From the Dec. 8, 2009, Writer’s Almanac – Bill Bryson:
Is there anything, apart from a really good chocolate cream pie and receiving a large unexpected check in the post, to beat finding yourself at large in a foreign city on a fair spring evening, loafing along unfamiliar streets in the long shadows of a lazy sunset, pausing to gaze in shop windows or at some church or lovely square or tranquil stretch of quayside, hesitating at street corners to decide whether that cheerful and homey restaurant you will remember fondly for years is likely to lie down this street or that one? I just love it. I could spend my life arriving each evening in a new city.
Yes, it sounds lovely, doesn’t it? But we are not “at large in a foreign city” in the Bill Bryson way. No, we are on a mission to capture/create ethereal wonderment on the shell-filled beaches of Sanibel Island.
It feels and sounds foreign here. My theory is that we Southern Californians develop our own internal, highly-calibrated hygrometers. We are able to detect even the smallest changes in relative humidity at home, and when we travel to more humid places our hygrometers go bonkers. So between the partly cloudy conditions, the slight breeze, and the slow burning off of heavy-duty morning fog, I spent most of the past three days having flashbacks to previous high-humidity experiences (chiefly, Panama), and then suppressing these experiences so that I could be ‘in the moment.’
It’s an odd thing to be in a place where people are recreating and you are not. Well, the Scout is not. The Scout is, of course, doing the heavy lifting in terms of getting the job done. Sand is the enemy of the camera so scouting beaches is always a careful operation. One is grateful for a clean bench on which to put the camera case. Measures must be taken: The Scout wears high-topped boots on the beach to prevent sand getting in his shoes. His attire and equipment make it clear that he’s on a mission.
I’m in limbo between not exactly working and not exactly being on vacation. I try to be helpful with getting the job done, but there isn’t much to actually DO most of the time. So I dip my toes in the water but then worry I won’t be able to get the sand off my feet when it’s time to go shoot an interior. I’d like to go for a long walk but it’s practically impossible to know when the Scout will be ready to move on to the next location. I get bit by the bugs the locals call “noseeums” as in you ‘no see ‘um’ when they bite you.
Does it sound like I’m complaining? I’ve been dragging my feet on this post because I fear a ‘poor little rich girl’ tone. I’m at the beach in Florida, fergawshsakes. I’m staying in a hotel, eating at restaurants, seeing beautiful scenery. Yes, Dianne, we drove through Ding Darling yesterday, but the Scout insisted we do so before lunch and after a breakfast that consisted of a leftover dinner roll from the previous night. “It’ll only take an hour, ” he said. It took two.
My ankles are itchy. It’s cloudy, but it rained overnight and it’s a pleasant 63 degrees Fahrenheit this morning. I’m off to have a decent breakfast.