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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Last Hurrah

On my final day in paradise I planned to get up early to enjoy breakfast with the married couple before they hit the road for a cruise departing from Miami. I ended up saying goodbyes after their breakfast and before mine.
Being the last of the crew left behind, I finished my breakfast and headed out to the beach for one more dip in the warm Gulf waters. As I sat on the beach letting the morning sun dry my swimsuit, a gaggle of birds flew over and said their goodbyes as well.
I packed up my beach bag one more time and headed back to my room to finish packing my bags, load them in my Dodge Avenger, and complete my checkout by eleven.
I drove the length of the island, past Lovers Key State Park, through Bonita Springs, and on to one last adventure in Naples. My aim was an antique mall, but I got sidetracked by a Whole Foods store I wanted to check out. I picked up a couple super tasty snack bars for my eventual day of airport travel and continued on my antiquing way.
My navigator led me right to nothing. I couldn't find the antique mall I had been looking for, but after a few trips around the block and down nearby streets, I laid my eyes on another antique store and settled for that.
I was drawn immediately to the front corner of the store after it caught my eye from the street. It had a lot of 50s/60s items and beautiful furniture. I wished I lived closer so I could take a piece of that furniture home with me, but I knew I had to look for something much smaller. I browsed the entire store with my eyes scanning for something of the Florida variety. I really wanted a treasure that would remind me I found it in Florida.
After a sweep of the whole store, I made my way back to that first corner and almost immediately I noticed a white ceramic flamingo I had obviously missed before. It was love at first sight. I picked it up and marched it over to the counter for a thorough wrapping.
Wrapped in my beach towel and clothing, it nestled into my carry-on for a long and thankfully safe journey home. It makes me smile everyone I catch a glimpse of it on my mantle. We could all use a little more beach in our everyday lives!





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