Every once in a while life hands you a bone, and I received one last week. I learned that I was one of the winners of the Tommy Bahama: Relaxation defined contest. I have to share with you I never win anything so I would like to give a heartfelt thank you to everybody that voted for my story and photos!
The plane landed with intention as if to announce its arrival into The Tampa International Airport. It was cloudy outside but I did not care. The minute I stepped out of the plane, I could feel the humidity envelope me in her sweet embrace. After being in the desert for so long my skin was thanking me and taking a big long hydrating drink. I made my way to the train that would take me over to the baggage claim. I let out one long breath. It made me realize I had been holding my breath for a month. Note to self….Breath deep and breath often.
High above the emerald green waters of the Gulf from the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, I marveled at its architecture. I wondered how frightening it would be to experience driving across her during a bad storm. I wondered at what point they shut the freeway down. I looked out the window and saw the pelicans greeting my arrival. I giggled at their gregarious nature. Their amazing wingspan made them fly in straight long lines and then they would dive bomb into the water to catch their prize. Their heavy bodies, long necks and flat bills made them look prehistoric to me. Note to self…there is no way I am getting back on a plane to leave.
My vehicle headed toward Sarasota and its little piece of paradise known as the island of Lido Key. The lushly landscaped island plays hide-and-seek and slowly reveals hidden white sugar sand beaches. I take off my flip flops to feel the sand between my toes and drink in the day.
My visit to this island would not be complete without a spin around St. Armand’s circle, home to chic boutiques and fabulous restaurants. My strong affection for the Spanish Colonial Hemingway architecture leads to a stop at Tommy Bahamas for a world-class pineapple mojito. The price of the mojito is well worth the admission price to sit and bask in the design elements of my delight. Entertained by the bartender as he pulled out his muddler and went to work mashing mint and sugar to hand-craft my cocktail. He set the magic elixir in front of me. I reached for the glass to take a sip, but I kept hearing this strange noise. For some reason I could not get the drink to my lips and that noise. What is that annoying noise?
Suddenly I realized I was in my bed, my alarm was bleating that horrible battle cry to get up. I opened one eye, slowly cognizant that it was Monday morning at 5 a.m. and I had dreamed a beautiful dream called Florida.
Be Well, Laurie