Siesta Sand (section 2)- April 2024

Page 1

A band in demand


Chappell realizes she and her

musical mates don’t dare bail on Blase Cafe

Let’s put to bed any rumors you may have heard: Siesta supergroup The Whole Band is staying put for its popular Friday-night gigs at Blasé Café.

Lead singer/guitarist Callie Chappell had considered taking a break after this year, her 10thstraight season playing live music at Blasé. But no sooner had she raised the possibility of retirement than a heartfelt backlash ensued — from her bandmates, like vocalist/guitarist Kevin Thompson, and from strangers among the Blasé crowds.

“I had just said it to a few people, but buzz gets around,” said Chappell. “People just kept walking up saying, ‘I heard you’re leaving!’ Kevin was like, ‘If you’re not doing it, I don’t want to do it.’ Our pedal steel player was like, ‘This is the happiest thing in my life.’ I could say that I was talked out of [retiring]. But it wasn’t that hard to talk me out of it.”

The Whole Band members only appear together on Friday nights at Blasé, where their performances of mostly upbeat ‘70s rock covers — and some original music mixed in —regularly draw hundreds. (While Chappell only performs these days for this one act, the band’s other musicians can be seen solo and in other projects around town throughout the week.)

In fact, the Whole Band can trace its earliest origins back to the Blasé. A decade ago, Chappell, drummer Steve Apostoli and renowned “gypsy violinist” Willie Royal played gigs as a trio, drawing decent crowds that Chappell still attributes to Royal’s talent. “I always just figured it was Willie’s playing,” she laughed.

They met bassist J.P. Coley while recording an album and, when Royal retired due to health issues, the remaining bandmates began searching for their

Continued on page 14V

It’sknown as “the biggest little store in the Village.” Throughout the years, tourists and locals alike have come to learn that Siesta Key Outfitters is the place to go when you want a custom T-shirt, hoodie or sweatshirt.

But what those who haven’t discovered this small but mighty store may not know is that there are a lot of big surprises packed into this little shop.

“In a nutshell, we make T-shirt-dreams-to-go,” said James Ritter, who has owned the store for 12 years. There are T-shirts and onesies for newborns, T-shirts for children up to 5X, and shirts for men and women of all sizes.

“No one on this island has the selection of T-shirts for children that we do here,” Ritter said.

Gazing at the endless designs that are displayed behind the counter, Ritter seemed to amaze himself at the number of options available. “We have hundreds of choices,” he said. “I’d say 90% of the people who come in here want a custom T-shirt on the spot. We do it in a matter of minutes.”

Continued on page 15V

James Ritter, owner of Siesta Key Outfitters, with a fun T-shirt that illustrates what the island’s night life has to offer. (photo by Jane Bartnett)

8 How to support our turtle friends
5 Time with an egret you won’t regret Page 11 Local lodgers dig that villa vibe Things to do on and around Siesta Key APRIL 2024 | SIESTASAND.US | 941.312.0665
to the Siesta Sand Go to SiestaSand.US Only $60 per year
to the Siesta Sand Go to SiestaSand.US
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3 Dog days in April at the Urbanite Down to a T Fun, custom shirts rule at Siesta Key Outfitters By
The Whole Band at the Blase Cafe before a Friday show. From left, Zack Yoder, Steve Apostoli, Callie Chappell, Dave Pierce, Kevin Thompson, and J.P. Coley. (submitted photo)

BRUNCH by the

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E V E R Y S U N D A 1 1 : 0 0 A M T O 1
O C E A N B L V A S O T A , F L 3 4 t h e b i g t i k i l o u n g e . c o m O T T O M L E S S I M O S A S A N D R U N C H M E N U S E N T E D B Y T H E T H O L E G R I L L E R E S E R V A T I O N S , A C T ( 9 4 1 ) 3 1 3 - 8 9 7 0

Arts on the Horizon

Almost gone, but back again

When the telephone was first invented, Alexander Graham Bell spoke into a microphone and his voice was transmitted over a wire into another room and broadcast through a speaker.

For a brief time, you had to have a one-to-one connection with a separate wire going to each person with whom you wished to speak. One wire to your friend, one to your lover, one to your stockbroker, and so on.

Then came numbered phones with a switchboard operator who would connect your wire to that of the recipient. Named exchanges like Pennsylvania, Boulevard, etc. were next where one switchboard operator would switch you to a different part of the city. And finally, full automation to connect you to the world.

Well, the single direct line is back. Dial M, not for the Martins, but Dial M for Murder. Also, one direct call to the Asolo Rep box office will get you – credit card willing – tickets for this “new” thriller. While the play was first performed in London in 1952 with the 1954 Hitchcock film starring Grace Kelly fast on its heels, a new updated version is at the Mertz Theatre at the FSU Performing Arts Center through April 25.

Yes, like the original, you know who the murderer is, who will be killed, and how (no, not with a candlestick in the dining room). But now the characters are more fully developed, with plot twists adding to the suspense once the after-murder action goes a bit wrong. Yes; how, if, what, and but will take place right before your eyes, keeping you guessing until the very end.

Intimate Apparel, a longdistance love story (via letters, not the phone) by playwright Lynn Nottage, will also be at the Mertz Theatre through April 18. This is an intimate and intricate story of an immigrant seamstress in 1905 New York saving her money so that her bleak present can turn into a fulfilling future. Through an introduction by an acquaintance, a laborer on the Panama Canal begins a correspondence with her that leads her and you to the end of the show.

More info at

of three trios that he dedicated to Princess Maria Josepha (wife of Prince Nicholas Esterházy), Piano Trio in A Major for Piano, Violin and Cello, will start the evening with movements going from moderately fast to very lively (Allegro moderato to Vivace assai). This will be followed by Mendelssohn’s Piano Quartet, op. 1 and Brahms’ String Sextet no. 2 in G Major.

Two very lovely works.

On the 13th they will play Mozart’s arrangement of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 12 in A major. That is to say, one that he wrote for himself to play in a private subscription series. Next up will be Kodály’s Serenade for two violins and Viola, op. 12, followed by two works by Anton Arensky – Six Children’s Pieces for Piano, Four Hands and Quartet no. 2 in A minor.

The latter is quite spritely with some nice dark cello passages.

Finally, on the 16th there will be six different composers as well as a traditional Bulgarian folk dance on the program, ranging from Dvořák to Schumann. The most lush, soothing, somber piece is by Bedřich Smetana written after the death of his daughter Bedřiška (spoiler alert: Bedřiška is the feminine form of Bedřich, so yes, he really favored this daughter).

everyone’s got rhythm, including the Sarasota Ballet, who dance to many of his hits, such as Lady Be Good, Embraceable You, that keep all those feet moving in Balanchine’s Who Cares?

There will be pre-concert talks prior to each performance.

Classical music in grand style

Do you ever wonder what happens in the Sarasota Opera House when Verdi, Wagner, and Rossini aren’t in town and the crystal chandelier goes dark?

Does the phantom of the opera stalk the halls, or do compositions of other masters waft upwards from the orchestra pit; up, up into the far reaches of the balcony?

If you know that the musicians that make up La Musica are in town, then you know there will be music of the highest caliber performed by top notch artists in a quite lovely setting – like the Sarasota Opera House.

Joseph Haydn composed 45 trios. On April 10, the first

More info at, April tutu

Yes, there are two ballet programs this April by the Sarasota Ballet. Both will be at that jewel of a musical venue, the Sarasota Opera House.

It is therefore fitting that the opening ballet performed on April 5 and 6 will be Emeralds, the first act of George Balanchine’s three-act ballet, Jewels. Venice, situated on another emerald green jewel, the Adriatic, was the setting for Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice, for which Gabriel Fauré composed the music for a French version of that play. Fauré’s concert version of that music is used for this ballet.

Second up is the take-your-breath-away psychological drama by Sir Kenneth MacMillian, Las Hermanas.

This ballet was last seen in Sarasota in 2007 – Ian Webb’s first season – and is vividly remembered.

Truly, this ballet is an opera where the words have been translated/choreographed into the language of motion. The music caressing the sensuous/tortured dancers is Frank Martin’s Concerto for Harpsichord and Small Orchestra and is performed live by the Sarasota Orchestra.

Set in Spain, this is a story of love: love found, betrayed, and lost.

This year, the centenary of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, has his music popping up all over. On these two days,

The final program of the season brings, on April 26 and 27, a ballet by Christopher Wheeldon. Wheeldon knew three Americans. One was the sure-footed, slick, bon vivant American in Paris, portrayed in his one act ballet of that name, and the second, its antithesis, is the ballet The American, performed in this program – a tranquil America of open skies and great plains.

The third is the name that has been given to Dvořák’s String Quartet no. 12 in F Major, The American, to which Wheeldon choreographed this ballet.

Two diametrically opposed ballets round out the evening. The company premiere of Jessica Lang’s Lyric Pieces is one of dreams and romantic moods danced to Edvard Grieg’s compositions of the same name.

A more physically demanding work by Sir Frederick Ashton, Sinfonietta, choreographed to a more modern score by Malcolm Williamson, is sure to bring everyone to a standing ovation as the Sarasota Ballet’s season ends.

Info at

Everything’s ‘gone to the dogs’

In the Urbanite Theatre’s fourth Modern Works Festival, there were 200 plays submitted with three making it to a reading. As in most festivals of this type, there was one winner.

The world premiere of Brenda Withers’ winning play, Westminster is at the Urbanite through April 28. Urbanite cofounder Summer Wallace will be directing.

At the 2023 Westminster Dog Show, the top dog was a petit basset griffon Vendéen. The pooch in this play is a rescue dog given by one friend to another. These women and their partners face off over issues of class, accountability, and good breeding (either the dog’s or, perhaps, theirs).

More info at

Fashion, Fun and Style on Siesta Key

Casa Smeralda, inspired by the emerald green coast of the Mediterranean, is a fashion forward women’s bou tique in Siesta Key Village. Marie-Louise, having trav elled around the world, selects pieces inspired by life near the sea, with many years of experience as a bou tique owner and designer. Marie-Louise understands lifestyle, quality and comfort. e owy fabrics, pre-washed linens, washable silks, the fun and eclectic mix of women's clothing, footwear and accessories, are mainly sourced from the continental US, Peru, Italy, Canada, Nepal, Hawaii and Bali. Marie-Louise, being environmentally conscious, loves styling women who visit her store and loves helping them "to step into their best and sometimes even beyond their fantasy."

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Snowy egret (Egretta thula)

A frequent sight both on and off Siesta Key, the snowy egret captivates visitors and residents alike with its elegant appearance and graceful movements.

This crow-sized heron is easily identified by its brilliant yellow feet and lores — the surface on each side of a bird’s head between the eye and the beak or bill. The snowy’s stunning white plumage is set in dramatic contrast with jetblack legs and bill. Wispy plumes called aigrettes cascade down the nape of the neck like a shaggy haircut.

During breeding season, snowy egrets grow very long, airy plumes that once fueled the fashion industry, nearly bringing

the species to extinction by the early 1900s. Thanks to more than 100 years of conservation efforts combined with protective legislation, we are able to enjoy the aerial antics and fleet-footed foraging of the beloved snowy.

One of its trademark hunting maneuvers — the “dip-fish “— allows the bird to hover with its feet just above the water’s surface until it ambushes its submerged prey, seizing it in one swift motion.

Look for the sociable snowy egret along the shoreline, especially in the company of other wading birds that congregate in mudflats and tidal wetlands.

Jan Baumgartner’s handmade notecards are available at Sunshine & Sand Hidden Treasures, 6635 Midnight Pass Rd., in Crescent Plaza.

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Florida Fish of


Siesta Key Red Snapper

Florida Puffer

Florida Puffer



Dohlpin “Mahi-Mahi”

Capt. Rick Grassett’s Fishing Forecast

There should be good action with reds, trout and snook in skinny water right now as the water warms and baitfish become more plentiful. Look for Spanish and king mackerel, cobia, tripletail and false albacore (little tunny) in the coastal gulf.

Night snook fishing in the Intracoastal Waterway should also be a good this month.

CB’s Saltwater Outfitters (941) 923-7799

Mangrove Snapper Lane Snapper

Black Mullet


Spotted seatrout regulations have changed in southwest Florida to a three-fish-per-person bag limit and a six-fish boat limit. Trout must be from 15 to 19 inches with one allowed per vessel more than 19 inches. In my opinion it’s important to protect larger trout, which are usually female breeders.

Red Drum “Redfish”



Gulf Flounder


Florida Pompano Jack Crevalle AmberJack

Spotted Sea Trout Cobia Black Drum Catfish

Blue Marlin

Scoolmaster Scamp King Mackerel

This should be a good month for snook fishing at night around lighted docks and bridge fenders in the Intracoastal Waterway. Small white flies, like my Grassett Snook Minnow, usually work well at night since glass minnows are the predominate baitfish. Focus on shadow lines where light meets dark and fish strong tides for the best action. Although snook now may also be found in rivers, creeks or canals, they will also start to move onto shallow flats -- particularly on sunny afternoons when it’s warm. I like wider profile flies, like my Grassett Flats Minnow, Deceivers and EP flies, for snook on the flats.

Look for early-season tarpon that may start to show in backcountry areas. These are usually adult resident fish that are making their way out of rivers and creeks. They may be “laid up” or rolling on deep grass flats, on edges of shallow flats or along bars when it is calm. An accurate cast may result in an explosive strike! Look for them in areas of lower Tampa Bay or in Gasparilla Sound on some of the same deep grass flats where you find trout.

Reds should be more active as the water warms and baitfish become more plentiful. Higher tides, as we head into spring, will allow them to spend more time feeding in shallow water. Look for them over shallow grass, along mangrove shorelines and around oyster bars when the tide is high. You should find them in potholes and along sand bars when the tide is low.

Fly anglers should score with my Grassett Flats Minnow fly, fished on a 12-feet-or-longer leader. When using a long leader be sure you are able turn it over, otherwise you’ll need to shorten it until you can. The butt section should be at least 50% of the total length of the leader and stiff enough to transfer energy from your

fly line to the leader. You might also find reds around docks when the tide is low. Look for deep water under docks with a good tidal flow for the best action. A clear intermediate sink tip fly line with a weighted fly and a 6-foot leader should work well for dock fishing. In addition to reds, you might find snook, flounder, sheepshead, jacks and more around docks.

You may find big trout in skinny water in many of the same places that you find reds. Blind cast seams where grass meets sand or focus on light colored bottom, in potholes on top of sand bars, where you may be able to sight fish them. I release all big trout (more than 19 inches), since they are usually females that are often filled with roe. These big fish are important to the health of our fishery.

You should also find trout plentiful on deep grass flats along with Spanish mackerel, blues, flounder or pompano. I like to make a series of drifts, casting ahead of the drift with an Ultra Hair Clouser fly tied on a long shank hook and fished on a clear intermediate sink tip fly line to locate fish.

Also look for birds, bait showering out of the water, or boils on the surface that will indicate fish feeding below. When mackerel and blues are around, you may need to add 6 inches of 40-pound to 60-pound fluorocarbon or wire to your leader. Fly poppers also work well when

blues and mackerel are around and may help locate them by attracting them from further away.

Flounder may be found on sand or mud bottom areas on both shallow and deep grass flats or around docks. Pompano may skip on the surface when you drift or run past them, giving their location away. Fish deep grass flats with a mixture of grass and sand and a strong tidal flow for the best action.

Run crab trap lines at various depths to find tripletail or cobia around crab trap floats. Fly anglers should score on tripletail with lightly weighted flies with weed guards. I like a shrimp pattern for tripletail. Cobia may also be swimming on the surface as they migrate from south to north following warmer water and baitfish. Large, wide profile flies, like Deceivers or EP flies would be good fly choices for cobia. In the absence of any fish on the surface, check out one of the many artificial reefs or natural hard bottom areas that may hold baitfish and predators. Drift over structure and cast weighted flies on fast sinking fly lines to get deeper in the water column to catch them.

Conditions are usually good this month and fishing heats up. Flats and night snook fishing are usually good options. I like to check the coastal gulf when conditions are good, since you could find something really good happening there.



Black Grouper


6V Siesta Sand APRIL 2024 941.312.0665
Massachusetts’ Dave Reinhart with a snook he landed in Sarasota Bay on a CAL jig with grubs. (submitted photo)



Sweet ‘n Spicy Shrimp … $12

Coconut Shrimp … $13

Shrimp Cocktail* … $12

Calamari … $13

Stuffed Mushrooms … $12

Fish Bites … $13


Fresh Garden Salad* … $8

Caesar Salad … $9

Turtles Wedge* … $13

Kale Salad … $12

New England Clam Chowder

Cup … $7 Bowl … $9

Signature Crab Bisque Cup … $9 Bowl … $13


Turtles Salad … $21

Turtles Deluxe Salad … $17

Caesar Salad … $20

With grilled shrimp or chicken

Kale Salad … $21


Grouper Sandwich … $21

Salmon BLT … $20

Mahi Mahi Sandwich … $20

Chicken Sandwich … $14

Cheeseburger … $14

Vegan Burger … $13


Stuffed Shrimp … $24

Potato Crusted Haddock … $22

Coconut Crusted Mahi Mahi … $21

Gulf of Mexico Grouper … $24

Salmon … $24

Sea Scallops … $23

Shrimp and Seafood Au Gratin $17

Fisherman Platter … $32

Baby Back Ribs … $25

Orange Pecan Chicken … $17

Filet Mignon … $25

Filet Mignon & Stuffed Shrimp … $35

Filet Mignon & Maine Lobster Tail … $50

Stuffed Shrimp & Maine Lobster Tail $42

Twin Maine Lobster Tails … $55


Coconut Shrimp … $23

Large Gulf Shrimp … $21

Fish & Chips … $20

Fried Combo … $29


Shrimp & Crab Scampi … $25

Salmon Pasta … $22

Chicken & Shrimp Curry … $22

Sweet ‘n Spicy Chicken & Shrimp $22

Jambalaya … $23

Pasta Primavera … $16


Turtle Pie … $10

Key Lime Pie … $10

Sample Platter … $13

Ice Cream Bar … $7

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TripAdvisor: Siesta Beach again ranked as the best on American mainland

Once again, Siesta Beach has been ranked as the best beach in the continental United States, according to an annual online poll conducted by TripAdvisor.

For the third consecutive year, users of the travel-themed platform chose Siesta as No. 2 in the country, this year behind top-ranked Ka’anapali Beach on Maui. The rankings were released in late February. In the case of Siesta Beach, it was based upon 8,583 reviews.

Globally, Siesta Beach was ranked No. 9 -- two spots better than its No. 11 ranking in 2023.

The other Florida beaches in the Top 20 this year were Hollywood Beach (No. 4), Clearwater Beach (No. 12), and Panama City Beach (No. 13).

Fireworks sponsorships now available, committee members sought

The Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce is seeking members of the community to support both the finding of the annual July Fourth fireworks and the committee that organizes the event.

Sponsorships are available on a firstcome basis with a deadline of June 15. VIP sponsorship packages begin at $500 and include reserved parking, seating, food and beverages, and the best view on the beach! The hospitality area opens at 6 p.m.

Also, the Fireworks Committee is looking for new members to assist with fundraising and event planning.

If interested, email Ann Frescura at

For more information, visit siesta-key-community-fireworks-2505.

Mote Marine Run for the Turtles event is April 6 on Siesta Beach

The 38th annual Run for the Turtles event, organized by Mote Marine, is set for 7 a.m. April 6 on Siesta Beach. The 5K or 1-mile races

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support the area’s endangered sea turtles.

Last year, more than $55,000 was raised for Mote’s Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program.

For more information, visit: runsignup. com/Race/Info/FL/SiestaKey/ RunfortheTurtles.

Sunrise service is 6 a.m. Easter morning

The annual Community Easter Sunrise Service, conducted by Pine Shores Presbyterian Church, will be held at 6 a.m. Easter morning (March 31) near the pavilion on Siesta Beach, 948 Beach Rd.

Summer camp guide now available

What are you doing this summer?

Sarasota County has some ideas for you, and they can be found in its 2024 Summer Camp Guide. From full-day camps to week-long specialty camps, there is something for every child Check out the full guide at prnrcampguide.

Beach cleanup event is April 13

The annual Great American Cleanup will be held at various locales in Sarasota County from 8 to 10 a.m. April 13, including Siesta Key public beaches.

Pre-event registration is required by noon April 10. Visit

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Indep. Lifestyle Solutions Map-D #10 Siesta Healing Map-D #9 Siesta Key Fitness Map-B #73 ICE CREAM/SWEETS Big Olaf Creamery Map-C #52 Curly Cream Ice Cream Map-D #9 Kilwins ...............................................Map-D #60 Made in Rome Organic Gelato Map-C #53 Meany’s Mini Donuts Map-C #24 Stefano Versace Gelato Map-C #50 The Fudge Factory Map-A #36 JEWELRY Created Gems Map-C #51 Mount -N- Repair Jewelers Map-D #9 LIQUOR STORES FINE WINES Gabbiano’s Wine Club Map-D #70 Gilligan’s Map-B #33 Siesta Key Wine Bar Map-C #61 Siesta Village Liquors Map-C #26 The Beach Club Map-D #22 Siesta Key Oyster Bar, or “SKOB” as the locals call it, is the hangout with the laid-back, beachy atmosphere that will get you right into the Island Spirit. One of the things that set SKOB apart from the other restaurants in Siesta Key Village is that we have some of the best food on the Key. Live Music Every Day and Night Big G’s Oyster Happy Hour from 3-6 Every day 1/2 Priced House Oysters Daily Drink Specials & Mart ini Bar Blasé Café T WO GREAT PL ACES ONE LOCATION! 5263 Ocean Blvd. | Siesta Key TWO GREAT PLACES ONE LOCATION! 5263 Ocean Blvd. | Siesta Key Awesome pizza, wings & bartenders! 941.346.1188 HAPPY HOUR 5-6 PM Daily 941.349.9822 HAPPY HOUR 2 - 6 pm Daily $5 Wells $2.50 Bud Light Drafts 3.14 PI LET US CUSTOMIZE SHIRTS FOR YOUR NEXT EVENT! 5131 Ocean Blvd. Siesta Key Village 941-349-3490 CUSTOMIZE YOUR OWN SHIRT FROM HUNDREDS OF DESIGNS T-SHIRTS • SWEATSHIRTS • SOUVENIRS
Coffee Shop • Tea Room • 5138 Ocean Blvd., Siesta Key Village 941-260-6400 WHAT BETTER WAY TO START YOUR DAY IN PARADISE! • Organic and Fair Trade Coffees & Teas • Cold Pressed Coffee • Organic Smoothies • Light Lunch (Sandwiches) • Breakfast Sandwiches, Bagels & Lox • Homemade Pastries
210 Ave Sun Garden Cafe n da Madera S esta Key 941 346 7170 sungardencafe com
day Hours of operation 7:30am-1:30pm VOTED BEST Breakfast, Outdoor Dining and Bacon!
Island Chatter Breakfast & Lunch
10V Siesta Sand APRIL 2024 941.312.0665 BARS & NIGHTCLUBS Capt. Curt’s Backroom Saloon B-3 #7 Crescent Club C-3 #13 Shebeen Irish Pub & Kitchen C-3 #17 Sniki Tiki B-3 #8 COFFEE SHOPS Coffee Garden B-3 #8 Meaney’s Mini Donuts B-3 #4 DELIS / BAKERIES Anna’s Deli & Sandwiches C-3 #14 Crescent Beach Market ..........................B-3, #1 Nutritious You C-3 #14 DRUG STORES Davidson Drugs C-3 #14 FASHION & ACCESSORIES Fin Island Co A-3 #2 CB’s Saltwater Outfitters A-3 #4 Coconuts Resort Wear B-3 #1 Green Turtle Swimwear C-3 #14 Key Casual Fashions D-3 #17 GIFTS & SOUVENIRS Capt. Curt’s Souvenirs B-3 #8 Green Turtle Shells & Gifts C-3 #14 Sunshine Sand Hidden Treasures D-3 #17 Silver City Jewelry C-3 #14 HEALTH & BEAUTY Eye Style Optical ....................................C-3 #17 Sanctuary Siesta Key A-5 #12 Siesta Key Salon & Spa D-3 #17 The Key Spa & Salon A-5 #12 ICE CREAM & TREATS Orange Octopus B-3 #8 Jake’s Creamery C-3 #14 INTERNET / WiFi SERVICES Davidson Drugs C-3 #14 Mail Pack Center C-3 #14 LIQUOR STORES Crescent Club B-3 #13 Siesta Spirits C-3 #17 MAILING & SHIPPING Mail Pack Center C-3 #14 US Post Office Sub Station C-3 #14 MARKETS 7-11 Store C-3 #16 Big Water Fish Market C-3 #17 Crescent Beach Market ..........................B-3, #1 REAL ESTATE / RENTALS Beckmann Properties C-2 #15 Homes & Condo Rentals D-3 #17 Re/Max Platinum Realty C-3 #17 Siesta 4-Rent ........................................... C-3 #14 Waterside Realty C-3 #17 RESTAURANTS / CAFES Big Water Fish Market C-3 #17 Boatyard Waterfront Bar & Grill A-5 #12 Capt. Curts Crab & Oyster Bar B-3 #7 Clayton’s Siesta Grille B-3 #9 Daiquiri Deck A-3 #2 Pizza ‘N Brew Siesta Key D-3 #17 Shebeen Irish Pub & Kitchen C-3 #17 Spearfish Grille A-4 #5 Toasted Mango Cafe C-3 #17 Miguel’s Restaurant C-3 #17 WATER SPORTS - FISHING - RENTALS A to Z Beach & Bike Rentals A-5 #12 FIN Island Co. A-3 #2 CB’s Saltwater Outfitters A-3 #4 Parasail Siesta A-3 #2 Siesta Key Bike & Kayak B-3 #8 Siesta Key Marina A-4 #5 Siesta Key Jetski A-3 #2 Siesta Sports Rentals C-3 #14 CRESCENT BEACH SHOP INDEX 941.346.0202 1220 Old Stickney Point Road HAND MADE: • Ice Cream • Sundaes • Shakes Home of the Orange Squeeze OPEN DAILY 11AM - 10PM Siesta Key BestDiner in Florida 6621 Midnight Pass Road Just S. of Stickney Pt. Road 941-552-6485 Open 7 Days A Week ~ 7 AM - 3 PM BREAKFAST and LUNCH SERVED ALL DAY Full Breakfast and Lunch Menu All Natural Fresh Fruit and Veggie Smoothies Beer, Wine and Bloody Marys MSN Food and Drink Jan. 2015 SHELL& GIFT CITY SHELL & GIF T THE GREEN TURTLE TUR 349-4751 349-4751 SiestaKey’s Largest Seashell& CoralSelection! SOUTHBRIDGEMALL CRESCENT BEACH SIESTA KEY SiestaKey’s Most Friendly& Unique Shopping Spot! 6525 Midnight Pass Road In South Bridge Mall “A Tropical Department Store Department Store“ MAP B -3#14 FREE! FREE! FREE! FREE! FREE! FREE! With This Coupon No Pu r chase Necessary green TURTLE COUPON green TURTLE COUPON Just ForStopping In AF ree Tropical Gift! f t! EXPIRES:12/31/2020 VA59¢ LUE GIF TS& SOUVENIRS BEACH FASHIONS BEACH SUPPLIES BEACH COVER-UPS L ADIES & JUNIORS FASHIONS SUPER MEN'SLINE TS & ASHIONS JUNIORSFASHIONS S LINE $ T The Sniki Tiki Tiki Bar Food & Drinks ‘til 12am Come for Cocktails, Daiquiris, and great food at our Outdoor Tiki Bar—stay for daily live music and twice weekly Karaoke Located in Captain Curt’s Village, under the giant American Flag To advertise in Siesta Sand, call 941-312-0665 Nobody in the World Sells More Real Estate! Stop By and Say Hi! Something for Everyone Home of the World’s Best Clam Chowder

A family-fueled business that has endured

Siesta Sun Villas on Crescent Street celebrates not only 20 years but all things splendidly simple about staying on the Key

David Warren understands Siesta’s family appeal.

Twenty years ago, after falling in love with Siesta Key on vacations, he moved with his wife and three children more than 4,000 miles from Manchester, England to their newly purchased rental property in quaint and quiet Point of Rocks. Two decades later, the Warrens’ Siesta Sun Villas continue to hold the same kind of draw for families just like theirs — although more often from the American Midwest than the north of England.

“We see a lot of families, people from Ohio, Indiana, up there,” said Warren. “They’re not the type of guest that would want to stay at the Ritz-Carlton. They just like the comfort of what we offer here.”

Warren argues that his family’s business, and their neighborhood, is a microcosm of what makes Siesta so special. “It’s more of a community, less of a corporate feel. Siesta is not full of chain restaurants. There are so many places owned by families. That’s one of the nice things that gels with what we offer and what the Key offers.”

Siesta Sun Villas comprises 10 private villas and apartments, on Crescent Street just around the corner from Private Beach Access 13. Most units have kitchenettes for saving and reheating restaurant leftovers and even cooking meals, either in-unit or at the property’s poolside grills.

All the units are on the ground level, which provides an immediacy to the community and also appeals to seniors and other people with mobility issues.

“They don’t have to sweat all the small stuff. They just need a place to stay, and then, ‘Where’s the beach? Where’s a place to eat?’ — That’s it.”

Warren has now been in the business long enough to see multiple generations of the same family come back year after year. “They came here with their grandparents, with their families, and now they’ve got families of their own. They basically grew up here on vacation,” he said.

And while 20 years here has brought some understandable — and even positive — changes, Warren laments the encroachment of developers.

“When you’re here for a long time, you really get to appreciate change. I’m all for redevelopment and improvement, but it’s such a shame that they’re trying to build all these hotels on the Key. There’s less and less of us [family-owned rentals],” he said, though he doesn’t blame people for selling

out. “It’s hard work. Maybe after you’ve been doing it 30, 40 years, somebody comes along with a big suitcase full of money. And I can understand it. You take the golden handshake, don’t you?”

Likewise, the ongoing proliferation of illegal “hotel houses” creates issues, not just as competition but as a barrier to customer trust. Illegal rentals may suddenly get busted by code enforcement, leaving unsuspecting guests in the lurch.

“It affects our business, and it’s no good for the guest experience, too,” Warren said.

He’s even had people turn up with no notice to book with him after their previous rental turned out to be illegal — and therefore unavailable. “If it’s too cheap, there’s probably be a reason why,” he added.

For his part, Warren plans to keep Siesta Sun in the family. His daughter has joined the hospitality biz, too, and he hopes someday to pass the property along to her.

“We’re trying to create a legacy,” he said.

And he hopes that legacy will exist on a Siesta Key with well-regulated lodging. Because even with the encroachment of more and more developments, people are still coming to Siesta for a non-corporate

experience. “They don’t want to stay in the Marriott and go to Outback,” as Warren put it. And the heart and soul of this island isn’t going anywhere.

“I think it will be popular forever, as long that white sand stays on the beach,” he said. “It’s a pretty special place.”

Booking at Siesta Sun Villas is available through, as well as through AirBNB and VRBO.

11V APRIL 2024 941.312.0665 27th State Media LLC VISIT OUR SIESTA VILLAGE LIQUORS JUST NEXT DOOR! Morton’s Siesta Market is your one-stop shop for easy island living. We offer a large selection of staple groceries, beer and wine, as well as fresh produce, meats and seafood. In keeping with our Morton’s tradition, we also carry a delicious array of prepared foods, perfect for take-out, picnics, parties and more. Please stop in and say hello! 205 Canal Road, Siesta Key • 941-349-1474 • Your Go-To Store on the Island
Left, a cozy unit at Siesta Sun Villas awaits a renter; below, son Jonathan and his girlfriend enjoy some painting touch-up work at the family’s Crescent Street property; below, owners David and Gina Warren enjoy a Siesta sunset. (submitted photos)

20% OFF


With our map on the next page you’ll be able to navigate your way to our featured shops with ease.

The Shop SRQ (G-2) offers flat-tops, fades, tapers, blowouts, razor cuts, and straight razor shaves. Owners, Erick and Dawn use a back to basics approach to grooming with a precise attention to personal detail.

Their commitment to excellence has provided them with many loyal customers. They welcome the opportunity to earn your trust. Hours:

Tues. thru Fri. 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sat., 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Gulf Gate Barber Shop (G-7) has been an institution in the community for years, owned by Kyle Flannery. The super-clean barbershop’s clientele is comprised of primarily men, but the shop services children as well. Scott Reich, formerly of the Siesta Key Village Barber Shop has relocated to this location.

West End Pub (G-49) Where else can you watch your favorite game with a great selection of beers, wines and liquors served by a friendly staff AND where you’re allowed to bring your own restaurant or deli food? Right here. 6500 Gateway Ave. 941-554-8905.

Tony’s Chicago Beef Company (S-16) is owned and operated by true Chicagoans. Dedicated to deliver Chicago’s best food, Chicago style Hot Dogs wit’ the works ... dragged through the garden on poppy seed buns with fresh cut fries, Italian Beef Sandwiches anyway you like, dipped or dry, sweet or hot.

Solórzano’s Late Night Pizzeria (S-34): At every Solórzano’s, they offer an experience familiar to those who understand the importance of family and dedication. Their recipes and techniques have been perfected through three long generations based on the traditional simplicity of the methods

used by their Italian ancestors. Dine inside, outside, pick up, or DELIVERY anywhere on Siesta Key, or in Sarasota until 3:30 a.m. 6574 Superior Ave., 941924-5800.

Gulf Gate Food + Beer (S-51): Sarasota’s late-night hot spot for the service industry, night owls, and midnight snackers. It’s not your typical sports bar, offering unique menu selections for carnivores and vegetarians. Be sure to check out their menu online at:

Hours: 11 a.m. – 1 a.m. (Sun. - Thurs.) open until 2 a.m. (Fri & Sat.).

Roberts Realty, Inc. (M-5) John Garner, Broker Assoc. & Diane Shane, Broker Assoc. have a combined 40 years’ experience in Sarasota of making dreams come true for our clients. For buyers, we have had great success in finding the right property for our clients because we listen closely to their wants and needs and matching that as close as possible. For sellers, over the years we have successfully listed and sold many, many properties throughout Sarasota County. Our philosophy is to have fun, enjoy the experience, achieve great results, make friends and receive referrals. We’re with you every step of the way! Call 941-924-2330 or drop by our office.

Only Eyes Optical (S-24) brings a new, exotic, eclectic, eccentric, unique collection of vintage, hipster, contemporary eyeglasses and sunglasses to the community. Licensed and experienced optician available to fill your prescriptions. Only Eyes Optical has a large assortment of free frames with the purchase of new lenses. Call 941-444-7984 to set up an appointment with their licensed optician.

Seascape Aquarium & Pet Center (GG**) Serving the area since 1975, this lively critter emporium features

10,000 feet of showroom, 25,000 gallons of freshwater, saltwater and coral, and adventures galore. Hours are Mondaythru Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 10 am. 5 p.m., Sunday noon to 4 p.m.

Scandinavian Gifts Baked Goods and Grocery (GG-37) A fixture in Sarasota for 32 years, Scandinavian Gifts offers an assortment of linens, glassware, cookbooks, jewelry, candles, food items, and Christmas collectibles. Located at 2166 Gulf Gate Drive, the store is open Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

The Skinny Dip (G-26) Established in 2020. The Sarasota Skinny Dip location is a family-owned business, with husband-and-wife Alex and Sorelly, and their kiddos, Sophie and Noah. The business specializes in letting you make your frozen yogurt the way you want it! We specialize in Skinny8 Froyos, which are only 8 calories per once! Also available vegan and low-fat options so that all Dippers can, well, dip!

Apothecary Shoppe (S-6) Eric and Laurie’s knowledge of pharmaceuticals and natural/holistic remedies enables the safe integration of traditional and natural therapies. Their organic skincare line is compounded on site by Laurie who started her career as a make-up artist for the Today Show, Saturday Night Live, and so many more. Eric is a pharmacist and also certified in naturopathy, wanting the best natural options for his clients. Open M-F 10-5 pm, Sat 10-3 pm.

L’Opera Bakery Bistro (GG1) This French bakery and pastry restaurant has a great dedication to freshness with sweets and breads baked on site. Also features salads and sandwiches along with homemade macaroons and chocolate. Hours are 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday thru Sunday. Located at 2336 Gulf Gate Drive. Call 941-922-2253. 941.312.0665
John Garner Broker Associate
Roberts Realty
Diane Shane Broker Associate
We’re So Much More Than Frozen Yogurt!
The guilt-free classic packed with probiotics GELATO: A fancy shmancy name for lowfat ice cream SORBET: Sorta like a non-dairy soft serve snow cone SKINNY 8: Froyo 8 CALORIES per ounce! VEGAN: A dairy free froyo 6616 Gateway Ave • Sarasota • 941-923-6680 P S Y C H I C + T A R O T R E A D I N G S + Y o g a C B D + D E L T A - 8 T H C C R Y S T A L S + J E W E L R Y + A p p a r e l M e t a p h y s i c a l G i f t s + A p o t h e c a r y High Vibration Boho Boutique 6 5 5 7 S u p e r i o r A v e n u e S a r a s o t a , F L 3 4 2 3 1 941.312.5630 w i l d g i n g e r a p o t h e c a r y c o m V i e w s c h e d u l e & b o o k o n l i n e ! F B | I n s t a g r a m | Y o u T u b e | G o o g l e @ w i l d g i n g e r a p o t h e c a r y QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT TRANSITIONS® LENSES BOUTIQUE NLY EYES PTICAL MENTION THIS AD FOR A GIFT Veteran Owned 6541 Superior Ave. • Sarasota, FL 34231 941-444-7984 GULFGATE Business District Varilux, Crizal, Transitions and more. WE WILL MEET OR BEAT ANY PRICES! BRING YOUR EYEGLASS PRESCRIPTION TO US! Our boutique offers a wide range of unique, vintage, modern & trendy eyewear. Let our optician help you find a perfect match! From selected collection. FREE FRAMES While Supply Lasts Pay For Lenses Only Plenty of fun was on tap at the West End Pub on Gateway Avenue during this year’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities. (submitted photos) A green day, indeed
13V APRIL 2024 941.312.0665 27th State Media LLC 6500 Gateway Ave • 941.554.8905 MLB/College Packages FULL BAR HOTTEST BAR IN GULF GATE... Oldest barbershop in Gulf Gate, styling all the locals since the 60’s. Our barbers bring over 100 years combined experience and local knowledge to your haircut. We’ve seen and heard it all. Swing by and we can have a laugh, drink a beer, and figure out all the problems in your life. If we like you, it’s $22, if you’re a P.I.T.A. its $45+ Voted “Best Local Barber Shop” 20 years running. Ask for Al, Anthony, or Kyle 6575 Gateway Ave., Sarasota, FL 34231 941-809-9028 Walk-ins Welcome KRINGLE Danish Pastry Made in Racine, WI The Original O&H Danish Kringle OVER 15 FLAVORS TO CHOOSE FROM Beautiful Scandinavian Crystal & China Colorful Kitchen Linens and Cooking Accessories Quality Imported Candles, Jewelery, Greeting Cards Christmas Collectibles • Scandinavian Grocery 2166 Gulf Gate Dr. • 941-923-4313 Open Monday through Saturday from 10am - 5pm S13 S9 S17 S24 S15 S11 S19 S26 S14 S10 S18 S25 S16 S12 S20 S27 S21 S28 S29 S22 S30 S23 Iberia Bank 1 2 3 4 5 S31 S32 S33 S38 S34 S42 S40 S36 S44 S39 S35 S43 S41 S37 S45 S46 S47 S48 S53 S49 S55 S51 S54 S50 S56 S57 S58 S59 S52 M1 M5 M3 M2 M6 M4 M7 M 1 1 M9 M8 M12 M10 M13 M17 M21 M15 M19 M14 M18 M22 M16 M20 GG22 GG14 GG18 GG10 GG20 GG12 GG16 GG8 GG4 GG21 GG13 GG17 GG9 GG19 GG 1 1 GG15 GG7 GG3 GG6 GG2 GG5 GG1 GG44 GG36 GG40 GG32 GG42 GG34 GG38 GG30 GG26 GG43 GG35 GG39 GG31 GG41 GG33 GG37 GG29 GG25 GG28 GG24 GG27 GG23 GG52 GG53 GG54 GG48 GG50 GG46 GG51 GG47 GG49 GG45 G24 G1 G2 G10 G6 G14 G4 G12 G8 G16 G3 G11 G7 G15 G5 G13 G9 G17 G18 G19 G20 G21 G22 G23 G25 G33 G29 G37 G27 G35 G31 G39 G43 G26 G34 G30 G38 G28 G36 G32 G40 G44 G41 G45 G42 G46 G47 G48 G49 G50 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 A B C D E A B C D E Ross Dress for Less Vacant Marshall’s PetSmart Michaels Publix Hooters Sun T rust Panera Bread HornLong AmericaBankof Beall’s Outlet © Island V isito r Publishing, LLC 2018 GULF G ATE S8 S5 S1 S7 S3 S6 S2 S4 Five Below Vitamins & Mi n e ra l s H o m e o p a t h y H a n gove r R e m e d i e s E s s e n t i a l O i l s • E n z y m e s P rote i n S h a ke s and more! Organic Skincare 6608 Gateway Ave , Gulf Gate 941.554.8623 naturalapothecaryshoppe com 25% OFF with this ad (certain restricitions app y Valid through April 30, 2024) NEW! Natural Cosmetic Kits

The Whole Band

ideal replacement. “I said we need to find a guitar player that can play killer guitar solos and leads, who can sing harmony, and who’s easy to get along with,” said Chappell.

Within a month, Apostoli texted her, “I think we just found our guy.” It was Kevin Thompson.

And with the addition of pedal steel guitarist Dave Pierce, the five of them formed the Whole Band’s original iteration for the first couple of years. Then a young phenom guitar player named Zack Yoder asked if he could “sit in” with them sometime. In his early 20s at the time — much younger than the others — Yoder nevertheless blew them away with his seemingly effortless flair.

Now all they needed was a name. For almost a whole season, the six of them played every Friday-night gig with a different, outrageous moniker. (Chappell rejected “Super Callie and the Fragilistics” outright.)

Not every band member could make every Friday-night gig. But one evening as they were setting up in Blasé Café’s spacious outdoor patio, a fan remarked, “Hey, the whole band is here!” Chappell remembered. “We started laughing

Continued from page 1V

and said, ‘That’s our name!’”

Now the co-leaders of the group, Thompson and Chappell call each other “musical best friends.” They choose which songs to cover, help to create the arrangements, and each contribute original music, too.

The Whole Band’s repertoire spans a gamut of ‘70s-era rock, including the Rolling Stones and Beatles, the Doobie Brothers, the Steve Miller Band, Fleetwood Mac and more.

A fan favorite is their cover of “Purple Haze,” with Thompson playing Jimi Hendrix’s guitar parts on mandolin. They also do a bluegrass version of “Freebird,” for when someone inevitably shouts out the request. “We set it up as a joke, and then we blow the socks off it,” said Chappell. “With a lot of what we do, it’s not just that’s such a cool song, it’s, ‘Listen how these guys play this cool song.’”

The talent of each of the musicians, highlighted by the songwriting and arranging chops of Chappell and Thompson, undoubtedly contribute to the intense draw of the Whole Band. But their shared camaraderie may be the secret magic that has turned Friday nights at the Blasé Café into

sprawling block parties.

And certainly that camaraderie — with each other, with their audiences, and even with the management at Blasé Café — is what will keep the Whole Band

coming back for the foreseeable future.

“We have such respect and admiration for each other as musicians,” said Chappell. “We’re always happy to see each other,

every single week. We get done with a song and we’re laughing and shaking our heads. We’ll just be so tickled by how much fun that was. Why would I want to stop with such a happy thing?”

14V Siesta Sand APRIL 2024 941.312.0665
The Whole Band in action at Blase Cafe along Ocean Boulevard in the Siesta Key Village. (submitted photo)

Siesta Key Outfitters


display, Ritter says that he can produce that within a few hours.

“It has to look perfect. We provide 5-star customer service. Everyone leaves happy,” he said with pride.

Ritter can also create custom T-shirts for large groups, with advance notice.

“If people have an idea of their design or a photo or logo that they want to have on the T-shirt, we’re happy to help with that,” said Ritter. He’s created many special designs for weddings, family gatherings, and other large events.

Recently, a customer ordered 70 shirts for a family event in advance of the day. The design featured a palm tree on the front and the date of the event on the back. “What a great way to remember your special day,” Ritter said.

Custom T-shirts can also be produced for business meetings and other large gatherings, he said.

“We have a loyal customer base. “I’ve been here 12 years and I love it,” said Ritter. “I love Siesta Key. This store creates an atmosphere of happiness.”

The busy shop, located at 5131 Ocean Blvd., is also a well-stocked variety store.

“We’re in the beach-ware business. This store has whatever people need for the beach,” Ritter

said on a tour of the shop, pointing out beach towels and beach toys.

Among the other offerings are souvenirs, postcards, mugs, and a wide selection of clothing for men, women, boys and girls.

Guys who are looking for a classic Hawaiian shirt for a night on the town or to wear on their way to the beach will find a collection of classic button-up tropical shirts. “I import them directly from Hawaii,” said Ritter. He also offers

a selection of men’s HUK Gear brand fishing shirts with SPF built into the fabric and carries the popular Hurley brand men’s shorts.

Women will find fashionable Banana Boat dresses made with SPF fabrics, dresses from the Miami women’s clothing line Elan, and Liquid Energy fashion sweatshirts and casual pants. The shop also has a full collection of straw hats from Sun ‘N’ Sand, Caribbean Joe, plus baseball caps.

Fashionable embroidered straw and cloth tote bags from leading manufacturers are also stationed near the women’s dresses and hats.

“People tell me how well the store is done, how good it looks. It’s the ultimate compliment” said the store owner as he looked back on his 30-year career in the business.

Sunglasses, of course, are a vital accessory for any Siesta Key visitor. Ritter prides himself on the highend collection of sunglasses that he offers from leading brand names for men and women. Oakley, RayBan, Belle, and Maui Jim glasses are on display in glass cases.

This year, Ritter also added the popular Cocoons Original Polarized Fitter Sunglasses. “They’re designed to fit over your prescription glasses and they’re for men and women,” he explained.

Daily store hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Call (941) 349-3490 or email

An environmentally friendly occasion

Students and instructors with Out-of-Door Academy on March 9 provided Siesta Key with some measures to help keep the Grand Canal clean. Whether they were installing vertical oyster gardens, which act as a filtration system, or placing no-dumping stickers on drainage grates, their efforts helped the Siesta Key Association civic group’s Jean Cannon (upper


regenerate 941.312.0665 JANUARY 2024| 941.312.0665 27TH STATE MEDIA LLC | | COMPLIMENTARY 1398 IN OUR SECOND SECTION: • Music Calendar PAGE V3 • Village Map/business listings PAGES V8, V9 • Crescent Beach Map/ business listings PAGE V10 •Gulf Gate Shops PAGE V13 YOUR HOME FOR THE COLLEGE BOWLS AND NFL PLAYOFFS! see our ad on page 5 Page 35 This information is completely classi ed © Why the world comes to Sarasota Page 10 Here’s to a guy who’s in command Tues & Thurs Entertainment Every Day Captain Curt’s Village aiquiri o o Captain Curt’s Village It’s transition time TheVillage’s Davidson Plaza seeing new tennants and a possible new trend By Jane Bartnett Page 15 It was another doozy of a year Muralist Jaime Valdeiglesias works on a most welcoming message on the side of the Crescent Beach Market. (photo by John Morton Page 6 B Shop In-StoresorOnline NOW SWIMWEAR RESORT WEAR ACCESSOR ES SIES KEY 1960 Stickn y Pt R 9 922 4545 ON AT 31 G o M o 9 383 88 OWN N 50 N m 94 54 88 www SwimC ty com Benderson proposal will be the focus By John Morton Wallace STICKER GOES HERE The Siesta Sand Needs Your Support! SUBSCRIPTIONS ONLY $60 2 EASY WAYS TO SUBSCRIBE ONLINE AT SIESTASAND.US CALL 941-312-0665 Support "The Sand" and local journalism by subscribing today.
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Siesta Key Outfitters is located at 5131 Ocean Blvd. (photo by Jane Bartnett) left) her team with their ongoing mission to the island’s 9-mile canal. (submitted photos)
16V Siesta Sand APRIL 2024 941.312.0665
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