Day 18 – St Armand’s Circle

Got up at 07:30 and did the blog. Looking out of the window there was plenty of evidence of the overnight storm – lots of surface water and fallen branches from the palm trees. After Jan got up we had breakfast in the villa but as the skies were still very grey we decided to get ready to go out anyway in case the weather improved. Once we were ready I could see some odd bits of blue sky so we headed off to St Armand’s Circle to visit our favourite ice cream parlour. By the time we got there the sun had come out so after the obligatory ice cream float we went for a short walk around. After that we headed off to Westfield Southgate Mall in Sarasota which we had passed by a few times previously. The mall contains designer labels such as Banana Republic, Express and Gap as well as department stores Dillard’s, Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue. A quick look round and we discovered that this is where the wealthy people shop. A polo shirt I had seen at the outlets for $49 was $98 dollars in Dillard’s. Needless to say apart from some skin cleansing cream from a stall we didn’t buy anything. The weather was starting to cloud over again so we headed back to the villa. We decided that we would eat in tonight so on the way we stopped at Publix in Longboat Key to get some things for dinner. Publix equates to Tesco/Asda/Sainsbury’s out here but that’s where the similarity ends. In the course of walking around the store I was asked by at least six staff how I was and did I need any help. At the delicatessen counter we were given a sample to taste before we bought. There was also a women selling some red wine which you could taste but she also had a dish of meatballs cooking so you could taste what is was like with food. It was delicious so we bought the red wine and meatballs. At the checkout the shopping was packed for us and the packer insisted on taking the shopping out to the car! By the time we got back to the villa the heavens had opened up again and the road was flooded in parts. Jan cooked the meatballs which were delicious. The wine was good also, although I managed to knock my glass flying but luckily we have a wooden floor – the room looked like a crime scene. After dinner we watched a romantic comedy film ‘Definitely,maybe’ with Ryan Reynolds, Isla Fisher and Rachel Weisz which we both enjoyed apart from the break in the middle when I had to clean up the crime scene! Tomorrow there is a forecast of 50% chance of rain which is an improvement on the 70% of today.

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