My mind and body was in desperate need of rest. Within my heart was a desperate need to turn off the sights and sounds that were infiltrating my mind and heart each and every day with glaring headlines in the newspapers and the constant droning of the talking heads on the 24 hour cable news channels. I was also dealing with a back problem that was taking a great of my time and sapping my energy.
But I also needed to take some time to reflect on the future. What better place I thought than our timeshare at Coconut Plantation Resort in Bonita Springs, Florida. I love it there. The setting is beautiful, the staff is friendly and accommodating and most of all it is peaceful. Oh, yes there are children frolicking in the pools and periodically you can hear them running up and down the outside hall but I relish the sound of children at play because it brings back so many happy memories of my children growing up.
We decided to invite our friends Bob and Sandy to come along. Bob and Sandy are the kind of friends that you can have a lull in a conversation and it is okay. We never feel the need to constantly entertain each other; we just enjoy each other’s company whether we are talking or just enjoying being together.
Mornings we enjoyed coffee and breakfast on our balcony that overlooks 4 tees and fareway on one of the holes of the Raptor Bay Golf Club. After watching the sun rise high into the sky each morning we would watch a steady stream of golfers play good, bad and sometimes interesting golf. Eventually we would make our way to the pool to find the perfect spot to soak up some sun relax and, in some cases, drift away and day dream. Lunch found us back on the balcony for a quick lunch then back to the pool for the rest of the afternoon.
I never cook on vacation so dinner is always at a nearby restaurant. The first few days at Bonita we visited one of Bob’s favorite restaurants, Panera Bread. The variety of food at Panera is wonderful. This trip I enjoyed their Thai chopped chicken salad filled with cashews, fire-roasted edamame, red peppers, carrots, fresh cilantro and wonton strips tossed in a low-fat Thai Chili Vinaigrette and drizzled with peanut sauce. Oh, my, it was delicious. The next evening I enjoyed a tomato and mozzarella Panini with fresh basil and an all-natural sun-dried tomato pesto on Ciabatta bread. Again, delicious.
One day we decided to eat poolside at The Veranda. The Veranda offers a casual setting with umbrella tables on the patio, tables in an open air setting but under roof and a bar. The restaurant offers light food like hamburgers, sandwiches and salads. There was a cool breeze blowing as we sat talking about how wonderful the weather had been and looking forward to a few more days of the same.
Bob and Sandy ordered a Chef’s salad to share and Randy and I ordered an Italian Panini filled with ham, pepperoni and Italian sausage to share. Both choices were just right and delicious. As we sat there I found my eyes drifting from the lovely yellow, tangerine and pink hibiscus and enjoying the sounds of the coconut palms as cool, gentle breeze moved the palm fronds to and fro.
Each evening we gathered on the balcony and had fun sharing stories from our pasts, remembering good times and talking about the future.
Bob and Sandy are also our Mexican food buddies so tomorrow we are taking them to a new Mexican restaurant we discovered the last time we were at Bonita.