|The famous statue in Sarasota|
John, our oldest son, arrived in Sarasota, broken foot (basketball injury) and all, on Tuesday evening. Oh, how good it was to see him again! Over the next four days we crammed in as much exploring as his foot would allow. Fortunately, he was able to get in the dinghy from the dock and climb the boarding ladder to the boat from the dinghy without issue.
|John enjoying a Drambuie|
We took a dinghy cruise along the shore of Sarasota Bay and into some of the canals to view some truly picturesque houses/estates. We also saw some beautiful unspoiled sections. We checked out the local tiki hut where we watched the boats coming and going.
|One impressive home as seen from our dinghy|
We took a bus ride over to Lido Key and north along the coast to Coquina Beach. We were able to show him some of our earlier sailing grounds (including our grounding spot) at Longboat Pass and to wander the beach. We stopped at the "world-famous" New Pass Grill and enjoyed a lunch overlooking the water. Since the bus would not be returning for another hour, we walked around the corner to The Old Salty Dawg and had a drink overlooking the water. We asked a local fisherman about getting a sailboat through New Pass or Big Sarasota Pass and he said he could guide us out, but he didn't recommend either one.
|New Pass Bar and Grill|
We took a bus ride over to Siesta Key and the #1 beach in the US (hmmmm....we've heard that before) where the sand was almost like flour. The water was a display in varying shades of clear emerald green. We took the bus back to Siesta Village and had lunch at the Daquari Deck Bar. Excellent food and mudslides. John was wearing one of many Ohio State shirts and was happy to get a couple of, "O - H's" shouted to him so he could respond with, "I - O". One of the numerous Ohio State traditions he loves so much.
Napping on the boat became the norm after our morning explores. Watching the beautiful sunsets that fell between the arches of the bridge were breath-taking. Watching each sunset from the bow of Wrinkles has become a treasured routine.
In the evenings we walked up to the town square of Sarasota and enjoyed listening to live music. We found a hotel built 102 years ago that was currently a bar called Gators. The two story structure had ceilings that were tinned and the woodwork was ornate. There were a couple sitting rooms upstairs that in a former life were also sitting rooms, but for a different type of client. Our research told us this was a brothel around 1915. The ceiling fans fascinated us. They were palm shaped and arranged in rows above the bar stools. They were mechanically linked to wave gently back and forth. This short video shows them in action and you can get a feel for the inside of the building.
The weather was the best stretch of perfect weather since we have been on this journey. The boat bobbed gently in the swells of boaters' wakes and let John experience the magic of living on a boat.
|Oleary's Tiki Bar|
But most of all, our time was filled with laughter and conversation as we soaked up our time with John.