Day 8: Mission to Florida

Venice to Sarasota: 61km
Monday, April 7th
Sunny then cloudy, strong south wind. 28C.

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Breakfast was not included with our room in Venice so we packed up and were on the road before 9am. We took the Legacy Trail briefly before heading over to Nokomis Beach on Casey Key for our picnic breakfast. The wind was howling and blowing sand everywhere. After we ate we walked our bikes onto the north jetty and saw dolphins having their breakfast. We nabbed a group from Buffalo to take our picture at the end of the jetty.

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I captured the action as Wendy returned the favour. After chatting for a bit we were back on the bikes and picked up the Legacy Trail where we left off.

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With the wind blowing us along we zipped along the trail making excellent time. We stopped for a break a little past the halfway point and got chatting again. First it was “action man”, who had done everything better, faster and further than us. A couple arrived too and joined the conversation. They were curious where we were headed and I picked their brains for a bike friendly route to take after the trail ends. Another couple arrived and I helped them figure out their whereabouts. When the trail ended we followed the directions we were given and actually had a bike lane to pedal in most if the way to our Hotel. We saw a part of Sarasota we hadn’t seen before, a little more residential, and it was quite nice.

We arrived at the hotel just after 2pm and again stashed our luggage because it was too early to check in. We wanted to swim so we set off over the Ringling Causeway heading for Lido Beach.

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This is the route we are planning on taking in the morning on our way back north towards Tampa so it was sort of like a scouting mission. It was really busy with traffic and tourists at St Armands Circle, but we rode and walked our way until we got to the beach. There
was a yellow flag flying from the lifeguard station and the waves were considerably bigger than they were yesterday.

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The water was refreshing and again we frolicked in the surf for awhile. There is supposed to be a storm coming in tomorrow and the clouds have been building. After an hour we dried off and got back on our bikes and rode up and over the Causeway from Longboat Key back to the mainland. We retraced our route and found our hotel in no time. We checked in and have a pool side room. After working up a sweat riding back we decided to go for another dip.

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It was 6 o’clock now and we had worked up an appetite. On the way to the store we passed by the Sarasota Museum of Art and saw a really interesting sculptural installation.

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It’s called “Out in Front”, by Patrick Dougherty and was completed with the assistance if over one hundred volunteers. At the grocery store we bought fixings for another killer salad. We had a lovely TV dinner in our room and have had our feet up ever since.

Tomorrow we are heading back to Tampa to see the Toronto Maple Leafs play the Tampa Bay Lightning. It is supposed to rain all day and we are hoping that Thomas will come and pick us up in Terra Ceia and take us over the bridge again. I’ll let you know how it works out.

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