“So where do you vacation if you grew up here?”


Cheetah Club Sister-in-Law (oh dear lord, I’m running out of strip club-themed nicknames) floated the question from their 12th-floor beachfront balcony at Lido Beach Resort. Did anybody else catch that sunset Saturday night? Spectacular.


Lido Beach Resort, 12th floor, July 24, 2010.

The answer to her question—ie “Somewhere it snows”—seemed almost sacrilegious in that intense orange, post-Bonnie glow. And from the resort’s penultimate floor, I realized there aren’t that many views in Sarasota like that.


Cheetah brother and his family, including two young boys, swung by for a visit en route to Universal. Which brings up an interesting task: Where to send your Sarasota visitors with kids? Suddenly my standard answers—Bahi Hut and…Cheetah Club?—seem, well, a tad inappropriate.


I love playing tour guide. ‘Course, there usually isn’t enough time to hit up all the recommended destinations, anyway, and the Cheetahfam were only in town for the weekend. (For the true Sarasota-Hannah experience, you’d need to spend about, um, 30 years here.) So, basically: beach. Aaaaaaand seafood. And then beach. And Kilwin’s. And beach again.


For a longer visit, I hoped options like G.WIZ, parasailing, Le Barge and the fountain et al at Bayfront Park would all be appealing. But given the short time frame, Captain Brian’s, Kilwin’s, and Anna Maria’s Cheetahfam-favorite, the Beachhouse, then a drive back to Lido via Longboat, were hopefully enough of a family-friendly Sarasota showcase.


Now to change gears back to my regularly scheduled adult programming: I’ve started the countdown to the arrival Thing 1, Thing 2 and Captain Slack in advance of Kegtacular, Aug. 14. Again, I’m over-prepared with potential destinations and activities—everything from hockey and boxing to Belgian waffles and frozen yogurt to Hi-Way and OT—much of which we won’t have time for, I’m sure. But the Kegtacular festivities themselves are shaping up into some kind of Perfect Party Storm. I’m practically giddy every time I think about the guest list, as it seems so many great personalities from so many parts of my life will be there. (By this point I’ve probably jinxed myself into an evening of watching Krazy Kevin play Wii golf, but…hopefully not.)


I’ve been telling everyone that since my siblings are traveling cross-country (from Raleigh and San Diego) to attend their first ever CCB-and-Hannah party, we’ve got to make sure it lives up to the hype. Seems everyone has been listening. Now I can finally stop trying to describe our insane-in-a-good-way blue-liners like Scoops, Top Dog Tom, Krazy Kevin and Lefty, and just let the sibs sit back and enjoy the show. Really, I might as well serve popcorn and milk duds. This is going to be awesome.


Oh, and by the way, if you’re reading this, you’re invited.


First, though, I feel like I’ve been sentenced to some kind of pre-party deterrence program: I’ve got jury duty next Monday. Nothing like an insider’s look at the justice system right before your biggest bash of the year. I’ll let you know how that goes, whenever I can, next week.