Every now and then a busy person needs to give themselves a break and take time to smell the roses. Last week was my time to do that.
I have been busy working on my book and needed space to think, regroup and consult with others on things regarding the book. I also needed to set goals for the next year. I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot of my goals that I had when I originally started my company and realized I had to reset some goals to keep stretching myself. I want to keep on improving in my customer support, the product and keep growing the company.
Beyond needing some space to work on the book and setting goals I also needed a little bit of a break from all that has been going on in my personal life. If you remember my mom had a stroke twelve weeks ago and Allen’s mom is fighting her own battle with cancer. To say things have been in overdrive around our house is an understatement and I felt the need to pull away a bit so I can get some rest so I can be a better help to those around me now that I’m back.
The first thing off the airplane we rented a convertible for the week and once we hit Saint Petersburg bridge we (Sydni and I) felt like we were on vacation. It is funny how riding in a convertible is so freeing and is always my biggest splurge while on vacation. We turned the music up loud and put our hands in the air and screamed crossing the bridge. It was our way of shaking loose our responsibilities for a moment and let it sink in that we were, in fact, on vacation. The air whipping through our hair was magical and soon we were unloading our convertible and settling in for a week of relaxing and fun.
My friend Cheryl and her baby flew in for the weekend. It was nice to brainstorm with another businesswoman about goals and things I have coming up for my business. It is great to have girlfriends who you can bounce things off of and get their perspective. It is also a great way to network and she was able to put me in contact with a writing coach who consults.
Before I focused on anything though I got about ten layers of stress off. How I shake off stress is to get near the water. In the morning I felt drawn to go out by the water and you could find us out walking the beaches and enjoying the solitude a private beach we found provided. The water at this private beach is aqua in color and makes me think of Bora Bora each time I’m there. Sydni traveled with me since she is my assistant and so she was able to have some down time too and get layers of stress off too.
I thought I would add some of my favorite places to eat in and around Sarasota. Sometimes people ask for ideas knowing we go there from time to time.
Indigeneous - Farm to Table type of experience. The food is bursting with flavor. It is in a cute little village in a cottage house in downtown Sarasota. It is suggested to have reservation. The waitress recognized me from when our store was there and she gave me a free espresso with my delectable dessert. I took it as a kiss from God.
Owen’s Fish Camp - This restaurant is also in a little house. The back yard has a camp fire a swing and live music. Their key lime pie is phenomenal and so is their fresh fish. It is right in the backyard of Burn’s Court where our store used to be.
Der Dutchman or Troyers to get their breakfast buffets.
Millies Cafe It reminds me of Rebecca’s in Walnut Creek. Russian Blitz - is a crepe topped with strawberries and I get hungry for it from time to time.
First Watch We always eat breakfast there a couple times. Their fresh served breakfasts are memorable and worth repeat visits.
The Shore Restaurant at Saint Armounds circle. I like their calamari for an appetizer and their seafood is amazing.
We always go to The Upper Crust in Venice. They are famous for their scones...the center had raspberries and is topped with whipped topping. I told Mandy’s at Old World Bakery and Bistro she needs to serve these at her bistro.
Wendy’s. Syndi had to make the swoop into Wendy’s drive thru to get her frosty every night before we went home. That girl and her love for ice cream!
We love to drive out to Longboat Key and go to the Donut Experience and get their bacon maple donut. I hope they will serve them in heaven. They are to die for. The day we go out there we go to a private beach, Beer Can Alley. It has tons of driftwood. It makes me feel like I’m in another country.
Traveling down Highway 41 going south toward Venice I like to make a right on Blackburn Road and travel down the street and checking out the homes there on the west coast of Florida. Famous people like Oprah and Jerry Springer have homes there. It is an absolutely gorgeous drive at sunset.
It was really hot during the day but every day at about 3-4 PM it started to rain and it would cool off and be perfect. It was nice to sit in Sarasota and be able to relax instead of having to work. I have no remorse for closing the store, even though so many people were sad to see us close it, it is so nice to be able to go to my favorite spot in the world and relax.
All in all it was a wonderful week of rejuvenation, lots of silence and listening to God speak to my soul. It was calming and uplifting. A much needed retreat for my soul but now that I’m back I’ve hit the ground running. First thing off the plane I was a guest speaker for a group of ladies and I will write about that experience next. Our store traffic is growing, a new billboard went up last week and we are definitely seeing the benefits of having those out there for tourists to find as they are milling about Amish Country. Our sewers are also staying busy, keeping our store stocked and stocking up for our Fall CLF events coming up.