Our Southern Sojourn: Starting out in Sarasota

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.

A three-week trip means lots of luggage

A three-week trip means lots of luggage

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.

Mark, Jean, the CE and Phyllis

Mark, Jean, the CE and Phyllis

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.

Taking a Siesta Key walk

Taking a Siesta Key walk

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”.

Siesta Key Beach (image from orlandosentinel.com)

Siesta Key Beach (image from orlandosentinel.com)

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.

Phyllis enjoys dinner at Libby's

Phyllis enjoys dinner at Libby’s

Red Snapper with clams at Libby's

Red Snapper with clams at Libby’s

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.

Mertz Theatre (image from examiner.com)

Mertz Theatre (image from examiner.com)

Of course, we also made time for relaxation:

The CE at the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota's Beach Club

The CE at the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota’s Beach Club

And for visiting with Pearlie Mae:

Truth be told, she wasn't that impressed with us. But she let me take her picture.

Truth be told, she wasn’t that impressed with us. But she let me take her picture.

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.

We know that Phyllis is enjoying her time with Mark and Jean!

We know that Phyllis is enjoying her time with Mark and Jean!

About polloplayer

Empty nester searching for meaning of life through the occasional chicken epiphany.
This entry was posted in All Things Family, Gastronomy, Spoiled Pets, Travel and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Our Southern Sojourn: Starting out in Sarasota

  1. Phyllis Gutsche says:

    Nice visit here in Sarasota, and good to see pictures of your adventures. Good weather here, nice to sit out in the evenings and have dinner without mufflers and coats. Lots of fish sandwiches to enjoy, and some nice lunches after a hard morning at TJMaxx. Keep in touch and see you soon.

  2. dizzyguy says:

    Loving Florida, Georgia and now South Carolina. People are so friendly and the living is so easy.

  3. Jean Gutsche says:

    I did not know that the Asolo Theater was transported here from Dunfermline, Scotland! That is the birthplace of Andrew Carnegie and one of Sarasota’s “sister” cities! Hope you are having a ball and can’t wait to hear about the places you have visited!

  4. pollo amigo says:

    Looks like fun is being had!

  5. Angela Gutsche DiGaetano says:

    looks so relaxing!

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