Sarasota Saturday & Sunday

We just drove down to visit JB's parents for a quick weekend in Sarasota, FL! I won't beat around the bush - the drive down was horrific. Should've been less than six simple hours...but we were brutally rebuffed by frog-strangling downpours and ridiculous drivers who acted like it was snow & ice instead of rain. We were driven mad by incessant, inane brake-tapping, and I have never seen so many MI, IN, IL, & OH tags outside of those states before! It was sheer insanity...

But we survived!!! And we arrived to a delicious dinner with "the best mac & cheese EVER" according to Will at Stonewood Grill. :-D (I had their Caprese salad - divine!) After refueling, Grandma & Grandpa Blake took us to THE CIRCUS! Sarasota is home to the Sailor Circus, which is actually all local kids 4th-12th grade - but it is NOT amateur quality!!! They did all of the real tight rope & high flying trapeze stunts - it was truly impressive! Annelise's face was priceless! :-)

Before the show began, the kids got their faces painted while the calliope played:
[Cheetah & Puppy]

Sunday morning, the kids went swimming with Grandma & Grandpa, while Mommy & Daddy slept in! Win/win all around! :-D

We had lunch at The Old Salty Dog, where Will discovered that he likes to eat mussels:
I am SO PROUD of him being such a courageous eater! (Annelise is, as well, but I didn't want to let her try the mussels, since she's allergic to shrimp. :-P)

We headed over to the Mote Aquarium after lunch to catch our eco-cruise:
"Join a marine biologist on this 1 hour, 45 minute cruise through Sarasota and Roberts Bays. Observe our Florida manatees and resident population of bottlenose dolphins while learning about the ecology, history, and folklore of the area. Your guide will lead you on a short nature walk on an uninhabited island followed by a unique opportunity to view pelicans, herons, ibis and egrets in their nesting habitat. The highlight of this trip is the collection of a sample of marine life with a trawl net. Observe and handle some of the curious residents of Sarasota Bay: puffer fish, sea horses, stone crabs, and cow fish to name a few."
It was such a perfect experience for our fam: out on the water, gorgeous sunshiney day, and nature exploration! :-D

Thanks to Grandma & Grandpa Blake for such a great visit!!! (And yes, the drive back as I type this from the passenger seat is going much smoother! :-P)