Siesta Beach – The Best in the US

Thursday September 4, 2015

Siesta Beach Siesta Key

There was no way we could visit Siesta Key with out visiting it’s beach.  The #1 beach in the USA in 2011 actually.  Even on our overcast skies and windy day walks on there we could see why.  Going with the sun beating down on us the next day though upped it’s beauty even more.

The house we’re staying at made it super easy to get to the beach with everything you needed.  Deciding against stocking the giant cooler that was sitting in the closet, we did fill up the plastic beach wagon with an umbrella, beach mats, and some swim noodles.  There was an option for lounge chairs but we left those behind as well. Walking the two blocks to the shore entrance we passed by a few of the town’s cute little shops and restaurants as well as the Daiquiri Deck across the street.  A place I am still trying to drag Matt to so I can sample one of it’s 25 different kinds of daiquiris.  Things would be so much easier if I were married to someone that liked to drink.

We were both quite agreed about a day of sand, sun, and sea though, so it was a good thing we were headed to a beach that was just rated on Trip Advisor as 2015’s Most Beautiful Beach in the US. (Also ranked #1 in 2011 by Dr. Beach). After having spent 8 hours a day, 6-7 days a week for the past month sitting in our hot and sticky boat yard in Indiantown we were so desperate to feel a sea breeze across our faces again that we would have taken almost anything with a water view, but luckily fate dropped this gorgeous beach in our laps instead.

The remnants of Hurricane Erika were kicking up some large waves rolling into the shore, something I could not wait to dive into, but it also meant she was giving us a hell of a time trying to anchor our beach umbrella.  There were a few cases of it almost turning into a Benni Hill chase scene with the umbrella constantly trying to outsmart our moves as the wind took it from one direction to another, but eventually we found a position that work and threw our mats under it’s shade.

A little bit of our time was spent doing a little people watching from under our newly established cover.  It’s so rare now that we see anyone new in our days, it seems like the gawking police are called if a transient boat ever makes it way into the marina, so this non thrilling pasttime of ours suddenly turned into an Olympic event of being able to spot the smallest trace of moment on the sand and zeroing in on it with hawk-like intensity.  Once we got over the initial amazement of ‘Wow, when did all the women in the US begin wearing Brazilian or thong bikinis?’ it was time to try out the water.

Due to the recent number of shark attacks on humans this summer we were a little hesitant to wade into the water since these waves were kicking up enough sand that we couldn’t see anything through it.  Was that a stick that just bumped into my ankle or am I about to become the turf part of a shark’s surf n’ turf lunch?  Getting over my initial fear I jumped into the next wave that rolled past me and just had to remind myself that I’ve had a good run so far.  If a shark were about to take me out?  Well…what a way to go.

The water was sitting at a heated 87° and although I hadn’t been looking for anything ‘refreshing’ this was the perfect wave pool for me to play around in.  I had so much fun jumping in and out of the waves that when I tired myself out I went back to shore to grab my water noodle so I could hang out in it and let the waves to all the work of pushing me around.  After seeing that I was still in one piece after all this time, Matt joined me for a bit of wave surfing and we forgot all about that hunk of metal back in Indiantown as we enjoyed this perfect afternoon.

When I was too tired for even the noodle to keep me afloat any longer we both made our way back to shore and passed out on beach, breath heavy and utterly exhausted in the best way.  With our heads only able to rest on our arms for support we watched all the shore birds prance through the perfectly white sand that the beach is famous for.  I contemplated coming back later with a few pails and a shovel to make sandcastles but my brain was nearly on off mode and it was just a fleeting idea that left as soon as it had come.

Trying to rally for a second round in the water, we instead began to show our age as the comfort of a bed and an afternoon nap were calling just a little louder.  The extended swimming and sandcastles would have to wait for another day.  With just enough energy we packed our belongings back up and headed back to the house.

Siesta Beach Siesta Key Florida

Matt at Siesta Beach

Siesta Beach Siesta Key Florida

Siesta Beach Siesta Key Florida

Jessica at Siesta Beach

 In true ‘me’ form, I crawled into bed completely spent but could not fall asleep.  Tossing and turning for 20 minutes I decided my time might be better spent by the pool with a good book and a cold beer.  Pulling out the Heady Topper I was gifted for my birthday and my World Beer Tour out of the fridge, I sprawled out on one of the lounge chairs in our private pool area.

After being so stubborn about not taking a vacation or any time away from boat work for so many months, I have no idea why we didn’t pull ourselves away sooner.  This week has been so relaxing and exactly what we needed to regroup ourselves for what will be many more months of boat work to come.  Thank you again so much Bill and Lindsay for the stay at Sunnyside Properties, there’s not a better place we could have gone to get away from it all.

Jessica by pool

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Picturesque Siesta Beach

Wednesday September 2, 2015

Trail head Siesta Beach

Although Matt and I did take our 3 mile walk around Siesta Beach yesterday afternoon, it wasn’t enough for me.  Not enough beach time, and not nearly enough camera time.  Mostly because, due to my own oversight, I had stuffed my camera in my purse next to an ice cold can of Pepsi, so when I broke it out to snap a few photos the lens was completely fogged up and I was able to shoot a whole lotta nadda.  Plus, there are only so many times I can say to Matt, “Hold up a second, I want to get a photo”.

That’s why when all of our daily activity had tuckered Matt out and he needed a nap in the afternoon, I decided to take the five minute walk back with my camera, and no cold sodas to ruin my shots this time.  The day was still overcast and gusty with large waves rolling into the shore.  Normally this beach looks to be quite calm (from all the photos I researched online) with almost Bahamian pristine waters, but hurricane Erika was doing her best to stir them up a little.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t sometimes love this kind of weather though.  With all the sun and heat we’ve been enduring back at the boat yard it was nice to get a little shade and a fresh breeze.  Plus I was just hoping that the sky would grow black at any moment and I could watch a thunderstorm roll in over the water.  No such luck though.  What I did end up with was a wonderful 20 minute stroll through the sand, and five minutes of waiting for one of my flip flops to wash up back to me on shore after I neglected to keep an eye on them from waves as I strolled down one of the sandbars barefoot.  And since I’m on my last pair of Havaianas, that would have been a real shame.

Trail to Siesta Beach

homes on Siesta Beach

Siesta Beach, Siesta Key

big waves on Siesta Beach

sand bar on Siesta Beach

Siesta Beach, Siesta Key Florida

overcast skies on Siesta Beach

Siesta Beach, Siesta Key Florida

birds on Siesta Beach

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Vacation Time at Siesta Key

Monday August 31, 2015

villa Sunnyside Properties Siesta Key
I’m sure I’ve said it before, but it needs to be repeated again.  I have the best blog followers ever.  You guys rule!, and because of you I’ve been having an amazing birthday week in Florida.

If you remember back to a few weeks before my birthday, I put a post up about my World Beer Tour and mentioned I was trying to grow my US portion if anyone wanted to send a bottle for my birthday.  It didn’t take long to start getting some amazing brews as well as gift cards with suggestions in the mail, and I was busy typing up thank you letters to those who had sent me something special to try. Getting an email back from one of the people who’d sent me three pairs of enticing drinks to try, they offered Matt and I even more than just beer and the best birthday present anyone could ask for (although I am reminded by my friend Ana Bianca that we did get a romantic couples massage for my birthday two years ago in Antigua).

Long story short, we found they owned a few condos through Sunnyside Properties on Siesta Key, just next to Sarasota, and since it was the low season, would we fancy a week stay in one of their available units as long as no one rented it last minute?  Ummmm…heck yes!!  Browsing through their 1, 2, & 3 bedroom units, we had originally chosen the 2 bedroom that sits right on the Gulf down on Turtle Beach, but it did happen to fill up with renters last minute so we settled on a 3 bedroom at Seaside Villa, only two blocks from Siesta Beach.  Like settling would really be the word for it. Instead of going for the 1 bedroom at the same location we asked for the multiple bedroom because we assumed someone would be able to join us between local friends or family members that had been talking about coming down for a visit.  Sadly everyone was booked up and we had to take on this huge villa ourselves.  With it’s large kitchen and jacuzzi in the master suite.  Such a shame we had to end up here….

Siesta Key condo front

Photo courtesy of Sunnyside Properties.

kitchen in villa, Siesta Key

After leaving Indiantown late yesterday morning during a torrential downpour, some kind of side effect from Hurricane Erika I’m sure, we arrived at the property around 3 in the afternoon, having made sure to hit up a Publix on our way to stock ourselves up on a few days of food. As well as a 6 pk of Lagunitas IPA, a World Tour beer gift that did not take us more than 20 minutes to break into once we arrived.

Matt drinking beer

Since it was later in the afternoon and we had not had a real day off of work since our friends Scott and Kim came to visit us, we were happy to just lounge around the villa our first day there.  A little tv watching and some time by the pool, which I totally would have been in had we wandered down there just a little earlier.  And yes, that is my computer in front of me, but I only had an hour before it was time to start dinner and that is in no way enough time to get into a really good book. At least I made the effort to put my swim suit on in the hopes of catching a few afternoon rays.

Jessica with wine

Matt watching tv

pool at Sunnyside Villa Siesta Key

Jessica on computer

For dinner our first night there I at last had access to a full kitchen again and used it accordingly.  Is it sad that part of the reason I wanted this villa was just so I could use it’s expansive kitchen space?  Don’t hate.  I’ve been cooking solely grilled meals for the past two and a half months now.  Having multiple burners at my disposal I whipped up one of mine and Matt’s favorite pastas which has chicken, bacon, broccoli, and onions in a garlic alfredo sauce.  So bad for you, but oh so tasty.  Then our first night was ended with a few glasses of wine, a soak in the jacuzzi, and a marathon of shows on the History Channel, watched comfortably from our bed.

cooking dinner

 Late this morning we walked the entire length of Siesta Beach, about a mile and a half down and then back up. Not something we were planning to do, but once we passed the main beach access we couldn’t find an exit to the main road and didn’t come up to one again until we were literally at the end of the beach and it dead ended into private property.  It seemed like everything was condos and private property and only had beach access for it’s guests.

We had wanted to take a nice stroll through town on our way back to get a feel for the island, but should have realized immediately that if condos were lining the beach front, that’s all that would be lining the road on the other side of them.  Plus, duh, we drove down that road the day before.  At least it was a good work out and a chance to wade our feet in the refreshing salt water for half the walk.  Looming thunderclouds kept us from coming back with all our gear after lunch, but it turns out the rain never came.

Tonight I also did an interview for a morning radio show in Sydney.  It’s on 96.1 The Edge with Mike E + Emma, and they spent about five minutes asking general questions about what made us leave our 9-5 life behind as well as the places we’ve visited.  Then before I knew it the interview was over and I was left with a dial tone on the other end of the line.  I have no idea when it’s supposed to air, but if I get any kind of link to it I’ll make sure to share it with you.

So, yup.  That’s been about it for us so far.  A little bit of beach time and a lot of relaxing on the couch.  I know that may be a little detrimental to actually visiting a new place, but we’ve definitely earned ourselves a little downtime.  Plus with a few more days here there’s still plenty of time left to explore.

And it has to be said again, Thank You SO MUCH Bill and Lindsay for this wonderful gift.  Your kindness goes further than you know, and we needed this break from the boat desperately before it did end up in a heap of ashes due to our frustration.  Your gift could not have come at a better time and we only wish we had some kind of way to repay you.

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