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Trip Report 4/08, Part 2

Saratoga Springs...
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Trip Report 4/08, Part 2

On Wednesday, things warmed up considerably! In the morning, we went letterboxing at the Coquina Bay Walk. This nature preserve is magnificent, and the views are worth the short hike. (For more info on letterboxing, visit letterboxing.org. It is a fun, free activity for kids.) We then ventured across the street to Coquina Beach for some playground time and shelling. We returned home for lunch, swimming, a nap, and more shelling, and then drove to the Sandbar for dinner. We ate inside since the wait outside had reached an hour and 25 minutes. I had the almond encrusted salmon with strawberry sauce, and the house salad with fresh mango, which were both outstanding. We all enjoyed the food and atmosphere, and went outside for the sunset and a stroll on the beach. This was the perfect end to another perfect day on Anna Maria.

On Thursday, we took our first trolley ride to Manatee Public Beach, had coffee and watched the kids play on the playground, walked out to the end of the pier, and took the trolley back home for lunch. Our friends joined us with their kids, and we spent the entire day at the beach, building sand castles, swimming, shelling, and marveling at our surroundings. We headed to the Beach House early for dinner, which was a short walk from our condo. We had a party of nine and wanted to sit outside. We bumped into our old neighbors here, and had a great time relaxing and enjoying the live music. I had the coconut flounder, and it was superb!

Friday was the last day, and we spent it entirely at the beach, with no diversions. I have never felt so relaxed and content. Just thinking about it leaves me nostalgic. That evening, my kids were too wiped out for eating out, so we ordered in pizza from Oma’s. It was good but not extraordinary. The kids ate heartily. My husband and mother-in-law went to the Sun House for dinner and the sunset. They said that this meal was the best yet, which is hard to believe since they all had been so good!

I enjoyed the last sunset with my kids on the beach, and prepared myself for departure the next day. I hate to admit that my eyes stung when it was time to leave!

I probably should apologize for this very lengthy trip report. My wordiness is due to a truly sensational and relaxing vacation in a place that has unexpected brilliance and charm. My very heartfelt thanks go to Rusty, Floridianer, and all of the others who helped me find my way. I can’t wait to return in 2009!

Cambridge, United...
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1. Re: Trip Report 4/08, Part 2

WOW don't apologise for the lengthy report - I felt like I was there with you. I have another 4 months to wait!!!

Tampa
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for Anna Maria
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2. Re: Trip Report 4/08, Part 2

Jkelley - Oh My, "my eyes stung when it was time to leave", I'm afraid you got bit by the AMI bug!

Thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed report, it was so much fun reading it, I felt like I was almost there with you!

I feel that you understand how precious this place is and that you appreciated and enjoyed the whole experience, good for you and I know you will be back.

Where did you decided to stay, was it Hidden Cove or another condo?

The Rod & Reel is a great place, the food is always good and not expensive. You would also like Duffy's and Ginny's, two very local places but hey, that gives you places to explore for your next visit.

Salem, Indiana
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3. Re: Trip Report 4/08, Part 2

jkelly86, Bless You!!! I am so glad that you had a wonderful trip. AND, don't you dare apologize for the length of your report. I hung on to every word. I have 74 more days!!! This past week was really a hard one, one of my sons best friends took his life. Such a useless act. Needless to say, getting away has been on all our minds. Your report took me back to my first time on the island, which was heaven. My eyes even "stung" reading about the memories that you made. Aren't places like this, that become so special, truly a blessing. My son's fiance in on spring break this week and the majority of the college is at Clearwater. She called today telling me how nice it was there, and I told her that I could not wait to get her to AMI. Nice does not even start to describe this place. Once again, thanks so much for letting us share your memories!!!

essen, germany
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for Walt Disney World, Anna Maria Island, Orlando
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4. Re: Trip Report 4/08, Part 2

Sounds like a perfect vacation :-)

And yes, like natalie said, the bug was successful again :-))

Thanks for sharing your experiences...

Sorry that the Old Salty Dog wasn´t good (I may recommended it) but when we ate there it was brilliant :-)

And hey, pssssssssst! Don´t tell too much ... Keep the secret of the perfect Island and enjoy it :-)))

Sycamore, Illinois
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5. Re: Trip Report 4/08, Part 2

Thanks so much for the trip report, we leave in about seven weeks and everytime I read something new about Anna Maria, I can't wait.

Plano, TX
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6. Re: Trip Report 4/08, Part 2

What a wonderful report! My family and I will also be heading to AMI in 7 weeks and I CAN'T WAIT! It's so refreshing to read all these positive reports where simple things like enjoying time playing in the sand and soaking up the sun can make people so happy. Thanks 'jkelly86' for another reason to smile today!

Saratoga Springs...
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7. Re: Trip Report 4/08, Part 2

Thank you, everyone, for the kind comments! Much like the island itself, this is such a friendly forum!

Yes, Rusty, I am gladly infected with the bug, and won't be looking for an antidote... I would have loved to stay at Hidden Cove, but we needed 3BRs and wanted a heated pool, so we ended up at Bradenton Beach Club, which was very lovely. It was also next to La Costa which looks gorgeous!

GiGi- I am so sorry to hear about your loss. It is amazing how fragile and uncertain life can be... I am glad that you could share in the memories with me.

Floridianer- I think we hit the Salty Dog on a bad day. And yes, I will try to hush up... The fact that it is a secret makes it even more special.

Thanks again, everyone, for your kind words! They made my day!

Saratoga Springs...
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8. Re: Trip Report 4/08, Part 2

I posted a few photos here if you are interested:

tripadvisor.com/LocationPhotos-g635970-Anna_…

Tampa
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for Anna Maria
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9. Re: Trip Report 4/08, Part 2

jkelly - Loved the pictures, especially the one with the two precious little girls and their sandcastles. I can certainly see that memories were made on the Island. Thanks so much for sharing with us.

10. Re: Trip Report 4/08, Part 2

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