Back From Vacation in Venice, Florida

by - February 15, 2018

Happy Friday friends!  I am back from vacation and apologize for the blog silence.  I am working on some fun posts for next week but today I figured I'd share some highlights from our trip.  K and I flew into Tampa, Florida on Saturday afternoon where we meet up with my parents just in time for dinner in Sarasota, Florida.  It was about a 30 minute drive from Tampa to downtown Sarasota where we ate at a Nuevo Latino restaurant; Selva Grill.  The food was delicious.  We shared three different ceviches and empanadas to start and we all ordered entrees and cleaned our plates.  I would highly recommend Selva Grill if you are ever in Sarasota.  It was still packed after we left while other restaurants on the street were empty, so obviously it is popular.
(Sorry for the lack of photos I was thirsty, hungry and tired)

On Monday we headed to Punta Gorda, Florida to visit a local rum distillery; Alligator Bay Distillers.  The owner gave us a tour and then let us sample all four of his rums.  The distillery is small and full of character and happy vibes.  The owner learned how to distill rum out in Hawaii and came home to Florida to open up shop with his brother.  I have never seen a rum distillery and was impressed with the operation that is run by two men, no other employees.  I loved learning about the process and it smelled great in there, like molasses, but my favorite part was viewing the oak barrels where the rum was being aged.  We had a great time and bought two bottle of rum!  Afterwards we roamed around Punta Gorda which is absolutely beautiful.  The downtown area is full of charming and colorful homes, similar to those found in a southern city like Charlestown, South Carolina.  The marina is called Fisherman's Village which has a colorful outdoor shopping area with waterfront restaurants.  It was a lot of fun to walk around and then to gawk at some of the sailboats and yachts in the marina.  

On Tuesday hit the beach hard.  Go hard or go home!  We went to Siesta Key, a Sarasota beach which claims to be the #1 beach in the country and I can in all honesty see why they stake that claim.  First off it is an insanely gorgeous white sand beach with blue-green water that is basically a giant wadding pool for adult.  By this I mean once you walk in you can walk far before the water is above your chest, and I'm 5 feet tall.  The water wasn't warm but wasn't the coldest water I have been in and has no seaweed or big rocks or sharp seashells.  Second to the sand and water are the amenities.  The beach is public with ample parking, clean (public) restrooms and a food and drink bar with cheap food and drinks both alcoholic and nonalcoholic.  $4 for a frozen Pina Colada with booze!  They are very serious about keeping the beach clean despite serving food and drinks and somehow they manage to keep that white sand glowing, sans litter.  There are lifeguards for safety and a sheriff who patrols to keep out the riff-raff (I swear I'm 34 not 84).  The vibe is tranquil and friendly and if you forgot something don't worry there is a little shop with chairs, sunscreen, floats etc.  But not cheap.  But if you didn't bring chairs and don't want to buy them either you can rent them from some guys on the beach.  Sorry I can not give you a price on them, my dad treated that day.  We got two umbrellas with our four chairs because the sun was hot!  I have to been to many beaches around the world and I fell head over heels for Siesta Key and out of all the American beaches I have visited I would rate Siesta Key #1!

I still have a couple more highlights to share so look forward to another Florida post from me.
Thank you for stopping by and have a lovely weekend!

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