Last weekend we went down to Sarasota to celebrate our anniversary.
I used Amex points to get a free hotel room at the Hyatt which was recently renovated and really nice. Here's the best part. I chose to try out their self check in system that was available in the lobby, which was very simple, and they were so pleased that I did that they upgraded us to a room with a view, and a balcony. That's the pool from our very nice room.
We had a nice afternoon walking around the town, did some shopping, spent as much as I could at Sarasota News and Books, but I couldn't save it, it's closing August 31st. I also got a fantastic new pan at Sur La Table, nice store and I love my pan which is "green" and non stick without any toxicity, a serious problem with non stick pans, especially for those of us who have birds in the house. Very happy with my purchase which I have been cooking with all week!
After enjoying the pool for a while, which has great strong waterfalls you can float under on your stomach while they give you a nice back massage, and a really good hot tub with a hot waterfall too, we went back into town. Sarasota is looking run down lately, lots of closed stores but still lots of nice art in the streets.
Jesse's friend Jen Berges recommended Mozaic for dinner and it was fantastic. Really nice decor and all, great flights of wine, and we got extra nice treatment when Mark mentioned it was our anniversary, including free fancy dessert.
Then on to the theater where we saw Neil LaBute's Fat Pig. Good play and Banyan Tree did a great job.
The next morning we enjoyed the pool again, then went to brunch on the balcony at Cafe Galante before doing a bit more shopping and then heading home.
The weekend before that was the 40th anniversary of Woodstock. WMNF did a Woodstock recreation at Skippers. It ran about 10 hours but we only went for about three. It was crowded and there were no seats available so we danced the whole time.
Local bands covered each band that played at Woodstock and they were amazingly great. In fact, I think I heard more of the music than I did at the original Woodstock. I actually have very little memory of Woodstock, though I know I was there. I remember walking a long way when the bus got stuck in the ridiculous traffic. And I remember the mud, and being hungry, and someone giving out hardboiled eggs. The music? Not so much. I enjoyed it this time around.
Big Wiggler did a good job as Jefferson Airplane with a great surprise, Marty Balin was actually there, singing lead, channeling Grace Slick!
Sly and the Family Stone as portrayed by Four Star Riot, rocked, above.
And below, Scott Elliott as Joe Cocker was truly amazing.