I have to tell you, I was a little worried. Reason being, the campaign we had developed for the destination of “TIME” was authentic. This was a far cry from Disneyworld or Busch Gardens, and I feared my 15 year old and her cheerleading friend would be bored to tears in this laid back, sleepy beach town.
The first thing you notice on Anna Maria and Longboat Key is the blue water. The amazing shades of deep blue to aquamarine make you feel like you’ve just arrived in the Caribbean, or way down south in the Florida Keys. But this unspoiled location is only one and half hours from home, tucked between Tampa and Sarasota Bays. It was also the weekend of my cousin’s birthday, and her husband and I surprised her with an adjoining two bedroom suite to ours at the Tortuga Inn. Proprietor and developer David Teitelbaum gets my kudos for creating a luxuriously appointed resort with a most unpretentious, flip flop character.
The teens spent plenty of time in front of the mirror doing their hair each day before walking the few steps across the street to the private beach. Only to lay out for about 10 minutes before they decided they had enough sugar white sand for awhile. They toggled between the air conditioned apartment and the resort’s main pool, eating snacks, watching t.v. and texting their friends. Oh well, I thought, at least Cheryl’s two young boys are entralled with the place, the pools, the piers, the beach. The girls did seem to enjoy the food on the island, especially the calamari at the Beachhouse, the ice cream at Joe's and the ribs at Mr. Bones.
To my surprise, as we were packing to leave, my brace-faced daughter took me aside to thank me and tell me this was just what she needed, a relaxing weekend doing nothing in an incredible place, because she was “way too stressed out” recently. She wanted to know when we could come back. My first thought, “What could a 15 year old be so stressed out about?” and my second, “I’ve just found heaven on earth!”