I took a few days of vacation to go to Bradenton. Apparently no one knows about Bradenton which is a shame because it was a lovely town. Whenever I told someone I was going to Bradenton they'd ask, "Where's that?" "I dunno. Somewhere in the middleish of Florida. Nearish Tampa and Orlando." "Well into which airport are you flying?" "Bradenton. Look I don't know. I bought a ticket, she's picking me up. That's all I know." I got very blank looks in response. Bradenton it turns out, is on the Gulf side of Florida near Sarasota (which is also the airport code apparently).
I spent a lovely week riding around in her jeep with the top down and picking up my jaw from the floorboards as we drove past enormous homes, taking in the sights, eating fresh seafood, playing on the different beaches around Anna Maria Island and Sarasota, going to Disney for the very first time, and staying up late watching Food Network Challenges with our aunt.
I also wandered around one of her favorite beaches doing my best imitation of a photographer.
While she took pictures of me taking pictures.
After a brutal month at work that included a week and a half of binge drinking, this trip was exactly what I needed. My sister has a two-bedroom a short bus ride away from the beach if anyone else needs a break from work and/or binge drinking!