Monday, September 1, 2014

Come on -- Let's Fly Away, Mini-vacations that Soar!

A Key West sunset from Key West Express jet-powered vessel
On Labor Day we got up early, traveled to Fort Myers Beach with some friends, and walked on the damp sand before breakfast. The air was cool and the sea breeze gave us an appetite.

Disciplined regulars were already jogging and walking when we arrived. A few seashell hunters scoured the crashing waves as they spilled over the sand. Hotel and restaurant owners opened their doors and swept the remains of white sand from their stairways and sidewalks.

When businesses opened at 8 a.m., we dined at the Island Grill and watched beach goers gradually fill in the empty spaces with their colorful towels and chairs. The Key West Express, a jet-powered liner, bounced across the water with at least 350 people on board who were eager for their exotic adventure. Soon wave runners were powering through the blue-Green waters and white sailboats meandered past the pier a few hundred feet away from us heading into the Gulf.

"Sea Nymph" work-in-progress first drawing and wash. There is some foreshortening going on and I will need
to make sure her knee area looks like it's going back and layer the fins in the front.
I love these “mini-vacations.” Only a 45 minute drive from home, and we feel as if our world and the stresses that go with it are left far behind. Sometimes we make a day of it. We bring our beach towels and blankets and have one of those refreshing naps enveloped in the warmth of the sun. 

August is not the best time of year to languish. The heat can overwhelm you before you are even aware. I noticed that most beach goers were bouncing in the water and the dance between blanket and waves kept getting shorter and shorter as the sun crossed the morning sky.

My grandpa's Stereoscope early 1900's
Many walked their dogs and others played with them in the water in spite of the fact that there were “No Dogs Allowed” signs everywhere. Signs that were never enforced. 

Puppies were plentiful. We petted a few yippers and nippers. A large black dog and its owner played fetch in the water with a tennis ball. By the time we were ready to leave, several children were half-way through building their sand castles.

I will be selling this on my Etsy Shop: 
Three pelicans flew over us heading for the pier where they dive bombed for fish and tried to steal the bait from fishermen’s lines. One year when we were walking on the beach a floundering pelican twisted in fishing line was being rescued by two men who were patient enough to untangle the mess the bird had gotten himself into.

I have 228 photo cards from 1895 to 1905;  early US states, Early MN Nicollet Ave.
Old Norway, Palestine, and other.
A pelican looks fairly small flying overhead or sitting on the grey piling, but when his wings are outstretched as this one's was, his wingspan and long pocketed bill dwarfed the two men who were trying to save him.

Seagulls will also battle fishermen for their catch and doggedly attack and tug at a fish until it is safe in the creel.

At 10 a.m. we made our way home. The beach was getting crowded and the humidity was rising. We carried our memories home along with the sand that stuck to the bottom of our shoes. We were already planning our next mini-vacation!

(Old Norway photo cards, one side)

Photo cards run from $3-5 each.
Total cards = 228
Stereopticon $ 55 plus shipping

Michael Buble -- Come Fly with Me!