Andrew's Adventures: Venice Beach, Florida

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Well, here we are again. It’s been a few months since I have gone anywhere but that streak is now over. Over the 2020 Holiday Break, I visited the sunny state of Florida to get a tan and get away from the snow.
We stayed for a full two weeks, and since we spent much of it at the beach, I won’t describe every day but I will make sure to touch on all the big things we did.
On Dec. 21 I went to Venice Beach to test out my new drone, which I had gotten the week before we left New Hampshire.
It was, to say the least, incredible. I got some beautiful photographs of the beach and the pier and was able to do some practice takeoffs and landings as well.
After that, we pretty much took the drone everywhere we went. 

On Dec. 23 we traveled north to Siesta Key. For those who aren’t familiar with the geography of western Florida, Siesta Key is an island off the coast of Sarasota, home to long and wide beaches and luxurious homes.
The public beach there, Siesta Key Beach, was the one we went to. Siesta Key Beach is often rated as one of the best beaches in the entire nation, and it did not disappoint.
To begin, the beach stretched for miles on both sides of where we sat, and it was indeed wide as well. Hundreds of feet of sand stretched from the ocean to the parking lot, leaving plenty of room for the volleyball nets and play structures, which were heavily in use at the time.
The weather was amazing. 10 out of the 14 days we were in Florida the temperature was above 70 degrees. That was unseasonably warm for the area but I don’t think anyone minded. 

The next day we went and took a car trip up to Orlando, about two hours from where we were staying. This allowed us to see just how flat the state is: just miles and miles of no hills, mountains, or valleys, everything at the same height.
Anyway, once we got to Orlando I was able to try Popeyes for the first time and it was much better than I expected.
It feels weird to make a big deal about getting fast food, but since there weren’t any near Concord — until late December, when Popeyes opened a new store in Manchester — it was a special occasion.
I got just a regular chicken sandwich, their most popular meal. It was great! Crispy, warm, and tasty.
After our lunch, we went to the Disney Winter-Summerland Miniature Golf course. While this isn’t technically part of the main Disney campus, golfers can drive past the parks and even get a good look at Animal Kingdom.
Unfortunately we wouldn’t be visiting those parks this trip, but we’ll see what 2021 brings.
I won our golf game using a mix of what I learned from Happy Gilmore and Caddyshack.
We spent Christmas at the vacation house and its pool. There wasn’t much to do as, after all, it was Christmas. 

On Dec. 27 we went up to Longboat Key. Further north of Siesta Key, Longboat Key is also home to long beaches, but there would be no beach time for us.
Instead we visited the Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium where we saw real sharks, jellyfish, and all else you would expect to find in an aquarium.
After the aquarium, we raced back to the beach to see the sunset, an event which I witnessed for many of the days we were in the state. 
On Dec. 30 we headed south to Punta Gorda, where we went to the Muscle Car City Museum. Home to over 200 cars, the Muscle Car City Museum is a staple in southwest Florida.
The museum closed a few weeks after I visited, with many or all of the cars to be auctioned off, so I am happy we made it. 
The next few days were spent around the pool, back at the beach, or watching college football. Before we knew it, our two weeks were up and we came back home. 
After not traveling since our trip to London, it felt weird being back on a plane and being away from home, but as with every trip, there is always fun stuff to do to take your mind off your home and make new memories. 
*Note: We also had Krispy Kreme before we left. That was GOOD!