The sky outside my office window was blue, the temperature was moderate, and I thought to myself what a perfect day to visit Siesta Key. So I dragged Casey out of bed (that seems to be the norm lately), again packed up the car with a few necessities, programmed the GPSr and we were off.
It took us about 30 minutes by car, but we found the pubic beach parking lot without difficulty.
Now, we had been told how beautiful this place was. We've seen it on television, we've read about it on message boards, and our relatives had delegated it a must see attraction. Still, we were not prepared for how truly breathtaking Siesta Key Beach is.
The shores are mostly mineral quartz, ultimately derived from the southern Appalachian Mountains. Over millenniums, sand grains were carried by rivers into the Gulf and down the coast (at least that's what the sign said). What does this mean? It means sand so white and so soft it's almost surreal. As soon as we walked on to the beach Casey dropped to her knees and started digging in the sand. It almost feels like silk! It's cool to the touch, too, despite the sun beating down on it. Immediately we decided that we will visit here again.
So we set up camp next to a life guard station, and jumped into the green water. The water was calm and warm ... it was great! You could wade out forever and only be waist deep - perfect for playing catch. There were lots of little fish, too, but we forgot our snorkel stuff in Albuquerque. Still it was fun watching them swim around in the shallow water.
It wasn't long before we noticed all of the skimboarders again. Some of these guys are pretty good! Not much longer after that is when we noticed the surf shop. As you can tell from the photo, our newest piece of sports equipment that we will
Casey practiced and practiced and actually did quite well! Everyone who noticed her offered words of encouragement and advice ... she must have been the youngest person out there trying to break their neck. You know it's a tough sport when a major accomplishment is not falling down for three seconds!
It ended up clouding up after three days of forecasted showers, and when the thunder and sprinkles started we decided to take a break and grab lunch. Per our life guard's recommendation, we drove about a mile up the road to the Old Salty Dog. The menu is good if you like fried food or fried food (they had fried macaroni and cheese on the kids menu for goodness sake!) Casey ordered the BLT, I got the blackened grouper sandwich, and we collaboratively decided that the lifeguard is taking kickbacks for referring wet behind the ears tourists to them.
It stopped raining at some point, so we decided to go back to the beach before heading home. It didn't take long for the dark clouds to roll in, but she got a little more practice time in at least. And then something incredible happened - IT RAINED! It waited until I was trying to drive home during 3:30pm traffic (is that when the early bird specials start here or something?) but at least it rained! So we're home now safe and sound, and getting ready to settle in for a night of Bedknobs and Broomsticks.
See you tomorrow!