Love My Florida Birthdays

February is an interesting month to have a birthday if you live in the north. There have been many a birthday that included a snowstorm. And often I had a bad cold or flu. In fact, once Matt had to make me go out to dinner on my birthday. I just didn’t want to because I felt so sick. Little did I know that he had a surprise party planned! I was exhausted by the time we came home from dinner and was looking forward to going to bed. When we opened the front door, our home was filled with people! I certainly was surprised! All that to say, I’m pretty thrilled to have spent my birthday in Florida for the past three years. No snow and I’m not sick!

My day started off with this view.DSC_5098

What a great present! Those windows sure did need it. So thoughtful of my sweetie-pie. Then he asked what I’d like to do since he was taking the afternoon off from work. I really wanted to do something we hadn’t done yet here in Sarasota. But we have done a lot! I thought about seeing the art at the Ringling museum again or going to the botanical gardens. I kept thinking there had to be something fun that I hadn’t found yet. A quick search on TripAdvisor did the trick. DSC_5101 2

As in so many areas around the country, Sarasota and nearby Venice turned railroad tracks into bike paths. We only have cruiser bikes with one gear, so nice level paths are just the ticket. (Get the railroad pun?! lol)

We started south of Sarasota in Venice on the Venetian Waterway Park at Caspersen Beach. It was beautiful riding along watching boats glide by in the water. We saw many birds, including scrub jays and we saw this gopher tortoise! DSC_5127 2

The path led to the historic Venice Train Depot. Of course there was a geocache to find.DSC_5109 2

Took a bit, but he found it! Then we enjoyed resting a bit at the train depot.DSC_5115 2

We were at the end of the Venetian Waterway Park, but it was just the beginning of The Legacy Trail. We rode for about a mile on this trail, just to say we did. Part of it took us up on a bridge over the highway. It sure was fun coming back down. One woman yelled, “It’s almost like being in the Olympics!” as she passed me going down as I was making my way up.DSC_5121 2

It was time to head back. Again, I was thankful for the level path! I made it back thus completing 10.6 miles! Four years ago, I was so sick that I never thought I’d be doing something like this again. I’m so glad I changed my diet to gluten free. The healing continues!! But eating GF does make it difficult to eat out on your birthday. DSC_5181

Sharky’s On The Pier has a gluten-free menu! At this beautiful location, no one seems to mind waiting to be seated. The beach is known for sharks teeth, but we didn’t have time to look for any. DSC_5131 2

Instead, we strolled down the pier, watching fishermen try to snag sting rays for bait. They didn’t get any, but we were able to enjoy the birds that were begging for bait.DSC_5141 2

We watched dolphins play in the water and Matt thought this one might have a geocache in its mouth. But it didn’t. DSC_5132

A man was nice enough to snap our photo together.DSC_5158 2

We enjoyed a lovely meal outside on the deck. What a great way to spend a birthday, watching the sunset over the beach!DSC_5162 2

Yes, I have another year added to my age, but what a day of celebration!

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