Since our trip to Roanoke, we’ve made a couple trips back and forth from Orlando to Sarasota lately. Steve (DOS) is looking to sell his home in Sarasota, and is having some major updates made to it to modernize it a bit. Since DOS’s Dad passed away last year, there is no need to have two homes (his, plus mine in Orlando), so he will be selling it soon when the renovations are done. The house is structurally sound, but it needs a fair bit of updating in the kitchen, baths, appliances, ceiling fans, painting etc., which he couldn’t do while his Dad was living there.
Fortunately DOS found a great Realtor in Sarasota, (Mugsie), and she has a couple great contractors (Chuck and Tom) who are doing the work for him. DOS had hardly been living there the last year or so, so it seems like the right thing to do, even though we love the 55 plus year old community and neighborhood there, as well as Sarasota in general. The contractors Chuck and Tom really know what they are doing, and have already removed the cabinets, countertops, appliances, and even a forward coat closet (not used in Florida), which opened up the room very nicely. Eventually he will have new kitchen cabinets, new flooring, quartz-counters, new sink, fridge, oven etc, but for now these are some of the in-progress pics. Will post the finished project pics when the house is fully updated probably in early July.
While the renovations have been going on at DOS’s house, we stayed at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota, so it’s been a bit of mini vacation for us as well.
The Hyatt Regency is conveniently located on the bay in Sarasota, and we had great views from our 10th (top floor) room both times. One visit we pool and marina view, which was framed by luxury high rise condos, and the Ritz Carlton Resort directly across the water from us.
The other time we had a nice 10th floor Bay view suite, which also overlooked the Sarasota theater and a bit of downtown.
On both visits, we had a two room suite feating a bedroom with bath and window-seat sitting area, while the adjacent room was a combo living room and dining room with another bath, as well as a small balcony overlooking either the pool or the bay, depending on the view. As we are top tier Globalist members with Hyatt, they also waived the parking and resort fees, as well as provided full complimentary breakfast each morning in the dining room.
The Hyatt Regency Hotel even sent us a complimentary bottle of Cabernet to our room! I have top tier Diamond status with Hilton, Platinum with Marriott, but Hyatt’s Globalist status (and Hyatt in general) is consistently the best with perks, service, consistency, and value. Their staff always sincerely welcome us back and genuinely love their jobs. Huge shout out for Hyatt!
The pool area was very nice with a waterfall flowing into it and a Jacuzzi right behind it. The pool area was well landscaped and looked over the yachts in the marina, and the Ritz Carlton at the other end of the marina. We had lunch at the pool bar a couple times, as well as occasional early evening drinks by the pool.
On our first trip to Sarasota we stayed five nights, while the second trip (post Memorial Day) we stayed three nights. During the days DOS did a couple errands, ranging from a visit to his attorney to stopping by his house to see the progress going on, as well as removing anything he wanted to take with him to my house. All of the furniture and many of the clothes, small appliances etc were donated to charities ranging from Goodwill to Habitat for Humanity.
We enjoyed walking around his neighborhood and for me meeting some of his neighbors. The quiet gated community is in an age restricted 55 and over community and is well laid out and landscaped with a couple lakes.
There is a nice club house, pool, fitness center on site for the residents of the community.
We also did a different activity each day, ranging from a beach day at beautiful Siesta Key to a sunset cruise around Sarasota Bay. Siesta Key has been voted one of the best beached in America, and with the ultra-wide white sand beaches it’s easy to see why. We spent the better part of one day over on Siesta Key island, although not a whole lot of time on the actual beach due to the sun. It’s funny how you get older and avoid the sun (at least with a hat), unlike our teen years when Hawaiian Tropic oil was lathered all over the body! LOL!
We had nice lunches each day ranging from a pool-side burger, to restaurants on the Bay. We particularly enjoyed Gilligan’s Bar and Grille, which was located on Siesta Key, and was themed appropriately as a cast-away island with lots of props; surf boards, palm trees, tiki huts etc.
We also enjoyed a restaurant on Lido Key that was a more elegant sort of place, with fresh seafood overlooking the bay from the second floor level.
At nighttime we had some nice dinners ranging from the chain restaurants of Outback, Brio, and Ridiio Grille to some nice local places such as Conner’s. Here are a few photos of some of our evenings out.
Bayfront Park was a nice area to walk around and just down the road from our hotel. It was a nice place to walk around with the many pathways zig-zagging around the bay, with various wildlife and man-made exhibits, such as the World War 2 era reproduction of a soldier kissing his bride to be – a giant sculpture just off the parking lot at Bayfront Park.
Along the way thru the maze of pathways at Bayfront Park, we passed dozens of boats and yachts, and even took a look at the price list of some of the ones for sale. No, we passed on buying a yacht, although there was a nice 100 foot used schooner for 2.5 million dollars that would be nice! But then we would need a full crew as we have no clue about sailing!
Oh well; it’s fun to dream, and think how much money we saved! As the late J.P. Morgan was quoted when asked how much one of his Corsair yachts cost, “If you have to ask, you have no business buying a yacht! These yachts were no were near as large as J.P. Morgan’s Corsair 4,(at 300 + feet) but still big enough to be the envy of the marina I would bet.
We did take a nice sunset cruise one evening, which also left from Bayfront Park. I must say, the Marina Jack’s sunset cruise we took was one of the highlights of our evenings in Sarasota. The two hour plus cruise left from Marina Jack’s Restaurant (which caters the sailings) and served a nice dinner buffet on the two level passenger yacht. DOS and I had our own table for two in the front of the ship arranged near three other tables for two, who we got acquainted with during the sailing. The rest of the tables were larger and ranged from groups, to tables of four, six, or larger. There was also another deck on the second floor of dining, but the boat did not feel crowded, even with this nearly full sailing.
I’ll end this Sarasota post with our sunset cruise, but we will both be coming back to Sarasota soon to check on the house progress, as well as stay at the Hyatt again and take the Marina Jack dinner cruise again. Next stop we are heading back home to Orlando for a few days, before heading down to Vero Beach. Signing off for now from Sarasota – cheers!