The house and pet sitting assignment in Venice is completed, now it's time for a review. We'll talk about anything unusual around the house, the local area, and my recommendations of things to do when you visit Venice.
With my home being in Florida I gotta say, this is the place to be. I'm as guilty as many people in the fact that while I live within a couple hours of great towns, beaches, and tourist attractions, I don't visit them as often as I should.
Venice is one such place. Located at the southern end of the Tampa Bay Area, in Sarasota County, it's about a 90 drive from my house. This is an "old Florida" town with part of its history being the home of many of the original Ringling Brothers Circus members. Sarasota is the birthplace and home of famous high wire walker Nik Wallenda.
This is the town where, back in the day, Ringling Brothers Circus loaded their animals, equipment, and people on trains to share their show. During the winter months, the circus would return home to develop new acts, expand, and practice. I've been told, it was during this time, adults could be seen practicing and teaching children their craft in the yards of their Venice homes.
Enough about the circus, let's get to the review.
Nothing unusual happened, no hurricanes, no serious thunderstorms, and no problems with Lily or the property. This is really the norm for most of my house/pet sitting assignments; it's a lot like living at home, just in a different location.
Judith and Joe's home is conveniently located within walking distance to shore of the Gulf of Mexico and the historic town of Venice. It's a typical Florida home, constructed of cinder (concrete) blocks and landscaped with tall native pine trees, citrus trees, hedges bushes, and flowering plants.
Walking around the neighborhood, you feel the vibe of the homes built in the 1950's and 60's.
Looking at the newer construction, you notice the contrast, albeit subtle in most cases. The one constant between the older and newer homes is the tropical landscaping.
Most days were spent walking in to town, one of the nearby "green" areas, fishing, or simply relaxing by the pool. For those days I wanted to explore the area, there is plenty to see and do. Here are a few of my recommendations on things to see and at least one that was a true waste of time.
TO SEE and DO:
- Venice beaches; I won't single out one beach along the Gulf coast because they are all about the same. If you're looking for some outstanding sunsets, swimming, or relaxing any pick your spot on the coastline and enjoy.
- Venice Jetty and Venice pier; both are popular places for fishing and while I caught fish, I didn't catch the big one. Some reviews on-line brag about the Venice pier being among the best, but for me it was just a pier; nothing special.
- Historic downtown Venice; this is a great place for walking, shopping, and dining.
- Centennial Park; this is located in historic downtown and is the place to be for many local events. There is a weekly "Farmers Market" almost every Saturday featuring fresh produce, local crafts, and plenty to see.
- Legacy Trail; this trail runs almost the entire length (north to south) of Sarasota County. It's a well-maintained asphalt path used by walkers, joggers, and bicyclers.
- Venice Autobahn Society (Venice Rockery); this is a good place to watch birds, relax, and enjoy some peace and quiet.
- Any of the many public parks throughout the area; parks for families, dogs, nature, they are all here.
PLACES TO EAT:
- Made in Italy; located in historic downtown the food is plentiful and reasonably priced
- Mi Pueblo; I've eaten at a couple of Mi Pueblo restaurants in FL and this is the best one. The service was great, food was delicious and plentiful, and the management staff was actively involved in making sure the dining experience was great.
DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME:
- Venice Train Depot; the outside area is fine, but after two visits, I never got inside the actual depot; it was closed. After looking through the side door, I saw a sign that said they were open on Saturdays for group tours.
Not only does Venice Florida have some beaches, it's got the weather needed to enjoy the beaches. During this assignment (October) the temperatures ranged from lows between 60° to 70° and highs being comfortable 75° to 85°. Being a coastal town, there is generally a slight breeze.
One thing to keep in mind if you're coming to Venice for a vacation is the various "seasons" Florida has. For instance, we have hurricane season which runs from June through November. Then starting in October and running through March, we have snowbird season; this is the season when folks from the northern states migrate south to escape the winter chills.
Then of course, we have tourist (high) season, which runs from December to April, and even longer is some parts of the state. The off-season (low season) runs from May through August when the heat and humidity are the strongest.
Until next time, enjoy your journeys.