Looks like you could step right off the edge of the world here at the north end of Anna Maria Island, doesn't it?
I got an unexpected treat when my daughter invited me to meet her in Florida for the weekend. She had a conference to attend, so during the day we went separate ways, meeting at night for dinner and the chance to catch up.
On Monday, I drove across Florida to the gulf coast. It was so warm! There were people sunbathing and playing in the water!
I've been south in the winter before, but this is always like a dream, miraculous. Only an hour and twenty minute flight away, it is FREEZING!
As I walk out to the beach, I pass these beautiful pine trees and take a minute or two to get acquainted with them.
They create pleasant shade along the intensely sunny Florida shore line.
The needles are soft.
I am disappointed to find out that Australian pines (Casuarina sp.) are invasive, introduced to Florida in the 1800s. It is no longer legal to plant or propagate them because they displace and hybridize with native species. (Only I would have a dream with invasive species in it.)
I pick up a prickly cone; these cover the beach under the trees. I suppose that's a nuisance in itself. This one has already released its many nutlets.
I hang out with the seagulls for a while. There are far more of them than people on the beach today.
It's getting a little late and I haven't had lunch, but there's a restaurant right on the beach.
There's a bit of a wait because the food is really good. (That's it above -- the Sandbar.)
I order grouper tacos...and then take a bite before I remember to take the picture. Oops.
After lunch, a little stroll takes me past this house.
Wonder who lives there? Or maybe it's a hotel? It's a scene that really jump-starts my imagination. A dream within a dream!
The unreal day is blessed relief from the stress and the cold at home.
I look back across the beach toward Orlando and my daughter and head back to the car for the two hour trip.