Sunday, June 9, 2019

Vacation in Paradise

As most of you know, I primarily travel for author-related things, like conferences, or to see family (usually combined with some kind of work thing). Last week, I took an actual vacation, to visit my friend Terry, who currently lives in Stuart, Florida. Stuart is about 40 minutes north of West Palm Beach, right on the St. Lucie river (an estuary). The ocean is 20 minutes from Terry's house.

I went there last September for the first time and we had an absolutely fabulous time together. This visit didn't go quite as smoothly...I came down with a horrible cold (including a fever, which I rarely run) and the airlines messed up my flight home on Monday, so I didn't make it back until Tuesday.

But Terry and I are troopers, and we have been friends for thirty years (gulp), so we just made the best of it. And while I didn't feel great for most of the trip, we managed to have a good time anyway. Here are a few pictures to give you a glimpse of my sort-of vacation.

One of my favorite places to visit, this beach is nicknamed "Bathtub Beach"
 There was one mom and her small child there when we got there on Saturday morning early. Otherwise we had the place to ourselves, and wandered up and down the shoreline with our feet in the water until the 90 degree heat drove us away around 10:30.

Its real name.
 I took a picture of Terry taking a picture of the cool coral formations. Yes, that's coral.

The two of us. My sunhat got a little crushed in my suitcase, but I was really glad I had it.
 As always, we ate REALLY well.

Pina colada toast
 On Sunday, we went to the Fort Pierce pier, and saw these cool pelicans fishing.

 The sky at the pier is always amazing.

Then went to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants right on the St. Lucie River. I got one of my favorites, Oysters Rockefeller, which I can't get at home. Yum.

Even better than the food was the fabulous view.

This is Lily. She and her pal Murphy kept me from missing my own cats quite so much.

That's Murphy, on the couch. She is into everything!
 But probably the most memorable moments of the trip came on our two-hour sunset cruise down the St. Lucie River on Friday night. (The fever hit half an hour in, which wasn't fun, but it was still amazing.) Because it is an estuary, we even caught a brief glimpse of a few dolphins--too quick to get a picture of--which made my night.

Of course, the captain's cute young assistant (Australian accent and all), helped a bit too. I'm pretty sure this picture alone means I can take this trip as a romance book research expense.

 Terry and I were pretty happy to be sharing the adventure together. Old friends are the best.

The ship was a 3-masted sailboat, and the captain shared all sorts of cool facts with us, which made the two information geeks very happy. LOL.

We got a kick out of the fact that the boat was named "The Lily"

On the way back, we saw the sunset. This amazing sky was on the other side of the boat.

And this was the sunset itself.

 Pretty spectacular, isn't it? Out on the water, it was even better.

So even though my vacation shopping mostly looked like this:

I still had a pretty good time. It wasn't the relaxing and rejuvenating vacation I'd hoped for (and I gave poor Terry my cold before I left, which seemed like a poor return for her hospitality), it was still a great break from my regular life. And all that ocean made me very happy.