All week long the weathermen and women predicted chilly weather for today (with lows in the mid-40s), so we thought it would be a great time to make an outing to Sarasota. Upon learning of our destination, the neighbor across the street commented that we would be fine as long as we didn’t plan on going to the beach. Donning our jeans, long sleeve shirts, three-quarter zips, and raincoats, we set out to explore.
A friend in Bloomington told me that Sarasota is a place one needs to visit when in Florida, and I’m sure he’s right. But even though I have been to Sarasota and back today, I doubt I’ve seen any of the highlights he had in mind. In keeping with my goal of visiting yarn shops whenever possible, our first stop was “A Good Yarn,” on the south side of Sarasota. Almost immediately upon entering the store we encountered a stunning display of knitted (and perhaps crocheted) sea creatures. Someone had a lot of fun crafting these!
I left the store without any yarn (it’s hard to buy any more since I brought way too much with me on this trip), but lots of ideas for new projects. I felt happy, but hungry, so the next stop was Isan Thai, just up the road a short distance. The restaurant may lack a little in curb appeal, but inside it is quite charming with lots of gold-embellished wood-carved ornamentation. The food was delicious! We shared Won Ton soup, Pad Thai and a dish of fried tofu, cabbage, broccoli, and carrots covered with peanut sauce, all enjoyed over rice. By meal’s end, we decided that we didn’t feel like braving the traffic the rest of the way into Sarasota. Maybe next time.
Instead, we drove across a nearby bridge to Siesta Key. Turning south, we drove past a number of sumptuous homes and soon found ourselves at Turtle Beach. I know, this morning we had been advised to avoid the beach! A sand path led to the beach, and on the horizon we saw surfers in full body suits resting on their surf boards as they waited to catch a wave. I couldn’t resist picking shells from the densely packed sand. As I held them in my hand to shake off the sand, I marveled at how ordinary, yet special, shells are. Just like people.
We made one more stop on the drive home. Florida is dotted with fruit and vegetable stands and the tent where we stopped overflowed with deep red tomatoes, strawberries, oranges the size of grapefruits, green beans, lettuce, eggplant, squash, orange blossom and wildflower honey, and more. Upon asking where it came from, the clerk motioned to an opening at the back of the tent where we saw rows upon rows of loaded cherry tomato plants. Most of the green vegetables come from this farm, while the oranges are grown down the road a few miles. Fresh produce! Once home, I washed and prepared a few of the juicy, sun-sweetened strawberries for a mid-afternoon snack. Delicious!
My trip to Sarasota was delightful even though I’ve yet to see any of the sites the AAA travel book recommends. They will have to wait for another day!