As you know, I spent the last week in Florida, on Anna Maria Island. The island is a bout an hour south of Tampa Bay on the Gulf of Mexico. This trip is sort of an annual tradition, and my extended family gathers there the same week in July each year, at the same resort, for a week of relaxation and catching up with the rest of the extended family. This is a tradition that pre-dates me, and even my parents; my great-grandparents started the tradition decades ago. They used to own property on the island, but sold that years ago as it became increasingly built-up as a tourist destination. Much has changed, and much has stayed the same.
Here is the account of my trip.
I got to the airport in Minneapolis, and was not greeted by the best of weather.
I settled into my seat and waited for takeoff, knowing I had a layover in Atlanta before traveling on to Sarasota, FL. My layover passed without any incident.
Once I landed in Sarasota, it was a short car ride to the beach, and my home away from home for a week every July.
The next morning, I was up early. It gets so hot during the day that early morning and late evening are the only times of day that are remotely pleasant to be outside. So, I took my coffee at the beach.
There was lots of swimming and fun in the water all week long. My son in particular never really wants to get out.
We had some inclement weather, as we do every year. This year did seem to have more, however.
When it is raining and thundering, you can’t be in the pool. Instead, we all huddle under the overhang in front of the units and wait out the storm. When it rains in Florida, it rains. Hard.
Of course most of the time, it is sunny and hot. The beach is literally at our doorstep, and so people like to walk down and enjoy the Gulf of Mexico all day long.
And it’s not just the water that is an attraction. The sand has a certain allure, as well.
We got off the beach, and away from the resort at times too. The local ice cream shop is always a favorite.
The bay and the local pier are also fun to visit. The bay is on the opposite side of the island, away from the Gulf of Mexico, and is full of people and wildlife.
There are always great sunsets over the bay.
Mornings are great for walks on the beach!
There are always great things to see, if you take the time to look.
Of course, as hot as it is, I wasn’t allowed to swim. Having just had my appendectomy two weeks previous, I wasn’t allowed to submerge my stitches for risk of them bursting. As much as I wanted to, I didn’t.
Venturing out for some shopping can be nice, but always be aware that people here are on a different schedule–“island time” as it is known.
Heading into town isn’t frightfully exciting. Despite the palms, a parking lot is still a parking lot. And a strip mall is still a strip mall.
Of course, most of the time everyone just relaxed in the pool, and enjoyed being on vacation and being with family.
No swimming, but I had to get a tan somehow…so out I went in my suit to stand in the heat.
Everyone else wanted to get some sunshine on their skin too. We don’t get as much as we’d like up north!
There are always good sunsets at night. Everyone gathers on the beach to watch the sun fade, capping another day of vacation. The last sunset of the week is always tinged with the disappointment of another vacation come and gone, and another year to wait for the next sunset.
Eventually, we all packed up and headed for home. Some drove.
And I flew.
See you next year, Florida.
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