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Trip Report First Trip to Anna Maria Island

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We had a great time on Anna Maria Island. The beach is beautiful and it was 85 degrees and sunny everyday except Thursday.

My husband and I actually drove to Florida; something we haven't done in 25 years. We flew our 2 children down (they are 29 and 31 now---oh my--and still single). Our daughter lives in Chicago and our son lives in Columbus. We had a great time.

We stayed at Anna Maria Island Club in a 2br/2ba condo. It was great to have morning coffee on the balcony and be greeted every morning with that fabulous view of the beach and the gulf. We spent most of our time on that balcony; ate our meals, checked email, had our happy hours and watched a few sunsets.

This trip was all about relaxing. We started our morning on the balcony, walked the beach every morning, had breakfast, took chairs and the umbrella to the beach, read, slept, chilled at the beach, had lunch on the balcony, back to the beach or pool, happy hour, and then out to dinner........then repeated that daily.

My husband did hit a few golf balls at the driving range but never did play a round of golf.

On Thursday, we kayaked through the Robinson Preserve. What a special place the preserve is! We paddled through a mangrove tunnel and then followed the waterway map to the tower. I had only kayaked once before on the Cuyahoga River; our kids had never kayaked. It was really enjoyable. I would have loved to have ridden bikes or even walked through the trails. We didn't realize until Thursday that you could access the trails from Manatee Blvd.

We enjoyed the casual restaurants on Anna Maria--so many are on the water and so many seemed to have nightly entertainment. We were totally surprised to walk by the Bridgetender and see Bridget's Cross from Cleveland there performing. We are Irish Festival groupies and they are regular performers at our area festivals.

We ate dinner at:
The Bridgetender
Sandbar
Bridge Street Bistro--actually we ate downstairs at Island Time--I thought we were at Bridge Street Bistro--didn't realize that was upstairs
The Gulf Drive Cafe
Star Fish Company in Cortez
Ordered pizza and salad from Omas

We tried to eat at Rod and Reel. We stopped by one evening and the dock was just packed with people waiting to eat, the wait was estimated at about an hour. We left that night but went back our last night because it was actually the one place I really wanted to eat. We waited about 45 minutes and got seated at about 8:45. We sat at an outside table under the lighted OPEN sign. There were bugs that were swarming the sign, knocking themselves out when they hit the glass and landing on our table. They were cleaning off a table inside and we asked if we could move inside. I guess they must have had a bad night because they told us this was Florida, they have bugs and no we couldn't move inside. (We live with Ohio mosquitos, we camp, we know bugs.)They suggested I carry the bug wipes in my purse and told us that if we wanted to sit inside we would have to go back down and get in line and then they could possibly seat us inside. We were nice when we asked. I didn't ask why they wouldn't move us--the table was empty, we hadn't touched anything on our table. I guess they have a policy--they didn't say that, or maybe they were tired of people complaining, or maybe they didn't like us. We decided to leave---there was only one other group on the dock waiting to be seated.

Other than our experience at Rod and Reel, we enjoyed our first visit to Anna Maria Island. It was affordable, relaxing and the weather really cooperated.

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