Once again the Lovely Louise and I have arrived in the land of make believe. For the uninitiated, I'm referring to Florida—God's Waiting Room. When we left Cape Cod it was 28 degrees, and we arrived in Cape Coral to 82 degrees. Somehow it seems right to just reverse the digits. The cold, gray days of winter have morphed into sunshine and sunscreen. It somehow still doesn't feel right.
We are now in the process of reclaiming our southern home. This is a semi-annual event that takes place whenever we move from one house to the other. I have to remember how to work all of the television remotes, and the TV channels change as we move from Comcast to DirecTV. Louise is moving furniture because it looks the same as last spring and that just won't do. There's no food in the refrigerator, but there is a lot of beer from last spring, and—surprise!—it hasn't gone bad. I know because I tested it before letting Louise drink any. Wouldn't want her to get sick, after all. Yes, thank you, I am a caring and considerate guy.
The boat is still on the lift and all wrapped up. The battery is charging today, and tomorrow we will begin the process of unwrapping it, hoping it starts, and making the first test run of the winter season. (Note to self: get more beer.)
Every year when we arrive we talk about how we're going to change things. We're going to eat better, get more exercise and more sleep, and just be healthier. This year we actually did something about it. We signed up at a gym. On Monday we each have appointments with out brand-new personal trainers. Louise is very excited. Me? Not so much. I know when those bastards get through with me I'll be making more old man noises than I do now, because it will become painful just to get out of the chair to get another cocktail. Never mind. I know it's good for me and I still have about twenty pounds to lose, so after the final weekend of gorging, I'll drag my sorry ass to the gym and try to do the right thing. Any bets on how long I'll last this year? How about an over/under on the number of days I'll actually go in the next five and a half months?
We met the owner of the gym, and in an attempt to show us how healthy we could be, he made us complimentary protein shakes. He was explaining all the healthy stuff that goes into one of those shakes, and telling us all about protein powder for building our muscles, when he asked me what I wanted in mine. “Chocolate, peanut butter and banana,” I replied.
After giving me a strange look he made exactly what I asked for, and it didn't make me gag. Maybe I can get healthy. Nope, when you drink a shake there's nothing to chew, and I like to chew because then I know I'm eating real food. The best thing about working out is that you can eat more food, and I'm all for that. I'll let you know how it goes.
We just got here a couple of days ago, and we've already seen all the neighbors several times. We've lived in our house back on Cape Cod for almost eight years, and I have yet to meet any of the neighbors. I like that. Here in Cape Coral we know everyone, and people treat one another's homes as if they were their own. Louise thinks it's paradise, but I still get cranky about it. I'm from Cape Cod, and not knowing your neighbors is precisely how it should be. That's the way it was when I was young, and I grew up just fine.
We noticed as we drove around that there are a quite a few new restaurants to try here in Cape Coral. It seems that every year a few of them fail and new ones take over. I love the variety of food here in Florida. So many more choices than up north. I've noticed a new Vietnamese place, a new seafood place, one that claims to have the best burgers (we'll see), and a new Cuban restaurant. So many choices, so little time, and too much waistline.
There's also a new gun range that opened up just down the street from us. There's a reason why people call Florida the Gun State—as evidenced by the lack of parking spaces in their parking lot. It seems as if everyone has a gun down here. The ladies in our neighborhood all go shooting together, usually on Mondays because that's Ladies’ Day at the shooting range. I never worry about getting robbed when a group of us go out to dinner. Just let some guy approach us and pull his piece. In short order a half dozen purses would pop open and he'd be staring down the barrels of a half dozen .357 magnums and 9mms before he could say “stick 'em up.” I've always been more afraid of women than I have been of any man.
In any event, it's all good. We've found the Endless Summer, and life will return to normal after a few more days of getting things organized. Tomorrow we head to the local farmer's market to stock up on fresh fruits and veggies. Then a quick trip to the local department store for some t-shirts to work out in. A list of new restaurants to try. The local theaters and dinner shows start soon, and in February the Red Sox spring training camp opens at Jet Blue Park just across the river. Great seats for $28, and the hot dogs are just as good as they are at Fenway Park. No, I just lied; they aren't anywhere near as good, but how can you beat hot dogs, beer, and baseball?
The best things about being in Florida are that I don't worry about President Trump's twitter account, who will be the next male celebrity who turns out to have waved his penis at some woman twenty years ago, whether the Republicans are going to tax me out of existence, whether North Korea's going to do something incredibly stupid, or whether the Northeast is going to be in for a colder winter than normal.
I'll just sit on my dock and worry about whether the fish are biting and the beer is cold enough.