent the day wandering around Sarasota which was very different from the disparaging description a couple of paragraphs ago. It is a beautiful city; Money magazine always votes it one of the best places to live. It has numberous cultural attractions including the Sarasota Ballet, the Sarasota Players, the Banyan Theater Company, and many other musical, dance, artistic, and theatrical venues. We ended the night by seeing the movie “The Artist”, which I thought was overrated but my mother loved, at the historic Burns Theater. I was exhausted and couldn’t wait to get to bed.
Though the creatures of the night surely stirred and rustled in the swamps, I fell asleep to the sound of my mother’s TV blaring from the next room. Ahhhh…..
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