A few weeks ago I spent a really nice 4 days with my friends Kelly and Ron at their lovely home in Sarasota, FL.
Kelly was my boss back in the day (like 8 years) ago, and we've stayed friends ever since then. A couple years ago, she and Ron moved from Connecticut down to Florida, where they bought a house on the historic register of Sarasota. They've done an amazing job rehabbing and updating the house (and it's guest house), and I was excited to see it.
So, some photos.
The truly gargantuan tree in their incredibly lush back yard. It's a famous tree, loved by all.
The author, trying out the swing attached to the gargantuan tree.
The 15-foot tall dragon who guards the swimming pool.
Hilarious reaction take.
The graciously appointed guest house, where I resided in cosy comfort during my stay.
On the first full day of my visit, Kelly felt it was time for me to experience the heady thrill of mini-golf. (She was appalled that I had never played.) So off we went to the course. It was a close match, which aggravated Kelly, since I was a ostensibly a total noob.
Post-golf, we stopped at the Museum of Whimsy, which was a unique experience. Though nearly overcome by whimsy, I still managed to strike a dashing pose.
That same day, I stepped far out of my comfort zone when I went with Kelly on a 2-hour tour of Sarasota on a Segway. For someone who has twice broken his leg while WALKING, the thought of zipping along one of these gyroscopic motorized contraptions was more than a little spooky. But after a somewhat tense 10 minute lesson in a parking lot, my little band of Segwayers was safely zipping through Sarasota, at rush hour, on the way to the harbor. If you have never ridden a Segway, try it. SO FUN. Too bad they're like $8000, or I'd buy one.
Yes, we crossed (twice!) the Ringling Bridge that you see behind me. I was surprisingly un-freaked out. And the view from the bridge was rather stunning.
This is Zach, our thoroughly-grimy-yet-still-somehow-sexy-if-he-took-a-shower tour guide and Segway teacher. Surfer dude.
I'm quite proud of myself for not chickening out when Kelly suggested the Segway tour. Being braver than usual really paid off.
With Kelly at the botanical gardens. I was always so sweaty in Florida. She's probably thinking "Damn, he's sweaty."
I'm no nature boy, but I guess I'm a tree-hugger after all.
When I got to Florida, Kelly asked me if I had anything in particular that I wanted to do while I was there. I said I'd rely on her judgement for best Sarasota things to do, but my only firm request was getting tipsy by the water. So, this is what I did. On two very pleasant occasions.
Serving up post-cocktail gams for miles and sexy smiles...
On my last day of the trip, we did a nearly 2 mile walk on the beach. I've never walked so far in sand, barefoot in my life. It sort of kicked my ass. But it was a gorgeous day, and I look fierce. Right?
Kelly loves a good game of Qwirkle (and who doesn't?), so that's how we spent my last evening in Sarasota. Kelly won the game, so the evening was a smashing success. (As Ron and I were told.)
The morning of my flight home, I cooked up a batch of my killer oatmeal buttermilk pancakes. Only 2 pancakes remained only minutes after this photo was taken. We rather pigged out.
And there you have it. Fun in the sun (and on a Segway!) with great friends in a lovely city. Traveling to see friends will always be one of my favorite ways to spend my time.