Blogs from Sarasota, Florida, United States, North America

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March 10th – Myakka Park On Monday we visited Myakka River State Park, one of the oldest and largest parks in Florida. The river itself is designated a Wild and Scenic River. The park is a wildlife sanctuary, not a zoo or a botanical garden, so it is not outwardly beautiful, and animal sightings are not guaranteed. We took both the guided boat tour and the tram tour and we learned a lot about the native plants and animals as well as the history of the area. Originally, the 28,000-acre tract was a fertile prairie, ideal for cattle ranching. Today, due to various factors, most involving human intervention, the area is quite different. So now the State of Florida has several programs in place to either reverse the changes or at least maintain the status quo. ... read more
Gail with Black Vultures on Myakka Lake
Here's Looking At You
How Many Alligators Can You Count

North America » United States » Florida » Sarasota » Siesta Key March 4th 2014

We arrived here last week in Sarasota and were at first a bit disappointed. This is a huge park, very densely populated. However, the pools, hot tubs, and other amenities make up for the tight un-landscaped sites. The people are also very friendly: we were warmly welcomed into the shuffleboard games held each morning. Our first venture out and about was to Siesta Key Beach, named the #1 beach in the country. The sand is indeed white and soft. Yesterday we visited the John and Mable Ringling estate, a beautifully landscaped 66-acre complex. We first toured his extravagant Venetian style mansion overlooking Sarasota Bay. All the furnishings are originals as John and Mable were the only owners. After their deaths the house was gifted to the State of Florida, so every thing we saw was as ... read more
Site Photo
Gail at Siesta Beach
Ringling Mansion 1

North America » United States » Florida » Sarasota February 10th 2014

Hello everyone Before I set off to meet Mickey tomorrow I better get a few days of blog up to date. Suz and I have continued to have excellent weather hot and sunny , sometimes a wee bit humid but we are not complaining and I am well aware that the photos I am sending are brightening up the grey days of rainy England for some of you. So after cruising we got our rental car and set off from Tampa south to a town along the Gulf Coast - Englewood where we had a few days Intervac Hospitality exchange and were hosted by the lovely Sharon and Theron...thank you both...and I look forward to seeing you at my home in the summer. for those three days we zoomed around and enjoyed Venice Beach, Sarasota and ... read more
Great Wall Murals
Sarasota and Venice
Houses in Burns Court Sarasota


It was pitter pattering on the roof again this morning but the sky looked brighter and the weather man assured us all that the clouds would clear by 11 am. I had fallen asleep at 9 last night and it was now 8 am, 11 hrs, guess I was tired. Oscar never made it' to his bed last night, we shared. I got my blog together from the day before and got that off while I had my wonderful coffee. The shower this morning was much better as the day was warmer. I remembered that I had to check the schedule for the tram today to see if they were running so Oscar and I walked to the landing again. Boy, can you ever tell that it’s Saturday, there are people everywhere. So I bought my ... read more
roseate spoonbill
white egret w mating plummage
wood stork


The weather man promised a partly sunny day so I was looking forward to seeing the sun. He lied. I woke to the pitter patter on the roof again and this time the reporter said the front had stalled and would be here all day. Ok, on to plan B. I played on the computer, watched tv and continued to further mess up the house. (I can’t believe how much of a disaster we can make in such a short time). Yes, Oscar is to blame here too, there is sand and hair everywhere. I guess he’s loosing his winter coat. About noon the rain stopped so we went out for a walk to see what was up. We walked to the dock area and found that the air boat was running and the man at ... read more
our guide
white egret
blue heron

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I had a wonderful sleep last night and woke just before 7 to the sound of pitter-patter on the roof. Yes, it was raining, and cool too. I had a very leisurely morning having coffee, watching tv and doing a little on the computer. I am having trouble today with the internet, my hot-spot isn’t getting a signal all the time, phone too. Hopefully it’s the cloud cover causing the problem. I had a shower and froze my butt off. There is no heat in the shower room and because it was so cold today the air in the bathroom was about 50 degrees and the water isn’t hot enough to warm up the body. They adjust the showers so it is not possible to burn yourself and normally it’s ok, but NOT today. After breakfast ... read more
the same fern after an overnight rain
can't I come in?
wood storks sleeping in the rain with flemingos


The day started with raindrops on the rooftop. I wanted to get up early (7:30) because there was a coffee and donut social that couldn’t be missed. The rain cleared in time to take Oscar for a walk and I even had time to throw the ingredients in my new crock pot for chili tonight. Off I went to the Log Cabin, coffee cup in hand. The local volunteers conduct this social weekly to help inform and make welcome the campers who stay at the park. It was a huge success and I ended up meeting a couple that have a daughter who lives in Scranton and teaches in the Pocono school district. Small world. I was able to get some tips on where to stay and things to do, not only here but further south ... read more
black vulture party
Great Egret w mating plumage
couldn't resist a close up


Myakka River Oh how I love the Florida State Parks. I left Clermont this morning about 11 am after saying good-bye to my camping buds. I love spending time with them and they have taught me so much about this wonderful experience called camping. But it’s time to move on. I drove through the interior of FL on smaller roads choosing to by-pass the interstate. It took a little longer but I sure got to see what makes FL tick. It’s the cattle ranches and orange groves. There were tractor trailer trucks filled with orange balls so full that when some turned a corner, oranges spilled out onto the road. They were going to the processing plants which are scattered throughout the country-side. The juice oranges are ripening now and also the small navel oranges with ... read more
our campsite
storks ???
close enough ?

North America » United States » Florida » Sarasota December 24th 2013

All suitcases packed! We are leaving early Dec. 25 in the morning to Miami to catch our 3:50pm flight into Dusseldorf. We arrive approximately at 6am and once we pick up the rental car we are off. Cross your fingers that everything fits in the rental. They said it fit 3 suitcases and two carryon. Our first stop is Aachen, Germany at the point where Germany borders on Belgium and the Netherlands. Historically this spa-town was a prominent city, the place where the German Kings were crowned, and a famously favored residence of Charlemagne who still lies buried in the impressive cathedral he himself had built. The city is packed with historic sites that remind of those days, including medieval buildings, city gates and beautiful fountains. Our next stop is Vaals. The small Dutch town directly ... read more

North America » United States » Florida » Sarasota April 10th 2013

Wednesday we planned an ambitious day. From our encounters with locals, we were told it was possible to bike to Lido Beach from where we were staying. We had driven it and I personally was a little nervous but willing to challenge myself. We wanted to make sure we got a good breakfast, so we stopped by the Toasted Mango Café. We opted to sit outside which was an experience of its own. We were sat next to a couple who decided it was completely appropriate to decide to skype with their daughter while they ate and have her on speaker phone as well, so pretty much we were all part of that conversation. It was so ridiculous all we could do was laugh. With a good breakfast to fuel us up we headed for the ... read more




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