Monday 29th December 2008

Monday morning, and the prospect of a day doing nothing beckoned. We had breakfast on the balcony, including, for me, the revelatory experience of a peanut butter and grape jelly bagel. We had discovered mock peanut butter (made from sunflower seeds) in the local supermarket the day before. Once I had got over the initial shock (an “oh, my god, I’m going to die” moment), I found the stuff to be rather nice.

After breakfast, we woke Kareon and went on a bike ride towards a village further down the spit called Sutton. The resort’s bikes are those Dutch style cruiser things with back pedal brakes so they took some getting used to. However, it was lovely to spin along the cycle lanes in the morning breeze, and we stopped at a private beach on the way.

We travelled up to Sarasota for lunch at a Vietnamese place that promised bubble tea- unfortunately they had run out when we got there, but we had wonderful beef short ribs anyway. We browsed around the local shops, including Whole Foods, which was interesting for all sorts of reasons, not least the fact that the local Amish/Mennonite community seem to shop there. It is somewhat hazardous to visit a Whole Foods if you aren’t either vaccinated or resistant to measles, as several US epidemics have been traced back to branches of this organic supermarket, favoured by anti-vaccinationists. Fortunately, Kareon and Trellis have been vaccinated and I have had measles, so we were good to go.

We returned to the Vietnamese restaurant to book it for New Year’s Eve as our original choice had proved to be altogether too chi-chi and expensive.

We drove home to encounter the olds, who were very excited to see our flats and rummage through our respective fridges. We set up an encampment on the beach and swam in the sea. The sea was cold, but not frigid, and it took a while to brave the breakers, stride out and get our shoulders wet. However, once achieved, acclimatisation was well worth the trouble. There were pelicans dive-bombing fish around us and dainty little sand pipers paddling on the shoreline as we splashed about.

Ravenously hungry, Trellis and I cycled to the local shops after his bath and were surprised to find that the restaurants tend to close at 8pm. The only place that was open was a swanky Italian restaurant – fortunately the food was excellent and well worth the premium.

We pedalled home in the dark and were tucked up in front of QVC by midnight.

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