Amazing Anna Maria - Day in my Lyfe - 3

Hey Readers!

This will be a continuation of my trip in Anna Maria Island. So to catch up, you can read my other posts here: Day 1 and Day 2.

*Disclaimer: I may earn a small commission for purchases made through some of the links on this page. My views and opinions are never swayed and will only recommend products or places I love or enjoy. I am not being sponsored by any of the places mentioned in this post. Just want to share my experience on this lovely island!

Like the day before, I woke up extra early to eat and get dressed before heading out to watch the sunrise. I walked from our resort all the way to the Rod and Reel Pier, to hopefully get a different perspective of the sun rising over the bay. 

Though i
t was quite creepy walking 15 minutes in the dark by myself... there was whispering sounds through the trees, and the trashcans kinda looked like people staring at me in the shadows. 😨 Since Anna Maria is such quaint little island, I really didn't think anything bad was going to happen. But I grew up in the big city of Miami, so I was constantly aware of my surroundings just in case.

Rod and Reel Pier

I made it to the pier, and barely had enough light to get a couple photos.

That's when I noticed the sky was covered in cold grey clouds. It was 50 °F, with 20-30 mph wind, and zero sunlight. (I could feel the cold draft cut right through my jeans!)

My sister met up with me at the pier, and we hung around there for a few minutes. We hoped for a peak of the sunrise, but unfortunately never saw it.

The Rod and Reel Pier has the ultimate "Old Florida" feel. With unfinished wood, rustic hand painted sign, and no rails alongside it's edges, (since the wind was pushing me sideways, it felt like I might fall over!) At the end of the 350 foot long pier is a 2 story restaurant that's open all day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It looked like a cool spot to grab a bite to eat that's right over the water. (Imagine the unobstructed view you'll get at sunset!)

Tampa Bay (Eastern side of Anna Maria Island)
It was still pretty early, so we walked North on the sand along the bay. It was so windy that the sand was being blown up off the shore!

I was so glad I was wearing thick rubber rain boots to protect my feet and legs. (I've had wind/sand burn before and it suuuucks! Luckily I hadn't put on my contacts yet either, so my glasses were able to block some of the debris from irritating my eyes as well.)

I would say I'm embarrassed by what I looked like this morning, all zipped up with a beanie and gloves. But honestly, I really didn't care! I'm not used to winter weather at the beach, so I was doing anything to stay warm and protected from the elements.

We kept walking, against the wind, all the way up to Bean Point.

Bean Point
Bean Point is the most Northern tip of Anna Maria Island. Named after the island's founder, George Emerson Bean. In the 1890's, G.E. Bean homesteaded 160 acres of land and settled in. (The original home no longer stands, but was actually located where the Rod and Reel Pier lives today.)

Just a few years later, in 1898, he passed and left the land to his son, George Wilhelm Bean. He was only 23 at the time, so he partnered with Charles Roser to lay down streets and develop the city.

Today, Bean Point Beach is off the beaten path, and quite private, with homes lined along the beach. There are only a couple beach access points: on Gladiolus Street and North Shore Drive, as well as Fern Street and North Shore Drive (where you can park you car. But the MCAT Free Trolley also stops over at Bean Point, which is the easiest way to get there if you don't want to walk much.)

What I really like about walking Bean Point is the wide open sand with little patches of grass. Since it was so cold and different from my usual beach trips, I kept thinking I was in Massachusetts for some reason. (Though I've never been, just referenced from movies.)

It wasn't even 8:00 a.m. yet, and I had already walked over a mile on the beach. (Though it felt farther, due to my heavy camera bag, big boots, and strong wind pushing me back.)

Even with the dreary cloudy sky, it was still looking to be a great day!

Our Mom came and picked us up from the beach access point on Gladiolus. Then we met up at one of our cousins' rental homes to hang out for a bit. I walked back to our resort to wash my face of sand and look a bit more presentable.

Then we met up with the rest of my family at Ginny and Jane E's Café. Which is where I grabbed another tropical smoothie like the day before, and talked about what we wanted to do for the day.

I explained where I went in the early morning, and the rest of the group wanted to go see it as well. So we walked up Bay Blvd over to Rod and Reel again, only it was a much busier time of day.

There were a lot of people walking back and forth on the pier, so to protect their anonymity, here's some birdies instead. 😊

This is the view from the end of the pier, behind the restaurant. In the distance is Egmont Key State Park. You can take a boat out there and see the lighthouse built in 1858. As well as visiting the historic site of Fort Dade. Since it is only accessible by boat in the middle of Tampa Bay, the pristine beach is very secluded. The weather did not allow us to visit this trip, but it's definitely something I want to see next time!

From the pier, we walked along North Shore Drive to the Bean Point beach access on Gladiolus.

All the while admiring the fancy homes with gorgeous beach views! Can imagine living in a home like this?!?!?!

(Side note, we even stopped in to see an open house right by the Rod and Reel! It wasn't the right fit for any of us visiting, but it's cool to see what a million dollar beach front home looks like.)

For lunch we went to The Beach House Restaurant. It should come as no surprise that I went for the tropical salad, made up of mixed greens, a few different fruits, macadamia nuts, grilled chicken, and topped with vinaigrette. 

We then spent a couple hours chit-chatting back at the resort, but of course I had to shoot a little #OOTD for you!


Sunglasses - 20% off code: LalaMermaid20
I can't find a link to my jacket from Old Navy, but this one is similar. (I have it in light grey, and it's actually softer than this pink one.)
My sweatshirt is from H&M a few years ago, so I can't find a link... Sorry!
Pink Boots

For our final dinner together we ate at The Waterfront Restaurant. Where I had the warm kale salad again ('cause it was so good the first time!)

It started to settle in that we would all be going our separate ways the next day. Even though we are all cousins of various generations, most of us are pretty spread out across the States. From Miami, to Ocala, Georgia, Virginia, Washington D.C., and even New York. It's great that we could all meet up for a family reunion and spend some time together. Most of the trip was spent sharing stories, laughing a ton, and of course enjoying the beautiful little town of Anna Maria.

Unfortunately the weather did not permit the fun boating and biking activities like I had originally planned. But we made the best of it and still enjoyed our trip.

Stay tuned for another blog post about day 4 of the trip! It includes saving a life, so you definitely don't want to miss it!



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