Archives for posts with tag: beach

Seeing as we all live a kajillion miles away (“You could drive literally all day for two whole days and not be home.”) the A’s and I decided to stick around the sunshine state for break and have a camping Thanksgiving in the Keys. After a giant grocery shop and a search for blankets and what we guessed to be camping gear we went off on our adventure, through the Everglades and across the overseas highway to our temporary home at Curry Hammock State Park. We pitched a (giant) tent with minimal mishaps then started cooking. Sort of. We got faked out by “no-lighter fluid needed” charcoal and mighty Atlantic winds, but kindly neighbors brought over a giant bottle of lighter fluid and a big long lighter and soom we had a pretty good little grill set up going. On the menu: green beans and cranberries (steamed in foil), potatoes (also foil-steamed), stuffing balls, cornbread muffins (both made the night before in a frenzied bake-fest), and shish-ka-bobs with shrimp, chicken, squash, and peppers. Pretty impressive, if I may say so. I made Alex say a proper grace and then made us all do the Larkin hand-touch faux grace, then we stuffed ourselves with real Thanksgiving spirit. Dessert was pecan bars, in place of pie, which we ate with gusto as we huddled in our “dancing” tent (aka shoddily staked down and flapping around in a hurricane) playing a ridiculous game of would-you-rather.

In my dream world I do a lot of picnic-ing. Idyllic sit-abouts in grassy spots of sunshine on the side of backcountry roads, rucksacks packed with snacks for adventures, pretty little treats and smashed sandwiches wrapped in wax paper. And yesterday, friends, I had a little sliver of dream world. A pretty big slice actually, seeing as I spent my afternoon asleep by the sea. We went to Anna Maria Island, a long-ish drive from Sarasota proper, but well worth it, arriving at a sandy little beach town full of pretty bungalows and quiet shops. The beach is less crowded, and populated with a less “overwhelming” (shall we say…) crowd than the popular stretches of beach to the south. We spread out our towels and I promptly fell asleep, as I always do at the beach. I can’t stay awake for more than five minutes, I lay down in the sun and pass out. It’s a special skill. And although I may not be the most engaging beach companion… at least I bring snacks. In ugly plastic tupperwares, not the pretty Frenchy butcher paper wrapped breads and canned fruits of my dreams, but nonetheless tasty. Strawberries and apples with cinnamon and lemon, and warm-but-still-good chopped caprese. (With basil from my mini baby front door garden!)

Post-snack and post-nap, we were feeling the hunger so we tromped up the beach and made our way through the quiet downtown. (There’s some strange common quality between all little seaside towns, beyond the seashell motifs and ice cream shops galore, they’ve just all got this something-or-other about them; from Anna Maria in Florida to Cannon Beach in Oregon. Whatever it is, it’s nice, I think.) After a few horrible minutes of that hunger-wander we settled on The Sign of The Mermaid, a funky little house-restaurant complete with a resident pie-making champion and an extraordinary amount of very varied tchotchkes (samurai prints, glass mermaids, old Vogue covers). We didn’t have any pie (though we were intrigued by the peanut butter truffle pie thing that was truly eight inches high) but we did eat lots of very garlicy bread and pickled cabbage. And had really nice breath.

Alexandria and the Mermaid.