After breakfast at the condo, we were happy to have a slow, laid-back day. The Robinson Nature Preserve is quite close to us and we took the short drive over there to walk through the area. The preserve is a huge area of mangrove and tidal marsh that has been transformed to a coastal wetland habitat. Lots of the crazy flipping fish, pelicans, egrets, herons, crabs, and vegetation galore. If one is so inclined, a kayak can be launched into the river and there are tons of trails and picnic areas. At one end is the historic Valentine House that has been moved to the location to provide a visitor centre and old-time naturalist laboratory where you can learn about the preserve and see skeletons of a variety of sea-life.
From the preserve, we continued to Anna Maria Island. This is a very touristy area with lots of little boutiques and shops, restaurants, and big fancy houses on the beach. We headed for the Rod and Reel restaurant at the end of a Peir overlooking the Gulf of Mexico and the scenery was stunning. The food…not so much. It was OK, but cheap on portions and expensive on the wallet. So if you visit Anna Maria Island, head out to the end of the pier and drop a line in the water to catch a fish, or soak in the view, but give the restaurant a miss for other options.
Lunch in our tummies, we headed for a stroll on the beach where we found a seemingly never-ending expanse of fine white sand beach and the beautiful blue-green water of the gulf. We watched the little shore birds running along the sand, chasing the who-knows-what that flowed in and out with the tide.
Brushing the sand from our feet, we got back in our car in time to hit the rush-hour traffic back to the condo that tried to challenge our peace of mind….but failed. 😊