Notes from the Beach


Saturday, February 16, 2019 5:11 AM

Venice, Fl- On Valentine’s Day, I went to the beach to live deliberately.

It was 50 F in the morning, and I was still like an ice cube after arriving in the sunshine state from the frigid North. I did yoga with Elin on the Venice Beach including the “palm tree” pose to honor the new palms on Venice Avenue.

I breathed in the fresh air coming from the Gulf waters and watched the seagulls fly over my head.

The lady doing the “cat and the cow” pose in front of me was wearing socks with the following verbiage on the bottom of each sock: “If you can read this, bring me a glass of wine.”

We parked in front of the beautiful Venice City Hall built in the Mediterranean Revival style much like the rest of the historic and Venetian theme districts.

One of my favorite joints in the bustling downtown is Croissant & Co., a French artisan bakery magically transported from Paris.

Even the mousse desserts were decorated for Valentine’s with ornate words in pink and red. My dad professor Vaclav Konecny, who never drinks coffee, ordered café de la maison or house coffee. Mom Ella tried their tarte d’apricot or apricot pie and I had salmon and spinach quiche. My dad with a gift of gab greeted the bicyclists in front of the bakery, and to his great surprise they spoke French.

“He’s a charmer,” said the clerk at the Green Parrot gift shop.

Back at the condo, I noticed figs on the palm and the orange hibiscus blossoms.

It warmed up by 22 F in a few hours.

“ It would take three days to warm up in Michigan,” mom said.

On the beach

Digging my feet deeper into the sand, it felt cool from Wednesday’s rain. On a perfect day, the blue Gulf waters touch the blues of the sky in a magnificent union.

This blues symphony harmonizes with the rhythm of the waves.

I thought the slight breeze from the South should have a name like Zephyros signifying it’s softness, while reflecting the turquoise waters. Water erosion has washed some of the beach away while creating a bank that wasn’t there during my last visit in 2016.

I watched the beach goers with their sifters in search for the elusive black shark teeth. They usually emptied the small cage full of broken shells, but no shark teeth. The sifter rents for $7 an hour at Sharky’s boutique. It seems to me like a very zen thing to do: the water goes through the sifter, takes with it smaller parts and leaves in fragments of shells. If you’re lucky, a three-prong black shark tooth might be among them.

More seasoned hunters appeared by the Sharky’s Pier. This is where hundreds of fishermen cast lines with bait into the water attracting both dolphins and sharks.

I’ve seen schools of dolphins usually around noon lured by the bait. Mom and dad have seen dolphins in the morning at the jetty again with fishermen throwing lines.

Back at the pier, a kid caught a baby shark and proudly showed it off for a photo op. Then, he threw it back into the water. The kid with the shark scene reminded me of the white Egret with its yellowish beak showing off in front of cameras by the light posts on the pier waiting for his reward. If the heron doesn’t get its shrimp, he flies off.

One evening, we walked on the pier to watch one of the magnificent sunsets. It looked like an artist tipped his or her palette with the yellow in the middle and the oranges, the reds and the browns running away from it; the yellow explosion was flanked by the shades of blue on top and bottom.

Sunday surprised me with crowds; hundreds of people flocked to the beach with everything you can imagine.The sandy shore speckled by beach umbrellas, parasols and tents looked like a circus, only without animals.

If a colony of seagulls found a spot in between, they would invade it.

It’s not unusual to hear French or Russian in this area with authentic restaurants.

To be continued

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