In 2002 we ran away from Illinois where we were born and raised, and started a new life in SW Florida. This blog is about me (an eccentric old artist), ROM (my Real Old Man), Isabella (our neurotic Standard Poodle) and Emmy (our crazy snake killing Jack Russell Terrier). Oh- and the neighborhood old people. Life is good in Florida!


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Gangs Take Over My Island on Easter

We are counting down the days until the spring tourists and snowbirds migrate back up north. This weekend and next weekend, Anna Maria Island and the beaches will be over flowing with visitors. And for some strange reason I don't understand, Easter Sunday is when the area gangs take over the beaches.  Most of the year the island is a sleepy peaceful place with an old Florida feel, home to upper class very well to do people but on Easter it's all gangsta! We locals know to stay home and avoid the beaches because it's going to be loud blaring music, a gathering of gangs, occasional shoot outs, and hordes of unsuspecting tourists that are unaware of what to expect on Easter weekends. In 1997 three people were shot. You can read the story here and here.

Knowing we'd be staying close to home this weekend, we took advantage of the beautiful weather and played on the island- no gangs in sight, just lots of sun burned tourists. We simply drove around with Jimmy Buffett playing on the stereo, enjoying the day...

Click all photos to enlarge to full size

We had to stop at some of our favorite boutiques and do some shopping. From this shopping center you can see the old Anna Maria City Pier, a fun place to fish with a great little cafe that serves the best grouper sandwiches. The very first day we moved here from Illinois,  Real Old Man and I sat on this pier drinking ice cold beer and feasting on a bucket of chilled peel and eat shrimp, giggling like kids in amazement that we'd made our dream come true. We were now living in paradise!  I don't think beer or shrimp ever tasted so good.

With our little beach car crammed full of bags, we returned home to unpack our pretties. We loaded up with ball caps, tee shorts, tank tops, flip flops and I even found a swim suit I likes- praise jezzuz! 

I don't carry purses, have no use for them. I need big roomy canvas bags to carry my cameras, Flip, sunglasses, sun screen, comb and brush... with extra room for a bag of shells I always seem to collect on the beach.  Like most woman are with designer purses, I am with canvas bags- I covet and collect them. I fell in love with these two blue totes and they had to come home with me.  

And I had to get some pretties for the house. When we moved down here, we only brought our personal belongings, keepsakes, a Hoosier Cabinet, and two dogs. I've told you how we gutted this house and are rebuilding the interior, and now we are gathering furnishings and decorative things. It's so much fun doing a little at a time. Instead of going on a shopping frenzy to decorate all at once, I prefer to gather pieces slowly, just buying things that I really love and have to have.

Remember the big glass fish we saw in the kitchen of the villa on Scary Island, and I showed you the one I have that's just like it in this entry? I found another smaller one in one of the shops last weekend and had to have it. And of course as soon as I saw the blue fish bowl and the white seahorse bowl they had to come with me. And tea towels!  I love tea towels with beach & ocean motifs. Who could resist the little tiled gecko and frog we found in the Sand Dollar Boutique. The first one I picked up, I dropped and broke. So I took it to the register and told the lady I would pay for it. She wouldn't hear of it! She kindly said "We don't do that here. Accidents happen". Wasn't that nice? That's what I love about this island- everyone is so laid back and peaceful. When we finally checked out I had added another unbroken gecko to my pile of things to pay for and as the sales lady rang up my purchases she made share I really wanted it and wasn't just buying it because I felt guilty about breaking the other one-LOL

Just one more week from tomorrow and Paradise is all ours again. Goodbye to all the old northerners that insist in driving in the left hand lane going as slow as they can only to suddenly hit the gas to cut across two lanes of traffic to turn right. Goodbye all you families from the north that fill our restaurants with screaming out of control little kids.  Hope you all had a great time and thanks for  pouring lots of money into our local economy, but it's now time to go home. Go on.... get...


  1. Thanks for the photos. Keep ya head down cuz of bullets, yo. ;)

  2. Hi ROH,
    Easter is big for gang initiation so you are right to stay away. In NYC they warn people about this, that's how I heard about it. Can you believe in NYC this is a dangerous day - people get shot in Times Sq. Happy Easter looks beautiful where you are in Florida.


  3. I want to be you when I grow up. I swear you are the happiest person I know. What an amazing life you've created.

    Please tell me what your countertops are? It looks beautiful but I can't figure out what it is.

    I was shocked to read about the gangs taking over your island on Easter. I love your photos and blogs. Hope your having a safe and relaxing Easter at home.

  4. Moncada- Glad you liked the photos. I hid at home Sunday and avoided all gunfire-LOL

    BlueSky- I had no idea the gang shit went on in other areas on Easter. What an odd choice of holidays for the gangs to choose for dirty deeds.

    Anonymous- Thank you for your kind words. but trust me you're much better off being yourself-LOL My counter tops are copper. I love copper and made copper ceiling tiles for the kitchen and dining room, so when it was time to put in the new counters I asked ROM for copper. He found a local supplier for copper, rented a metal brake, and created my copper counter tops! I love them, but I warn people they aren't for anyone. Copper is a soft metal and over time lots of dings occur. I like the dings and imperfections but I know not every one does, but it sure gives the kitchen a warm and unique look.


Talk To Me!