On Anna Maria Island, it isn't difficult to rise with the sun and take a run along North Shore Drive, then saunter over to Ginny’s and Jane E’s for a delicious coffee and perhaps some breakfast. Or if you weren’t up at dawn, perhaps some lunch.
The bakery café contains an eclectic collection of art and antiquities created, purchased, or beachcombed locally. Established by two sisters, the café breathed new life into the Olde IGA, which had been owned and operated by Ernie Cagnina for over half a century. Mr. Cagnina’s contributions to Island life were significant. Cigar in hand, he could often be seen chatting with his neighbours about what was happening around town. He volunteered in the community, provided families with food when they hadn’t groceries for the week, and served as mayor.
One of the best ways to appreciate the scenery and geography of the Island is to rent a bike and ride south along Gulf Drive until you reach the beginning of the keys, where there is little to separate you from the sun, sand, and ocean breezes.
You may want to take a detour into the Historic Fishing Village of Cortez, where mullet, grouper, stone crab claws, and shrimp are fished for export and sold to local restaurants. You will also come across a few surprises in the neighbourhood, not the least of which is the Sea Hagg, another storehouse of nautical treasures. With so many manatees in the vicinity, it isn't uncommon for mermaids to make an appearance also.
The author is an artist, writer, and instructional designer with an overactive imagination and too little time. Ceci en est un exemple...
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