Sarasota - Exotic Cars, Downtown Arts & Crafts, Sun N Fun RV Resort & Asolo Rep Theatre

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February 19th 2012
Published: February 22nd 2012
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If we time it right, we get to Sarasota in time for two enjoyable events. The "Exotic Car Show" at St. Armand's Circle on Lido Key and the juried "Downtown Sarasota Arts & Crafts Show." BINGO again this year. The cars were amazing as always and the art show interesting and engaging.

We had lunch at the Columbia Restaurant on St. Armand's Circle on Saturday after the Car Show and at Patrick's new location down town on Sunday. Downtown Sarasota is really looking up! Many of the formerly vacant storefronts are now sporting fun boutiques, high end consignment shops and restaurants. Patrick's had more cache at its previous location; but at least is seems to have survived the move. We spent more time in the new Penzie's Spice Shop than we had anticipated. Fun whiffing various herbs, spices, rubs and blends! Posted recipes are a nice touch. We also stopped in at the new Whole Foods Market on 1st Street. Wonderful concept for an urban supermarket with a designated parking garage and even designated street parking just for Whole Foods' customers!

We're staying at Sun N Fun for a week. It gets bigger (and better) every year. The new fitness center with a huge indoor pool is wonderful. I've been water jogging and tried a work out on a stationary bike in the pool. The new indoor pool is specifically for exercise rather than open swim. The depth is "not over my head," making it great for water aerobics, etc. A transport chair with a lift on the pool deck lets people in wheel chairs transfer and out of the pool. For real swimmers, there are swim lanes, one with a jet that replicates a current. We'll move on from this "resort" park to the more primitive Turtle Beach directly on Siesta Key Beach next week. It's fun to have such totally opposite camping experiences.

We've enjoyed the Asolo Repertory Theatre Company at the Ringling Museum complex in the past; but never so much at the production of "God of Carnage" on a recent Tuesday evening. The show is up until April 6. Wes and I recommend it highly to anyone visiting the Sarasota region. We had great Mexican food at the attractive Mi Pueblo restaurant at the corner of University and Tuttle before heading for the theatre. It was
LOVE Columbia's 1905 SaladLOVE Columbia's 1905 SaladLOVE Columbia's 1905 Salad

We sat outside. We bought a bottle of 1905 dressing at the gift shop; hope it's compares with what our server mixed table side!
an encore visit. The restaurant is family run with a few other Florida locations.

A word about access for the physically challenged. St. Armand's Circle, Downtown Sarasota, restaurants like Columbia, Patrick’s and Mi Pueblo, and everything at Sun N Fun are easily accessible and there seem to be ample designated parking spaces. The Asolo Theatre doesn't have obvious handicap access. I saw a woman struggle up the steps with her walker. A man in a wheel chair relied on several men to "bump" him up the steps. There may have been better access; but it wasn't obvious to us or to this woman and man.

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Additional photos below
Photos: 13, Displayed: 13


1966 Mustang1966 Mustang
1966 Mustang

This was my first new car. Mine was sauterne gold, five speed. I loved that car!
Beautiful CorvetteBeautiful Corvette
Beautiful Corvette

Love this color combination!
Whole Food Tile MuralsWhole Food Tile Murals
Whole Food Tile Murals

Local foodie related tile art by local artists grace the exterior of the Sarasota Whole Foods Market. This one shows a farmer milking a goat. Others involve fishermen, fruit growers, veggie farmers, etc.
Lunch Al Fresco At ColumbiaLunch Al Fresco At Columbia
Lunch Al Fresco At Columbia

Right on St. Armand's Circle with so many shops and restaurants (not a single vacancy). The car show was across the street.
Sniffing & Whiffin at PenzieSniffing & Whiffin at Penzie
Sniffing & Whiffin at Penzie

Just like fine wine, fresh spices are very wiffible! The downtown Sarasota Penzie's is a great addition to the retail mix.
Nice Street Fest Layout!Nice Street Fest Layout!
Nice Street Fest Layout!

Most of the artists booths are along both sides of the center line of the main street in Sarasota. This gives nice exposure to the shops along the sidewalk.
The Set of God of CarnageThe Set of God of Carnage
The Set of God of Carnage

This theatre, on the Ringling Campus, is the home of the Asolo Rep Professional Theatre Company. God of Carnage was amazingly well done. It's here in Sarasota until April 6. Mezz Tix $63 each! We enjoyed a chat with the actors after the play.
Ceiling of Mertz TheatreCeiling of Mertz Theatre
Ceiling of Mertz Theatre

This theatre and another inside the Ringling Museum compound were acquired in Europe, dismantled, and reconstructed as wonderful historic playhouses.

23rd February 2012

Wow, some great cars!
Love following along on your travels. I've eaten at the Columbia restaurant many times. Love the black bean soup and their 1905 salad. That is what we always ordered. Thanks for the memory.

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