Beachin’ in Bradenton

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This is (at least) the fourth time I’ve had to come back to this post. Ay Caramba! (Okay, so I don’t technically know the meaning of that expression…but I’m sure any Spanish-speaking person will tell you that it fits this situation.)

Regardless, Bradenton was fantastic and I’m having trouble capturing it all.

Bradenton, Florida

From the good company to the good food and sandy beaches, we were hard-pressed to leave…even though we knew our next stop would be Disney World.

Red Barn. Strawberry Shortcake. Bealls. Let me just start by telling you how we ended up in Bradenton in the first place.

Getting to Bradenton

I’d been excited about Bradenton for some time because it was the next place I’d get to see family (having family or close friend visits is imperative to maintaining sanity on the road). My Uncle Bud and Aunt Jeanette have a vacation home in Florida so it was decided we’d make a stop between Pensacola and Disney World.

I think Anne & I knew it’d be heaven from the moment we felt their air-conditioned apartment and tasted turkey sandwiches.

Extreme heat tends to strip a persons happiness faster than a hungry piranha…and it was hot in Florida.

Ahh, the sweet taste of relaxation. That night we caught up my Aunt and Uncle on all of our road trip adventures and sat down to our first episode of one of my Uncle Bud’s favorite shows, The Good Wife. We also learned that one of Florida’s natural terrors lurked in the lake behind us…that’s right, I’m talking about alligators. And still, we slept soundly that night.

Strawberries & More

The next day we awoke to a hearty breakfast and a hot cup of coffee, then found ourselves whisked away to Parkesdale Farms.

Bradenton, Florida

Sittin' in a strawberry.

“What lies in Parkesdale Farms?” you ask.

Strawberry shortcake, that’s what.

Bradenton, Florida

Does this tempt you?

Bradenton, Florida

EVERYONE loves strawberry shortcake!

My cousins of a sort, Gail, Pat and Carol, met us for strawberry shortcake in Parkesdale and we enjoyed a pleasant afternoon of conversation and complete deliciousness!

Bradenton, Florida

I, of course, was appointed queen of the strawberry.

Bealls Outlet was our next stop – the store my Uncle Bud had been raving about for its incredible shoe assortment. I tended to favor the clothing selection, although I did get a nice pair of tennis shoes. My first pair in years that weren’t borrowed or Converse – thank you Uncle Bud and Aunt Jeanette!

And if strawberry shortcake and shopping wasn’t enough, we enjoyed a fantastic buffet-style dinner, check out the Sunshine Skyway Bridge and ended the night with another relaxing evening at home.

The Beach

Our third day in Bradenton was a beach day. We drove around checking out the awesome views and crazy expensive houses, then settled under a beach umbrella in the sand.

Bradenton, Florida

Bradenton, Florida

Bradenton, Florida

Plus, we enjoyed some outdoor eats at a restaurant next to the beach.

Bradenton, Florida

See how close we are to the beach!

Bye Bye Bradenton

Sigh. Our last day in Bradenton had to come. We started it out right with a Cracker Barrel brunch and shopping at the Red Barn.

Bradenton, Florida

My main purchase of the day was a wide assortment of fruits & veggies. Apples, Bell Peppers, Oranges, Kiwis…after all, food doesn’t come with that $200-something Disney World ticket.

The characters of Toy Story look forward to meeting you.

Disney World's Epcot

And now back to my West Virginia sunset…

Until next time,



One Response to Beachin’ in Bradenton

  1. […] with that picture of Anne wearing the awesome black adventurer hat she bought at the Red Barn in Bradenton…or my hot pink […]