Thursday 15th May 2008 The Crew Tony ……………….Driver and general gofer Theresa…………….Scrapbook shopper extraordinaire Peggy (my mum)…..I’ll go on anything as long as it’s not upside down or has big drops . Zena (my aunt)…….Ditto We had a lay-in this morning as we were off to the beach. We left at 10.15 but had to turn around just after we got out of the resort as Theresa had forgotten something. (Numpty) It took us about an hour and a half as we weren’t in a hurry and we stopped to look for a scrapbooking shop in Bradenton for Theresa on the way. As is so often the case in the US, it had closed down. We reached Anna Maria Island for lunchtime and went straight to the City Pier Restaurant. As we arrived at the end of the pier two men were just landing a very large sting ray. Being a keen angler myself I got in there and managed to get a few pictures before they put him back in. Lunch was my favourite grouper sandwich and Mum had the same. Zena opted for chicken strips and Theresa had tilapia. While we were sitting there eating, a school of dolphins swam by. Which inspired Theresa to declare it as her favourite meal so far. While we were in the restaurant an American family came in with triplet baby boys and lots of people applauded and went over to ask how they all were and congratulate them. This is one thing we love about the Americans, everyone likes to celebrate someones achievement. After lunch we had a stroll through the shops and had an ice cream from Two Scoops Ice-cream Parlour before driving to the other end of the island. We had a couple of hours on the beach, paddling and collecting shells. While we were there, I saw something that I’d not seen before. A family were building a sand castle by using wet sand and letting it run through their fingers to form pyramids, this made a very interesting change from the traditional English bucket and spade variety. It was about 3 foot by 2 foot and a foot high. We left Anna Maria around about 5.00 and decided to take a drive along the 192 on the way back for a change of scenery. We stopped and looked around the Cracker Barrel before going for tea at The Las Vegas Buffet. The place was deserted and they let us have the early bird at $10.99 even though it was a lot later than 5.30 to 6.30. They were that desperate for our custom. What we had was very nice but there was no carvery and the rest of the buffet was not up to their normal standards. I think the fact that a new Golden Corral has opened up just down the road spells the end of this restaurant.