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Sarasota Area


I spent five nights in the Sarasota area specifically on Anna Maria Key, in a beach house I rented at the last minute. I laid back, enjoying the great beaches along the Gulf of Mexico. Especially nice, however, was that I got to visit several family members and friends. My mom and dad had retired to this area in the mid-70's and it has always be a second home to me and my family.
Here are photos of the beach house I rented at the last minute from Island Vacation Properties in Holmes Beach. Normally renting for $800 and up/week, I paid $450 for five nights, less that $100/night! Here are photos of the kitchen and dinette area. Bedroom and living room, each with a TV, and fully furnished. Great place! I had the opportunity to catch the play, "Enchanted April" at the Asolo Theater in Sarasota. I am very fortunate to have as part of my family, Dad's step-daughter Carolyn Michel and her husband Howard Millman. They are wonderful, gracious, and talented people who have made theater their lives. Howard, retiring shortly, is the producing artistic director of the Asolo while Carolyn is an outstanding associate artist! Also visiting Carolyn and Howard were Noel and Terry Hefty from Colorado. Noel is Carolyn's delightful cousin. These backstage photos include, on the left, Noel, and Carolyn. In the right photo are, from L-R, Noel, Carolyn and Howard. On the right are Howard and I and on the left is Terry relaxing at Carolyn and Howard's home on St. Armands Circle. One of Carolyn's friends is Cathy Guisewaite, the cartoonist. This custom cartoon says it all about Carolyn! View down Cochina Beach and dune grass. Seagulls waiting patiently for more crumbs... "One Square Inch" photos of seaweed with the tide coming in and going out. "One Square Inch" photos of seashells on the beach. St. Mary Star of the Sea, on Longboat Key, is the parish church which I have attended almost every year since the early 80s. On the right is a boardwalk path which includes the Stations of the Cross and this clever statue of St. Francis. More views of the front of St. Mary's. The boardwalk leads out to Sarasota Bay with a nice bench for contemplation. From the bench are interesting views of the dense groves of mangrove, a salt tolerant plant common in tropical environments. Extensive root systems provide shelter for small fish and other aquatic critters. Small lizards (brown anoles?) warm themselves on the boardwalk. This is the front of the house my Dad lived in before he came back up to Hamlet nursing home in Ohio. I took a cutting from the bare frangipani tree on the right several years ago and am now growing them indoors. In the summer the tree produces beautiful dark, long green leaves and white/yellow flowers also called "lei" flowers. Next door to Dad's home are great neighbors, Jacques and Marlene Randanne de Vazeille. Jacques retired from Litton and now has a very nice home which they built near Lido beach off St. Armands Circle. His lovely wife Marlene is from Germany where they have another home. Both of them were very nice to Dad and I am glad to call them friends. A nice example of a ficus (fig) tree. Branches produce long hanging stems which will attach to the ground to create very interesting structures...
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