A Simply Spectacular Day…Not That You’ll Get to See It!

Guess who left her camera battery charging in her hotel room this morning? … Can you believe it?!

I got to Lido Beach, tried to snap a photo of the Welcome sign and – nothing happened. Doh! I then remembered that I had plugged in the camera battery to re-charge it last eve…and never put it back in the camera (how ironic, charging up the battery to combat having it suddenly fail on me during the day, then I forget all about it).

For a second, I seriously contemplated going back to the hotel for the battery, then remembered my mottos Everything Happens for a Reason, and Things Work Out As They’re Meant To Be. I figure I was just supposed to soak up my surroundings today, bask in the brilliant sunshine, and not think about capturing each special moment. It IS disappointing, though, as I had a totally satisfying and wonderful day, and saw a lot I would have liked to share.

When I walked out of the hotel this morning, the humidity smacked me in the face. It was actually shocking! Often, in novels, an author will use a phrase like, “Hilary walked out the door into a wall of oppressive humidity” – well, I could relate to that type types of descriptor this morning. But, I’m not complaining about it, since I was headed to the beach! (ETA: It appears my photos, below, off of Google Images haven’t downloaded? Can you see them? I cannot – don’t know why – …so this really is a photo-free post!…boo!). (edited ETA!!!…if you left click with your mouse on the photo, you can then see it!!!)


OK! Now you’ve seen Lido Beach! (Or not!)

It took me less than 15 minutes to get to Lido Beach – it’s just north of where I was yesterday at Siesta Keys, so a little closer drive from my hotel. The route was well marked with signs once I got closer to my destination, so did not get lost! Look at the first photo – see the roundabout? You drive through the roundabout, then around to the beach which is two minutes further.

Once again, parking was free and plentiful, and there was a snackbar, washrooms, lifeguards, just like yesterday. To be honest with you, I would be hard-pressed to choose one beach over the next. Now, Siesta Keys cannot be matched for the silky sand and width of sandy beach, but I liked the setting of Lido better, with VERY classy homes and condos in the direct vicinity. The sand at Lido is not quite as soft as at Siesta Keys because there is some fine shell mixed in, especially upon entering the ocean – but it’s pretty divine nonetheless.

Two points of interest for today’s agenda: I wanted to hang out at Lido Beach, and I wanted to peruse the shops at St Armand’s Circle:


Guess what the configuration of St Armand’s Circle reminded me of? If you guessed Goderich, you are correct! It has the same wheel and spokes design. But much classier!

I was intrigued to visit St Armand’s Circle today because the lady I chatted with yesterday at the beach said it was worth checking out, yet my Guide Book rather disparaged it, saying the chic boutiques have been infiltrated by tacky souvenir stores.

My opinion? Totally worth visiting. There is a mix of souvenir/clothing stores, yet an abundance of high-class boutiques, bistros and specialty shops. The setting is almost regal, with numerous white cement statues decorating the square, beautiful foliage, and everything is spotless and impeccably maintained.

In both St Armand’s Circle and at Lido Beach, the pedestrian has first priority. St Armand’s is filled with crosswalks, each accompanied by a sternly worded sign, reminding drivers it’s a $112 fine if they don’t stop. The major roads have a boulevard separating to and fro lanes, and a wide sidewalk is centred on the boulevards. It’s a great idea that encourages visitors (that and the free parking).

So…back to my day! I parked at the beach and did a tour back to St Armand’s Circle to check out the shops. Then I found my spot on the beach. Today was a yellow flag day at the Lifeguard Huts! The waves weren’t high at all, but the undertow was more pronounced than yesterday. The water felt a few degrees warmer. I happily spent my time reading, tanning, splashing in the waves and people-watching.

{SIDE NOTE: Remember how I craved Diet Coke when we visited the Goderich Beach at the beginning of July? To be honest, I was a little fearful before this trip that I would set myself upon a beach and neeeeeed a Diet Coke asap. I even imagined I might cave in…happily, I can honestly report that I have NOT had any cravings. I would say, instead, that I have missed sitting on the beach and sipping a cold pop, but it hasn’t been dominating my beach thoughts}.

After I was beached out, I drove over to St Armand’s and went through some of the stores. So fun to just wander in and out, all about. No purchases, though.

Driving away, I realized I was very close to another running store! (I had researched this before, and had the address with me in my travel journal). So I drove over to Fleet Feet Sports. Unfortunately, it was a really small shop with not a lot of product. However, I did have fun “talking shop” with the sales associate, as I told him I worked for a running store in Canada. We agreed that ASICS seems to be the most popular brand of shoe we both sell!

Then, I stopped off at the nearest Publix which was in a mall with a Borders book store (the American version of Chapters – you would not be able to tell them apart if you entered one and didn’t know which was which). I poked about; busy place – just like at home!

The rest of today? Too gorgeous to be inside – there hasn’t been a whiff of a cloud in the sky all day. So I think I’ll sit out by the pool and read my book. Cannot. Put. It. Down. I debated checking out Westfield – Sarasota Square Shopping Mall as the mall is open til 9 p.m. on a Saturday eve (!) but think the call of the pool is stronger than the call of the bling.

And with that, it’s time to move on tomorrow. Sarasota has been a complete joy, but more fun awaits further down I-75…

I’ll leave you with ONE photo, now that I’ve put my camera back together!…

Queen Beachie!

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