Saturday, February 28, 2009
Port Saint Lucie, FL
I spent the past week in Port St. Lucie, spring home of the NY Mets and winter home of my NY mother. The town is on the east coast of Florida, about halfway between Miami and Orlando. For me, its major claim to fame, aside from Mom, is the average daily February high of 75º. Mom lives in a townhome community with tennis courts and a heated swimming pool, and with temperatures in the 70’s and the sun shining every day, we were able to get in plenty of tennis and swimming. And of course, there’s the beach. She’s about a 15 min. drive from the beaches of Hutchinson Island, a sand bar not unlike the Outer Banks, except for the tropical blue-green water. And palm trees. And warm enough weather in February to sunbathe.
The week was a family reunion of sorts, with both of my brothers and their wives spending all or part of the week there. It was exactly how I like my vacations...plenty of lounging, reading, eating, jigsaw puzzles, games (Rummikub is a family favorite), and a little exercise thrown in for good measure. Even though Fredericksburg’s winters are pretty mild (we came home to 65º weather, so I can’t really complain), it’s uplifting to get such a huge hit of sunshine in February. Thankfully I didn’t have to come home to the mounds of snow on the ground in upstate NY and NH (home to my brothers).
So excuse me if this seems like I’m rubbing my sunny vacation in your winter-weary nose, but here are some photos:
Here's the beach in mid-week. Beautiful and blissfully empty.
On the weekend, we got to watch the kiddies at play at what was undoubtedly the high schoolers' end of the beach. I just have 2 little bits of motherly advice: First of all, just say no to the boombox. It's 2009 and the iPod has been invented expressly so that I can enjoy the beach without being subjected to your taste in music. And as for tattoos, call me old-fashioned, but when your tattoo looks like something unusual is growing out of your bikini bottom, that may have been a look to avoid.
There were plenty of shells on the beach, as well as this especially disgusting species of jellyfish:
Here's the community pool where we did some serious sunning. We had the place mostly to ourselves--I guess temperatures in the 70's isn't considered great pool weather for most of the locals. My sister-in-law makes yet another special cameo appearance on the blog.
I know shuffleboard has the reputation of being a game for senior citizens, but we enjoyed playing a few rounds, and we're years (or that's what we keep telling ourselves) away from senior status. It's not quite as easy as it looks.
We finished two 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzles. Because that's how we roll.
We checked out the farmer's market at the brand new civic center (top right), which featured the usual produce, plus crafts, ethnic specialties and breads. With live music, too.
Fruits, veggies, and a little social consciousness raising...although I'm not sure the farmer's market was exactly the right venue for this table.
In one of the local supermarkets, there is a churro vendor right inside the store. Pay for your groceries, and on the way out, pick up a bagful of delicious deep-fried dough. Only 5 for $1.
Where can I get hot churros right out of the fryer in Fredericksburg? And if I can't, why not?
If you start in Maine and move south, you go through the northeast, the mid-Atlantic, the southeast, the deep south, and then about midway down the east coast of Florida, you find yourself back in the northeast again. And to accommodate all of those displaced New Yorkers and Jerseyites, there is TooJay's in nearby Stuart, an authentic New York-style Jewish deli. Complete with matzoh ball soup...
and, of course, pastrami on rye.
And I can't resist one more beach photo. Ahhh...