January 17th: Morning Run

January 17th: Morning Run
Running on the beach, wearing shoes, is not very pleasant in terms of the actual running. I guess that’s why, really, you don’t see many people doing it (compared with how many people you actually see running on the busy highway-like streets of Hallandale, on the other side of the buildings). Of course, the view is spectacular, and the experience is formidable, and the sounds are gorgeous, the birds and the waves.

But although you get a terrific workout, physically, it’s really hard. If you run with your shoes on, your heavily-shoed feet (let’s face it, my feet are particularly heavy) spiral deep and hard into the soft beautiful sand, then you have to corkscrew them back out– with each step you take. So you get one heck of a workout.

Running with shoes off is a much more pleasant experience because you land a little softer with each step, and I think that maybe my biggish, widish feet are advantageous in terms of landing with a splat, splaying, if you will, which prevents a dig. The problem is these guys, the Portuguese Man Of War, which are everywhere

They are surprisingly pretty. The first time I saw them was on the same beach last February. I honestly thought they were balloons. There are a number of hotels along the beach, so I figured that someone must have held a kid’s party on the beach. I remember running and being annoyed that they were so sloppy, leaving all that litter behind. I finally stopped and asked a woman about them. She replied, combining broken English with pointing, that I didn’t want to step on one of these babies.

Doing some research, I discovered that there was an invasion of them, enough to make the news, with experts saying they’ve never seen so many.

Running head down barefoot, terrified of missing a step, is stressful….Seeing Jeff’s dopplenganger, though, is what really freaked me out.

January 16th: The Perfect Carry-On

January  16th: The Perfect Carry-On

Ny little bowling bag, at the luggage carousel in Fort Lauderdale, waiting patiently. I have peculiar obsessions with things, like gadgets and where to put them. I also worry, greatly, about storing and accessing things I might possibly need– slipping my ringing iPhone from its side pocket in one swift move, knowing exactly where the mini-pack of Kleenex is should I actually ever need a tissue, making sure my headphones are lying flat and not bulked against each other, having enough name cards to distribute should Jeff or I meet someone interesting on the plane to invite to our house for dinner, and speaking of Jeff, the 2nd pair of headphones along with the double-jack because even though he says he won’t watch videos with me on the plane, I always catch him staring enviously at my screen when he sees I’m watching Frasier or Downton Abbey.

So understandably, it really isn’t surprising that I am particularly focused on finding the perfect carry-on bag. So far, this little bowling bag is a star. It had 1, 2, 3, 4 actual sections, with each little layer becoming less important but more convenient with size. Of course, in the front flat zipper part, I can carry my printed boarding pass and passport, for easy unzipping access. Layer 2 is a bit trickier, because I have important things there, too, but depending on where I’m going, I need more space. In the USA, for instance, I’ll have to add my little portable modem and my $9 American cell phone. In Canada, I have delightfully more space for my Ralph sunglasses, iPhone, non-leaking pen, and my little red notebook, in case I need to make notes. The 3rd layer is clearly for a computer, though I will sometimes keep my iPad keyboard there– though it is decidedly bulky, so I don’t usually travel with it anyway. The last deep layer is perfect for socks and long- or short-sleeve shirts (depending on whether I’m moving north or south), sundries, an extra pair of underpants or 2 (if I’ve checked luggage), and my little camera and tripod. Jeff has his new binos now, and they established a place in their on this last trip to Florida. It’s getting full in there and I may need more room.

Of course, I’m always looking for a smaller, bigger bag to best my little bowler.

January 12th: Walking nostalgic

January 12th: Walking nostalgic
I used to walk at Memorial Park with Huckleberry just about every single day. It was not just my exercise and routine, it was my social life. One New Years’ Day, I even arranged for all of us to drink mimosas while we walked that first morning of the year. I can’t remember what year it was, but (of course), I brought the champagne.

Yesterday, Saturday morning, I went there for the first time in a long time with Grashopper and Charlie. Charlie had never been there before, but was appropriately initiated, all mud and vigor and happiness.