You can't go to Florida on a vacation and not go to the beach, so with temperatures in the 80s and few clouds in the sky, we (Aunt Kay, Uncle Bob, Jenna and I) headed west to Anna Maria Island.
Holmes Beach is the beach of my youth. I don't think we've ever gone to any other beach when we're down here, because there's no reason to do so. It's close (10 miles away) and it's gorgeous. The beautiful white sand and wide beaches are all you could ask for in a beach. I've parasailed above it and sunbathed on it, and it's about as good as it gets.
Jenna was on a quest to find a shark's tooth, but the beach was pretty barren as far as beaches go. We've been here when there was much more shell debris washed up, but don't you know, she found one before we'd gone too far down the beach. She and I had had a shark tooth finding contest on a previous trip and I'd won ... 26-25 ... but today, she was the winner, because I didn't find a single one.
We brought sunscreen, but in our excitement of just being on the beach, neither Jenna nor I put any on. Nearly four hours later, we realized we'd made a mistake. We knew we should have left about an hour earlier, but we'll be okay.
We walked quite a distance north along the shore, although we didn't quite go all the way to the northern point of the island, as we'd done in past trips. We ate our lunch there at Cafe on the Beach.
When we were ready to go, we made our traditional visit to Sun and Surf, which has various tropical birds in large cages outside the front of their store. They have been there for years and it's fun to visit them and talk to them, because they talk back. Bullwinkle was especially talkative, with "Hello!" and "Bye" being the bulk of his vocabulary. There were several very colorful birds and seeing them up close and personal is always amazing.
We swung by the big Banyan tree that we'd taken the girls to see many, many years ago, when they were small. I remembered that we'd driven the minivan under it and you still can.
On the way home, we stopped at SweetBerrieS for frozen custard. I had the Razzmatazz, which was chocolate custard, raspberries and pecans. Yum! Perfect ending for a beach day, don't you think?