For much of my adolescence, I spent occasional Spring and Fall Breaks in the Sarasota, FL area visiting my G-Pop (Grandpa) and burning my pasty Irish skin on many of Florida’s best beaches. Siesta Key has always been my absolute favorite beach to visit while in the Sunshine State. Named the #1 Best Beach in the United States by Trip Advisor and many other publications, this sandy shore features a sand unlike any other – the white sand has a texture quite similar to flour. You won’t be able to resist running your fingers and toes through it.
Shortly after graduating high school, my best friend moved to Sarasota and began her life here. I’ve made many visits in the 10 years she’s been this way, and always beg for a visit to Siesta Key. The drive towards the coast reminds me of the many trips there listening to oldies radio, sitting shot gun next to my G-Pop in his full-size bright red van. I listened enthusiastically while he spewed slap stick or politically incorrect jokes and looked over at me smiling over his bushy white and gray mustache. I like to think I inherited my great (at times inappropriate) sense of humor from him. All of those great memories came rushing back again on this visit too.
Lathered up in SPF 50, packing beach chairs and coolers of ice cold beer, we took to the beach! It was a B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L Saturday afternoon, so there were a lot of people out. We snagged a spot real close to the water and set up camp for the day. Can you tell which one is me (hint: the one whose skin hasn’t seen a UV ray since mid 2014).
If Mr. GQ was doing a search for their new cover model, they’d have stopped in their tracks at the sight of this guy! My dear ol’ friend Matty came down from his homestead in Clearwater to join us for the day. He’s a longtime friend from Michigan who knows all kinds of embarrassing stuff about me. So it’s always fun to get together and reminisce on our younger, more irresponsible days!
We watched some real characters in their *real life* quest for gold. Equipped with shiny yellow earphones, a mighty large metal detector and some strange metal contraption strapped to his behind – we watched this guy comb the beach for precious items left behind by beach-goers past.
We were the real winners here as his metal detector must have picked up a trace of something right next to us. Not sure if he was paying out a dividend to these hard workers that he put to work digging for treasure, but boy was it fun to watch. I don’t believe they found anything. If this is a hobby you’re interested in taking on, this guide can give you all the information you need.
Did you know: By going out metal detecting 2-3 times a week, you could earn about $1,700 a year!
I got a little carried away surfing the web to find more info on these guys who I see almost every time at a Florida Beach. At nearly $800 a pop for a decent metal detector, I was surprised that they would make the investment with such little return. However, on many of the forum that I read, most of them just do it for the fun and exercise, and good for them.
After a fun-filled day soaking in the hot sun and splashing in the crystal clear Gulf of Mexico – we were a bit famished. We headed just a few blocks down into town in search of some quality grub. Lucky for me, I was accompanied by a few locals who gave their highest recommendation to the The Cottage.
The menu featured about 15 small plates options and a handful of entrees. We opted for kicking off the meal with some small plates. I consider myself quite the tuna connoisseur, and I must give two of their dishes my praise. We had both the tuna tartar tacos and the tuna tiradito. The tuna tacos were so good, that I ended up ordering them for my dinner as well.
As the sun set on this incredible day, we headed to Daiquiri Deck for some sugary sweet frozen drinks, Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale and an unexpected (but always appreciated) dance party. The place was packed with twenty somethings (and us) chanting their odes to Y2K. This day earned my seal of approval. Love you forever Siesta Key.