My Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.Forrest Gump
Which is how I ended up seated next to a Professional Mermaid. But more on that later…
Last weekend was a busy one with the Kentucky Derby and Mother’s Day. I went over to my Mom’s Sunday to drop her off a gift and some leftover Burgoo (Kentucky stew) and Biscuits with A.J., when we saw Kelley and Elise’s car in the driveway as well. We had all arrived (coincidentally) at the same time to drop off gifts, so we had to get a photo (taken by my Mom’s boyfriend Bob) to commemorate the occasion. Wyatt and Grace were there as well (in the back). A very happy coincidence!
As for my Mother’s Day, I just didn’t want to cook, so Zeke Grilled Sausages for appetizers, Meat and Bone’s Dry Aged Steaks for dinner, and made Double-stuffed Potatoes, Grilled Asparagus and Texas Toast. It was all delicious. I made a Rainbow Radish salad for something fresh and we had leftover Derby Pie for dessert. A.J. came over with Wyatt and Phoenix and they went swimming. Justin made a brief appearance, but had to leave before dinner as he got called into work.
The following week, I had tennis Round Robins two days in a row and then the Pinecrest Garden Club’s Field Trip to the Keys on Wednesday. I was going to take the bus the garden club had rented, but when a friend offered a ride in her car, I jumped at the chance. I thought it was just going to be the two of us, but two other ladies- Maria and JoJo- were with us.
I offered to sit in the back seat, since I’m short, which is how I ended up next to Maria. She was wearing a Lily Pulitzer dress, high heels, vintage jewelry, with jet black hair swept to the side and perfect make up. She looked like an interesting person to get to know, but I wasn’t prepared for one of her introductory sentences.
I’m a professional mermaid.she said.
I didn’t even know there was such a thing, she handed me her card. She does special events, birthday parties etc… either in the water, or on dry land. She showed me photos of her dressed as Mermaid Marial, The Ocean Gypsy; she has the most beautiful, custom-made, iridescent aqua and rose gold mermaid tail. She’s also totally into all things Tiki, has two tiki bars at her home and does her own shell art, including amazing headpieces she wears while mermaiding.
Our other passenger, JoJo, sporting blonde hair, a striped shirt with pink palm trees, white slacks and a pink visor, got a call while we were in the car. She answered it, then said.
That’s my neighbor Guta. She’s cooking and needs a cup of soy sauce.she said.
She explained they are the kind of neighbors who can go next door and borrow a cup of sugar from each other, which we all said was a nice kind of neighbor to have. But, as she kept talking about her neighbor, where they lived and her neighbor’s daughter who lived in upstate New York, I asked her a question.
Wait a minute, it’s not Guta B****, is it?I asked.
Because it was an unusual name, I had wondered in the beginning, but with more and more details being revealed, it sound like a woman in my Book Club. And, yes, as a matter of fact it was. So her Guta was my Guta. I FaceTimed Guta and she answered. We chatted for a minute and then I put the phone to her neighbor JoJo in the front seat and she was like: “What? Where are you?” “On the way to Key Largo with JoJo for my garden club.” She couldn’t believe it. We all had a good laugh.
Anyway, it’s a very small world and I do feel like these strange coincidences are happening more to me lately, like I’m in sync with the universe. As I talked to Maria, the mermaid, she said she hit all red lights that morning on the way to her destination. I, on the other hand, had hit all green lights when I was driving.
Our field trip was to the Coral Restoration Foundation in Key Largo where we had a very informative and interesting talk from an energetic intern. Did you know that 50% of the coral reefs in the world have perished in the last 30 years? Coral reefs are a critical habitat for 25% of ALL MARINE LIFE. Of course it’s partly because of Global Warming, but also boaters, divers and sunscreen are to blame. The Coral Restoration Foundation (CRF) manages the biggest coral reef restoration effort in the world. For more info go to http://www.coralrestoration.org. They are doing great and important work.
After that, we had a delicious lunch in Tavernier at Co-President Barbara Pareira’s house. Barbara really knocked herself out with homemade Conch Fritters, Stuffed Mushrooms, Shrimp Cocktail, Roasted Veggies, Sauteed Yellowtail, Caesar Salad, Roasted Cauliflower, Green Beans, Key Lime Pies and Sangria. It was a very lovely lunch and day at her beautiful home on the bay.
That night I had a kick-off party at Fiola’s (one of my favorite Miami restaurants) for the Wine Auction benefiting the Coral Gables Community Foundation. This year it’s back at Venetian Pool in Coral Gables. I was talking to one of the Sponsors of the event and Mary Snow and said: ” What great timing! I met a professional mermaid today.” I think Mermaid Marial would be a perfect addition to The Wine Auction taking place on Friday September 23rd, 2022 at Venetian Pool. Mark your calendar!
Even though Mercury Retrograde started Tuesday and will continue until June 3rd, it’s a perfect time to use your RE’s- Review, Renew, Refresh. Mercury Retrograde tends to mess up communications and you aren’t supposed to start new things or sign contracts at this time, but it is a good time to tie up loose ends.
I got to watch Phoenix Thursday morning and picked up Wyatt from school that afternoon and took him to tennis. As he was sitting in his booster seat in my Mini Cooper, with his cold lemonade in his cup holder, eating a large sugar cookie and listening to his Kidz Bop radio station, he said:
It’s just Wyatt’s World and you’re living in it.Wyatt said.
This cracked me up and I said “Where did you hear that?” “My Mom,” he said.
We had Emma’s Nursing Pinning Ceremony that night, with Riviera for dinner after. She was all dressed up, with her orange and green pinning ribbon around her neck. Strangers and staff came up to her to congratulate her and we toasted with Prosecco. She finished U.M.’s Accelerated Nursing Program, which is a big accomplishment and her Dad and I are very proud of her.
The next day was the actual U.M. Graduation Ceremony at the Watsco Center. It was actually a pretty fun and entertaining graduation. As Emma said: “It was lit.” We took a family photo, as we are all now UM Alumni and celebrated that night with dinner at Ruth Chris Steakhouse. Lauren had flown in for the occasion and we met Emma’s boyfriend’s parents at dinner.
But Saturday, slightly exhausted from all the activity, I gathered my week’s worth of Miami Heralds, stacks of Real Simple and Oprah magazines and my Atlas of the Heart book for Book Club and headed down to the Keys to be alone. Time to renew, refresh and review. It’s Gina’s World and I’m living in it.
Up Next: Dirty Shirley