THE FLORIDA HOLIDAY starts here! After a day’s travelling it’s great to ‘bed’ in at the villa with a take-it-easy day, so after taking care of a couple of housekeeping matters related to the pool, which you can read about in Upon arrival, we’re into the pool for our first refreshing dip of the day.
First thing we notice is the fantastically warm water, thanks to the pool cover which has been in place overnight. Second, the glorious morning sunshine up above, and third, the lovely singing of our new friend, Chuck the mockingbird. Chuck sings his little heart out in the morning and again later in the afternoon – so we’re not quite sure what he gets up to during the day or where he goes. We appreciate his presensce, though, as well as the herons who slide by overhead and the egrets pecking at the shore on the opposite side of the lake.
There are a few golfers in the far distance, taking advantage of the beautiful, smooth fairway that bisects the lake which you look out over.
Following our quick dip there’s bacon to sizzle, eggs to fry (over-easy, since we’re in the States), toast to demolish and cereals to enjoy, all washed down with some beautiful fresh orange and a cup of Yorkshire tea (see the English section in the Publix supermarket).
Then we jump in the car (automated garage door makes access easy) and we head to one of two of our preferred supermarkets, a short drive from the villa. This is to do the main shop of the week, and actually it’s quite a pleasant experience, not the onerous task you might imagine.
There are separate posts about shopping at Winn-Dixie or Publix, and both have a very relaxed atmosphere. The car parks are spacious, the staff extremely friendly and helpful (they pack your bags for you) and it’s just a far more generally relaxed experience that shopping in a supermarket in the UK. You’re spoilt for choice, too, not least in the wine section!
After returning from the weekly shop our settling-in day continues with – guess what – another dip in the pool and a spot of lounging on the lanai, before heading off out again to the Mall at Charlotte Town Centre.
This is a real treat at the start of the holiday, because you can pick up some great buys, such as new summer clothes for the lovely weather that lies ahead of you, trainers, swimming costumes, beach shoes and just generally have a browse to see what tempt you when you return for a ‘proper’ spot of retail therapy when you return later in the week.
Settling in concludes with a beer by the pool (driving over for the day) and some beautiful, juicy steaks for supper, with fries and s salad – plus a glass of that gorgeous Italian red we picked up at Publix.
So, job done – we’re settled in and ready for a great day tomorrow.