Jealous, Cause I'm Out Getting Mine

Salutations friends. I am writing to you from sunny, southern Florida. Elizabeth is on hiatus (to be continued). The weather is “ausgezeichnet” as my fellow Germans like to say. This translates into amazing, brilliant, out of this world. The sun is shining, skies are Carolina blue and every once in a while, we capture a glorious breeze off of the ocean. The temperature is around 82 degrees. I am cruising around the house in my bathing suit, t-shirt and shorts sans make-up. I am here with my parents who I affectionately call Big Teddy and The Dish. At this moment in time, I am relaxing nicely. Life is good. When I moved to Germany in 2002, somehow I had the foresight to recognize how fortunate I was to be just down the street from my parents. Dusseldorf to Wiesbaden was easy to access via the ICE fast train from our main train station. Often times, I was cheeky and would bump myself to first class, grab a cold Beck's, find a seat by the window, pop in my iPod buds and the world was my oyster. My Dad jokes that my umbilical chord is still attached. In short, despite living halfway across the world, I was spoiled and had the opportunity to see my folks regularly. Here we are 13 years later and I recognize how halcyon this time is together. I will add that we do drive one another crazy but touch wood this is only every once in a while and I am sure it goes both ways!

Our days begin around 9.00 am with coffee and chatter in the kitchen. My mother keeps a computer on the island smack dab in the middle of the kitchen so it is evident that this is the epicenter of their home. After our cups of Italian Joe, my father embarks upon his daily 6 mile walk on the beach, my mother goes to the gym downstairs or does her thing (I don't ask too many questions) and I lace up my sneakers for a long run along the A1A. Insert Vanilla Ice song here. Sorry, I could not resist. See the title of this entry. I love running here. Firstly, it is flat. Our neighborhood in the Queen City is very hilly and while this is terrific training, I abhor running up hills. In fact, it is enough to entice me to throw the towel in. There is not even a gentle bump here, which I find glorious. The path is sparsely populated by other runners, walkers, folks with dogs and two days ago I saw a gal on a skateboard. Additionally, the path offers terrific views of large ocean front homes as well as all the luxury cars driving by. Often times I get honks and waves from the elder contingent with their roof tops rolled down. Recognition in any form no matter the age or audience, we will take it!

After our fiddle faffing, we meet for lunch. I am in charge of making a big salad every day. We have found the most gorgeous red and yellow tomatoes here as well as items that are not so easy for me to procure like organic sheep’s milk cheese from the farmer’s market, watercress, papaya, sweet oranges and plump, juicy lemons. I have never seen lemons so large. The list goes on. We enjoy this together at the dining room table (no eating in front of the TV) or on one of their balconies overlooking the Atlantic. Next up is the beach. My Mom, despite her South African heritage, is no longer a fan of beach bumming so my Dad and I pack up our towels, books, drinks, sunglasses and hit it. We sit and chat, read, nap, zone out and it is exceptional indeed. My first day here, despite putting on sunscreen sans suit in the mirror, I still burned to a crisp so yesterday I was that tourist in a giant Salty Dog Cafe t-shirt (on loan from Big Teddy) with towels over my legs. Matthew call beach goers like this nerds. C’est la vie. After careful attention yesterday, I am prepared to hit it full on this afternoon. Once we are done with the sun and sand we come home and again, everyone does their own thing. Mom is usually playing bridge on the PC or practicing her Spanish. My Dad disappears. I shower up and do my thing until 5 o'clock and we all know what happens when this hour strikes. 

On my first night here, a new and close friend of my parents came to dinner. A lovely woman indeed with a rich history. I hope to hook up with her when I am in the Big Apple next month. We plan to visit the Neue Galerie on the Upper East Side. I am excited as I visited this place once with my mother when I lived in Manhattan and we only went to the cafe. She and her husband have introduced my folks to new places in the City, which they in turn have shared with us. Matthew's and my visit to Apotheke over the holidays was thanks to their pearls! During this dinner I also learned that my Hebrew name is Elesheva. 35 years of age and you learn new things every day. What the. Our friend learned of my love of cooking and recommended a book, which I tore through the past two days. I became so enthralled by the story of Julia Child’s moving to France and discovering a love for cooking, which would ultimately make her a household name. Julia Child’s My Life in France is simply marvelous and for anyone who enjoys cooking or fancies seeing themselves as a cook or wants to read about Europe back in the day, pick this up. I have just started on a second book, As Always,Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto. I read an article last night in bed stating that those who are in a relationship with readers are lucky ducks. I hope a certain someone is reading this!

In between this and that, I run errands with my mother. This has always been our thing for as long as I can remember. We make a list and bat a thousand. I love the time together. I hope she does too. This morning, we went to her Hatha yoga class. It is not as hot or fast paced as I am used to but the instructor was encouraging and it was an idyllic stretch. We did a lot of hip opening exercises and practiced our balance. Her voice was calming and for the first time in a long time, I actually fell asleep during shavasana. That was until the lady next to me also fell asleep and woke the room with sounds that only a hungry wildebeest could make. Rude awakening and yikes. After our yoga class we hit up the grocers and together mapped out meals and grabbed goodies for the next two days. Afterwards, we visited the butcher for tonight’s meat followed by the liquor store for Vanilla Vodka (our friend likes espresso martinis) and finally Starbucks for some lattes. We came home and together we reorganized the fridge. We did a big purge and made space for our loot. Around an hour ago, my folks jumped in the car bound for Palm Beach to pick up a dear family friend who will stay with us for the next five days. We are all tickled to bits. Tomorrow we are headed to Miami for a Chihuly exhibit. After today's lunch, we will again hit up the beach and press repeat for the days that will follow. I am currently on hold with US Airways, trying to extend my stay here. Let the hiatus progress. Stay tuned.

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