It’s a 4-hour drive from where I live in South FL to the Sarasota area and I’m not much of a ‘road trip’ kind of gal. But, circumstances put me on the road to Sarasota twice in the last few months.
The Second Trip
One of my friends from NY bid on a Sarasota rental at a Silent Auction. (She won.) So three friends from NY and three from South Florida convened in Sarasota for a couple of days of ‘girls gone wild‘. That is … “wild” as in playing Rummy-O till 1:00am, no calorie-counting, and drinking at both lunch and dinner. Oh, yeah, we were that naughty!
A bit of irony. In contrast to our peaceful and laid-back surroundings, every time I looked around the living area, there was a pile-up of kindles, ipads, iphones and blackberry(s). We relaxed but we didn’t totally unplug.
The good thing about traveling by car is you’re not restricted to what you bring with you. The 3 of us that drove carried all kinds of foodie treats and, of course, bottles of wine. And the 3 that flew in from NY stopped at the supermarket so there was no shortage of good eats for breakfast and lunch.
Let the party begin!
Sarasota and Environs
Sarasota is a city of contrasts … a little artsy, a little beach-y and laid-back … a totally different vibe than the East Coast.
Here’s the beach side of a spot on Anna Maria Island …
One side is bleached out whiteness and the other in-your-face color.
We also discovered the Burns Square area with its street art, cute little restaurants, fun boutiques, and arts cinema.
[The last 2 photos were processed with a Lightroom preset I learned from Angie Muldowney.]
Lunch at Blu Que, Siesta Key
A fun and very casual spot with live music (even in the afternoon), a parking lot smoker, and good eats/drinks. Featured here are Creamsicle and Cucumber Martinis.
Rooftop Drinks and Tapas at Ceviche
Once again, we’re met with contrasts. Soft and inviting on the outside,
And, lucky us, it was Tapas Tuesday!
And last, but definitely not least, Canta Rana, a true discovery and yet another example of contrasts.
The unassuming exterior belies the experience inside this house which was converted into a restaurant.
That’s mama (hers) and another cook from the kitchen, along with owner/chef Diana Durand and her charming husband. She’s from Peru and he from Puerto Rico — and together they offer up top-notch, artfully-presented, “Peruvian Fusion” cuisine. A few examples of what we ate.
We really enjoyed our dinner at Canta Rana — as well as our girl time together. But all good things must come to an end (or so they say). I’m still testing that theory with a good degree of success!!
Footnote: When traveling the north-south route in Florida during the month of May, the first thing one has to do after a road trip is visit the car wash for “the works”. Love Bugs!