Sunshine State

Beach on Little Gasparilla Island

I spent the Thanksgiving Holiday on the Gulf Side of Florida around Boca Grande area.  I had the intention of visiting a friend in Sarasota, but that wasn't in the cards this time. I got into reading 1Q84 (ichi-kyu-hachi-yon) by Haruki Murakami and it was amazing. I got sucked in like I do with everyone of his books I end up reading and couldn't put it down. Hence with the name it takes place in Tokyo during the year 1984. As quoted from the book description; "A love story, a mystery, a fantasy, a novel of self-discovery, a dystopia to rival George Orwell’s—1Q84 is Haruki Murakami’s most ambitious undertaking yet: an instant best seller in his native Japan, and a tremendous feat of imagination from one of our most revered contemporary writers." It's definite a must read! I'm a big fan and got into him before I lived in Japan for a couple of years.  They are so good, I can't explain them, you just got to check them out for yourselves.
Cabbage Key Restaurant Wall
Any who, I found myself enjoying some peace & quiet for the past week.  I can't script the things that got said to me by my witty Irish Uncle. I really missed being at sea and enjoying rides on Zodiacs and enjoying watching whales to do be honest. Dolphins for some reason don't speak to me like the whales, but I do enjoy them, don't get me wrong. I did enjoy boating down there along the intercoastal waterways, but it doesn't speak to me like the same way as it does in Southeast Alaska, Baja, Costa Rica or the Galapagos on board of one of the Lindblad Expeditions (Lindblad Expeditions ) Zodiacs that I do call home from working with them for the past year. Also, I ended up taking a wee trip over to Cabbage Key (Cabbage Key) for lunch with my family and the neighboors. It was pretty out there. The famous restaurant with $1UDS hanging on the wall reminded me of something out of the 1950's tho with its architecture style. It's pretty remote out there.  There's a few bungalows that you can rent out to stay out on the island or you could get a slip to dock your boat for the night.
Sunset Overlooking Boca Grande Pass

Sunrise at Boca Grande Lighthouse
I did take my camera out. It's like every time I hear the song by Spoon, "I Turn My Camera On", I just get camera happy & hope to work on sharping my photographic eye. There's a lot to learn actually to be successful with the art.  I really wished that I got some more photographic experiences in, but it was rather tricky when your on a family holiday.  I snuck out to get a pedicure with my sister, went to a Christmas walk on Boca Grande, went to watch the sunrise at the lighthouse on Boca Grande and not to forget the restaurants that I ended up going to to eat some yummy food. I had a fabulous meal at the Pink Elephant ( The Gasparilla Inn & Club:Pink Elephant) and at Patrick's Thai Bistro both on Boca Grande. Mango Bistro (Manog Bistro) downtown Englewood on Dearbourn Street was also good too. They are known for their Lobster Bisque.  Funny, that I saw a lobster for sale at Publix's & I just laughed. They were cooked & wrapped up on a Styrofoam tray in plastic for $18 USD and I looked at my mom and said "YUCK".  I grew up in Maine & not for the life of me can't justified spending over $5USD boat price for lobster that is not fresh and been sitting for too long. It's not too hard to cook, really it is not, just get a pot and put some water and salt into it bring to a boil. FRESH WILD CAUGHT SEAFOOD is the BEST CHOICE! Also, those born on dates that I learned to read while in Japan make a difference too.  Always look for the earliest times to ensure the best cooked food possible. I did find myself cooking at times too, which I do love. Food is art! Don't forget to put your heart & soul into it to make it art!

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