Merry Christmas from Marco Island
Marilyn Monroe said that if you can make a girl laugh, you can make her do anything — but take that piece of insight with a grain of salt because look at what happened to her. Still, my gut often aches from laughing, listening to my husband. He can do accents. I can’t do accents. He could write for Saturday Night Live.
We were sitting at a Florida Gulf beach-side restaurant finishing a lunch of creamy potato soup, which arrived at our table accompanied by a chunk of bread. Out of nowhere, a large grackle leaped to the back of a chair and claimed its piece of real estate. The bird was not leaving. He paced back and forth on top of the chair, head bobbing, eyeing me and my plate. My husband launched into a skit, sounding just like a gigolo from Argentina:
I see you have some BRE-ADDD, he whispered breathlessly into my ear. The bird continued its frenzy pace. We have a common goal, you and I . . . Do you come here often? I have not seen you here before . . . How about you and I and your BRE-ADDD get outta here?
Outta here, to a massage. Fortunately, the hotel where we are staying offers a series of different types of massages at its spa. Usually we opt for a couple’s massage, a Swedish, but this menu of spa choices featured a Signature massage. My husband questioned the Signature Balinese massage: a Chinese / Hindu / European combination. Maybe they roll hot bamboo sticks over your back? I suggested. No, says he, they use Sharpies. Madam, do you have a preference in color?
We compared notes afterward because we were in separate rooms during the massage treatment. Yup, 3 bangs on the foot, just like a Chinese gong. Yup, prayer at the end, that was the Hindu part. We could have saved a few hundred and just requested Swedish.
Our dinner last night was not from our hotel because the cuisine is just so-so. Instead, we opted for Italian a few doors down Collier Boulevard where they hire waitstaff on student VISAs from the Philippines and serve wines from Oregon. While in Portland, we grew particularly fond of wines from the Willamette Valley. That is a very hard word to say — Willamette. Because you would think it is pronounced like it looks, a man’s name with ET at the end, but it is named after a river that is pronounced Wil-LAM-it. Just remember laminate floors and you’ll be fine.
Because our waitress could not pronounce the name of the wine, she placed the menu back in front of us and questioned our selection a second time. I like Elk, they’re such beautiful creatures, and a Cove is a great place to escape a storm, plus 2010 was a pretty good year, I explained as to why we chose the Elk Cove 2010 Pinot Noir from Willamette. My husband is right. My sense of humor is lost on some people.
That is why although I thought of it, I did not request an accompaniment of 10 blueberries with my greek yogurt this morning and will instead leave the bowl of assorted berries they brought to rot on my room service cart. I do not want to be known across the web as that anal person at the Marriott who ordered 10 blueberries with her breakfast room service.
Merry Christmas everybody. Today we leave Marco Island and head for Islamorada. Sister still stuck in freezing cold in Minnesota, check. Housesitters still hated by our cats, check. Husband’s family still not celebrating yet dining on duck in Chinatown, check.
Photo: Sunset over Marco Island, Florida, by Elizabeth Weintraub