Impressive women along A1A and how much drama can you squeeze in a day?

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“I listen to the wind

To the wind of my soul

Where I’ll end up

Well I think only God really knows”

Cat Stevens

Vero Beach is filled with gorgeous homes, shops, and boats. There is an amazing mooring field managed by the city marina where many interesting cruisers say they have planned a short stay and not wanted to leave. We can see why.

We arrived Friday after a short jaunt from Fort Pierce with plenty of time to explore the surroundings by dingy. Mangroves flank the mooring field on one side and fabulous homes with amazing outdoor spaces skirt the other.

The weekend included lots of riding around in the dingy and our first stop at Riverside Cafe where Mac saved the guy from whatever he was suffering from (see People) and I was blown away by the tuna nachos. We loved this place so much we returned Sunday for brunch after a stroll to Mass. Then it was laundry time for me and Mac went to Enterprise for a rental so we could spend the next day doing land chores. We had been on the hook now for a full week and needed stuff!

The Vero Beach Marina proved to be a fertile ground for interesting women. Diane is 80 pounds soaking wet, from Minnesota and a marathon runner. She is 70+. She’s qualified for the Olympics in the past. She has a big half marathon coming up in Minnesota so they are heading home tomorrow. I feel like I have spent an hour chatting with my mother -in -law. Everything about her reminds me of Nonny! I don’t meet her husband until Tuesday. More on that later.

Sunday afternoon after we get the car and stow the wash we set out to find some fun. The beachfront is only a mile away and several bars are hopping along the shore. After a cold one at Mulligans we walk on to the Driftwood Resort, an historic resort built of timber that is still in its original decor, where Mac happens onto an old friend of the family who is sitting at the bar with her son. She’s lived here for years and clearly has the lifestyle down to an art form. He sends a picture quiz out to his sibs in a text and his phone begins to dance. Turns out the younger Mac sibs were thick as thrives with this chick in their teens.

We hang and they reminisce until the sun is getting low in the sky and we need to get back to the boat.

Monday finds us on land in the rental picking up groceries, drugstore stuff, oil , ice, and gas. We decide to ride north a few miles to check on the places we plan to explore next. We take Hwy 1 north to Melbourne and drive back A1A. It’s a beautiful drive. We are so impressed with the public access all along this pristine shoreline. It’s hard to fathom we have seen so much beauty in four weeks and have yet to leave Florida! Enterprise may pick you up but dropping us off with this load of stuff we had in the car will probably be cause for new corporate guidelines.

Back to the ladies: Irene! Wow. She’s a salty one for sure. She has been single handing a sailboat for 15 years. We met her at the dingy dock. A biochemist in her land life she left for the water with the intent of trying it for a year and is still at it. She rows her dingy to keep fit, prefers the silence and calm on the water to the chaos on land, and gets upset when she can’t figure out how to repair something on Kayja. It’s humbling to spend a few minutes with this woman.

Two more amazing gals along A1A were our breakfast companions in Fort Pierce last week. Like Thelma and Louis they are traveling off the beaten track on a road trip with no real agenda other than adventure. Very cool ladies, Coleen and Carol ( I think). I can’t believe I didn’t mention them sooner. We spent a good hour swapping tales and philosophies of life. We hope we cross paths again some day but we know it won’t be on an interstate.

Since the wind was picking up and we were loving Vero Beach we chose to stick around another day. We clean all morning and agreed this is a great bike day. We planned to go to the Ocean Grill since my brother had insisted it was the best in town. We showered and gussied up a bit for a late lunch. Fate would have it that I left the bike lock back on the big boat. Back we go to the dingy just in time to help another couple rescue a fellow boater who has gone overboard at the dock. Turns out he is the husband of my runner friend, Diane. Thankfully Mac and Bill manage to pull him out of the water. He is not hurt but is clearly shaken so we tow him in his dingy back to his sailboat and see to it that he is aboard and rested before we leave him. We run into Diane later once we finally get underway on the bikes and tell her about his tumble.

By the time we get to Ocean Grill they are no longer serving lunch so we opt for a drink and apps at Mulligans and a stroll through the shops. The afternoon really got away from us so we head back to the water and go check on Gary and Diane. They have moved to anchor from the mooring field because they are leaving their boat there for summer. We discover they could use some help hoisting their dingy since the wind is honking pretty good by now. Mac to the rescue again! He climbs aboard, takes off his good shirt and aids in the process of wrestling an inflatable over the ropes.

We shall return to Vero Beach someday, by land or by sea. It’s been a great rest, good play, good peeps, and just enough drama to keep life interesting!

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