Visiting Florida 03/06

Photos:

Tampa and Ybor city
| Sarasota | Naples | Houses | Family | Flowers | Fish Florida Aquarium | Birds | Beach Scenes

Links:

Tampa city gov | Ybor city museum | Ybor city chamber of commerce | | Sarasota Chamber of Commerce | Sarasota com commercial site | another Sarasota commerical site | Sarasota Circus info | Sarasota newspaper | Ringling Museum of Art | Marie Selby Botanical Gardens Orchids in Sarasota | Naples Chamber of Commerce | Naples tourism | Sanibel Captiva island Chamber of Commerce | Sanibel Tourism | Beachhouse restaurant Bradenton Beach |

Our trip in a nutshell:

Fleeing the cold north, leaving the fog caused by melting snow, we arrived in Tampa around noon. Curious about the Florida aquarium, we took a peek and stayed to eat (not the museum critters) and enjoy the flora and fauna and fish. When a tramway went by the museum entrance, and as my grandfather had been a ticket collector on the Chicago trams, we decided to hitch a ride to Ybor city. It was worth it. I had never visited Ybor city in all the years of living in Florida, even though my junior high school Spanish teacher hailed from there. The Cubans had lived there for many years rolling tobacco for cigars. Ybor city has been restored to its glory, with shops, restaurants and clubs. It was fun to walk around then take the trolley car back to our parked car. We high tailed it to Bradenton, looking forward to seeing my aunt and uncle who were fit as a fiddle. They were both golfing and enjoying their retirement. The weather was wonderful, warm and sunny. We visited old haunts in Sarasota like Ringling Museum and downtown. We had time to go to the city of Naples twice to see art museum and galleries. On the way back we stopped at Sanibel island, famous for its shells. We even had time to dip our feet in the Gulf of Mexico waters at the beach. One of the highlights of the trip was watching the sun set while eating at the beach with my aunt and uncle. We participated in a Saint Patrick day party at their condo with a wonderful amateur talent show. We had a fantastic restful visit with my family.

Sarasota and Florida have changed since 1966, more people, more condos and more cars. The beach is still beautiful, the weather is still clement but I wonder for how long? Read Carl Hiaasen's books to find out where Florida is going: Skin Tight , Native Tongue, Strip Tease, Stormy Weather , Lucky You, Sick Puppy, Basket Case and Skinny Dip.