Michele with Just Marry!

Weddings and everything surrounding them!

Mini Vaca with the Family to Anna Maria Island

Ah! You know how much I love to travel. I really do live for it and am always looking forward to my next vacation.

Jeff, Griffon and I returned late last week from our quick jaunt over to the beach. We went to Anna Maria Island. Our good friend Stephanie from nu visions loaned us her parents condo and it was just perfect for us. It is so beautiful over there and relaxing and laid back. I love that. We even ventured to the beach once in awhile. Definitely every evening for the sunset. I’m afraid it just wasn’t enough beach time for Griffon. But, Jeff and I tend to be a bit sun shy. So, we did the best that we could. We did lots of fun family things and really, really relaxed. We napped, did some reading and even played some games as a family. It would seem that I’m really good at Scattegories. Love that game! I even beat Jeff, which I consider quite the accomplishment because I really do think he’s brilliant.

A few of my favorites from the vacation:

A trip to the Alpine Steakhouse in Sarasota. The Food Network show, “Diners, Drive In’s and Dive’s” filmed there last year. Jeff and I love that show because we love diners! So, I had to go to the Alpine Steakhouse. They have the Turducken. Very weird, but you might be able to tell that it has turkey, duck and chicken in it. Still can’t believe I didn’t try it. I was a bit scared. Shame on me! The food was very good and the place is certainly unique. I definitely recommend checking it out, but for goodness sake, have the Turducken!

Another trip up Sarasota way to St. Armand’s Circle. It’s located on Lido Key. My parents used to have a condo over on Lido Key, until I insisted they move closer to me. Now, I really miss being over there. Jeff, Griffon and I walked the circle like old times. Had lunch at the Crab & Fin where I had a few of my favorite foods, the Martha’s Vineyard Salad, Fresh oysters and Gazpacho. And of course a Bloody Mary! Yum! After that lunch, we were pretty full, but walked along the circle and went into one of our favorite stores, Garden Argosy. We love this place! It has so many neat things. Jewelry, wall plates, bath items, towels, dishes, just anything cool that you possibly imagine. Before we could leave the area, I had to drive the way that I used to drive when I came into Lido Key. I would always call my Dad as we crossed the bridge. It really does feel as though you check your stress on the other side of the bridge. No stress allowed once you cross over. My parents lived in St. Armand’s Towers and my Dad would always be on the balcony waving at me as I drove into the parking lot. We would hurry upstairs and he would have wine, snacks and plenty of humor waiting for us when we arrived. Being over there, really made me miss my Dad. He was one of my favorite people and we had so much fun while they lived over in Sarasota.

Here’s a picture of the condo,

Here are a few pictures of me and my Dad from the last few years. I must say, for as close as I was to my Dad, we sure didn’t have many pictures. Makes me so sad!

Here we are at the Melting Pot a few years ago. From the left, Jeff, my Dad, Me & Griffon. My mom is in the wheelchair.

Here we are at the Walt Disney World Dolphin, just after an amazing meal at Shula’s. One of the best steakhouses in Orlando.

Sorry, I spun off on a remembering the good ole days and my awesome Daddy.  Back to the trip details.

Loved spending quality time with the family. Really such a rarity in the fast pace of life these days. I loved hanging out with Griffon and watching Forrest Gump and eating freshly made ice cream from this wonderful ice cream place on the island.

Finally, what would a blog entry be without me telling you a few of my favorite places for a wedding over in the Sarasota area.

The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota. Just beautiful, with a location just by Sarasota Bay and a beach side location as well.

Lido Beach Resort. This was formerly a lovely little Radisson and now it’s an impressive beach side resort. Wow!

Longboat Key Club. A gorgeous club located in one of the prettiest areas on the west coast of Florida.

The Beach House. This is located right on Anna Maria Island and they have the best food and love weddings as well. One of my recent visits to the restaurant yielded a wedding in progress. It was fun to see one happening that we weren’t responsible for. For once!

I hope you enjoyed my trip to Anna Maria Island and Sarasota as much as I did. You must, must go and visit very soon. So relaxing!

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August 4, 2008 Posted by | Alpine Steakhouse, Anna Maria Island, beach, beach wedding, blog, condo, condos, country clubs, Crab & Fin, Dad, Diners, Drive in's and Dives, event venue, FL, Food and Beverage, Food Network, Garden Argosy, Griffon, Jeffrey Stoner, Jeffrey Stoner Video, Just Marry!, kids, Lido Beach Resort, Lido Key, Long Boat Key Club, lunchtime reception venue, Melting Pot, Michele Butler, Mom, nu visions in photography, professional planners, rehearsal dinner location, Ritz-Carlton Sarasota, Sarasota, Shula's Steakhouse, St. Armand's Towers, St. Armands Circle, Stephanie Rounds, The Beach House Restaurant, Turducken, vacation, Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort, wedding, wedding consultant, wedding coordinator, wedding day, wedding location, wedding planner, wedding planning | Leave a comment

Top 10 Fab Finds for July 2008

1. Love that silver wedding dresses are cool right now. I’ve always loved color in a dress. This is definitely a new spin on things. Check this one out from Maggie Sottero. This is the style Kadence.

2. Having doughnuts made fresh at your wedding reception.

3. Charms and/or love note from the groom on your bouquet. What a special keepsake to have after the flowers have gone to flower heaven. You can find the charms at www.etsy.com.

4. Incorporating animals into your ceremony. If you have a special animal in your life, shouldn’t they be involved in some way?

5. Beach weddings. Just being by the ocean relaxes me. That seems like the perfect venue. I think it’s also great to give your guests flip flops to wear down to the beach. Thereby saving their lovely footwear for the dancing at the reception. However, you know they’ll come back to those flip flops after dancing all night.

6. Leaving a different amenity on your out of town guests pillow each night. I suggest a hangover remedy kit for the night of the wedding. You can include gatorade, water, vitamin B, Advil, Zantac and an eye mask.

7. Giving plants as your wedding favors. This is one favor that won’t be wasted and you really will be giving something back to the environment.

8. Check out these neat wax candle containers from RS Wax. Just beautiful! Adds a warm glow to any wedding reception.

9. Having each of your guests photos taken as they arrive at your wedding reception and giving them as favors at the end of the night in beautiful frames.

10. Inky Pink for out of the box favors, gifts, accessories. The list is endless. The picture below is a perfect wedding cake topper for cell phone addicted brides and grooms.

July 7, 2008 Posted by | animals, beach, beach wedding, bridal bouquet, bridal bouquet charms, charms, Decor, Do it yourself, dog, doughnuts, enviroment, Etsy, eye mask, favors, flip flops, Food and Beverage, frames, Gatorade, groom, guest photos, hangover remedy kit, Inky Pink, Just Marry!, Just Marry! Wedding Planning Secrets, Lighting, Maggie Sottero, Michele Butler, out of the box, pet, photograph, photographer, photography, photos, plant wedding favors, RS Wax, silver wedding dress, silver wedding gown, Uncategorized, vitamin b, water, wedding, wedding cake topper, wedding consultant, wedding coordinator, wedding day, wedding dresses, wedding gowns, wedding night amenity, wedding planner, wedding planning, wedding reception, Zantac | Leave a comment