In my childhood days, we did chores every saturday morning - often well into the afternoon, sometimes, too. At breakfast, which was an assembly-line chore in itself, Dad would hand out his single sheet pieces of paper for each of us with our list of chores. Saturday morning chores was a way of life for me well into adulthood. When I married and had babies, my husband couldn't understand why I was housecleaning etc. on my day off! Why not go boating/fishing/to the beach? That was a battle I ultimately lost...
So yesterday was a Saturday cleaning day. I woke with no set plan for the day, but knew I had a hand-full of odds n ends to accomplish. One thing led to another and I was in full-blown cleaning mode: washing floors, shampooing carpets, cleaning out cupboards - everything but the windows! Although I have 8 days before vacation, I'm already in pre-vacation mode: I want everything in order before I leave, so there's a chance it will be in reasonable order when I return. It felt really good to have a clean home, but it was alot of work. I sat down on the sofa and exhaled a long deep sigh. It was nearly 5:30 in the evening. I was sweaty and dirty, and hungry. I decided to treat myself to a very nice dinner - out, off the island, hopefully somewhere that I wouldn't run in to anyone I know.
I took a nice hot shower in my squeaky-clean bathroom, wrapped myself in a freshly laundered Turkish cotton robe, moisturized my skin with Black Currant Vanilla aromatherapy massage oil.
I dried my hair, slipped into a white cotton skirt, black halter top, and my great liz claiborne black sandals. Some mascara and lip gloss, a straw handbag and sunglasses, and I was out the door into my nifty CR-V.
I thought I would try the Sandy Butler, a relatively new restaurant - they've been opened a little over a year. It's just off the island up on San Carlos Boulevard. I hear it's quite nice, large, unique and pricy. I pulled into the parking lot and it looked like there weren't many patrons. The very large parking lots had cars scattered about - a look of employees' cars more than patrons. For a woman to dine alone on a Saturday night, it's usually best if the restaurant has ample clientele: dining alone is amplified in a large, empty restaurant. I pulled out of the parking lot and headed up the boulevard.
At the light at Summerlin, I decided to turn left and head toward Sanibel Island. I ran over in my mind restaurants that I might try: It was about 8:00 and the sun would be setting soon - a restaurant on the water with a sunset view would be awesome. Just passed the Tanger Outlet Mall, and on the approach to the Sanibel Causeway, I spotted Port Sanibel Marinahttp://www.portsanibelmarina.com/ on my right. The Lighthouse Restauranthttp://www.lighthousewaterfrontrestaurant.com/ was at the front of the Marina. I had lunch there a few years ago and it was quite lovely, so I pulled into the parking lot. The cars in the lot indicated the restaurant was enjoying a good business.
I was offered a choice of dining inside or out: "It's not buggy, is it?" I asked the maitre d'. "It's screened in.." he replied, and so I took a seat on the large, white wrap-around porch overlooking the marina. The sun was dropping to the horizon as I took my seat. Paddle fans circulated the balmy air. A waiter in crisp cotton uniform wished me good evening. I had a beefeater martini that was perfectly chilled that went perfectly with a half dozen oysters on the half shell served in an equally perfect dish over crushed ice, with lemon wedges, horse radish, cocktail sauce and saltines. Divine. After a salad of fresh greens and a house dressing, my entree arrived: Ahi tuna with wasabi and ginger and soy. Perfectly rare and delicately sliced. A glass of cabernet was a fine accent. I picked up the chopsticks and chuckled to myself as I looked at them trying to determine whether they were chinese or japanese. I was pleased with my abilty to use them without much ado. The sun set flooding the sky with deep pink colors that faded to darkness. Gradually the marina lights came on bouncing off the yachts along the docks. "I deserve it" I found myself saying to myself. A wonderful dinner and a wonderful evening.
"Would you care for desert?" he asked. "No..." I said hesitantly. Hesitating not because I wanted desert, but that I was savoring the rich glass of wine, thinking that I already had desert...
I paid my bill, tipping the waiter 25% - not that his service was so spectacular, or for any reason other than I thought he just might need a few extra bucks. I was just in the mood.
I returned home to my ultra-clean digs. Gracie had been sleeping, but the minute I came in, she grabbed her toy wanting to play. I took her outside and we teased the very large moth that darted around the front porch light. She barked at the newt that seemed to fancy the moth, although the moth was twice its size. Eventually, I crawled into the crisp cotton blush pink colored sheets - read a short story about the Athabascan Indians in my "Denali - a literary anthology" book before turning out the lights and drifty sweetly to sleep.