Thursday, May 14, 2015

Mother's Day Weekend At Siesta Beach!

"When life happens put on a brave face, and make the best of it..."--J. Taylor

The Mother’s Day weekend got off to a rough start. Papa Smurf was stung by a bee at work Thursday and had a severe allergic reaction. Impending words of wisdom, always follow your gut, by Friday morning the allergic reaction was progressing noticeably and I told him we were going to the E.R. ASAP. We thought he would be in and out but he was admitted and the doctors weren’t letting him leave even if he wanted to as they stated it was pretty bad. By Saturday afternoon he was released and almost good as new. The amount of relief I felt once he came across the door step…was like an anchor off of my chest. 

I still remember vividly exactly where we were when we first learned about Siesta Key, FL. It was years ago, before the kids (even), Papa Smurf and I were up late watching The Travel Channel while spending a weekend together. It was a countdown of The Top Beaches in the U.S., and Siesta Key made #1. I am a beach lover and Papa Smurf loves the water, boats, and fishing. So naturally and almost instantaneously upon seeing the powdery sand and bright vivid colored waters, we were both like WOW we HAVE to go there! Not knowing that 7-8 years and 2 kids later we would move a little over an hour away from the place. Papa Smurf initially wanted to head down to Siesta Key for the weekend, somewhat last minute somewhat planned. We called around late that afternoon and lucked out due to a cancellation. 

Where We Stayed:
In downtown Sarasota, the Arts District. I did not even know that Sarasota had a downtown since most times we are down that end we are in Venice visiting close friends of the family. It's small, very "Cosmo" and has gorgeous architecture. There are nice strips with little shops and restaurants. It reminded me a little bit of Chevy Chase and Georgetown back home (with a splash of Adams Morgan). If we had moved here when we were younger without the kids I could picture us having lived in Sarasota; or maybe when we are older and "empty nesters". The real estate is awesome! Breathtaking, gorgeous homes that look like something out of the movies or MTV Cribs. Check out Sothebys International Realty. It has been discussed we will own a waterfront home someday.

Hotel Indigo

We loved, loved, loved Hotel Indigo! We can't wait to go back! The hotel gets a 5* from us. They get it right on down to the minute details. And they are...PET FRIENDLY! Right after Papa Smurf had checked in, the rest of us entered the lobby and were greeted by cheerful staff that were all smiles (even at late evening/ early night hours). We were informed that the room we ended up with was a king and we were offered air mattresses for the children (twin size). One of the staff came in to set it up and even made the bed up nicely. 

The Suite feels so refreshing, cozy, and relaxing. When you enter there is soft ambiance music playing, very zen, like the kind that you would hear in Yoga class or at the spa. There was a large mural on the wall, close up of a natural plant life scene. The decor and flooring reminded me very much of a cross of Restoration Hardware meets Pottery Barn. There is an extra large shower that could fit the whole family inside (not appropriate, but doable). I was surprised to see a real full sized blow dryer in the bathroom. There are a sample of Aveda products are available and a sign boasts if you left anything at home to let them know and they will accommodate you. I can believe it. The magnification mirror on the bathroom sink countertop helped me to be even more precise in applying my liquid eyeliner I will definitely have to invest in one. There is a refrigerator and coffee maker in the suite. All the comforts of home. Very modern and far from dated.

Hotel Indigo's H20 Bar and Grill
Wow! Pleasant Surprise. Because it's late, you order food and don't leave the room, at least when you have kids and you're tired. We kept it light, I had a Reuben and Papa Smurf had a chicken salad sandwich. The Reuben was delicious, fresh homemade generous portion of corned beef, sweet Russian dressing, the kraut was tart fresh and crisp, the marble rye bread was fresh and lightly toasted. We just ordered finger food for the kids since there was no kids' menu and Jerry can be so picky. Some of the finger food that we got for them included fresh fruit and steak fries (not pictured).The peanut butter cheesecake was definitely the star of the show! Smooth and creamy cheesecake whipped with peanut butter, topped with turtles and drizzled with caramel. Papa Smurf and I shared the cheesecake and finished everything off with a coffee and cappuccino.


Siesta Village

Reminded me a little bit of Adams Morgan back home. There are lots of shops, bars, restaurants, ice cream parlor, drug store and convenience store, and more. Great for bike riding and high score for overall walkability. It's a narrow two lane street through the village so you might as well park, walk or ride and get your exercise! Outside of 7'Eleven and Subway I did not notice any franchises or large corporate owned commercial places within the village. The absence of which made this location unique, having a personality all its own. We admire destinations that opt out of mass incorporation of major franchise chains. Because when we're on vacation we want to go to different places not something we can go and get at home.

Siesta Beach

The beach is so wide and long you don't even care or notice that it is crowded; at least I didn't. The crowd is very mixed, but very friendly as well. No drama. The sand is like baby powder, white and so soft. The water is a beautiful pristine emerald green and turquoise blue. The water temperature was also quite warm that day and lots of beach goers were swimming that day.

Know Before You Go/ (What I Wish I Had Known):

Parking is what!?! Free! Yes! 

There is a snack bar with items under $10. The snack bar has items like hot dogs, nachos, burgers, salads, sandwiches, wraps, and sodas.

There are rentals for everything you probably did not want to lug with you, or forgotten and left at home or between your hotel or rental.

Overall, loved Hotel Indigo, downtown Sarasota, Siesta Village and Siesta Beach. We were so glad to have finally made it to Siesta Beach, and we can't wait to go back and stay longer. It was just our speed. I have a video/vlog to share and will try to post today. In the meantime, how did you spend your Mother's Day weekend?

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