Saturday, February 19, 2022

Microadventure #8: Pelican Cabaret Singers at Sun City Center

This microadventure really started with a macroadventure that involved me singing on stage under the tutelage of Faye Nepon. Through that performance, I was introduced to Faye's sister, Cyd Charrow, who is part of the Pelican Cabaret Singers.

When I heard that the Pelican Cabaret Singers were going to be performing not too far from Sarasota, I absolutely wanted to attend!

The performance invitation read:

The Pelican Cabaret Singers will perform after a delicious lunch by Banquet Masters in Community Hall on Saturday February 12.  The doors will be open at 11:30 a.m. to view raffle baskets and socialize;  lunch at noon;  followed by a performance by the Pelican Players Cabaret Singers.

I was told that the performance would be in "Sun City Center" which sounds like a building, but as it turns out, it's actually the city name of a 55+ community.  Though this created a bit of confusion for both me and my GPS, I eventually figured out that this little city was very close to Ruskin, the place that Kellie, from Microadventure #5 lives.  Kellie had said she'd be happy to meet up for microadventures, and she likes theater (we both love "Beauty and the Beast" and Disney music) and happily accepted my invitation to join me!

I'd been eating very healthfully since the beginning of the year..  including no desserts, sugar, or chocolate.  However, I could not resist completely indulging at this delicious luncheon.

There was a buffet-style with salads, veggies, chicken, and lasagna.

Check out the dessert table! Though I started with the carrot cake, I admit, I went back for samplings of the cheese cake and chocolate cake. It was Valentine's week after all..

The program included some fun show tunes that I hadn't heard in years.  The audience couldn't help but snap their fingers or sway to the beat on some of these old favorites.  "King of the Road" brought back happy memories - Glenn Campbell on the record player when I was a kid.

Cyd's performance was "Gimme Gimme" from the musical "Thoroughly Modern Millie."  I haven't seen that play yet, but after watching this performance, I'm putting it on my list! Cyd did an awesome job! 

It was such fun to see this performance and share it with Kellie.  Musical theater, delicious food, and new friends! What a treat!

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Microadventure #7: Exploring Sarasota and the Art Ovation Hotel with Samar

I met Samar at Mutual of Omaha where we were both working as Agile coaches through her sister, Sally's company, Agile Transformations.  A week or so ago, Samar texted me and told me that she, Sally, and the whole gang from Agile Transformations was going to be at a conference at the Art Ovation Hotel in Sarasota!

I picked Samar up at the Sarasota-Bradenton airport at around noon and we had the whole afternoon together! The weather was beautiful and sunny - the first in several days - so we had a nice long walk, ending at Marina Jacks, enjoying a delicious lunch on the patio.  We even saw several dolphins as they surfaced

The streets of Sarasota are adorned with these pretty painted bicycles

Lunch at Marina Jacks

Samar is a wonderful and wise friend. We reminisced about the days when we were working at MoO with our friend and fellow-coach, Ryan, and talked about how all 3 of us have succeeded in having the dreams we were hoping for come to pass..  both personally and professionally.

Ryan, me, and Samar in 2018 in Omaha

When we got back to the Art Ovation, we were able to take a tour and hear about the art that was on display as well as hear about the artists.

The hotel was unique with lots of artsy touches throughout. Even the rooms had sketchbooks, colored pencils, and other interesting items... all for sale (at very high prices!)

I especially liked the rooftop that had a bar, infinity pool, and cozy outdoor furniture.

Sally (Samar's sister) didn't get into Sarasota until about 5:30pm. I'm glad I got a chance to see her, too.. She's one of the most respected Agile leaders there is and I feel so lucky and proud to know her personally.

Sally, Samar, and me!

So ends another unplanned microadventure.  A couple of weeks ago, I had no idea that Samar would be in town. How fortuitous that the conference was here in Sarasota and that we were able to spend such a gorgeous day reconnecting!

Saturday, February 05, 2022

Microadventure #6: Bird-Watching at Oscar Scherer State Park

This week's microadventure has been every bit as much about the "who" as the "what" and "where."  Yes, bird-watching at Oscar Scherer State Park was a new, unique experience for me. I'd never really been exposed to the world of bird-watching, and Eva is quite a serious birder! It was interesting for me to learn about the "Big Year Challenge" in which birders find and log as many different species of birds in a particular area during a year.  That kind of thing is SO up my alley.

On this hike, we were in hot pursuit of the Florida scrub-jay, which, unfortunately, we were not able to find. 

Though we didn't find the illusive jay, Eva still captured some worthy bird photographs. She recently started a new business, with her wonderful bird photography captured on shirts and greeting cards.  She even gifted me with the pretty pick-me-up Pelican greeting card. 

As I said, though, this microadventure, was extra special because of the women who I shared it with. Becky had invited a group of girlfriends, Eva, Feli, and Georgette, to spend the weekend with her. These ladies have known each other and been close for over 50 years, though they've been geographically scattered.  Eva and Feli are cousins and they are all as close (or closer) than sisters and their love and support for one another is apparent.

They all share a love of singing and I enjoyed an evening of untethered joy on the first night of their reunion as Eva and Becky got out their guitars and sang together. 

On that first night, Becky's sister, Susie, joined the reunion, singing harmony.

But the highlight of the weekend was hearing and recording a song that Georgette and written long ago, "Any Way She Can" and she and Eva had put to music. The lyrics of this unique love song are a powerful testament to the long-time love and friendship that all these women share.  Eva's daughter is in the music business, so I hope she's able to get this in front of the right people. Both the music and lyrics are enough to make me tear up whenever I hear it.

So, again, this week's microadventure was much more than a hike in a park..  it was about being accepted and welcomed into a special sisterhood weekend, giving me a peek into the lives of these unique, talented women who have gone "any place, anywhere, any way they can!"