The idea was to go someplace completely foreign without having to update our passports. And that, friends and readers, is how we ended up here in the deep South.
We eased into it with a familiar stepping-off point, bringing Phyllis along with us to Sarasota, FL where she is visiting the CE’s brother, Mark, his wife, Jean, and Soho-lookalike Pearlie Mae. Their son, Nick, will graduate from the US Naval Academy next month and we’re told we may get a sighting of daughter Laura, a University of Florida student, on our return visit at the end of our southern sojourn.
On Florida’s Gulf Coast, Sarasota bears no resemblance to its Atlantic coast relative, hot-blooded Miami. Simplistically, it’s way more Jimmy Buffet than Scarface. As we ambled around the village of Siesta Key, every corner seemed to boast a bar with a make-shift patio where mid-day revelers enjoyed a brewski or three while garage bands kept the volume on high. We, of course, were drinking coffee.
While the bands of Siesta Key may never rise to fame, its beach is known worldwide. In 2011, it was named Best Beach in America on Dr. Beach’s annual list in a nod to its sugary miles of quartz sand called the “finest and whitest in the world”.
Mark is a natural-born tour guide and he zipped us around Sarasota’s various neighborhoods during our brief stay there. We had a glimpse of chi-chi St. Armand’s Circle and enjoyed a fabulous dinner at Libby’s in Southside Village.
We also attended a play at Asolo Repertory’s stunning Mertz theatre, which was formerly the Dunfermline Opera House in Scotland prior to being dismantled and reconstructed in Sarasota.
Of course, we also made time for relaxation:
And for visiting with Pearlie Mae:
We would like to have stayed longer in Sarasota, but we had miles and miles to go before we slept so we packed up and headed for the great state of Georgia. Next stop: Sea Island.