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Jan 22-31 trip report

kutztown, pa
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Jan 22-31 trip report

Last week we escaped the twice weekly snowstorms and escaped to AMI. This was our second trip and certainly not our last to this wonderful island.

We flew Southwest from Philly to Orlando so that we could visit with family who live in that area. The drive from the Orlando area was nice (I'm a backroads person), but I haven't been there for many years and was sad when so many of the open orange groves and farms seem to be replaced by houses. But we did stop for strawberries and produce on the way over to the gulf coast.

We rented Casa Coquina though Mike Norman Realty. The rental process was easy and we were even able to add an extra day when other plans fell apart. Soon we were on the causeway , hearing the thump diddy thump that said we were home and stopped by to pick up the keys.

Casa Coquina is a wonderful rental right on the beach. It has the feel of an old fashioned basic beach house which is just what we love. It is very clean and just downright pretty and extremely comfortable. It looked like it had been recently painted and spruced up to be ready for this season of renters. The views from the two decks are unbeatable, as is the experiance of waking up and seeing the water every morning. The kitchen is basic--older appliances and no dishwasher--and the pots and pans were pretty bad (like no big pot for spaghetti or chili) but hey--its a beach house and it was not snowing. We would rent it again.

I was planning to rent a bike for the week and had the numbers and then noticed that right across the street was a rent bikes sign so I walked over and soon had adopted a spiffy Huffy that I named Seafoam. DH decided not to rent a bike, since if he decided on a whim to ride with me he could just walk across the street.

We stocked up on everything we needed on the island--and Publix was even having good steaks on sale so we were happy campers. I know most people eat out--but I am a really good cook (hence the pots and pans issue), I like to cook and I am highly allergic to all seafood so eating out at the shore does come with cross contamination issues. Plus we had the best view on the island!!!

The week was spent with me tooling around on Seafoam exploring every beach and braking for birds while DH sat on the beach or one of the decks soaking up the sun. I know--sounds boring but it was heaven.

I love how friendly everyone on the island is, always with a smile and greeting. One day Seafoam and I crossed the bridge over to Longboat. Honestly---I did not go into a private road or members only area. I was not dressed like a bag lady. As I was riding along, just looking at how the other half lives I noticed that my good mornings were met by downcast eyes, and finally two women with tennis rackets did speak to me, to let me know that there was no beach access in that area (before I even asked). So I turned around and headed back to that land of smiling friendly people where anyone can walk on the beach wishing that I never had to leave.

But real life took over and here I am, back in the frozen north. We returned to Philly to yet another winter storm warning, punched the truck into the driveway (and got stuck) and walked the luggage though knee deep crusty snow to the house. Now I'm sitting here stranded in an icestorm, dreaming of my return to AMI.

Sarasota, Florida
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for Sarasota, Longboat Key
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1. Re: Jan 22-31 trip report

Sorry to hear that on your expedition to Longboat you met up with some true grouches! I think that AMI is definitely friendlier (and younger), but there's still no excuse for basic rudeness on the part of the locals.

Incidentally there are definitely beach access points that run the length of Longboat; they're identified by small blue signs at the Gulf side of the road. There are four access points at the north end of Longboat. If you want to brave potential grouches again in the future, check out one of those access points and see what you think of the beach.

Cummington, MA
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2. Re: Jan 22-31 trip report

Why on earth would she go back? I wouldn't!

Sarasota, Florida
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for Sarasota, Longboat Key
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3. Re: Jan 22-31 trip report

You're right. Though I love Longboat, if I had her experience I wouldn't go back either! To have an experience like that is a real turnoff. And I've done exactly the same when I've had that experience visiting a new place.

In more than 40+ years coming to Longboat and now living nearby, I've met my share of grouches on Longboat -- some year-rounders who complain about almost anything, some snowbirds, and some visitors also. I've also met some pretty wonderful (and interesting) folks in classes at the Education Center and in classes at the Art Center, at the tennis center, in local restaurants and shops, on the Turtle Watch and yes, even at Publix on a crowded Saturday in peak season.

But if Mountainmare returns to AMI and ever does what to tempt fate again by checking out an uncrowded beach area on Longboat (without having to ask a grump to give her directions), here are the specific locations of several beach access points at the north end of Longboat, closest to AMI:

7055 Seabreeze Avenue (no car parking, OK for bikes)

100 Broadway Street

6847 Gulf of Mexico Drive

6399 Gulfside Road

Edited: 02 February 2011, 20:42
Tampa
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for Anna Maria
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4. Re: Jan 22-31 trip report

Thanks for your trip report, I love that fact that you names your bike Seafoam, sounds just like something I would do.

Casa Coquina is a gret rental, we have had the pleasure of staying there and it was awesome, you can not beat the view.

Glad you had a great time and hope you return very soon.

kutztown, pa
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5. Re: Jan 22-31 trip report

I did go on the beach at Broadway and was heading down to the gulfside access when I met the grumps. Maybe it was the sand on my shoes and shelling bag that gave me away as an outsider. Anyway I like the beaches on AMI better than the ones that I saw on Longboat.

Rusty--I agree we loved the house!!! Especially the high chairs where you just put your feet on the railing, sip some wine and enjoy the view. We had friends who live in Fla over for a visit and it was so nice to just walk down to the cafe. After spending time all over the island I can see that each end has its own charms, but we like the south end because you can walk over and see the sunrise, then enjoy the afternoon sun on your deck and see the sunset.

Sarasota, Florida
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for Sarasota, Longboat Key
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6. Re: Jan 22-31 trip report

Thanks for the honest report, Mountainmare. Now you're making me want to visit AMI more often! And apologies to others for temporarily hijacking the thread. I'm glad you enjoyed AMI and your trip report should be helpful to folks.

Edited: 03 February 2011, 21:47
7. Re: Jan 22-31 trip report

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