Oh Florida! You’re weird. Like most of America, you’ve sacrificed your lush land in exchange for big box stores, strip malls and car culture. I will never complain about sitting on a pretty beach, despite an entire coastline destroyed by condos, but the burgeoning Northern Californian in me can’t ignore it either.
On a recent trip to visit my parents, I was excited to have the opportunity and time to visit Anna Maria Island, which lies just south of Tampa, Florida. I’d heard about it via a friend of a friend who I chatted with at a wedding I attended two years ago. It’s been on my list ever since. Upon my arrival, it quickly became clear this wasn’t going to be the retreat into nature that I had hoped for. But a warm beach is a warm beach, so I worked hard to put aside my annoyance at the familiarity of America and tried to find some charm in it. This is what I came up with.