Monday, March 15, 2010

iPhone bloggin' with all this writing

Simply doesn't work, so I had to wait until I got home to post about my Excellent Weekend in Sarasota!  TY was invited to play in a member-guest tournament and I trotted along for the auxiliary festivities.  This year we opted to stay in a hotel so I could be autonomous and make my own arrangements for entertainment since he would be tied up day in and day out, and this worked great.  Since it is also almost our anniversary TY sprung for a fabuloso hotel thinking I may take advantage of the spa facilities.  Well, Ha-  since I have never enjoyed being touched by strangers and even getting a haircut is an tough issue for me, I avoided that wing of the hotel like they had a bedbug infestation.

First of all, let me tell you that the three hour drive horizontally through central  Florida is mentally about 6 hours.  There is nothing to look at but miles of scrub in all directions.  Occasionally there are some cattle, but geesh, it would take a lot of cattle doing tricks on high wires to keep my interest for long.  And it was still cold in spite of warmer forecasts.  And it started to rain.

Seen in Indiantown, on the way.  Mexican/Chinese fusion cuisine.  Sort of.
(iPhone photo, very small drive-by!)

And it rained and it poured for three days.  TY's tournament was washed out twice so he sat on the club porch watching it rain instead of playing golf.  I sat in the hotel room watching it rain and read and knitted and fended off the housekeeping staff who kept trying to clean up after me in spite of me not doing anything to make a mess for them.  And it rained some more, and got colder.  I know because I had a wonderful view of the bay and the fog from my 6th floor vantage point-  on my bed, propped up knitting with 6 down pillows!

But we had made arrangements to be with some old friends for Wednesday night dinner and ended up at a wonderful downtown restaurant for a great meal and fun conversation.  The next day Carol took me and her visiting SIL from Birmingham UK to the historic district art colony where we had great fun walking from teensy cottage to teensy cottage-  the whole block was tricked out as a gallery section carved from a stand of little beach cottages from the turn of the century.  We also ate lunch there, and got quite a surprise to walk into a little beach hovel to find a formal tablecloth restaurant with a grand wine list and wonderful food.  Then, back to looking and shopping a bit more, and into a shack that had been completely stripped, ceiling removed and plastered, and made into a tea room- the most inviting space imaginable, with big glass windows looking out to a tiny courtyard where two very small old porcelain bathtubs had been turned into planters, and banquettes installed along the walls.  It was the kind of place you could stay for hours just drinking tea and eating pastry and talking art.

But we didn't stay long because we had more fish to fry over at the Ringling Museum.  I do have to say I expected circus posters but instead got Reubens and Tintoretto and Pisarro!  Every room in the huge Venetian palace was of a different art period and it blew me away because it certainly wasn't what I expected.  (But, at the end of the massive hall, in the current exhibition rooms there was a much more predictable Norman Rockwell exhibit that was jammed!)  There was a huge covered portico surrounding the courtyard dominated by a full sized David, though not marble (I think possibly bronze?) as well as many other statues and walkways and plantings.  Simply overwhelming.
Courtyard and porticos
Venetian mirror
I thought we were going home but instead I found myself in the Ringling Brothers Museum, a separate building dedicated to the old train circus that traveled from town to town.  here I found the circus posters, the rope netting draped over the ceiling like the high wire act was coming next, and the MOST AMAZING model set up of the circus trains entering town, the animal parades from the station to the fairgrounds, the tents set up for all the various activities that the hundreds of performers, acts, and support staff needed.  The gaffers were setting up the tents, the costume tent, the first aid tents, the mess tents and covered area for the circus people, and finally the midway and the bigtop with it's three rings all in model  size.  It took over an hour to slowly walk around and study each area.  It was fully populated with both tiny people and scale size animals and their trainers.  I simply have to go back!

That night I went out to dinner with a friend from Boston to a Peruvian restaurant that I also loved. The food was delicious and unusual and the decor was ultra contemporary and exciting.  I slept like a log, through massive thunderstorms all night long.

On Friday I went to Dreamweaver, a premier art clothing shop that in fact I do dream about!  I walked in and found that Carter Smith was having a trunk show so I got to chat with him as we have a mutual friend from his home town in MA.  I own a wonderful Carter Smith kimono top, and also a tee shirt that he had shibori dyed long ago.  Turned out it was the duplicate shirt he was actually wearing that day.  The day was so cold and wet that I didn't last long and returned to my knitting post back in the room.  That evening we went out to friend's house on Siesta Key for a little BBQ.  As I started up the walkway I realized I was in ankle deep water, both shoes soaked through-  I swear that it looked like the bricks were just a bit wet, not under 4" of water.  The evening was from then on barefoot.  God, my feet were cold!

My last full day I was to meet an old friend Linda from elementary school who was actually my first roommate in Boston right after college, and later a bridesmaid.  We had lunch with her husband and tried to catch up 30 years in an hour or two, then a little bit of shopping together for 'old time's sake', just like in the '60's!  I really appreciated them driving down from their place to meet up as they brought with them some sunny warm weather finally.  TY ha to play two rounds of golf to catch up for lost rain time, so all was well.  I met him later at the Cuban pig roast where I was over-served mojitos because I had to try all three flavors.  They also had a guy from Cuba who came from a long family line of cigar rollers and we were hypnotized watching his long thin fingers assemble the wrappings in no time.  I think TY had four cigars that night-  "just one more for the road...".

So, on Sunday we gathered up all our new stuff, packed the car, and took off for the return trip east,
oy, the way back.  Still there, we didn't stop.
Looks like the good chef has taken on a mariachi band...

and made it just in time to greet Nate and his girlfriend who will be with us for a few days.  He promises me that he will make me a logo and 'identity' (like I need that!) any minute now but I'm not holding my breath.  But I also extracted a promise from him to stop making fun of my font choices and the fact that I use an occasional Photoshop filter if he won't design me something better!  Today they are out canoeing (canoodling?) the Loxahatchee River.  Tonight we are going out to drink beer.  Tomorrow I get back to the studio.  (I have to because Nate needs his pants re-sewn and I am always a mother...)

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