Thursday, June 15, 2017

From Ponce Inlet to Bradenton: When Plans Go Awry

Hello! Today's post is brought to you from Sarasota, Florida and my outfit is simple.

White Dress with my go to sandals.

I found this dress off of Target's clearance racks last summer for under $20, but I here are a couple Target has going this year.

 White With LaceFloral

I could have walked around St. Armands Circle all day. It may be one of my favorite shopping centers to window shop. I say window shop, because everything is expensive, but taking in the landscaping, sculptures etc was a treat all in itself. There are local boutiques, as well as your familiars, such as: Soma Intimates, Lilly Pulitzer and the Walking Company. Of course restaurants are in full variety. Apparently, Columbia Restaurant, has been in business since 1905 and is world famous. Sadly, I had not the time to stop and eat there. Even if you are limited on time, this location is a treat for all the senses!


But why St. Armands Circle? Why Sarasota? Our usual vacation spot is on the other side of Florida at the lovely Ponce Inlet.

Well that is an easy answer. Due to circumstances beyond anyone's control, the condo became suddenly unavailable. Have you ever had your sleeping quarters fall through at the last minute? This was a first for us and we went back and forth about whether or not we should do a staycation or attempt to reschedule everything.

A few days after receiving the condo news my dad, who just recently visited, called and invited us to stay with him in Bradenton, Florida. Well, that seemed coincidental. My husband and I discussed the idea and decided to shave off a couple days from our original departure and go for it.

In addition to visiting my dad, I contacted my cousin and the hub's aunt and uncle, who all happened to be in route. Why not visit them all?

The day before we left was comically stressful. The van overheated. One teenage son was making last minute plans to visit friends via text while I was out running errands for the trip and we wanted to get as much time in with my brother and his family while they were staying at my moms. Should we still go???

Well, our friends offered to trade their SUV for Glen's truck for the week. My brother and SIL took care of teenager while I watched my nephew and I managed to get everything packed. There was nothing left to do but go. We even stopped at SPLAT on our way out to have cupcakes to share. And so our adventure began...

Our first stop...visit Uncle Russ and Aunt Annie.

The boys helped with dinner, hunted for lizards around the yard and even fished in the pond out back. We had a wonderful time and Aunt Annie is a fabulous cook. Already we were thankful for our plan change, as we hadn't seen them for years.

Next up...Bradenton

This is where we spent the bulk of our time. The boys camped out on the couches and floor in the living room, while Glen and I occupied the guest room. Each day we picked a different beach to visit and walked around the pier and then played on the beach. We visited Coquina Beach, Manitee Beach and Ana Maria Island. They were all fabulous! The boys (including Glen) fished off shore, as well as off the peers and caught loads of catfish. The younger ones played in the waves and hunted living sea creatures. Here are some highlights...

Pit Stop at Two Scoops Ice Cream shop located on Ana Maria Island. GO there! It's affordable and delicious.

One evening we walked around Marina Jack's in Sarasota, Florida.  That was so nice. There were plenty of boats to look at as you walked casually around the circle. In addition, there are restaurants right off the water and a park for kids to play at. I saw quite a few folks hanging in hammocks in the trees. That looked fun.

On our last night, we loaded up the car and drove from Bradenton to Tampa for our last stop. Her husband had to scoot out early to go to work on Saturday, but we were able to visit for awhile that evening. The boys made friends with the family pitbull. I won't lie.  I was nervous!

We made the best of the unplanned circumstance and ended up with new adventures and new memories! Have you ever had vacation plans fall through at the last minute? What did you end up doing??

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