Beautiful place this state of Florida is I tellsya. Every vacation I have ever had in the state of Florida has been one for the books, and this one will be no exception. Sarasota is surrounded by Keys, and we have been spending time at the aptly named Siesta Key. The beach has that fine grain powder like sand that gently massages your feet as you walk. The water is cold, but not heart-attack-inducing cold, and after an hour or so soaking up rays it provides a welcome relief. Just perfect weather too, high 70's, low 80's and sunny.
Friday was spent beach bound, and then drinking Guinness and eating piles of snow crab at the Siesta Key Oyster bar. The crab was covered in cajun spices as well, which was a first for me, and it was quite tasty. And ridiculously fresh as well. Had some stone crab earlier, as well as some great shrimp yesterday at a watch-the-sun-set type pier oyster bar. I can never eat enough seafood. Especially in Florida. After gorging and drinking all afternoon, it was "siesta" time for a couple hours before we ventured out again. When we made it out again it was apparent that our buzz from the guiness had not left completely. We started at a Japanese Steakhouse for dinner, but after two large Saki's waiting for a spot at the sushi bar was out of the question. So across the street we went for some lobster bisque and some more guiness. Then the evening gets a little blurry. We decided to go to the beach to walk around and see what was happening oceanside, but somehow my best friend and I managed to get seperated, (I think it had something to do with women) and then things got interesting. Somehow I wandered in to a forest like area, twisted/broke my foot after running from what sounded like a large animal, and then tried to rest for a second or more on a bench inside this ritzy apartment complex. After an innocent plea to the local security at said complex I managed to flag a cab and make it back to a hotel for the night. My friend managed to wake up elsewhere, was stopped by the local law enforcement as he tried to stumble home, and then got picked up and brought home. The next day, after finally remembering where we were staying, I got another cab back and took stock of the situation. Best friend was well bruised, and I can barely walk. Not sure if the foot is broken, but the swelling went down this morning so that's a good thing. (Mom, when you read this, I'M FINE. REALLY. If the swelling doesn't go down some more by tomorrow I'll go and get an x-ray, so don't worry about it.) Anywhoo, today we'll probably get some more beach time, some more seafood, and then hit the road back to crappy rainy Nashvile. I think we've scared the locals here in Sarasota quite enough for one weekend. But we'll be back, this place is amazing.
In other news I just got finished reading a new Mark Steyn piece that is well worth a few minutes of your time. He writes in regards to the relief efforts in the Tsunami affected areas, and the odd juxtaposition the great satan is once again involved in.
The path of the tsunamis tracked the arc of the Muslim world, from Sumatra to Somalia; the most devastated country is the world's most populous Muslim nation, and the most devastated part of that country is the one province living under the strictures of sharia.
But, as usual, when disaster strikes it's the Great Satan and his various Little Satans who leap to respond. In the decade before September 11, the US military functioned, more or less exclusively, as a Muslim rapid reaction force – coming to the aid of Kuwaiti Muslims, Bosnian Muslims, Somali Muslims and Albanian Muslims. Since then, with the help of its Anglo-Australian allies, it's liberated 50 million Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq.
......But one day the smarter lads in the Osama T-shirts will begin to wonder what they're getting in return for their glorification of a multimillionaire whose followers these days spend most of their time killing Muslims – in Iraq, in Turkey, in Saudi Arabia, even in Indonesia. With friends like that, who needs tsunamis?
And if you want to read about the actual relief efforts from someone with boots on the ground, I will point again towards the Diplomadic who has some insightful commentary on how incredibly useless the UN is at this time. And as Roboto from Thursday Night Fever noted earlier, you will probably not read stuff like this in the New York Times.