Today we took the doggies to Bayside Pet Resort, the BEST pet daycare and kennel facility ever. Rocco goes in daycare, and he broke my flipflop, no joke, scrabbling to get away from me and into the waiting arms of his pet pal to take him to see his buds. Naala, as usual, was a little, "Oh, do I HAVE to go? Really? Okay then." And off she went.
We went down to Fort Myers, where we met up with 3 other couples who also winter in Florida, and all are from Kingsville. Two of the couple live on our street! We are all within a few hours of each other, so we met up, played some pickleball, and then drove to Fort Myers Beach (an island in the Gulf) where we ate at a little hole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurant that serves their buffet food fresh. They only make a little at a time and then when it's gone, they make a little more. The best green beans I have ever tasted. Yum. We walked on the beach for a bit afterwards too. On the way, we crossed the Peace River, a very large, wide inlet of Charlotte Harbor, in the Gulf. I was musing that it was a very different looking Peace River than the one I'm used to in northern Alberta. Each has its respective beauty, however.
My niece is leaving in the wee hours of tomorrow morning for Costa Rica (correct Spanish pronunciation btw is Coast-uh, she told me, and she should know!) and so I google-mapped it, and was surprised at how close to the equator it is! For whatever reason, (menopausal idiocy) I keep putting it in the Caribbean, mixing it up with the Dominican Republic, even though a good friend of mine recently bought a house there, and I checked out the west coast of Costa Rica at that time! I checked the weather forecast and it will be gorgeous for my niece, low 90s all week. Costa Rica is very close, relatively speaking, to Panama, which made me think of my dad, and how much he always wanted to go through the Canal. . .
I saw, on my zooming out in googlemaps, Cayman Islands, a place that has always fascinated me since I collected stamps many years ago. Neighbours, one of whom comes to my yoga classes when they are here, and whose poodle, Ipo, Rocco adores, call the Cayman Islands their main home. Those islands are just south of Cuba, to the east of Costa Rica. I SHALL go there one of these days in the imminent future.
The current book I am reading, The Tiger's Wife by Téa Obreht, just mentioned the Monastery of Ostrog, which is in Montenegro. So off I went to googlemaps and Wikipedia again! I KNOW I've seen this monastery in another book, I think perhaps The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (another FABULOUS book, one I'd like to reread). I had a feeling that the Obreht book was set in the Yugoslavia area, but no country has been mentioned. So I gazed at Bosnia, and Serbia, Albania, Bulgaria, Romania, Macedonia, the Adriatic Sea, Greece, Italy, trying to orient them, and wondering at the terrain, the climate (only 47F, high was 61 in Podgorica, Montenegro, today). By the way, Téa AMAZES me with her writing, her description, her use of language, her characterization - in short, she's an incredibly talented YOUNG (25 when she wrote this!!) author.
I marvelled at the vastness of my beloved Gulf of Mexico today as we crossed the Peace River, as wide as the Manatee River by us, and similar in formation. We'd driven 1.5 hours at 75 mph and scratched the smallest dint in its eastern border, and yet this Gulf is so much smaller in comparison to, say, the Atlantic Ocean.
And then I thought about how MUCH of our planet is water!! I was beginning to grasp the enormity of that statement. It's kind of like trying to think about how our universe never ends. . . I was awed by the realization of the sheer magnitude of the Gulf, yet even more dumbfounded in the realization that the Indian Ocean, where the Malaysian Airlines jet is thought to have gone down, is even more vast than the Gulf, and no wonder it is proving to be a difficult search. 2400 MILES off the coast of Australia.
So in the space of several hours, my musings went from Fort Myers, the Gulf of Mexico, to Kingsville, Ontario, to San Jose, Costa Rica, to the Cayman Islands, to Montenegro, and then out to the Indian Ocean.
And at times like this I feel pretty insignificant. But not in a demeaning way. I still feel marvelously connected to this wonderful, rich, Earth, and humanity. Just tiny. And really, is the fact that that cute bag gave me such issues that I did not finish it for today REALLY that catastrophic? Um no.