I am perpetually stuck in the planning stage of existence. The actual living part seems to elude me.
I moved to Sarasota intent on changing that habit. The opportunity to write for This Week in Sarasota aligned perfectly with my goal—a yearlong commitment to write about the town from a newcomer’s standpoint meant that I’d have to actually get out and do things. I’d find the best restaurants, sip the best coffee, bike the best trails. I’d find all the hidden gems and share them with the community, gaining fame, fortune and international acclaim along the way. I’d be an unstoppable amalgamation of Carrie Bradshaw, J.K. Rowling and Penelope Cruz. (You may question the inclusion of Penelope Cruz, but any time I imagine taking on the attributes of others, she’s on the list. No matter what.)
My abject failure at reaching this objective became clear when two of my three younger brothers came to town. Thor and Wolfgang (I’m not protecting their identities; that’s what I actually call them) arrived bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to explore big sister’s new town. But instead of wowing them with my Sarasota savvy, I proved once again that being the oldest doesn’t necessarily make me the wisest. Far from having an exciting itinerary, I failed to even have made sufficient sleeping arrangements. One twin bed and an air mattress in a studio apartment do not luxurious accommodations make.
Immediately upon arrival, the boys asked to visit the beach. This should have been no problem; we were, after all, only miles away from the top-ranked beach in the nation. However, I am navigationally challenged. It was nighttime and I was unable to direct them to the beach. On Siesta Key. Who can’t find the beach on an island?
Luckily, lifetimes of dealing with my inadequacies meant that Thor and Wolfgang didn’t mind. We adventured in Island Park, went gator huntin’ in Myakka and taunted our Mom with pictures of us on the beach. They filled in the gaps when I was unable to do so and ended up showing me parts of town that I want to get to know better. Who knew that the Rec Trail included a loop under the bridge with a pier and gorgeous views? Or that Salute! serves up olive oil and wines fresh from a vineyard they own in Italy? Or that the bike ride to Lido is actually doable? Mind-blowing …
However, just because their trip was salvaged by their preparation for my unpreparedness, I can’t fully let myself off the hook. At least not with a clear conscience. The opportunity to move to a new town and write about the experience doesn’t come around every day. If I let my laziness interfere, I may never get another chance to write my way to glory. And then how will I ever be able to afford the surgery to transform me into a Penelope Cruz replica?
In coming weeks, I intend to get my act together. Expect an interview with Veronica Pastore, the Marketing Director for the Film Festival, followed by some actual festival coverage. Keep an eye out for adventures at the Farmer’s Market, and maybe a spring cleansing—that’s right, pulling out the ol’ juicer. I want to explore the area’s yoga scene and get a grasp on the beaches (maybe even learn how to get to them). And I’ll probably need to eat along the way. Watch out restaurants, here I come.
So, join me as we see how it goes. I’m more than open to suggestions and agendas. I need the scoop on what it takes to be a local. If nothing else, we’ll have some fun along the way. After all, I’m making a plan … what could possibly interfere with its fruition?