The Vacation Mode

All day, or at least the majority of the day, I have honestly been in vacation mode. Southern Florida will do that to a person.

Today we went to look at some real estate with a great agent. He was not only helpful, but he was also very understanding of our needs. Basically, we don’t have $1M to spend, but we would like something that’s relatively close to the beach and new enough that we don’t have to fix everything the moment we move in. We saw four different properties. Two of those we eliminated, one of them with an ocean view. That was painful, but at only 550 sf, it was just too small to be comfortable for more than just us.

Two of them we are considering. One is about a mile from the beach, and one is about 3 miles from the beach. I like one; Sweetie likes the other. A conundrum, to say the least. I think we will most likely keep looking to find something we both love, and I don’t want to be in too big of a hurry.

Bonita Springs is where we are looking today. It’s between Fort Meyers and Naples, and it has several really nice beaches. The beaches are white, powdery sand, covered in shells at the tide marks. It is gorgeous, with the dunes just behind the beach, and the houses and condos far enough off the beach to make you feel comfortable walking along the sand.

It’s sea turtle egg-laying season, and every light on the beachfront is turned off or behind closed curtains or blinds at night so that the mommy turtles can lay their eggs on the sand in peace. The beaches close at dusk, to allow them the same freedom. It is truly wonderful, since I love sea turtles so very much.

We went to two beach areas today, one Hickory Island Dog Park and one Barefoot Beach. At the dog park, we were making a left turn. A truck came barreling up behind us, never slowed down, and ran off the road, striking some orange cones, to avoid hitting us. It scared me I thought I was going to throw up, and it made me think of Valerie. I have never really gotten over that. I don’t know if I ever will.

The park was cool, and there were dogs running around everywhere and in and out of the water. The place was neat, with several small islands around and nice sand for everyone to hang out on. I kept thinking about how dirty Moxie’s fur would be with sand in it, but she sure would have a good time. I bet she’d be super-curly when it was all over as that’s what saltwater does to my hair!

Next at Barefoot Beach, we changed into our suits, walked out onto an almost-deserted beach, and had a truly magnificent day. The sand was great, the shells were abundant, and the water felt wonderful. There were no more than 20 people total, and we could sit anywhere without feeling crowded. It was exactly what I needed.

I walked along the beach alone a bit, and I sat on the sand, which I usually don’t do since I don’t like to get too much sand in my suit. I looked out over the ocean, gazing at the water, the sun, the sky, and the birds flying about. I thought about the first time I went to the ocean after I was an adult. It was Miami, and I was 30-something. It was a work trip, or I would never have gotten to go. My ex and I didn’t have much money, and he hated the beach. It was a bad combination, since I was pretty sure I’d love the beach if given the chance. I hadn’t been since I was 5. The group I was with was going out to eat after the meetings, but I had ditched them, telling them I just wanted to sit out on the beach and watch the sun set.

I remember sitting there, in my cropped purple pants and shirt, waiting for “the sizzle”. It was the most gorgeous and breathtaking sight I had ever seen. It was April.
I am not an early-morning person, but I was up the next day at 5am so that I could see the sunrise. It was just as good as the sunset. I was hooked. I had to do something about not going to the beach. That was truly the start of the end of my marriage, although he didn’t know that and still doesn’t as far as I know. I knew that I could not be with someone who hated such a beautiful thing and something that I loved so much.

I have since been to about 45 different beaches. I love every one of them, if for nothing more than to see my friend, the ocean. Yes, the Pacific is as blue as it was in my dreams.

The rest of today, we hung out at the beach until the sun set. It was, yet again, a wondermont to me.

Tomorrow we set off on another adventure, headed a bit south to Naples. Good night to you all. I will be dreaming of seashells and sand between my toes.

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