We all woke early on Day Four, the day we were going to depart Tampa and head South to Sarasota. We decided to have a good breakfast at Dennys to start the day, and we found one using the GPS on Dale Mabry highway. After breakfast, we had some time to kill before checkout at noon, but we all decided to make sure we packed our stuff well. It was a good choice, and we were all ready to go at 11AM. Seeing no need to stick around further, we checked out and hit the International Plaza Mall a second time. After a brief visit there, we hit the road.
The GPS was being kind to us this particular day and it said that the journey to Sarasota was only 1 hour. Crossing the bay on 275 and then going South on 75 would take us over the Skyway bridge where we would jump on 301S. We stopped at the Skyway Bridge rest stop and fishing pier and took some pics. Around 25 minutes into the trip South, we stopped at an antique store in Terra Ciea, FL. It was nice…and had some treasures, but also had a large price tag affixed to those treasures. We got an antique store trail guide and headed out again. Unfortunately, we could not find 90% of the stores on the map, and one even led us into a ghetto where we were stared at in bad ways.
The trip to Sarasota went by quickly, and it seemed to be right next door to the bustling Tampa area. However, things were notably more relaxed in Sarasota. It is definitely a lazy gulf beach town. We reached out destination around 3PM, after making several ancillary stops here and there. Finding the Ritz-Carlton was very easy, since it sticks out like a sore thumb from the highway going in. I will cover the details of the stay at Sarasota in the next series of blogs. Stay tuned for more updates throughout the week!