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Feb 4th, 2012, 07:20 AM
  #1
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anna maria island

I hope I don't annoy people by starting a trip report before the trip is finished.

This trip has hardly started. We are on an airplane from BWI to TPA at this very moment. I paid AirTran $4.95 for access to the internet and the collective fodorite wisdom. Jubilada liked ami, I think, so that's where we decided to go. We rented a little house off of pine street with blue shutters for a week. Two bedrooms. Alamo rental car. DS#2 flying from vermont to join us. I think we'll rent bikes for a week. There are supposed to be nice places in ami to eat and look at the water. Bean Point is very pretty. USA Today says it's 80 degrees in Tampa. That's good. That's about all there is to report so far.
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Feb 4th, 2012, 11:12 AM
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Be sure to eat at the SandBar, outside on their deck overlooking their beautiful white sand beach. We make the drive from St Pete just for lunch, although its as much about the setting as anything else! It is indeed a beautiful day today, in this continuous string of beautiful days that have made up this winter. Have a wonderful time.
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Feb 4th, 2012, 11:25 AM
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Have a great time
Thanks for taking us along again
I agree - sunset at the Sandbar
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Feb 4th, 2012, 01:44 PM
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santamonica, I bet you'll have a great time. I'll be there feb !8, so I can hold my jealousy in check.
Definitely rent bikes; Fun and More rentals will bring them to your house. If you like to cook fish go to the Fish Market in Holmes Beach. We like the Waterfront restaurant , where you can look at the bay if you sit outside. Also must go to the restaurant on the end of Rod and Reel Pier at the end of Pine Street for breakfast or a grouper sandwich.
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Feb 4th, 2012, 06:49 PM
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At the end of the day there is much to report. As you might have expected, we survived the landing, then secured our rental car, a big luxurious mazda because they were out of the little cheapo brand we reserved.

renting a car now is different. if you reserve on line you can use a little machine for all the paperwork. you can decline collision insurance by saying no to the machine instead of saying no to some surly person. then the machine sends you out to pick out any car you want out of a line of nifty looking cars. what fun!

then we drove to our house which is really nice, although we can't hear waves or see the water from our house.

then we rented bikes around the corner on pine and tarpon for the week. then we went to the rod and reel pier and had two grouper sandwiches, one with coleslaw and one with french fries. and key lime pie for dessert. boy, was that fun.

then we biked to pedro point and lay in the sun for a while. then I drove back to tampa to pick up ds#2 while dw#1 went swimming and fixed dinner, which we just finished eating.

So much happens on the first day of vacation, so much changes. Now we have a week to do all this over again. Plus go the fish market, the waterfront, and the sandbar. busy, busy.

OO, it's not always 80 degrees and sunny? Starrs, have you been everywhere? Jubilada, your report prompted our trip and we are having a great time. We look forward to finding out more about this little ami place.

Here's our house:

http://www.satorealestate.com/Vacati...ZVTRRTBGRL.jpg
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Feb 4th, 2012, 07:10 PM
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Santamonica, you sure packed a lot into your first day!
I am unfamiliar with pedro point; where is that?
You will find many wonderful beaches to explore, there is beach access everywhere.
The house we stay in is just a few blocks down from rod and reel. If you like to look at shore birds, which are really everywhere in AMI, it is especially nice to walk along the bay either direction for Rod and Reel.
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Feb 4th, 2012, 07:48 PM
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Hey, santamonica, I didn't know you were down here in Florida! Anna Maria island is wonderful - I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

The last two winters here were anything but 80 and sunny (well, sunny, but more like 60 - brrrr) but this winter has been back to normal, so have fun.
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Feb 5th, 2012, 07:42 AM
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Cottage looks lovely and your vacation sounds pretty nice also.
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Feb 5th, 2012, 07:44 AM
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We were in Anna Maria last feb/march and though it was in the low 70's it was gorgeous. And it was 20 at home.
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Feb 6th, 2012, 04:36 PM
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Not much has happened. It rained today. We had blackened grouper yesterday at the city pier instead of fried grouper. I felt the french fries weren't quite as good as the first time. We've watched the sun set twice at the sandbar (it took two days to do this). Tomorrow we go to the Aslmo Theatre in Sarasoto to see Gods of Carnage. I didn't spell the theatre quite right. Are there tasty but cheap restaurants in Sarasota near the theatre you can suggest? And what is the name of the little black birds that fly in a line just above the water at sunset? They aren't as big as pelicans, but they are fun to watch too. And is the cool grey twisty tree in our backyard a jacarranda? I really need to google, but your input would be welcome. Thanks!
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Feb 6th, 2012, 05:28 PM
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Asolo Rep Theatre.
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Feb 6th, 2012, 06:19 PM
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I've googled and can't find evidence that what I thought was pedro point is pedro point. I thought pp was just north of the rod and reel pier, that pp was the northern most point of ami. It's very pretty there, but I think it's not pedro point. I don't know what it is, if it's not pedro point, and I fear I may have gone insane.
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Feb 6th, 2012, 07:19 PM
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Bean Point is the most northernmost point on AMI and it is indeed beautiful. Though rife with rip tides.

And yes, I think that's a jacaranda.

My friend who just returned from sarasota said whatever I do to eat at Indigenous.
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Feb 6th, 2012, 08:26 PM
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Not particularly close and not particularly cheap, but if you haven't eaten at a Columbia restaurant yet in Florida you really should. The original is in Tampa but the others are just as good - IMO anyway. Their sangria is WONDERFUL!

http://www.columbiarestaurant.com/sarasota.asp
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Feb 7th, 2012, 06:09 AM
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I'm so glad to read about a visit to Anna Maria Island. We are heading there for the first time in April--my husband is running for election for the first time in the March 6th primary and we are so tired and so ready for a vacation. Wish we didn't have to wait until April.

Mrs. Romney and Mrs. Gingrich are not doing the tons of computer/reporting/spreadsheet/paperwork I am doing.

I haven't had time to be on Fodors lately but came back for a quick Anna Maria Island search. Thanks for reporting. I'll check back. I appreciate all your suggestions.
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Feb 7th, 2012, 07:42 AM
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Thanks very much. Bean point. Point taken. Sorta cloudy today so we may spend most of the afternoon in Indigenous and Colombia. Life is tough here in florida. I'm going out biking until my family wakes up.
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Feb 7th, 2012, 01:01 PM
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Are your birds Skimmers by chance Santamonica?

http://www.google.com/search?um=1&hl...41l141l0.1l1l0

Or Oystercatchers?
http://www.google.com/search?q=oyste...GYW5twe-kMWfBw

I'm sorry for the icky day today! At least it was a warm icky.
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Feb 7th, 2012, 01:14 PM
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"Oystercatcher" takes me back to the Tampa Hyatt, OO
If y'all were there in the early 90s, I was there every Jan-March and we had special dinners there often.
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Feb 7th, 2012, 01:55 PM
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I didn't know you had history there atarrs! We were transferred there in '97, and stayed a little over 8 years. What a great restaurant, huh? Unfortunately they have since ruined the decor, made it sleek NY and who is looking for that when they come to FL? We lived in one of the casitas back there and DH walked to work over the boardwalk. We loved our time in FL, and got back here as quickly as our little feet would take us at retirement. It was coming home. I didn't know you had history there too! If you go back today, much of the waitstaff from those days are still there and I imagine we know some of the same ones you got to know. Fun place. Terrific food! A little loud but that was part of the charm.
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Feb 7th, 2012, 02:12 PM
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We had REALLY BIG functions there (your Hyatt) at different times of the year and I was in the area (for work) for 3 months every year. Unfortunately, we were planted at the dreary Holiday Inn on Westshore for those months (along with all of the 4 to a room, smoking bowling teams from the northern states) but we had our "big" dinners at Oystercatchers or at the city club not far away. That neighborhood really started feeling like "home". I still miss Alessi's and the little family owned Cuban restaurant.

We had the option of flying back if we wanted on the weekends or staying over and playing. Other than being away from home for such long stretches of time, it was pretty sweet
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