Last night I rolled into my latest assignment, a little house on a little island off the coast of Sarasota we like to call Siesta Key. Being that it's still Mercury Retrograde (not that I believe in it) all manner of transportation/communication-related issues are going haywire. The navigation app crashed on me abruptly in transit from Clearwater, leaving me lost on a dark desolate road somewhere east of Fruitville at night. I finally get here and the promised high-speed internet in the house does not exist. I try to call the landlord and get a "voice mail box full" message for the better part of a day.
But that's not the worst part. You know what the worst part is? Bereft of the means to do an internet search, I strolled out to the beach this morning and asked the first fellow I saw where I might find the nearest Starbucks. There ain't one on Siesta Key," he said. "We keep all major chains out. Except for Subway, who snuck in somehow. You'll have to drive back across to Sarasota."
When I finally came to from the shock, laying there in the sand weeping uncontrollably, I shook my cigar-scented fist at the sky and cursed the injustice of it all. No Starbucks on Siesta Key. No Starbucks on Siesta Key. But... but... this is supposed to be paradise, dammit!
Fortunately, I already had a Plan B in mind. When I last visited this burg in April 2012, I became enchanted with a conjoined pair of establishments, LeLu Coffee Lounge and Gilligan's Bar. Very retro, very hip, very Hawaiian, very Tiki. They can whip up any kind of coffee in any kind of flavor rendered in any kind of style. This morning, having been in a Frappucino mood, I got a LeLu double-shot caramel frozen coffee and kid, it was tasty. Also got the "Pancake Attack!" platter and let me warn you, these pancakes are the size of a hubcap and I'm exagerrating far less than you think I am when I say that.
I still genuflect at the altar of St. Starbucks, of course, and will be indeed driving back to the mainland to get a proper cup o' cosmic corporate coffee, the way my mermaid familiar intends. But I'll also be spending a LOT of time down at LeLu's as well, sitting in the shade of their covered Hawaiian "voodoo lounge" hut eatin' breakfast like a boss and thinking about volcanoes.