For Labour Day this year, we decided that we were tired of waiting to see if we were going to get any hits by the outer bans of Hurricane Dorian. So despite dire predictions of wind and rain and in absolute defiance of common sense, we determined that a beach day was in order. And not just a beach day but a multi-beach day. Sometimes, you just gotta.
We started here in our own little island town of Venice. We walked around the jetty for awhile, admiring the beautiful water, watching boats go by and dodging the occasional low-flying pelican. There were no dolphins that day, or manatees but we did watch someone on a little round floaty-thing being towed by a boat and occasionally flipped into the air followed by splashing back into the water and then being fished out by the people on the boat over and over again. They seemed to be having a fine time. There weren't a lot of people out but enough that we weren't there alone.
Then some dark clouds started to roll in and we got back in the car.
As the rain began hammering down we headed north to Lido Beach in Sarasota. We are very familiar with Lido. Years ago when we just visited Florida with great frequency, we generally stayed in Saraosta at a hotel right across the street from Lido Beach. The hotel was fine, nothing exciting but perfectly fine. The draw was a great view and the convenience of just strolling across the road and boom there you are on the sand. It's a beautiful beach of course and bonus points, very near St. Armand's Circle which is a very fun shopping district and a wonderfully diverse restaurant area. Well it's fun as long as you don't have to drive it. It's an awful place to drive, mostly do to its popularity. What do they call that? Being a victim of your own success? Yeah, I think that's it. I mean, if you are visiting and you are staying close enough to walk to St. Aramand's then it's great, but driving in for the day? Horrible. And good luck finding a place to park.
The rain had just ended so we jumped out of the car and splashed through a lot of puddles to walk around Lido Beach for a bit. As soon as we heard thunder rumbles, we beat feet back to the car and off we went to check out other beaches.
A lot of the beaches we saw were small and had little no no actual beach showing due to high tide and the storm bands but we still checked them out. I don't remember all of their names but one was Turtle beach. There is a restaurant right across the street from it called Turtle Beach Grill. Never ate there but we probably should.
So we continued to explore, driving on and off keys via one bridge of another and the sky kept changing. Sometimes sunny, sometimes rainy but always pretty. In fact, at one point, I don't remember which key it was, but as we were driving over the bridge, I looked off to the right and it was so beautiful. Vivid blue skies with big puffy clouds and sun sparkles on the water. Then I looked to the left and there was a grey wall of rain just hammering the heck out of the water, the wind blowing white caps into the sea and lightening flashing just for the heck of it. Literally...right side sunny, left side stormy. Florida is a crazy place.
Our final beach stop was at Siesta Key which is technically part of Sarasota. But it's only about 15 minutes from home and therefore closer to us then Sarasota proper. Siesta Key's claim to fame is that year after year it is voted Best Beach in America. I'm not sure who is voting but I have read that phrase over and over again so it must be true. During high season it is a nightmare to drive. Soooo Much Traffic! I cannot imagine living there but people do.
It is a very nice beach. Very deep and very long. Lots and lots of sand so loads of places to claim as yours with blanket and umbrella. They boast very clean bathrooms, a decent amount of parking and again, the beautiful gulf waters. In fact the beach is so big and so deep that it felt as if it took forever to get to the water! I'm not complaining, just stating fact. It's a long ways from parking to walking in the water. There were probably more people on the Siesta Key beach than all of the other beaches we visited Monday combined. And still there was plenty of room. That's very nice. It had just finished raining (again) so there were lots of puddles for the birds to bathe in and that's adorable to watch.
It's funny when I break it down. A beach should be a beach should be a beach. Sand and sea right? Those are the only real ingredients necessary for a beach. And yet they are all different. Some are rocky. Some are sandy. Even the sand can be different from beach to beach, pink, gold, white or black. Some have awesome shells. Others are great for snorkeling, or volleyball, or frisbee or letting your dogs frolic or beach-combing.
Some beaches have great dunes, others have a fun boardwalk. Some are more suited for kayak and canoe launching or picnics. Some are close to fun towns to explore others are far away from everyone and everything.
Naturally we lean toward the beaches of Venice. I mean it's obviously one of the reasons that we chose this town to live in, right? And silly me, I say beaches of Venice. It's obviously just one big beach with numerous different access points. But in spite of my obvious bias for my own town's beaches, I can honestly say that I never met a beach I didn't like.
So that was our Labour Day. It was Beach Day!
Dorian, meanwhile, has absolutely decimated the Bahamas and has now set her sights on the east coast of Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas. Our thoughts, best wishes and prayers go to friends, family and total strangers who live in it's path. Please find a safe place and stay there until it's over!!!! Hugs
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.