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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!

 

Thursday evening

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

"Friday is under construction"


Ringling Estate Compound

"Under construction".


Fishing trip

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!


Friday Evening


Saturday


Saturday Evening


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.


Sunday


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


Monday


"Extra Credit

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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