It Doesn’t Get Much Better Than This!

Lady Luck was shining on me today, as the rainy weather of last night was replaced by bright skies and brilliant sunshine today. Even this eve, it’s still absolutely glorious.
I went straight over to Siesta Key Beach this morning. This beach is rated the #2 beach in the U.S. this year; some years, it ranks as number 1, so I was quite keen to spend time here. A drive of about 30 minutes from my hotel ( no turnarounds, no backtracking, once again – my map-reading skills are improving!) got me right to the beach. The parking lot is H-U-G-E and best of all, parking is free!

yahoo!!!

i DO feel welcome!...

As always, I had to start out with a little reconnoitering: I took a peak at the beach facilities (snack bar, spacious washrooms, ice cream shop, souvenir shop) and then took a quick tour around the block…

B! Couldn't they make use of your water rescue skills?! A little 6 month training session, maybe?!

Siesta Key Beach is clean, quiet, pretty. The only drawback would be that it’s a good 1-15 minute drive to stores, main drags etc. Not much to do within walking distance other than the beach.

There is a wide mix of residential options:

...mid-high rise condos...

...townhouse style low-rises...

...and cute bungalow home communities!

Seeing the little development, above, TOTALLY took me back to visiting my Grandma and Grandpa when they still had their trailer in Boynton Beach – I was 19 at the time. This is the 21st century version of retirement communities! I loved the paved brick roadway!

I staked out my spot on the beach:

i had thrown this towel in my suitcase at the last minute - glad i remembered that!

Once again, I chose a spot by the lifeguard tower so that I’d remember where I was.

And just like when I was a little girl, the first thing I did was head to the water…but wowsa!! Eeps! This water was quite a bit colder than in Clearwater! Took me about 10 minutes til I was fully in, but after that, I spent a lot of time bopping about. The waves were perfect: a few small rises to jump over and into, but nothing major. One thing I DID notice was the stronger undertow!

I had a lovely conversation with a woman from Pennsylvania while we were cooling off in the water. To tell you the truth, it was a little bizarre as I realized this was the first full-length, in person, actual conversation I have had in almost a week! The woman and I talked shopping, beaches, the weather…so fun to just chat with new people.

I can totally see why this beach is so highly rated – it’s fantastic. The sand IS like icing sugar, as my Guide Book describes it:

sooo soft!

Here’s a 360 degree tour of the beach:

looking left...

another green flag day! and each life guard station is a different colour - smart idea to keep yourself un-lost!

see, look how far BACK the sand goes!!! it was quite a trek from the washrooms/snack bar area

The beach was very well populated today – I bet in the winter/during March Break, there are people all the way back to where the sand begins.

One thing that struck me: there were no garbage cans on the beach at all, yet there was no garbage blowing around. Very impressive that everyone respects the environment.

When I felt “beached-out,” – you know when you hit that point where you start to feel a little tousled and fried –  I took a different route back to my hotel (channeling my Grandpa who never took the same route to and fro). I really love exploring when I know where I’m going. I already feel like I have a good grasp of Sarasota. One cute thing is that a section of downtown streets are named after citrus fruit: Orange, Lime and Lemon Aves all exist – no Grapefruit, though!

When I got back to the hotel, I hated to stay indoors on such a perfect day (today was a lot less humid, too). So I went out to the pool. I did stick to the shade, even after swimming about in the pool – that’s how warm the air is.

pre-swim...

...and post-submersion!

the main pool (rear) - small but it had a big-sized deep end! i enjoyed watching the kids and eavesdropping on the parents!

my room is the top floor, right by that centre palm tree - i look out on the pool but see mostly palm branches!

And to end, here’s a shot of the exterior of my AmericInn:

i'm impressed with this chain!

My day’s not over yet! I’m going to pop one block over to …TARGET! Why not do a little brousing? Think I finally have enough sun for the day!

I’ve decided to stay an extra night (I had planned two but I’ll stay three in Sarasota) because the weather is superb, I’m enjoying Sarasota thoroughly, so why not?!

So tomorrow: another beach is calling “KiiiKiiii, KiiiKiii, you should visit!” – well, if I must. And then I am checking out a boutique-y area right next to that…and maybe go back downtown…can I have 36 hours in my day, please?!

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