Sunday, October 9, 2011

Just Another Day in Paradise

Our fifth year anniversary of life here in Phoenix recently came and went with no fanfare. In an ideal world, especially since Craig's now retired, we'd do some evaluating and decide whether this is the place we truly want to spend the rest of our lives. But in the real world (Phoenix was just named number 1 in percentage of empty abandoned houses), we're here to stay until real estate prices rebound. And truthfully, I'd pick Phoenix anyday over Seattle, Duluth, or other cold weather climes that require down coats in the winter. These bones will not be moving back to climates with 40 degree and below temps. I can blast A/C or travel elsewhere in the hot summer months, but I just can't do cold weather!

Practically all of our vacations in the last 25 years have been to beach destinations, so my heart is obviously telling me something! In a perfect world where I was armed with my lottery winnings (or where the bottom hadn't fallen out of the real estate market), we'd probably be living by the ocean.

Until that ship comes in (or housing prices rebound), we're here in sunny Phoenix to stay. And there are much worse places to live. Right now, the A/C's off and we're sleeping with the windows open listening to the crickets. We can walk or bike any time of the day because the highs are in the 70's and lo 80's. The pool's tightly covered with the solar cover in hopes that daytime temps will rebound this next week so I can get back in the water for one last fling!

And all this brings me back to beaches and Anna Maria Island. We spent almost all our time in Florida at the beach. Either sitting in a chair on the deck gazing at it, lounging on it, or walking it. One morning we decided to drive to a beach park north of us and walk the beach from there to scavange for shells. Here are some photos from that day at the beach.

Anna Maria has great beach access. The shore's lined with expensive homes, cottages, and condos, but every few blocks there's a public trail to the beach.

I'd love to try paddle-boarding! I especially like the color of this woman's neon orange board against the pale blue sea.

I wonder if this is her matching orange lounger?

I'm still amazed at the pale turquoise blue color of this Gulf of Mexico water!

These two women sped past as we were walking the beach last week. I immediately started power walking in an attempt to snap a photo of their coordinating swimsuits. The odd thing was they weren't together! Just a happy coincidence of coordinating swimsuit styles!

I ended up overheating on that beach walk. Craig said it started when I chased those women down the beach! I foolishly had not brought water with me, and we wandered too far north before realizing how long we'd been out. I ended up swimming and walking my way back to the car. Later in the day, we mounted our own umbrella on the beach and after lounging for awhile, took a sunset walk.

Down the beach a ways, we found these abandoned beach chairs with a boom box blaring. With no one in sight, we both wondered who'd go off and leave their valuables? The one fact we discovered is that Anna Maria Island is not Mexico. People seem to leave their chairs, umbrellas, tents, towels, fishing poles, and everything under the sun unattended for hours at the beach with no problem. And we left the balcony door wide open at night (on an upper floor) with no thought to anyone climbing up and crawling in. In that aspect, the island reminded me of Kauai. I'll never forget the time we stayed in the rental that had no locks!

As we headed back to the condo after sunset, we ran into this couple strolling down the beach. Sure enough. They belonged to the lonesome chairs and sound system. The next day at Starfish Seafood for lunch, we looked up and saw them at the bar in the exact same beach attire from the night before. The guys at the bar loved her little turquoise bikini!

I managed to snap a sunset photo of my favorite beachcomber on the way back to the condo. Just another day in paradise!


Ann said...

Wonderful photos, as usual, Becky! I'm ready for some beach time myself! Alan actually said the other day, maybe we'll stay 3 weeks on Isla this winter...haven't booked our plane tickets yet so here's hoping!

Life's a Beach! said...

Ann, the longer the better! Truthfully, if we didn't have Saby to worry about, we'd be there for at least two months at a time. One of these days! : )

Ann said...

My feeling exactly--when the dog goes we definitely will be there longer!

Gloria said...

I don't think I'd be very happy with you taking a photo of my behind! :-)

Linda said...

You might want to check out Port Charlotte, Florida, Beck!!!