Anna Maria Island, Travel Day, Day 8

In order to finish up this little mini-series about my vacation in Florida, here is what happened on my final day: travel day (it’s kinda boring, so I won’t be offended if you don’t read).

Minion Dave and I attempting to pack

Minion Dave and I attempting to pack

After I finished packing early in the morning, I walked myself over to Relish Café (again) to grab a cup of coffee for the road.  We checked out of the house we were staying in at 10am, and afterwards we stopped in this small little thrift store on the island that is run by the local church.  It was so little!  Unfortunately, nothing caught my eye.

Since our flights out of Tampa weren’t until later in the afternoon, we decided to drive to Ellenton, about 45 minutes from Anna Maria Island, to go to their outlet mall.  When we got there, we only had 1 hour to shop.  Can you say speed shopping?  There were a lot of stores to go into that we don’t have in Raleigh, or near Raleigh, so I was running around like a crazy lady from store to store.  I ended up only buying one thing, from the Kate Spade store for the Ashley Pants, as a thank you for watching my dog child.

Once we arrived at the airport, we ate at the Chili’s for lunch before boarding and flying to Charlotte and then back to Raleigh.  Let’s just say it’s sad that I left 73 degree weather to arrive in Raleigh and be welcomed with icy roads and 30 degree weather.  Not cool Raleigh, not cool.

Bows and Arrows,

Lynda

Anna Maria Island, Day 6

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Not much happened on Thursday.  The high in Anna Maria was only 62 degrees Fahrenheit! That sounds great when you come from 40 degree weather, but after 5 days in 75 degree weather, 60 is kinda chilly!  When we woke up we walked the entire length of Pine Avenue, snapping a few pictures of the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay by the pier.  We walked to Relish Café again today to grab a cup of coffee, and then I spent the late morning and early afternoon hanging out around the house we rented. 

At around 3pm, we decided to walk along Pine Avenue again, this time stopping at the Anna Maria Island Historic Museum and Jail.  At first, it seems that the jail is a joke, but it actually was used as a jail with bars at one point.  They only ever housed 2 people in it, and they were almost eaten alive by mosquitoes, which is why it wasn’t really used much beyond that.  The only people ever really arrested during this time were arrested for public drunkenness from the dance houses.  It was a tiny little museum, but it was definitely interesting!

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For dinner, we ate at a place called Sign of the Mermaid on Gulf Drive.  It is a tiny little restaurant that is actually inside of an old cottage.  The tables are set up in different rooms in the cottage, and our table, since we had a bigger group, was in this little hallway, which was great because it was secluded from a lot of the other tables in the bigger rooms.  They gave us bread to start, and actually provided a sweet cabbage to top the bread with.  I thought this seemed sort of odd as opposed to dipping oils or cheese, but it was actually quite delicious!  For my meal, I ordered an appetizer size of their Sushi Grade Tuna and a small berry salad (I don’t remember the official name of this salad).  The berry salad was actually really good, with strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, brie that was baked in Phyllo dough, a white balsamic vinaigrette, walnuts, and bacon.  I did not have wine during this dinner, but I did notice that they pour their glasses very generously!  Our table ordered two desserts to split, but I only ate from one of them.  I ate part of their Peanut Butter and Cracker Pie, which was a 2013 Best in Show winner.  Some of the desserts on their menu were featured on the Food Network!  (So sorry, I nommed this before getting a photo!)

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So that wraps up my Thursday in Anna Maria Island!  Check back for my Friday adventures in Orlando!

Bows and Arrows,

Lynda

Anna Maria Island, Day 5

Skargorn Tee, Gorjana Scarf, Madewell Denim, Madden Girl Sandals

Skargorn Tee, Gorjana Scarf, Madewell Denim, Madden Girl Sandals


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Wednesday was quite a relaxing day in Anna Maria Island.  There was a high of 72 degrees Fahrenheit, and it was a mostly cloudy day, until around 4:30pm when the sun finally decided to come out.  Yes, my outfit for the day does consist of long pants, but that is because the majority of the day the sun was not out, and it was pretty breezy, so it was comfortable wearing these!

IMG_0847For breakfast, I walked over to a little place on Pine Avenue called Relish Café.  I had one of their cinnamon crunch muffins, which was pretty big, so I only ate half of it.  It was really good, especially the streusel that was on the top of the muffin!  I also had a cup of their coffee, which is locally roasted in Sarasota, and it was quite tasty!  (So much so, that I’m actually drinking another cup right now!)

In the early afternoon, after I ate some leftovers for lunch from dinner the night before, I ventured over to Pine Avenue again to look in the shops.  I think my favorite shop was Pink & Navy, which is a boutique with books, clothes, lotions, soaps, candles, Toms, and a small baby section.  I bought some shea butter hand-crème from the brand Tokyo-Milk in the scent Tainted Love.  I really liked the smell of it, and I also needed more hand cream because my hands get dry a lot from working as a barista.

Other shops that I enjoyed include the Olive Oil Outpost, The Egret’s Nest, The Flip-Flop Shop and Candy Stop, and The Island Cabana.

For dinner, we went to a sports bar called Slim’s Place.  For our appetizer, we had some chicken wings seasoned with a Thai Chili flavor.  I will say that I am not one to order chicken wings, but I did enjoy these.  I thought that they had more meat on the bone as opposed to other wings I’ve had in the past.  My dinner was a house salad with crab cakes and Sangria.  The table also got a plate of Lobster Mac and Cheese to share, which is what they are known for (it was delish!).  For being such a small bar scene, the food was really good!

Sangria

Sangria

Thai Chili Chicken Wing from Slim's Place

Thai Chili Chicken Wing from Slim’s Place

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

House Salad and Crab Cakes

House Salad and Crab Cakes

Lobster Mac and Cheese from Slim's Place in Anna Maria Island, FL

Lobster Mac and Cheese from Slim’s Place in Anna Maria Island, FL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks to everyone who has been reading my updates, and I hope you are all having a fabulous week, even if you’re just working!

Bows and Arrows,

Lynda

Busch Gardens Tampa, Day 4

For Day 4, which was Tuesday March 11th, we ventured off of Anna Maria Island and made our way into Tampa to spend the day at Busch Gardens.  We arrived at Busch Gardens Tampa around 11:15am and made our way into the park.  We purchased tickets to the Serengeti Safari, which is an additional fee where you can get up close and personal with the animals.  And the highlight of my day was getting to feed the giraffe!  If you were wondering, their tongues feel like cat tongues…all scratchy, except much, much longer!  After we went on the safari ride, we proceeded to hit all of the roller coasters in the park.  My favorite ride was the Kumba.  I did like the ShieKra, but it does remind me of the Griffin at Busch Gardens Williamsburg.  The majority of pictures I managed to take at Busch Gardens Tampa were of animals, so here are some for you to see!

Gazelles

Gazelles

Black Rhino blending with the rocks

Black Rhino blending with the rock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bird waiting for a handout at lunch

Bird waiting for a handout at lunch

Purr.

Purr.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

White Rhino

White Rhino

Grevy's Zebra

Grevy’s Zebra

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gator!

Gator!

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Feeding the giraffe

Feeding the giraffe

Giraffe!

Giraffe!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is my outfit of the day!  And yes, I did plan to wear my safari sketch shirt at Busch Gardens!

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Once we arrived back on the island, we ordered take out from a cute little Italian restaurant called Vinny & Cheryl’s Italian Kitchen.   I had an order of Penne Vodka Sauce, and it was quite delicious.  I really thought their vodka sauce was made very well, not being too thick like some places I’ve been to before.  I couldn’t finish it all, so I saved the rest for lunch on later days.

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Thanks for keeping up with my travels, I’ll be posting more soon!

 One last thing.  How do giraffes pick their nose?

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Bows and Arrows,

Lynda

Anna Maria Island, Day 3

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I’ve fallen kind of behind, *slaps wrist*, with my updates, and I apologize!  I am so tired by the end of the night, and maybe a bit tipsy, that it’s probably better for you guys that I wait to post my updates!  Day 3 was Monday, March 10, and we spent our day exploring the local shops up and down Pine Avenue, one of the main streets in Anna Maria.  I did stop and grab another ice cream from Two Scoops, because I walked by it on the way back to where we are staying, and couldn’t resist!  This time I got a sugar cone filled with a scoop of Turtle ice cream, which was vanilla ice cream combined with caramel, chocolate chips, and pecans.  Again, it was delicious!

For dinner, we ate at a restaurant called The Waterfront Restaurant, which overlooks Tampa Bay and the Anna Maria Island City Pier! I had Wasabi Tuna with a small side of seaweed salad, their grain of the day, which was a sort of rice pilaf, and a glass of Lola, a Pinot Noir.  Before dinner, I had a Cosmo from their bar.

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I also said that I would post what I wore each day!  Today, I wore two different outfits so here they are, in case you were interested!  The weather was 73 degrees Fahrenheit for most of the day, cooling down to 64 degrees Fahrenheit around dinnertime.

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Keep checking back, Day 4 was spent at Busch Gardens Tampa, and I’ll be posting about that soon!

Bows and Arrows,

Lynda

Anna Maria Island, Day 2

Gulf of Mexico

Gulf of Mexico

Today was my first full day in Anna Maria, Florida.  The weather was great, with a high of 77 degrees Fahrenheit!  Last night after dinner, we went to this cute little store called The General Store & Deli to grab some essentials for the next morning.  One of those things happened to be the muffin I had for breakfast.  They make their own bakery items, and my apple strudel muffin was so great!  I might even consider having another one for breakfast later this week.

Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay

We spent a majority of the day walking around the island and becoming familiar with where things were.  We walked down to both ends of the street called Pine Avenue.  One end of Pine Drive takes you to the Gulf of Mexico, where someone was setting up the cutest little wedding, and at the other end, there is a pier that goes into Tampa Bay.

Just hangin' out by the pier.

Just hangin’ out by the pier.

For lunch, we stopped at this little shop called Poppo’s Taqueria.  I had what they called a “Baby Bowl” which is a pint sized bowl filled with beans, rice, protein, and toppings of your choice.  I filled mine with brown rice, black beans, chicken, Monterey jack cheese, and cilantro.  I also had a side of freshly made chips.  I really liked that this place uses hormone and antibiotic free meats and all of the produce is organic!

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Poppo's Taqueria Baby Bowl

Poppo’s Taqueria Baby Bowl

Laying out in the sun

Laying out in the sun

After lunch, I laid out by the pool for a while, until I decided I wanted to walk down to the ice cream shop, Two Scoops, by the pier.  I had one scoop of Mint Chocolate Chip and one scoop of Pistachio.  Nom.

One scoop of mint chocolate chip and one scoop of pistachio from Two Scoops

One scoop of mint chocolate chip and one scoop of pistachio from Two Scoops

The rest of my day was spent relaxing around the house.  For dinner, we picked up some Margarita pizza from a local sports bar, and I don’t know what sports bar that was, because I was passed out when it was picked up!  So sorry, the sun made me tired!

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Stay tuned for more updates about my week in Anna Maria!

Bows and Arrows, Lynda

Lynda’s Florida Adventure, Travel Day Update

Happy Sunday!

I’ve decided that while I’m on vacation, I would keep a mini journal of the things I did each day, and what I wore.  So each day for this week, I will be updating the blog with little excerpts of my beautiful vacation in the Sunny Anna Maria Island, Florida!

To start things off, I thought I’d do a small post dedicated to the “Travel Day,” which was yesterday, Saturday, March 8th.  We started off in the chilly Raleigh, NC, getting to the airport when the weather was 39 degrees Fahrenheit around 10am.  Our flight stopped in Charlotte, NC before taking us to Tampa, FL.2014-03-08 12.07.26-2

When we arrived, it was 63 degrees, and of course, when I checked my weather app on my phone, it said it was warmer in Raleigh!  How crazy!  We arrived around 3pm and picked up a rental car, and then we drove for about an hour, and sat in a lot of traffic, to finally arrive in Anna Maria, FL.  What a day of traveling!  Because of the fluctuation in weather, this is what I wore!

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Another highlight of the day was dinner.  We ate at a place called Eat Here.  I loved it!  I had fired roasted clams for dinner with a side of Quinoa Vegan salad, which was prepared with a variety of healthy ingredients, some including apricots, shredded carrots, and bell peppers.  I also had two glasses of red wine.  For dessert, the table shared a key lime cheesecake and it had a gingerbread crust!  It was phenomenal!  Our waiter was also great as well.  So if you’re ever in Anna Maria Island, and you’re wondering where to eat, Eat Here!

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Stay posted, for another daily update of what I’m doing and what I’m wearing on my vacation!

Bows and Arrows,

Lynda