There’s nothing like a long weekend spent in Florida with a bunch of people who you really love .. and needed some quality time with. Joe was going out of town to work, so I took this trip on my own. Mandy came down and stayed … which was pretty amazing. It took no time for us to fall back into our routine :) We managed to see a Ray’s game at Tropicana Field … Caca and George are HUGE Rays fans .. so it was interesting to sit beside them.. after two extra (stressful) innings, The Rays won!

I really wanted to bring Mandy to The Ringling Estate … so… I did.. she loved it! We got so held up in the circus part of the property that we never made it to the art museum (sadly) — but the palace, Ca d’Zan : House of John – is what we couldn’t get enough of. The gardens, the marble, the glass, the paintings, chandeliers .. the Banyan trees, so many beautiful colors and views.

The rose gardens.. my favorite. We were so happy walking through and sniffing away
(Mandy, your favorite was “Elegant Lady“)

Both Mandy and the 60 year old store clerk convinced me to buy a John Ringling hat which I probably will never wear.. but is cute. I guess.

Afterward we headed over to St. Armand’s Circle, grabbed a bite, and shopped at Fresh Produce! This was my first time in Fresh Produce store and I LOVED IT! I’ve seen their stuff down the shore in a few different shops, and have noticed a few advertisements where they are gearing more toward a woman my age (both my Mom and Joe’s Mom LOVE FP .. it can be a little older lady..) We scored though .. I got a comfy black skirt that I will probably wear all summer, a soft white teeshirt and a mauve sweatshirt that is so comfy (skirt and sweatshirt pictured below) — Mandy got the white sweater she is wearing below. All well made, in America.. good stuff. Also, they blog! and are on Facebook! and other social media ..

We chased a sunset down Lido Key and ended up on a white sand beach to watch the sun fall into the horizon. It was so very picturesque.

The next day we beached it for the afternoon (Siesta Key) then ALL ABOARD onto LeBarge Tropical Cruises for a sunset booze cruise .. we call it “The Tacky Boat” because it has palm trees growing out of it and mirrored mermaids and a guy singing Jimmy Buffet’ish music (his name is CB, we became friends) … oh yeah, mixed drinks, too.

After we went back to the house, Caca and George just got back from a Rays game (they won again!) I busted out the bindis I bought everyone for the trip (third eye problems) and we played some board games.. and laughed a lot.

It was a great trip. Are you familiar with Sarasota area? It’s so beautiful down there.

iIf you thought this was a lot of pictures, check out the full album on Facebook! I just couldn’t decide which ones where my favorites… too much fun… :)

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