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Our Visit to Anna Maria Island #pinterestchallenge

Welcome to the May Pinterest Challenge Blog Hop, hosted by My Pinterventures. The purpose of this Pinterest Challenge is to motivate all the participants of this hop (and you too) to not just pin, but to make it happen! This month, I chose to take the advice of the blog Play Party Plan and her advice for our vacation to Anna Maria Island.

My husband and I took a week long vacation to Florida to celebrate his 60th birthday.  I wanted to spend a day at the beach, and a friend told me about Anna Maria Island. I hadn't heard of it so I did some research and found the blog Play Party Plan. I read Britni's advice about the island and made note of her favorites.

When I read the post about Anna Maria Island, or AMI as the locals call it, I knew this is where I wanted to go. The island has no chain restaurants or fancy high rises that block the view of the ocean.  Instead, there are lots of mom and pop restaurants and stores and adorable beach cottages all around the island (see the seahorse art below?)

Britni suggests many fabulous breakfast places, but since we were coming from Orlando, we decided to eat at our condo instead.  We made a detour into Ybor City to have Cuban coffee and guava pastries from La Segunda Bakery.  It was a fabulous start to the day.  We then headed south to AMI, which took about two hours.

Once we hit the island, it was just like Britni described, "As soon as you cross over the bridge, you can just feel your blood pressure dropping as you slowly drive, with your windows down, past the cute pastel colored beach houses and locals riding around on their bicycles." The island is only 7 miles long and 1/2 mile wide. So when you see the speed limit of 35 mph, you don't fret. You just take it all in.

We drove the entire island a couple of times. That's all we needed to get the lay of the land.  Our first stop was the beach that Britni talks about, with a secret entrance between two gorgeous beach homes.  The beach is called Bean Point.  It is named after the man who first inhabited the island in the 1800s. There are no facilities here, but you will have the most beautiful view. The water is gorgeous, with blues, greens and clear enough to snorkle. The sand is powder soft and white. There are all kinds of wildlife viewing, including manatees and dolphins and sea birds.  I did a bit of shelling, too.

Next we went to lunch at The Sandbar.  You can dine inside, but why would you when you can dine with sand in your toes???  The outdoor seating is fabulous. The food is delicious. We started with calamari and shared a blackened grouper sandwich. The next time I am there, I am getting a cocktail! They looked amazing!

After lunch we shopped on Pine Street. So many wonderful places, but my favorite was Shiny Fish Emporium, where I found a darling magnet and a Christmas tree ornament.  Britni was right that Pine Street is an Instagrammer's dream!

All the shopping made me hungry, so we stopped at Two Scoops Ice Cream near the pier.  The ice cream was a perfect treat in the afternoon.  We stayed in the shop and ate, then walked back to our car, which was near the pier. We didn't walk it, but we loved looking at it from our car.

All and all, we had a short but wonderful day.  We ended our trip by driving around and taking pictures of the beach cottages. I want to thank Britni for her advice on her post about AMI.  Spot on, lady, and I hope one day I run into you at one of the beaches at AMI.  Because, I will be back.

To join next month's #pinterestchallenge, click here to sign-up ⇒ July Pinterest Challenge.

Now let's see what other things Pinterest inspired! Head over and visit the other hosts to see what they crafted, cooked, built, or tried!

Pinterest Challenge Blog Hop
Erlene - My Pinterventures • Lauren - Mom Home Guide
Debbee - Debbee's Buzz • Laurie - My Husband Has Too Many Hobbies
Bri - Halfpint Design • Julie - Sum of their Stories
Lisa - Blogghetti • T'onna - Sew Crafty Crochet
Pili - My Sweet Things • Debra - Shoppe No. 5
Roseann - This Autoimmune Life • Terri - Our Good Life
Chelc - Inside The Fox Den • Cherryl - Farm Girl Reformed
Leslie - Once Upon a Time & Happily Ever After
Kelley - Simply Inspired Meals • Joanne - Our Unschooling Journey
Jenny - Cookies Coffee and Crafts • Gail - Purple Hues and Me
Rebecca - Hello Central Avenue • Jenna - The Painted Apron
Beverly - Across the Boulevard • Habiba - Craftify My Love
Kristie - Teadoddles • Shirley - Intelligent Domestications
Kelli - The Olympic Nest • Lydia - Lydia's Flexitarian Kitchen
Michelle - Our Crafty Mom • Emily - Domestic Deadline

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