The No Parks and Recreation Tour 2022 – Day Thirteen

Saturday 1st October 2022

I heard a line in a film once, I can’t remember which film now, but it has really stuck with me ever since.

The line is something like, “The greatest lies a man tells are to himself”.

Never is this more true than when you swear you will not be eating breakfast the next day as you are so full after a huge meal that evening.

We were awake early and out of the room around 7.30 on the hunt for food.

The Dolphin has a buffet breakfast option at a place called The Market so only requiring a light start to the day we thought we’d go for an all-you-can-eat buffet, which makes perfect sense. As the law dictates we ordered coffee and juice and our server directed us to the food. Now, I do not wish to appear greedy or over-anxious to consume large amounts of food (again) but these buggers have their buffet set up behind a counter with someone plating up your food. This means that you have to ask them for everything you want on your plate and will discourage the multiple-trip eater from doing so for fear of being judged. Shame on you Dolphin, I have contacted Trading Standards.

My one and only plate looked like this.

How I was supposed to survive until lunch on this was a worry.

OK, there were two plates as this stuff was self-serve.

We paid the $65 bill and left. We are getting to some tricky ground now in this trip which is hard to write about. It was today that we started to understand that back home, Mary was very likely coming to the end. Louise was talking regularly to the care home in a nurse’s language that often needed translating for me.

Literally whilst she was on the phone with them I was standing staring at my phone trying to find any viable flight options to get us home earlier. With Hurricane Ian having just passed and the airports and flights having been shut down for three days, it was very slim pickings and any flight leaving earlier than our scheduled one took so many stops that it would only get us home a few hours earlier than we would anyway. It looked like we were here until our planned return in a couple of days’ time. All we could hope at this point was that Mary could hold on.

What I write here may seem glib and disrespectful in light of this situation but clearly, I am not going to burden you with the very serious conversations and feelings that were happening from here on in. I’ll concentrate on the food and the stuff we managed to do in between.

Back home, the girls were tag teaming being with their Grandma and we of course joined them via video whenever that was possible. We went to the pool to lie in a state of, well, I don’t know what state it was, but it felt surreal and not very nice.

At around 2pm our time, Rebecca called us from Mary’s bedside. Whilst she was clearly not in a good way, she absolutely responded to Louise’s voice and this was both uplifting and upsetting in equal measure. Whilst Louise did that I was making calls to the UK to try and arrange for a priest to go and see Mary who was a practising Catholic, as we knew from conversations with her, that she would want this.

Somehow I tracked someone down and like an actual angel, we saw him arrive in Rebecca’s phone that we were talking to her on within about twenty minutes. We will be forever grateful to him for that. We and Rebecca left him with Mary for a few minutes to do what needed to be done.

We just sat staring at the pool for the rest of the afternoon feeling helpless.

At around 5.30pm we went back to the room and changed. In our current dazed state, there had been zero thought given to dining plans so for ease we just walked on auto-pilot back to Il Mulino across the walkway from the Dolphin. We were seated after a ten-minute wait, at the same table as last night weirdly.

I had the same starter as it was fabulous and I didn’t think anything else could beat it.

Louise followed suit with a repeat of meatballs.

Tonight though we both went for the Rigatoni which was the cheesy pasta thing Louise had last night. It appears to have escaped my camera so just remember it from last night.

Tonight’s bill was $165 including tip which tells you how expensive my steak was last night.

We then just went back to our room and watched some TV before sleep.

Till the next time……