Siesta Key and Beyond

At the end of my four-day solo travel experiment, my long-time friend Gail joined me on Siesta Key. The slow pace quickened immediately to a flurry of activity. Morning walks, paddleboarding, dinner at different restaurants each night, boating, visits with various friends in the area, and a trip to urgent care for Gail’s bronchial infection interrupted our number 1 priority, beach time. Here are the highlights.

Siesta Beach is my clear all-time favorite with a wide beach and soft, fine, white quartz sand that stays cool under the feet. Most mornings we joined other walkers getting their exercise in this beautiful setting directly across the street from our condo.

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Siesta Beach

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Morning walkers

When our walks took us off the beach, we twice succumbed to the temptation to stop for breakfast. Sun Garden in the village and Toasted Mango Cafe on Midnight Pass Road both got high marks from us.

My daughter-in-law’s mother, Tricia, kindly invited us to Ft. Meyers for a day of boating. A sunny day on the water was irresistible. I hadn’t been to the Ft. Meyers area previously so seeing more of this part of Florida by water was fun and Tricia and Gary were excellent hosts.

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Our hosts, Tricia and Gary

 

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Tricia and me- the mothers

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Gail and me at lunch

Another day we drove north from Sarasota to Anna Maria Island, stopping at several beaches along the way.  As we drove through Sarasota, I snapped a photo of the 25-foot tall sculpture by Seward Johnson, Unconditional Surrender, based on a photo taken on V-J Day in Times Square.

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Unconditional Surrender sculpture

Following lunch at the Sand Bar on Anna Maria, we relaxed on the beach for awhile and then checked out several of the piers in the area.

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Lunch at the Sand Bar

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My beach umbrella and Gail’s beach blanket at Anna Maria Beach

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Anna Maria Beach

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Rod and Reel Pier

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Anna Maria City Pier

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View from Anna Maria Pier toward the Sunshine Skyway Bridge

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Anna Maria Pier

Ever since we discovered Dan at Siesta Key Paddleboards, we rent boards from him each year. He delivers the boards to us at Turtle Beach and we paddle through the canals to a secluded beach that only boaters frequent. Recently, a friend asked me if there are alligators in the canals. This is salt water and the gators prefer brackish water so no, we have never seen an alligator here…thankfully. We did see a dolphin in the canal, however.

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Our man, Dan, setting us up with paddleboards

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Paddleboarding fun

It’s always fun to see friends from home while we’re in Florida. We visited Gail’s friends, Jenny and Jeff, who now live full-time in Venice and my friends, Nancy and Jamie, who winter at a golf community just south of Siesta Key. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time to visit our friends, Deb and Dan, in Naples this year but we hope to see them soon.

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Jenny and Jeff

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Nancy and Jamie

Finally, we had some outstanding meals during our stay.  Casey Key Fish House and Indigenous were my favorites.

 

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Gail and I have been friends for over 50 years. Check back in the next 50 for more of our adventures together on Siesta Key and beyond.

Based on events from March 2016.

 

Categories: Travel, Uncategorized, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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