Wakefield Class of 1960
Sarasota Spring Break 2010
Spring 2010's mini-Reunion in Fla; a great reprise
Once again, gorgeous weather, a beautiful location, and good company
2010's gathering, April 1-4, brought another good crowd of Wakefield '60 Warriors together
in Sarasota. It was a different spot with a different feel, and the consensus seemed
to be that it was an even better venue than last year. Many thanks go to Ken Scruggs
for picking out a venue that topped last year's. It was a real winner. Having
a terrific "Pool House" for our hospitality suite in the middle of the
"campus" provided a constantly in-use communal kitchen, dining, and relaxing
area convenient to the outdoor amenities enjoyed by everyone. A more conducive
setting for getting to know each other better and enjoying good food, good drinks, and a
beautiful pool in the bargain, just two blocks from the ocean, would have been hard to
find. All told, 35 participated in this 2010's festivities.
Backing up a bit, you might ask when was beauty of Sarasota and its Keys initially
recognized and promoted? In the early 20th century, the famous entrepreneur John
Ringling decided on Sarasota as the over-wintering spot for his circus, and it turned out
to be a great choice. Not only are the winters mild, the spring weather is
fantastic. Ringling came to love the area so much he decided it was going to be his
permanent home, and built his fabulous dream mansion "Ca d'Zan" (House of John)
in Sarasota. He also decided that Sarasota was an area that should become a center
of good living and culture in Florida, and he invested heavily in bringing that about.
Ringling's vision of a beautiful and interesting Sarasota lives on in the city today, with
an abundance of entertaining and inspiring things to see and do. Wakefield '60 had a
great time at the Sarasota spring mini-reunions in 2009 and 2010 - and it seems that many
Warriors are now going to want an annual "fix" of Sarasota to start spring off
right. There is already preliminary chatter going around about a 2011 Sarasota
gathering - with the date shifted slightly, to a week or so after Easter. Keep that
in mind, and stay tuned.
Although a large batch of Sarasota 2010 photos is included here, there are many more that
have not yet been sent in. In particular, there are no photos at all of the charter
fishing outing, so anyone that has some should make them available.
Weekend commenced Thursday Mid-Day
Pool House venue for Noon Bar-B-Q, and general orientation
An appropriate start was the Bar-B-Q at the Pool House which was to be a focus of activity
throughout the 2010 spring-break weekend. Accommodations at the Tropical Breeze
Resort on Siesta Key are arranged campus-like around the centrally-located pool and Pool
House - the latter being allocated to Wakefield '60 for the long weekend. Tropical
Breeze actually owns properties dispersed through many blocks in the area, but
accommodated all of Wakefield '60 pretty much within a stone's throw of the Pool House.
We were within a block of the central "village" on Siesta Key, where there are
numerous restaurants, bars, pizza places, ice cream parlors, beachwear and souvenir shops,
etc - everything a beach community should have. And since Siesta Key is a
substantial residential area as well as a rental area, there are also lots of real-world
businesses (grocers, pharmacies, hardware stores, book stores, professional offices, etc)
near at hand.
But anyone determined to stay away from the outside world could have comfortably stayed
"on-campus" pretty much throughout. And aside from sightseeing activities,
most of us didn't stray too far, other than to stroll down to and along the beach.
At the kick-off Bar-B-Q there were hot dogs and burgers (cooked to order by a team of
grilling specialists), as well as two kinds of Bar-B-Q, two varieties of baked beans,
several varieties of salads, chips of your choice, and beverages of your choice.
There were even various varieties of fat-pills, which no one really wanted - but what are
you gonna do? You've gotta be sociable!
Dinner out at a landmark
After spending the afternoon relaxing and getting acquainted/reacquainted in our
delightful pool and Pool House setting, the group headed out to enjoy the experience of a
great dinner together at Capt Brian's Seafood Market and Restaurant. With dozens and
dozens of menu options utilizing the Market's right-off-the-boat (or plane) bounty - as
well as a fresh, expansive salad bar - everybody was able to dine on an excellent and
bountiful array of their preferred choices. As was the case previously, Capt Brian's
was very accommodating as to the large group, and understanding as to our liesurely pace
in enjoying the meal, and the conversation during and afterward. It's not flashy,
and it's not expensive, but it's tasty - and it's the way eating out on a getaway with
friends should be.
"Friday is under construction"
Ringling Estate Compound
Rise and shine, fishermen - er, fisherpersons!
The fishing contingent departed aboard a charter boat early Friday morning, for a
secret, undisclosed location. The group pulled in a pretty good catch, and fresh
fish was definitely able to be a component of everyone's menu choice Friday night at the
Pool House (hospitality room). The fish was so good that everybody gladly chipped in
to defray the cost of the charter. Oh, wait! We forgot to do that. Oh
well, it's the belated thought that counts, right? Anyway, many thanks to the
fisherpersons for putting such tasty additions on our Friday night dinner plates!
Dinner Cruise on the Marina Jack II
It was good last year, better this year
The cruise was a big hit last year, and it was decided we should do it again. The
Marina Jack shoreside restaurant, and the Marina Jack II floating restaurant operate
here. A great place to stroll is the sidewalks alongside the water, and the marina
ambiance is everywhere along the waterfront, with beautiful boats as far as the eye can
see. This bayfront area connects via walks and trails to the large Sarasota Island
Park and Marina, a half-mile-long peninsula that hooks way out into the water - beyond
where the Marina Jack II ties up. The "island" park has miles of trails, and
lots of entertaining things along the way. (You can rent paddle boats, kayaks, and
jet skis; you can have something to eat and drink, at O'Leary's Tiki Bar and Grill; you
can admire unique sculptures and fountains; or you can just sit down on a bench or a
swing, and watch the world go by.)
Pool House at Tropical Breeze Resort
Winding down after Marina Jack II
The Pool House at Tropical Breeze once again permitted an opportunity for Warriors to
spend time together in a more free-form atmosphere. After a day of really nice
experiences, once again the great topper was long overdue conversations with classmates
from long ago.
Last morning in paradise
The weekend's festivities came to a close with a final spectacular communal
breakfast, some time for final conversations, final pictures, and departures
Some wanted to extend the Sarasota spring-break
A couple of non-native Class of '60 Warriors were around on the Monday after the
scheduled weekend was history. Here are some pictures that captured the extra-credit
activities. A group of 9 got together for lunch at the Beach House
restaurant on Bradenton Beach. Karen McDonald Hill had
stayed over to enjoy Sarasota just a bit longer. Bob and Delores Smith
Nash, who couldn't make the spring-break festivities, had arrived in Sarasota on their own
annual visit schedule. Three Sarasota-resident Class of '60 Warrior couples rounded
out the attendance list.
After lunch had settled a bit, KAREN McDONALD Hill headed out to
take care of a bucket-list item.
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