The First Day of 49

Yesterday was a great birthday. I rose early and took the bus to Sarasota since Martha has been housesitting there for the week and had turtle patrol on the beach in the morning. Every Tuesday, she and other volunteers walk the beaches to mark and protect new turtle nests from humans and other hazards. She met me at the bus station a minute after I got off, and we made the drive down to Turtle Beach.

Martha had arranged for us to do paddleboard yoga, and as we waited for the rest of the group to arrive, we were treated to a Florida sun shower, where we stood in a soft rain under a bright, glowing sun, and watched a full rainbow decorate the sky. What a great start to my birthday, I thought, since sun showers are one of my favorite meteorological phenomenons.

But that was just the beginning. After we received our instructions on how to paddleboard, we took to the water. We were only a few feet off of the shore when Martha first spotted the manatees. As the rest of the group started down the canal, I lingered to get a better view of them. I can’t tell you what a blessing it was to see the mama and her two calves peek their heads out of the water to wish me a happy birthday. Reluctantly, I left them to catch up with the rest of the group.

Fortunately, because the sun shower threatened to bring lighting, we didn’t paddle out to the regular yoga spot, but turned around to practice where the manatees were. To practice yoga on a paddleboard for the first time, as these mythical mermaids kept breaking the surface of the water around us was nothing short of magical. The yoga by itself was a great way to start the day, but to do it on a paddleboard and to be in the company of these incredible creatures was a trifecta I will not soon forget. If you want to try it for yourself, check out Yoga Bodhi in Sarasota.

After the class, Martha and I walked to the beach. The water was calm, and we floated in the soothing waters for another half hour or so before our hunger enticed us to visit the new Taco Bus I’d seen on the way to the beach. I was unsure if they would have vegetarian options, but was happy to see that they actually had 4 of them. Since it also happened to be Taco Tuesday, and the 4th, I got all 4 of them. It was my first time eating at Taco Bus, but I now see what the fuss has been about.

Yes, I can stand on my head. Sometimes, I use it for other stuff too.

We then went to Oscar Scherer Park. Fortunately, we were pretty much the only people there. We hiked the shady trails, swam in the river, hung in the hammock, and lounged in the bath-temperature pond. After that, we were in dire need of a nap.

We ended the day at the Ruskin Family Drive-In Theater, the last drive-in theater that I know about, where we watched Puss in Boots and Shrek. Sprawling out on a sheet in the grass, listening through the tiny speakers that I suspect were installed when the theater first opened fifty years ago, was another treat. I thought that we were going to be watching Grease and Footloose, but we may have to go back next week for those.

I’m not sure how the rest of this year is going to turn out, but the first day was fantastic!

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