And for those of you unable to clearly see why I was so excited about taking this picture...here's a larger version:Please note the OPEN TO THE PUBLIC part. While I realize that the beach might once have been designated as 'private' and may be waterfront property owned by The Colony, their sign clearly states that they are no longer an exclusive members only ladeedah type of holiday spot. While they maintain the aura of it being private, and have not done a lot to make it seem like a place for anyone to come and lounge about without buying a meal, taking a snorkeling class, or even partaking of a beverage... their sign says otherwise. So Ms. or Mr. Anonymous, if you think you are paying for exclusivity and you pay the big bucks for that exclusivity....perhaps you should rethink your spending habits. All this aside from the fact, as Anita clearly mentioned, that the idea of anything being private when you are publicly displaying yourself on a beach at the Gulf of Mexico (which is not owned by The Colony) makes the whole idea of thinking you are doing anything privately a farce.
So, now that I have taken care of that snarky little comment, let me update you on my latest forays into the oh so wild side of Bradenton. Sunday evening we had dinner at a little Mexican restaurant where the owner ventured out to meet us and after a discussion where my Aunt and Mother (born and raised in India and having spent the better part of their lives in America) surpised the owner by speaking Spanish fluently, albeit with a Indian tinged accent, managed to wrangle him into making us a special seafood paella which was not on the menu. After several pitchers of Sangria and enough paella to feed China, we managed to roll out of there and into our cars to head home. I would love to recommend the place, but for the life of me I can't remember if it was called Casa de Sol (House of Sun) or Costa Del Sol...either way, if you come to Bradenton look for it on Cortez around 59th Street.
We also went to an artisans fair at Lido Beach, where my aunt Shara and I were suckered into buying a few purchases. The first and most notable being the following....can you guess what it is? Aha! I'm almost sure most of you are guessing it's a vase...but watch closely and see its true use.
It's made out of honeycomb paper and made me laugh for an insanely long time as I tried every single one in the stall out. BTW trying to take a picture while squishing a vase into a hat on your head is not easy!
Then we headed out to a restaurant at the end of Anna Maria's historical pier where we indulged in coconut shrimp and then caught this little guy hanging around looking for leftovers.
Then yesterday we went to the Hardrock Casino in Tampa and frittered away a great deal of money in an obscenely long day. We arrived there, gambled for about an hour, then had a leisurely lunch, gambled some more. Decided we should stop for a break, so it was martinis and Bloody Marys all round, then gambled some more and returned home to 4 messages from my aunt Kavita begging us to call her as she was sure something horrid had happened since we had not returned home and it was after 6pm, then after 9pm, then after 10:45 and finally the last message was at 11:45, at which point she not only wanted us to call her, but also call my aunt in Virginia as she had also raised the alarm there and now the entire family network was awake and worried. We listened to the messages, called my brother to see how his opening went, then gabbed till 2 am, at which point we buried the phone under some pillows in the living room (so much easier than turning the ringers off) and went to bed until 9am :)
Thank god mom had to answer to my aunts and not me! Oh and before I go, almost forgot to mention having a most divine manicure and pedicure at...now wait for it....Walmart! That's right folks, over here in the U S of A, one can recieve spa services at Walmart. Not only was it a kickass manicure and pedicure, it was also provided at Walmart pricing, 30 dollars for a regular manicure and pedicure, and 45 for my more elaborate french manicure and french pedicure. Mom and I have now decided that we will have our hands and feet done at least two more times before heading off for India and Saskatoon respectively.
Woops before I go, must mention my brother Raj (Flowing Line Pictures) had the premiere of "The Instigator" in Saskatoon the other night. He was the editor and director and did all the filming as well. It's the story of what bullying can lead to, and was really meant to be a feature film for the school system. Apparently the premiere was a huge success with over 450 people walking the red carpet and very positive reviews.
I was fortunate enough to have a sneak preview at Christmas and thought it was good. I have to admit I thought there were serious script issues, but as far as my brother's work goes...I was impressed. I was also impressed with all the hard work Jade did in set decoration, wrangling extras and generally making their locations look like places I have never been...even my brother's house looked completely different! And of course T-Bone did a fantastic job on music. So congrats to everyone who worked so hard in making this short film.
If you are interested in checking it out, go to http://www.theinstigator.ca/
Ahh, now it's time to sip on a margarita while I work on my painting inspired by Klimt, and yes I will post a photo of it once it is complete.