Travel

A Sleepy Evening

Our night did not go as planned, but flexibility is a needed trait when traveling with a small child. Our daughter never did get take that nap mentioned previously. She did however fall asleep shortly after our stroll around St. Armand’s Circle. We missed the Arts Festival as the vendors were closing up shop for the day as we arrived at 5pm. Instead we casually walked the rotary, buying a kid’s orange (her new favorite color) bucket hat and a small stuffed surfer shark in the interesting Crazy Shirts store. There were 4 young men on a bench singing cover songs and playing guitar and bongos in front of the Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream shop. We stopped to take in a song and let our girl drop a dollar into their tip container (appropriately enough, an old bucket hat). After completing the circle we hopped into the car for a drive up the coast, past Longboat Key to the northern tip of the Gulf Islands – Anna Maria Island. Our daughter promptly fell asleep and missed the entire journey. We did notice however that every beach above Longboat Key (which has no public beach) children’s play equipment – jungle gym, tunnels, slides – all new in appearance, right on the sand. This is a great feature for those kid’s less interested in the salt water. Mom and Dad enjoyed a delicious homemade chocolate dipped waffle cone of Mint Chip ice cream from Mama Lo’s on Anna Maria Island. A nice little spot serving breakfast and lunch along with their award winning ice creams. Prices are on par with many ice cream shoppes – expect to pay $3 for a single and $4 for a double scoop. They feature dozens of flavors, with varities ranging from the traditional to the unexpected (dirt and worms, for example, which involves gummy worms). They also sell baggies of broken up chocolate dipped waffle cones for $1. Yum!
We drove back to downtowm Sarasota for dinner, opting this time to take route 41 through Bradenton. Nothing worthwhile to report on this drive. We decided to have a lite dinner as it was already nearing 7:30pm and our little one had just woken up in a strange mood (7:30pm would normally be the start of her bedtime process, so we knew this night was going to be a bit odd). We found ourselves at Mattison’s City Grille, an outdoor only place in downtown Sarasota owned by local celebrity chef Paul Mattison. The restaurant itself is quite beautiful with black iron fencing surrounding the seating area and metal torches illuminating the night sky along every 6 feet of fence. Most of the tables, and the bar, are underneath a thick, tall canopy but a few seats are under nothing but the stars and this is where we sat, at the kind of big wooden table you might see in the Napa Style catalog – made from real tree trunks. Very cool. Their saturday night house band The Jazz Factor was playing motown and r&b favorites and our daughter was diggin’ it. She was swaying in her seat throughout dinner. As far as food, we ordered a chicken ceasar salad and a Caprese brick oven pizza (some of the best pizza we have ever had). There was no children’s menu, but highchairs were available and the one provided to us was clean. We shared both entree’s as a family and left the restaurant at 9pm. Fortunately, OWTK Mom was able to get the crazy child into bed without some sort of normalcy and we all enjoyed a well deserved rest after the first full day.

Sunday morning saw the OWTK trio rise at 9am, have a lite breakfast in the room (carried up from the lobby), and now it is off to the Mote Aquarium!

Until later…


Jeff
http://www.outwiththekids.com

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