Today we set out to see what we could see that we hadn't seen before. We started with brunch at Theresa's in downtown Bradenton. She starts at the crack of dawn, we didn't.
Afterword we stopped next door because we wanted to know what coastal, vintage, boho, glam is. Turns out its somewhat pricey mermaid wear and trinkets in an old house with a pretty front garden.
We checked out the surrounding neighborhood, an older section of Bradenton that borders on the Manatee River and a network of canals.
Next stop was Skyway Classics, to see old cars in various stages of restoration..
Our final stop was Detwiler's Farm Market filled with locally grown produce and made from scratch baked goods.
Most interesting thing we saw at the Red Barn flea market yesterday—a giant felted wool cat cozy. It’s something I think Nancy Fisher can appreciate.
And we did bring home some delicious Florida-grown strawberries from the farm market too.
Later in the day we saw that one of our alligator neighbors came out of the lake and onto the grass for a little afternoon sun. Yes, he’s that black line in the grass in the distance. Next time I promise I’ll get a little closer!
If you know me, then you know my husband is a hot dog connoisseur. He treated me to lunch al fresco at Willy-Yums today. Ben Miller--this could be in your future! Oh and the sign reminded me of the guy I used to work for who counseled me to 'always lie from the same set of numbers'!
Even though we have spent a lot of time in this area, there are still many places we haven't seen. Today we went over to the Emerson Point preserve on Snead Island. There are lots of walking paths and great views from the point, and a number of horse ranches on the island.
We were also in search of a place to get a pedicure. So with a nod to 'Claws' we looked for a place in Palmetto. Unfortunately, appointments are required. Who knew. Funny because shirts are not. So we settled for pedis in Brandenton.
Although I did travel to Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Indiana over the summer, it seems like forever since we've taken Sunny out for a spin. Thursday morning, we scratched that itch and set out for Bradenton, Florida. Three and a half days of rain later, we arrived at our home base for the winter. We have about 400 neighbors living in a variety of abodes, mostly mobile, surrounding a small lake (large pond) on the outskirts of Bradenton. Two of our neighbors are from Ohio (not unusual in these parts) and one is from Alabama. Today the weather is brilliantly sunny, warm, and welcoming. This is the view I am enjoying.
We have been spending time in this area for the better part of the last forty years--Doug even longer than that--so we are familiar with these parts. Last evening at sunset, we drove into town for a bite to eat at the Riverside Cafe--a place we've visited many times.. It's at a marina on the Manatee River. We reminisced about an evening we spent there 20 years ago. Andrew was 16 and Katie 13. We celebrated Christmas here that year with extended family. My parents were with us along with my Aunt Louise, Doug's mom and her friend Ray, Doug's brother and his family. We developed a habit of celebrating a random family member's birthday every evening, surprising the appointed celebrant with a complimentary dessert. The night we were at the Riverside we were entertained by a local singer named Roni. I don't recall whose 'birthday' it was (maybe Chris'?), but we all remember Roni. We were delighted to see that the stage looked exactly the same when we walked in last night!
That was a fun trip. Andy and Seth went jet skiing, we all went parasailing, Katie got to ride in the 'fun' car, I went to the Ringling Museum with Aunt Louse, and we flew home New Year's Eve arriving safely, Y2K notwithstanding!
Ann, Doug, Moose, Darla, Sunny, and with gratitude, Winnie and Chinny.