We left Minneapolis and Mary (photo by Associated Press) the following morning. As usual, I got stopped going through airport security (always, as I apparently meet the terrorist profile rather than that of a sweet grandfatherly type I actually am). Plus, the supervisor had developed plantar fasciitis (think an ice pick in your heel) two days before we left, so naturally our plane’s gate was at the far end of the terminal (four moving sidewalks). We had a non-stop to Ft. Myers, the cheapest destination on Florida’s West coast. We obtained our rental car with surprisingly little difficulty (though naturally it was in the lot farthest from the terminal), and made our way north to Rosie and Dick’s B&B in Sarasota.
[The supervisor makes her way through Rose and Dick’s lovely neighborhood – their pool and tennis courts are only a block behind her.]
[Then it was off to downtown Sarasota’s bayfront for a walk with Groucho.]
Then it was off to a nighttime cruise of St. Armand’s Circle.
[Rosie and the supervisor love the night life! 🙂 ]
The next day featured a somewhat lengthy drive to the tip of Anna Marie Island where we dined (what else?) at the Rod & Reel Pier, which has the rare distinction of being “born” the same year as this reporter. And it begun my run of grouper entrees.
[A manatee (the one not in the kayak).]
The next day our gracious hosts took us to Libby’s, a chichi restaurant in Sarasota’s Hillview area. I swear every woman who walked by while we were dining was either a supermodel or the mother of a supermodel. 😉
Then back “home” for a few tunes from the Sarasota Mandolin Ensemble.
[A regular stop on visits to Sarasota. The supervisor and Dick are at the order window.]
Our last morning with Rose and Dick – a trip to the No. 1-ranked beach in the entire United States! That Siesta Key has received such distinction will draw no complaints from me. While Rosie had to stay behind to help even older folks with their taxes, the supervisor, Dick, and I walked up and down the water line, taking particular notice of those from the raisin ranch (a term used in Jess Lourey’s latest book, November Hunt, by Mrs. Berns in describing retirees who have spent far too much time in the sun). The beach sand is not white sugar – it’s white flour!
[Dick and the supervisor.]
Having reached the 3-day, dead fish threshold with our first hosts, it was time to search out other “price is right” lodging in the area. Fortunately, Alexandria’s-own Crazy Dave and Mary live just a few miles down the road from Rose and Dick in Sarasota.
[Mary and the Easter Bunny welcome the supervisor.]
[We boarded Crazy Dave’s classic Sebring convertible (one of the few vehicles I can enter and exit without hitting my head) for a trip to Venice.]
[We noshed (do you recognize the senior life style revolves around eating?) at Sharkey’s at Venice Beach.]
[Crazy and the supervisor plotted stategies on how best to approach the nude beach.]
[Ain’t we got fun?]
[Not far from Sharkey’s, where the 9-11 terrorists did their flight training.]
[From a Venice beach access.]
[The supervisor, Mary, and Crazy shopping downtown Venice.]
[A must stop every time we visit these environs – Nokomis Groves for orange ice cream!]
[It was 85 and sunny – a major portion of this delight ended up on my clothes and on the floor of the Sebring’s back seat!]