Riverwalk & rum runners

I took all of three photographs in Fort Lauderdale, and no notes. In fact, I was generally only marginally conscious. In other words, I had a nice time. Christmas was all about quaffing mulled wine and singing Christmas carols, Rogers & Hart, and the Beatles around a baby grand. Yes, it was that gay. The rest of my holiday outing was about the beach, and a club or three. Here's one of the few photos that I got up enough willpower to raise the camera to my eye to take. I think it caught the prevailing mood...

Miami beach is a half hour, a twenty-mile drive, south of Fort Lauderdale. I got hauled down to Haulover beach, the north end of which is a nude beach. I learned something important at Haulover beach. Nobody looks good in the nude on the beach. Sex appeal, apparently, takes art. But among the fittest, hottest, best put-together specimens the girls, in my opinion, had the edge. One lass, lying on her back on a towell, legs bent at the knees, feet flat on the ground, little pink and blond origami blossom open to the ocean breeze... well dang, it was downright pretty. Several guys found her immediate vicinity especially conducive to standing around carrying on what they tried to pass off as casual conversation. There is something about the midday sun that is not kind to the plain facts of guy gear, at least aesthetically, much as I am inclined to feel otherwise in other circumstances.

Later, back at the house, Darryl's lorikeet bit my ear. "He really reached out and went for it!" Darryl said, rather bemused. It still smarts. The incident brought out the nursing instincts of Joop (pronounced Yope, he's Dutch), who swabbed the nip, unnecessarily no doubt, but thoughtfully, with witch hazel. Then we went for an evening walk along Riverwalk park (shown in daylight above) to see all the christmas lights, made twice merry in the river's rippled mirror. The weather was something travel brochures always promise but rarely deliver - a tropical dream come true. Warm, breezy, cool. If there's anything about Fort Lauderdale that I don't like, I haven't found it yet. It's smaller than Miami. Hipper than the Keys. Gorgeous and cosmopolitan. And, as Connie Francis damn near lamented those decades ago, it's where the boys are. A fact that, as my own decades accrue, I'm inclined to somewhat wistfully lament as well...

Back home on the gulf, I spun out the rest of the holiday with my brother and his girlfriend. Santa left my annual four lb. bag of pistachios and assorted other goodies. We had lunch at Rib City, where we eagerly waited to see which of us would get the usual ridiculously over-generous portion of baby backs. This time it was Linda. The time before that it was me. The four or five times before that it was Jack, whom we had begun to suspect had a covert and standing arrangement with the kitchen. Til the bounty finally broke my way.

It's 2008, kiddies. I went to a party at my usual haunt, a local waterfront enclave nearby where I do a lot of recent photography. This is the place...

The bar turns out a great rum runner. Here's a recipe:

1 1/2 oz light rum
3/4 oz blackberry brandy
3/4 oz banana liqueur
1/4 oz grenadine syrup
1 1/2 oz orange juice
1 1/2 oz pineapple juice
1 oz dark rum

Pour all liquids except dark rum into glass. Fill with crushed ice and stir. Float dark rum on top and stir gently.

Happy new year.