I was walking around the complex grounds when I happened to look up at the apartments in the complex next door and noticed the palm trees. Now, remember, they've been there for several years, but this was the first time I actually looked at them. What a surprise I got. I've never before seen a bushy palm tree.
A couple days later, I was again walking around our complex and what to my surprise did I find growing all over the place? Yep, bushy palm trees. I particularly like this group by the river with the bench. I also like the view from the bench. I finally saw some relatively large fish in the river and tried to get a picture, but I guess they were too far under the water, because the picture was great but I couldn't see the fish. The water in the river is surprisingly clean.
There is a guy who lives on the first floor of our building whom I call Beer Boy. The reason I call him by that name is I don't know his real name and because he spends most of the day drinking beer after beer after beer. He usually shows up at the pool, around eleven in the morning, by which time he is already well into drunkeness. He sits in the sun for several hours, wearing nothing but a pair of shorts and sometimes, a cap. Robb once asked if he was worried about getting skin cancer, and he replied that was the least of his worries. I don't know if you've ever had the opportunity to see someone who spends a lot of time in the sun, but their skin looks like old, dried-out leather. He obviously doesn't work because he is always here and he is always drunk. We assume he is on some kind of disability. He is friendly but he is definitely one of the many strange people living in our complex.
I've been looking for an HTC mobile phone because they are pretty much the best on the market at this time. But more than that, they have a large, 4.3-inch screen. Also, I want an unlocked phone that I can use when we go traveling, and the HTC would be ideal because along with the large screen, it has a great camera for single shots and videos. I tried to get AT&T to unlock my phone, but they won't do it before 4 August. We'll have less than a month left at that time, and I really don't want to have to take two phones. My reason for mentioning this is that I thought I had found a wholesaler who would be willing to sell just one phone. So I contacted them and agreed to wire the money by Western Union. Apparently, Western Union saved me from being ripped off, because they refused to pay the wholesaler because he was on their blacklist. I have since learned that people and companies who insist you send money through Western Union (or any other way that entails giving them 'cash') are most likely to be scams. So, kiddies, if you deal with a company who won't accept credit cards, or at the very least PayPal, be very wary.
Why we measure speech in noise. The ability to detect speech in noise plays a significant role in our communication with others and our overall sense of sharpness. Here's an example: You're at a restaurant, celebrating your sister's birthday with a big group of people. It's a boisterous crowd, and many conversations are going on around you. You want to join a conversation with two old friends sitting nearby. Can you separate the background noise from their words well enough to participate?
Saturday evening, we drove down to Miami Beach to have dinner with Robb's elderly cousin (once removed). Who uses such terminology? We were supposed to eat in the building restaurant, but it had closed a day or two before. His cousin (Helen) didn't discover that fact until just a short while before we got there. It's not really surprising. The area is full of decent restaurants, and unless they advertised, no one would know they were there. So their clientele is pretty much limited to the people who live in Costa Brava. There are twenty-two floors and, according to their ad, 216 apartments, but it's not enough to support a restaurant where the food is mediocre at best.
Helen suggested a nearby Greek restaurant. Of course, our car only holds two people, so we had to take her car and her assistant, Claudette, drove. When we arrived, I saw the name of the place was Sardinia. My geography isn't all that great, but I know that Sardinia is nowhere near Greece, and is, in fact, Italian. But one must remember, Helen is ninety-two. Robb and I had what they called "sea bass", and although it was delicious, it wasn't like any sea bass we've ever had before. If you read about our experience in Café Seville, you'll recall that I complained about the noise. Compared to the Sardinia, Café Seville was quiet as a tomb. While we were eating, three guys sat at the table next to us. One of them remarked, "This is the first time we haven't talked to each other in forty years." Sardinia is situated near the shore, and I tried to take a couple of pics but they all came out very blurred.
Thursday was Robb's birthday. He's now (mumble mumble) years old. To celebrate, Robb, Geoff and I went to the Hi Life Café. Ricky was supposed to join us but he had to fly back to New York for a meeting of some sort, so it was just the three of us. We were surprised to learn that Chuck and Carlos had sold the restaurant, although Carlos has remained on as the chef. We started by sharing the appetizer; Creole Calamari (Fresh calamari sautéed in a garlic fricassée). For our main course, Robb and I had the Jumbo Sea Scallops (Seared jumbo scallops served with a ginger accented sweet potato mash and grilled asparagus then finished with an orange glaze). Geoff had the Blueberry Hill (Grilled NY Strip Steak served with homemade Mashed Potatoes and Smoked Blueberry Sauce topped with Bacon dressed Arugula Salad). As usual, the food at the Hi Life was excellent. Because it was a special occasion, we downed a couple bottles of Veuve Clicquot.
Saturday night, we went back to Café Seville for dinner. I had Fillet of Red Snapper Olé, sautéed with artichokes, mushrooms, leeks, lemon juice, garlic and white white. Robb started with a green salad, then had Dolphin with a tomato and jalapeno mix. Our dessert was Tres Leches Cake. Ramon Justicia, an excellent guitarist, was playing, but the other diners were so loud and rude, we could barely hear him over their din.