Holiday time along Florida’s Gulf coast
I’m spending a few days along Florida’s Gulf of Mexico coast before going to Disney World for the debut of the new Fantasyland, largest expansion ever at the Magic Kingdom. I’ll also be previewing the new Animation Family Suites, a whole new type of lodging choice at Disney World.
Here in the Venice-Nokomis area snowbirds are returning to their winter homes and it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, Florida style People have poinsettias out, wreaths on their doors and twinkle lights framing their doorways, just like home.On Saturday evening we took in a parade of boats all decked out with lights and holiday decor as we had our dinner in a place along the intracoastal waterway.
Tonight I’m going out for stone crab at Capt Eddies, a restaurant with its own fish market, that gets its daily catch delivered straight from the fishing boats. Stone crab is cooked aboard the boats themselves as the only way to keep the delicious meat from sticking to the inside of the shell. As far as I know, this is a Florida-only delicacy in season only during winter months.
It always takes me a few days to become accustomed to the slower pace of life here and the many courtesies that seem to be a part of southern hospitality. For instance, when I shopped at the nearby Publix the other day, a clerk took my cart and walked me to my car. I try to imagine someday retiring to this coastline but wonder if I’d ever be able to really adapt. It’s very very different.
It’s in the low 80s today and the many area convertibles are seen with their tops down. I began my morning with a swim in the pool and expect to start my day tomorrow the same way, but this time in the Gulf of Mexico, which is about a 10 minute walk from my place. I’m told the water temperature is 78 degrees.