Sunday, March 13, 2011

Manatee Springs to Bradenton to Myakka State Park

We left on time since we had at least a 3 hour drive to Bradenton. Quite a bit of bland flat countriside on the way obscured by dense vegetation on the side of the roadway.

Lots of traffic once we got into Bradenton. It's a warm Sunday and everyone is headed to the beach. Made contact with Cousin Scott and he suggests the Rod and Reel Pier Restaurant at the end of a pier on Anna Maria Island. We met at a beach parking lot at the end of the road to the island and drove in his car to the restaurant. Lovely water. Lots of nice resorts and condominiums, rentals and timeshares. A tourist town. Although we saw lots of young people, Scott said the average age is over 60 in the area. He said he felt like a native “cracker” here even though he has only been here three years. He became acquainted with the area through some other half cousins whose father lives here.

Lunch was great in this small restaurant. People were fishing off the pier and catching fish. Scott had the grouper sandwich. I had the Grouper Ruben and William had crab cakes. The food is very good and the waiter was very interesting looking, a real old salt.

Sorry we had such a short visit, but it was a good visit. Scott says that Aunt Alice has rented a house in Bradenton for next week as it will be spring break for Abby and all are coming down. Sounds like a good time will be had by all.

Off for us to Myakka State Park. We drove down to the end of the island to get the full Island experience. Lots more resorts, condominiums, rentals and timeshares. We cross Sarasota and drive only five more miles down to the state park exit. Imagine our surprise when we get to our spot and find no internet access. The WiFi is down at the concession store across the park. Our mind is made up to ramble to the store when the camper next to us starts a smokey fire right next to our driver's side door. Cough, cough. We will just stay under this tree in the concession parking lot until we are done.

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