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sandybeachvacay April 26, 2023

It must be the athlete in me. I love to ride a bicycle. Always have. Growing up in Staten Island (one of NYC’s five boroughs), I was always riding with my friends Mike and Robert to the movies, to Dairy Queen, to the local cemetery (yeah, we actually liked checking out the tombstones) in the summertime.

“Look, no hands!” I’d yell, showing off my skills until the bike inevitably wobbled and tossed me onto the pavement. We’d grab some candy at the corner store and then ride for an hour or so until we found a patch of grass where we could throw down our bikes and just sit around laughing and joking.

It was pure joy. What’s not to like about having the sun in your face and a breeze streaming past you as you seek out new sights and secluded locations – or just zone out to enjoy the moment.

Which is why I’m here with a special offer for the remainder of 2023:

If  you book one of my vacation units through Sandy Beach Vacay, I will include two free bike rentals for the length of your stay. Just mention my promo code BIKE2023 to redeem this offer only through my website booking. You, too, can be one of the many cyclists who move serenely along the beach in the morning, when the sun first comes up, or in the late afternoon, when the last rays are splashing across the sky. Feeling adventurous?  Grab your bike and head down to the lighthouse for a little history and a great view. Or just peddle over to Ho Daddy’s in Daytona. On Anna Maria Island bike to Pine Street for some shopping or Bean Point for a sunset.

I don’t have to tell you about the many benefits of bike riding – we all know it’s good for both your physical and mental health. It’s hard to worry much when you’re gliding past a beautiful ocean or taking in the sights and sounds of a boardwalk or downtown area.

Even better, by stepping out of your car and onto a bike, you’re doing the planet a favor by reducing our carbon footprint. Score one for nature. Every week can be “Bike Week” (for free!), if you book one of my beautiful units. It’s just a click away Sandy Beach Vacay

Don’t forget the mention the promo code BIKE2023 when booking for this exclusive offer. It’s so worth it to take the ride of your life enjoying nature.

sandybeachvacay March 17, 2023

As a native New Yorker, I always loved celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.  Whether you lived in Staten Island, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens or Manhattan, you could always find a parade – with nearly bars ready to serve revelers beer and songs throughout the day.  On the home front, my mother always cooked a corned beef and cabbage dinner, complete with Irish soda bread baked by my dad. It was always a good time.

But then I moved to Florida, figuring my Irish celebration days were behind me, as I traded the chilly days of March for the sun-drenched beaches of Anna Maria Island and Daytona. Boy, was I wrong!

For those of you renting (or thinking about renting) a vacation unit, I’m happy to report that St. Patrick’s Day is a hopping holiday in Daytona and Anna Maria Island. Snowbirds and day trippers alike can find “Luck of the Irish” celebrations in:

Anna Maria Island – where the parade kicks off at 4 p.m., starting at Eat Here (5315 Gulf Avenue) and heads north to Holmes Beach, where it ends at 85th Street. You won’t want to miss the Irish step dancers, bagpipers and local school bands as they accompany the floats along the parade route.

Daytona Beach – where the 25th Annual St. Paddy’s Day Bigger and Better Block Party kicks off at the Riverfront Shops of Daytona Beach from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.  in the historic Beach Street area. You won’t want to miss it!

If you’re more about beer than bagpipes, there are micro-breweries in both locations, where you can enjoy artisan craft beers with friends and family.  Micro Breweries of Ponce Inlet and Anna Maria Island

If you’re not into St. Patrick’s Day at all, you can still have a great time at:

The 33rd Annual Spring Daytona Turkey Run , which runs from 3/24-3/25 at the International Speedway Track. This most popular of events features thousands of classic cars in a massive swap meet that also includes food, arts and crafts and music. And yes, there’s a car parade around the International Speedway track at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

The 34th Annual Springfest Fine Arts and Crafts Festival in Anna Maria Island , which runs from 3/19-3/20 in City Field. Sponsored by the Anna Maria Island Arts League, this amazing event features 80 artists showcasing their work in oil paintings, wood and other media. Throw in live music and plenty of food, and you’re got yourself a wonderful way to spend a weekend with friends and/or your family.

With all this happening, I hope to see you soon here in Florida, whether you’re a car fan, artist…or Irish, just for a day!

sandybeachvacay February 14, 2023

When I posted my “Why People Can’t Get Enough of the Beach” blog last month, I was struck by
how lucky I am to do a job that brings me in contact with wonderful people, all
the time.

So…I decided that this year, I would offer all of you a Valentine’s Day gift – namely
a sunset cruise for free if – between now and March 15,2023 — you book one of my
beach vacation rental units through  in 2023.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a new client, or someone who has enjoyed the SandyBeachVacay  units before in either Anna Maria Island or Ponce Inlet. If you want a sunset cruise, I’ve got one for you! I will include a sunset cruise (limit 6) – for free!


Having taken the sunset cruises in both Daytona (click here) and Anna Maria
Island (click here), I highly recommend them! It’s a beautiful experience to see
the sun set while you’re cruising on the ocean. And what better way to end a day
on the beach or by the pool than to watch the sun set over the ocean – while
you’re actually ON the ocean. Talk about immersive experiences!

So…Happy Valentine’s Day to all you romantics out there. Give that special
someone in your life a vacation (and sunset cruise) that they’ll remember for
years to come!


sandybeachvacay January 31, 2023

I can’t begin this post without thanking all of my Sandybeachvacay clients who are renting my
vacation units (or plan to) despite the double-hurricane devastation Ponce Inlet and Anna Maria Island
experienced last fall. (Can I ever again utter the names Ian and Nicole without shuddering, just a little?)

It’s been heartwarming to see our condo community and clients come together to bring the units back
to their beautiful states while state and local authorities work to restore our beaches. The hope, of
course, is that by the time summer rolls around , much of the beach erosion will have been remediated
and restored to its former glorious self.

In the meantime, our snowbird clients are enjoying their winter stay in Florida. They are living the
reasons why people can’t get enough of the beach:

1) Relaxation – There’s nothing like the sound of waves and the warmth of the sun (even if it’s a
winter one), to reduce the stress and tension of every day life. My sister Pat will tell you that
she worked out many of life’s problems along an ocean shoreline – before she had kids, while
they were growing up and now, as an empty nester and retiree.

2) Fresh Air – This one is most important to me. There’s nothing like the breeze coming off an
ocean to provide a sense of peace and tranquility, and to put you in a better frame of mind to
attend to your overall health and wellness.

3) Vitamin D – Consider this the companion gift to fresh air – a nutrient provided by the sun that is
essential to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy.

4) Exercise – I hve been  heartened to see that the beach erosion hasn’t stopped our snowbird visitors from getting out to walk or ride their bikes. And why not? Can you think of a better way to get your steps in while
attending to your overall fitness?

5) Positive Social Interactions – I don’t know about you, but I cherish my condo buds – both those
who have rented from me, and the owners who have become not only good neighbors, but
great friends as well. During a time in our country when the isolation and depression are all
around us, it’s a comfort to know you can head to a place where the people are warm and
welcoming. And there’s no better way to bring family together than to plan a beach stay.

So while we hold our breath and hope for the best this summer, it’s nice to know that the ocean and
beach are still here – and still delivering on their promise for a better and healthier way to live.

I think I hear the ocean calling now…

Hope to see you soon,


sandybeachvacay December 22, 2022

Happy Holidays and well wishes to all my past and current guest for a great 2023.

I must admit that 2022 was my most challenging year running Sandy Beach Vacay. I started the year shutting down my Anna Maria Island unit the Sandy Turtle to embark on a total gut and renovation. We encountered many, many starts and stops thank-you pandemic supply chain delays, unexpected remediation expenses, and a redesign of the kitchen after an architectural hiccup. It ran three months over schedule, and we screeched out of the parking lot fluffing the last new pillow as the first guest checked in! It turned out beautiful after all the blood, sweat and a LOT of tears.

After a quiet summer recovering from this massive renovation the fall brought two back-to-back hurricanes (Ian and Nicole) that wreaked havoc on the Atlantic coast. Thankfully all the East wind units fared well with minimal damage and the complex is fully functioning, heated pool and all. I want to thank all the many guests who reached out via phone, text and email with well wishes and prayers.

Unfortunately, the shoreline sustained a lot of beach erosion. Some preliminary sand was brought in to help build up the shoreline. Federal, state and local government offices continue to work on long term plans to rebuild and prevent this type of damage from happening again. But that will take many, many months to implement.

I invested in several upgrades of guest bedroom furniture, mattresses and new water heaters in Sandy Sunrise, Pat’s Paradise and Bob’s Beachin Dreams. Sandy Sunrise also got a new A/C unit after Hurricane Nicole. As a follow-on project for the Sandy Turtle I have new sliders and windows on order and will be installed in the spring of 2023.

So, I look forward to closing the chapter on 2022 and embracing 2023 with a fresh outlook. I am grateful for all of you who continue to support Sandy Beach Vacay. I listen to all your feedback and implement changes to better serve our guests. My greatest joy is giving each of you a premier and memorable vacation for years to come.  Happy Holidays and I hope you will visit Ponce Inlet or Anna Maria Island soon!

sandybeachvacay October 24, 2022

First, I want to say “THANKYOU” to the many friends, family members and past guests who have reached out to me in the days following Hurricane Ian’s journey across the Sunshine State. I could feel the love pouring in from so many of you, and for that, I’m grateful.

I’m also relieved to say that Anna Maria Island and Ponce Inlet, while affected by the storm, were spared the more devastating effects suffered by communities like Fort Myers and Sanibel Island. My heart goes out to my fellow Floridians who are trying to pull their lives together in the aftermath of Ian’s destructive path through their homes and communities.

I traveled to Ponce Inlet immediately after the storm and worked days with the wonderful staff and owners there to mop up water, pull out soaked rugs and otherwise clean up decks, patios and the common areas. Aside from no electricity, losing a few rugs and some minor water damage, the rental units came through unscathed.  I did get my exercise hiking up to the fifth and seventh floor units with no operational elevators! Anna Maria Island staff reported no damage to the newly renovated unit as well. Amazingly the unit never lost electricity during the storm.

Crews are out cleaning up the shoreline, and plans are already underway to repair the East Wind Condo stairs leading to the beach. The dunes are gone – and we will have a planting day to replenish the sand dunes. Here is what the beach looked like in the aftermath:

All I can say is – it could have been much, much worse. Replacing a rug is one thing. But it doesn’t compare to replacing a personal home filled with cherished belongings. Several folks I know are dealing with that aftermath…

I’ve lived through half a dozen “serious” hurricanes over the last 27 years. Like so many, I’ve boarded up windows, huddled in closets and evacuated when instructed. Every hurricane is unique. Each one leaves its mark.

We got lucky this time.

On a happier note, I travelled out to Oklahoma City following the mass hurricane cleanup to attend the Grand National and World Champion Morgan Horse Show.

Before meeting my wife, I knew very little about horses. But it’s been an awesome experience to step into the world of horse competition and get a chance to see Morgan horses from all over the country gather for this event. There’s no other word for it – these horses are just magnificent.

We had a chestnut filly competing and I’m thrilled to say that Gulfwind’s Girl on Fire won the World Championship Western Pleasure 3 year old and Western Pleasure Futurity classes.

Look at this beauty:

Thank you again for all the thoughts, prayers and well wishes.








sandybeachvacay June 10, 2022

Anybody out there ever go through renovation hell? If you mentally raised your hand, let me just say this – I feel you! I’ve just completed the renovation of my Anna Maria Island rental unit, and to say it was difficult doesn’t begin to describe the experience. But hey, let’s not relive it.







Maggie and I spent the weekend putting the finishing touches on the unit and I have to say – We love it. Welcome to the Sandy Turtle!

We barely go the last pillow fluffed before the first renter rolled in – but I couldn’t be happier, knowing that my guests will be vacationing in a rental unit that meets my gold standard for style and comfort.  Take a look … and then feel free to plan your next vacation here, if you have a yen to stay on the Gulf side of Florida.

It wasn’t all work while we were on the island. We had our teenage son and his friend with us, so we had to make a decision. What do you do on Anna Maria Island with two teenagers whose favorite pastime is watching YouTube videos on their phones?

Why, you rent a golf cart, of course, and explore this beautiful vacation spot on the way to your favorite eatery – because the other thing teenage boys do when they’re not surfing, is eating, of course.

So off we went, trundling through this Old Florida town until we came to our first stop – The Doughnut Experient.

This is a “must visit” place for anyone visiting Anna Maria Island. Who doesn’t like doughnuts? Especially made-to-order ones fresh out of the fryer!

Here’s how it worked. Four of us selected three doughnuts apiece.  We then chose an icing (chocolate, carmel, maple syrup, etc..), followed by the toppings (sprinkles, coconut flakes, M&M, among the many others to choose from).

And voila! Just minutes later, we were enjoying our custom-made doughnuts. The best-tasting one? The Maple/Bacon confection won, hands down.

Later that evening we ventured out for pizza. It was our first time at My Pizza Social , and believe me, it was a great find.

What teenager doesn’t love ordering their own personal pan pizza?  Growing up in New York, I am a pizza snob, But I have to say, our pies were baked to perfection in a pizza oven. There were many choices of toppings, cheeses and sauces to choose from. They all came fresh out of the oven and topped with home grown basil. Another winner.

Meanwhile, back in Ponce Inlet, my siblings were having their own great food experiences. My sister Pen decided to make a Sicilian fish stew, and found the scallops, cod and shrimp she was looking for at Two Jerks Seafood market in Port Orange.

Sourced directly from local fishermen and harvested from the pristine waters surrounding Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, you won’t find fish that is fresher anywhere else. The white shrimp, for example, are landed the same day they are caught by local shrimpers out of Ponce Inlet.

I’m hoping Pen saves me some stew for when I visit her and the rest of my siblings later this week — but I’m guessing it will be all gone. Till the next time.

My brother and sister-in-law, meanwhile, decided to dine at Our Deck Down Under in Port Orange.

Located under the Dunlawton bridge, just yards away from Two Jerks, this hidden gem offers a casual waterfront dining experience where the portions are generous, but the prices are really reasonable. According to my brother, the fried shrimp was outstanding. If you’re not in the mood for seafood, there’s a great variety of ribs, burgers or other house-made specialties to choose from. My sister-in-law loved the outdoor deck, where she was able to catch a panoramic view of the intracoastal waterway and a glorious sunset. Can you think of a better way to end the day?  One caution though….no pups allowed if you’re thinking about brining your dog.

I’m heading back to Ponce Inlet tomorrow to see my family one last time before they head north. Because family is what it’s all about these days, as we head into summer.

Welcome to Summer, everyone!










sandybeachvacay April 13, 2022

For years, I’ve been talking about the wonders of Ponce Inlet and Anna Maria Island. But I get it.
From where you’re sitting, I’m the person trying to persuade you to rent one of my units at (BTW: If you’ve never done it, you’re in for a wonderful experience.)

So, you can imagine my delight when I came upon two articles that provided an outside perspective about my two favorite places in Florida. Sometimes there’s nothing like a third-party view to help you decide where you want to land for your next vacation.

Look at this article (Florida Rambler), which describers Ponce Inlet as a “delightful outdoor oasis near Daytona Beach.” I knew it! But it’s terrific to see that reporter Deborah Hartz-Seeley has also taken note of the quiet location, the beautiful beaches and the many activities that set the Inlet apart from its more partying neighbors in Daytona (though it’s only ten miles away, if a livelier party scene is what you’re looking for!)

Similarly, reporter Bonnie Gross wrote about experiencing old Florida charm when she recently visited Anna Maria Island. And she, too, provided a list of things to do – everything from beach lounging and fishing for free on the bayfront to kayaking and boarding a spotting dolphin tour — if you’re up for taking a ride to the Island as the days become longer and warmer.
See for yourself! (Anna Maria Island Things to Do)

In other news, many of you know that I’m in the throes…umm…middle of renovating my AMI rental unit. It’s been quite a journey (another story for another time), but I’m delighted to announce that the renovation should be completed by the end of this month. I can’t wait to show you the beautiful result!

In the meantime. Here’s to celebrating spring and all it has to offer in Ponce Inlet and AMI as we move toward warmer days ahead!

In friendship,

sandybeachvacay March 8, 2022

March Madness, the start of spring, St. Patrick’s Day. There are lots of reasons to look forward to March.

And I would argue there’s no better month for all you vacationers, snowbirds and remote workers to take a break from the beach and enjoy one of the many microbreweries that grace the area in and around Ponce Inlet and Anna Maria Island.

Is there any better way to support your local community while staying at a Sandy Beach Vacay unit? Brewery owners put their heart and souls into providing a great product (who doesn’t love beer?) and a fun and relaxing experience for their customers.

Take the Dunes Brewery in Ponce Inlet. Twenty-five years ago, University of Florida students Michael Benedict, Bobby Zitzka and Chris Thompson dreamed up the idea of owning a brewery while they were still in school. Today, the coastal brewery, built on the historic dunes between the Atlantic Ocean and Halifax River, features a 4,000-square foot taproom that includes two bars with six craft brews on tap, a terrific wine selection, and popular champagnes, seltzers, and ciders. If you’re into games, you can play the Mandalorian Pinball, the Simpson’s Game, Hockey, 720 State or Die Arcade and two shuffle boards.

New Smyrna Beach Brewery is another local favorite, famous for beers like the Inlet Amber Ale, (the first one offered by the brewery when it opened it doors), the Pontoon Pilsner, Black and Blue Sour and a Shark Attack ale that boasts an attack of citrusy hops with a clean finish. It even offers a Chocolate Cake Imperial Stout, brewed with lactose and cocoa nibs – like having chocolate cake in a mug.

Ormond Brewing Company is the first craft brewery in Ormond Beach located in the Railroad District. With 18 delicious craft brews on tap and produced on site, the brewery sources all of its local ingredients in Ormond Beach. You can also buy wine by the glass in an establishment that prides itself on being both kid and pet friendly.

On Anna Maria Island, it’s worth visiting the Motor Works Brewery, which boasts the largest beer garden in Florida, complete with a spacious deck built around a150+ year-old oak tree. If games are your things, you can spend time on the brewery’s lawn playing cornhold, bocce ball and life-sized Jenja. Then there’s Connect Four, a large Live Music stage featuring eclectic bands and artists weekly, plus a 22 ft. projection screen for viewing films or sporting events. And speaking from experience, the beer is amazing, too!

Over in neighboring Sarasota, the Big Top Brewing, was opened when its owners realized there were no craft breweries in the Sarasota area. The brewery complements the historical associations with The Ringling Circus, performing arts, great architecture, the best art and design schools and its world-renowned tourism. Its artisan craft beers offer an experience you won’t want to miss in this unique venue.

And let’s not forget the 3 Car Garage Brewing, which offers small-batch brews like Beer Can Island Tropical Lager, a beach beer named after a local hangout, Junakawoo Blonde, a Bahama-inspired ale, and Jawa Juice, a chai-spiced milk stout that took the top prize at the 2022 Stout Wars competition! This well-known establishment lets you rummage in its game cabinet, hosts live events and partners with local food trucks to provide a casual, fun experience for anyone looking to break away from the winter blues.

So, whether you’re looking to create a new experience for your date, celebrating a holiday or planning a pub crawl with friends, micro-breweries are a wonderful way to break into spring.

Hope to see you there soon!

sandybeachvacay February 1, 2022

My sister Penny was 12 years old when she realized that my dad – who absolutely
adored my mother – NEVER got her a gift for Valentine’s Day. Ever… “I love your
mother every day,” he said, grinning, as if that were explanation enough.
Pen was horrified! Who was this man and why didn’t he understand that mom needed
to be acknowledged on this universally recognized day of love!

So, she commandeered all her siblings (NOTE: There were SIX of us) and from that
year on, my mother regularly received multiple boxes of chocolate and cards.
After a year or two of watching the love roll into our house on Feb. 14, even Dad
(who was REALLY hard to embarrass) started showing up with a mushy card and
candy for my mother. Which made all of us happy, especially the hopelessly
romantic sister who started it all.

That is how I learned to love giving gifts on Valentine’s Day. So, guess what? I’ve
got one for all you lovers out there. Between now and Valentine’s Day, if you
book one of my beach vacation rental units for
any week that’s available in 2022, I will include for you and your loved one(s) a
sunset cruise (limit 6) – for free! Because what’s more romantic than watching the sun set over
the ocean?

Email me the dates your interested in and I will check the availability for the units (3 in Ponce, 1 in Anna Maria Island).

Having enjoyed the sunset cruises in both Daytona (Ponce Inlet Watersports) and Anna Maria
Island (AMI Dolphin Tours), I know you’ll love the experience, almost as much as the rest of
the time you spend relaxing on the beach or by the pool – or just chilling in a
beautiful unit where you can order in or cook a wonderful meal for your special
someone – even if he or she comes with kids, friends, or other relatives in tow!

As my sister showed me, there’s nothing nicer than being able to give a gift, so
c’mon, make my day, book a unit and give your special someone a real treat this
Valentine’s Day!

Yours in love,
P.S. – Even after we all grew up and moved out of the house, Pen still showed up
every year with a heart-shaped box of chocolates for my mom. Because she knew
it made her happy. Now if that isn’t love…?

sandybeachvacay January 21, 2022

All my life, I’ve loved the sun, sand and beach. In fact, my sisters used to call me the sun goddess of the family. Which is really saying something, considering we lived in Staten Island, N.Y. – not exactly the sunshine capital of the world.

When I look back, I guess it was no surprise that shortly after graduating college, I began to plot my escape to Florida. After 30-plus years of living in the sunshine state, I can report with confidence that I’m still happy as a clam to be here. But guess what? It turns out that beach bliss is a real thing. Neuroscientists Beach Benefits apparently have been studying this phenomenon for years (who knew?). Between the vitamin D given off by the sun, the calming effect of undulating waves, and the way sand tingles (in a positive way) the nerve endings of your toes, there’s nothing but goodness to be gained from getting yourself to an ocean.

Especially in winter, when you’ve swept the holidays out of the house are figuring out how to get through the rest of the season, even just imagining yourself on the beach can lift your spirits “Beach’s Make People Happier “. Being around nature and especially water has a profound impact on our psyche. Sunshine, sand and surf are a winning combo for rest and relaxation.

So the next time you’re feeling blue, take yourself to the beach mentally…or even better, book your vacation now at “Sandy Beach Vacay“. I’ve got my sights set on May, when my brother Bob and my sisters will be here the whole month. It will be beachy keen, for sure!

See you soon (I hope),

sandybeachvacay December 24, 2021

I can’t believe this is my last blog for 2021. Where did the year go?

If I had to sum it up, I would say that 2021 was way better than 2020 (even though the pandemic is still with us, thanks to Delta and now creepy Omicron. As long as I’m doling out thanks, I can’t write another word without thanking all of you who graced our rental units this year.

In a year where too many small business owners had to shut down their companies and say goodbye to their dreams, you were there for me. Some of you tried the experience for the first time. Others returned for a second or third (or 4th) time to stay in my units, sit on the beach and otherwise enjoy all that Anna Maria Island and/or Ponce Inlet had to offer. To everyone that came, thank you for being my guests this year. It was truly an honor to share my places in Ponce Inlet and Anna Maria Island with you. I hope it created lasting memories for years to come.

As we enter 2022, I can only continue to promise you that I will do my very best to make your stay as wonderful as possible. We’ve got some new improvements coming. In Ponce Inlet, in addition to a new king-size bed in the main bedroom in Pat’s Paradise, we swapped out the double beds in the guest bedrooms in Sandy’s Sunrise and Bob’s Beachin Dream and Pat’s Paradise for two queen-sized beds.

I hope you love them as much as I do.

In Anna Maria Island, I’m in the middle of a gut renovation to completely modernize the 3-bedroom unit Sunset Connection that I purchased last year. Wish me luck, folks. It’s a mess right now, but come spring, this unit will be a beachside beauty to behold!

In the meantime, I hope you have a wonderful holiday season – however and wherever you celebrate it. And for those snowbirds that are or will be riding out the winter in Ponce Inlet…..welcome! Christmas movies and cozy winter nights await as we get ready to ring in 2022.

Warm Regards

sandybeachvacay November 4, 2021

I get it. Traditions die hard. Especially when it comes to mega-holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. You might have that sister who insists on hosting every Christmas at her place. Or the brother you know you won’t see unless you head to his castle for Thanksgiving.

I’m as die-hard a homebody as the next person when it comes to hosting holiday festivities, but over the last year, I’ve had a serious change of heart. I’ve arrived at three reasons why it may make more sense to start a new tradition and head south to Daytona or Anna Maria Island ( for Thanksgiving, Hannukah, Christmas and yeah, even New Year’s.

Here they are:
1) Many families are geographically dispersed these days – In those instances where families have both expanded and moved away from their hometown, having everyone travel somewhere different for Thanksgiving can create a refreshing new tradition. Unlike a hotel room, a fully equipped condo provides all the equipment needed to whip up a great meal. And if cooking isn’t your thing, many local restaurants here in Daytona and Anna Maria Island offer special and scrumptious Thanksgiving menus.

2) People are looking to break outLet’s face it. After two years of pandemic living, for many of us, leaving the house for a new destination can mean the difference between a “just okay” holiday, and a “one for the memory books” celebration.

My sister Pat is a great example. She lives in Brooklyn, but two of her three adult children now live in Washington, D.C., and Oregon, respectively. They often are unable to travel to her home for Thanksgiving, so this year, she’s making her condo in Florida her home base while she plans to attend Thanksgiving with me and Maggie. She knows I can’t travel to New York because Maggie needs to stay close to her parents, who are elderly and not in the best of health.

Even better, she and her husband, Paul will be celebrating a baby shower for one grandniece and an engagement party for a second grandniece. We haven’t seen either one of them in more than two years.

So it’s a triple win for Pat and Paul – and something wonderful for me to look forward to. My other sister Candy is joining us in December for an early Christmas celebration before she and Pat head back home to be with their own families – there’s even talk of a possible Christmas cookie swap between the sisters. I’ll keep you posted (regardless of who wins, I know my cookie will be the best one!)

3) Control over your holiday crowdIn our large family, we have a mix of both fully vaccinated relatives, and some who have chosen not to get the shot. I’m sure many of you face the same situation. Renting a condo – or even multiple units – allows you to create your own personal family pod and thus feel safe in a smaller crowd. This is especially true in families whose members include those most vulnerable to the virus – including elderly relatives and those with compromised immune systems. We have both in our family, so it’s not trivial to consider an option where, like-minded (and fully vaccinated) people can safely come together.

Two years ago, we would not have been thinking this way. But the world has really changed. These fluid and dynamic times can be challenging, but they also offer opportunities, especially around the holidays, to try something new and different with family members. Believe me, you’ll still experience the joy that comes from connection, telling old stories, and laughing around the table. It will just be a “different” table. Regardless of what life throws at you, it doesn’t really matter where you meet. Just that you find a way to do it (hopefully in Florida –

Because family is forever.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! May you find yourself home with those you love – no matter where home happens to be.

sandybeachvacay October 1, 2021

Autumn may officially begin in September, but for me, October is always the month when fall really shows up in a big way. C’mon, admit it. You love those crisp, cool nights. The cinnamon shortbread latte at Starbucks. The orange icing on your Dunkin Donut. The pumpkins lining the sidewalk in front of the local supermarket.

We Floridians may not be able to fully appreciate how summer suddenly disappears when tree-studded landscapes in the Northeast are transformed into fiery vistas of red, orange and gold. But for vacationers seeking a different kind of post-Labor Day/pre-Christmas getaway, we have a terrific roster of autumn activities in Daytona ( and Anna Maria Island (  ) that can be enjoyed alongside our beautiful beaches and ocean views.

Let’s start with the iconic “Biketoberfest” (, happening this month from Oct. 14-17 in Daytona. Every year, motorcycle fans gather to enjoy four days of racing, live music and scenic rides along the Loop and Main Street. For sure, it’s a party scene that attracts bikers from all over the country.

But…if you’re not into riding hogs, there’s always the Hard Rock Hotel (, where you can enjoy drinks while listening to bands and musicians like GREYE (10/23), Joey Grillo (10/24) and Nick Hilyard (109/25).

From  the annual Mutt Strutt on the boardwalk (10/2) and International Observe the Moon Night on 10/16 (yeah, it’s really a thing down here), to wine tasting events and cooking classes, along with a Halloween Scavenger Hunt and Costume contest at the Daytona’s Farmer’s Market, you can find a complete list of events here (

For guests renting our unit in Anna Maria Island, there’s no shortage of similar activities for you to enjoy with friends and family. A huge favorite – The Bayfest! (  Happening on 10/15-16, the island’s longest running festival features live music, art vendors, food and a classic car show that’s a favorite for Island residents and visitors alike.  This year, the Bayfest is celebrating its 20th anniversary – that’s how popular it is. And the best part?  It’s free!

For art afficionados, you won’t want to miss the Mainly Art event on 10/21, featuring work by the area’s local artists and craftspeople. For artists of a different ilk, you can catch some romantic music at the Manatees Performing Arts Center ( anytime from Oct. 26th to Nov. 12

For history buffs, Manatee Village is hosting a special event from 10/19-22 called Spirit Voices from Old Manatee.  This theatrical event explains the area’s historical significance.  Better yet, the money raised from this important fundraiser is used for preservation projects. You won’t want to miss it.

And of course, you also won’t want to miss the Fall Festival and Halloween Trail of Treats hosted by the Chamber of Commerce. The costume contest for kids aged 0-12 starts at 3:30 p.m. on 10/31.  Afterwards, kids can then safely trick or treat at local businesses around the island until 8 p.m.  Now that’s a sweet deal!

Have I convinced you yet to book that fall vacay at There’s a lot going on….and you won’t want to miss it!

Enjoy the Fall!


sandybeachvacay September 19, 2021

Did you ever receive a gift from someone out of the blue?  No, you say? Well, today is your lucky day!

After years of sending one-off URLs to customers asking for restaurant recommendations, I finally said to myself: “This is silly! Why don’t I just compile a list of my favorite diners, restaurants and dessert places here in Daytona and Anna Maria Island?”

So I did, with a little (okay, a LOT) of help from a colleague who specializes in graphic design. I was so pleased with the results that I decided to share my brand-new digital brochures with all of you, right now and right here.  Take a look at the attached.

I’m sharing these as a “thank-you” for those of you who I’ve already had the special privilege of hosting over the years. And for those potential first-timers who may be thinking about vacation plans in 2022 (I know that’s where my thoughts go when fall rolls around), I hope it will help “seal the deal” by prompting you to check out

I’ve been to all these eateries at least once. In fact, I frequent many of them regularly when I’m on Anna Maria Island or in Ponce Inlet. As an elite Yelper (notice how I slipped my street cred in there?), I’m really passionate about wanting both high-quality food AND a quality experience when I’m dining out with family or friends. In fact, I wrote so many Yelp reviews back in the day that I was invited five years ago to become part of its cadre of “elite squad” of reviewers.

Here are my most recent Yelp recommendations for restaurants/eateries, some of which are in addition to the ones listed in my brochures:

Anna Maria Island

Riverhouse Waterfront Grill

Seafood Shack

Sweet Berries Frozen Custard


Ponce Inlet

Aunt Catfish

Bronx House Pizza

Delta Hotel – Beachfront Restaurant (inside the hotel)

The next time you’re in town and the munchies come a calling, grab your brochure and use it as a blueprint to experience something new and different. You won’t be disappointed! I promise……

Happy fall, everyone!

Warm Regards,







sandybeachvacay August 25, 2021

If you had told me 22 years ago that I would fall in love with sea turtles – those hard-shelled, lumbering and not particularly attractive creatures of the deep blue sea here in Florida – I would have called you crazy. This former New Yorker turned Floridian started out with zero interest in ancient sea creatures, much less one that takes forever to move itself from sand to sea.

So picture me last month, when I opened a video sent by my dear friend Shana and watched, heart in hand, as two baby sea turtles – let’s call them Lizzy and Annabelle — popped up from their nest and pushed their way down the beach to the ocean’s edge.

Picture me wildly cheering them on. And then picture my misty-eyed sigh of relief when Lizzie and Annabelle finally splashed into the water.

The lesson here? Never judge a sea turtle by its shell. They are brave. They are fearless in the face of near-certain death. They are heroes.

Once a year, the female sea turtle drags herself out of the ocean and up to the dunes here in Ponce Inlet and Anna Maria Island to dig a nest and lay roughly a hundred eggs – most of which will not survive. She then makes her way back to the ocean, leaving behind the children she’ll never see. Roughly 8 weeks later (assuming humans or animals have not disturbed or destroyed the nest), the turtles begin hatching out of their eggs and – if they’re lucky enough to make it out of the nest – begin their journey back to the ocean.

I’d like to think that Lizzy and Annabelle were safe, once they hit the water. But sadly, even after hatchlings reach the ocean, most of them are picked off by their mortal enemies – seagulls, cranes, herons and pelicans, to name just a few.  Just one out of a thousand turtle hatchlings will survive the perilous Dunkirk-like journey from the dunes to the ocean and reach adulthood. Still, I can hope…..

I’m proud to say that both Ponce Inlet and Anna Maria Island have an active community of sea turtle advocates ( and to help preserve and support the Leatherback, Green, Loggerhead, Hawksbill and Kemp’s Ridley turtles that grace Florida with their presence each year.

Each year from May through October, volunteers like Ginger here in Ponce Inlet work tirelessly to identify and cordon off turtle nests. She then monitors the nest, documents its hatching progress, and if needed, will lend a hand to help struggling turtle hatchlings get to the beach.  Once a nest has been emptied, she then documents the state of the nest to assess the success of the hatch.

It’s a fun and fascinating process. This year, I adopted a turtle nest and gave it to my friend Stephanie (an avid turtle lover) as a birthday gift. She was thrilled!  You can find out more about nest adoption by clicking on the links above.

So….the next time you’re in Ponce Inlet or Anna Maria Island (hopefully as a guest in one of my http:/// rental units), you’ll know you’re near a turtle nest on the beach if you see small section cordoned off with a pink, blue, purple or orange ribbon.

The best thing you can do is keep walking – and give the next Charlie or Melvin a fighting chance to catch the next wave back home.

Best Regards


sandybeachvacay July 25, 2021

I normally don’t sound an alarm for potential guests looking to book a Florida vacation rental unit. But I have to say…I’ve never seen anything like the guest demand that I’ve witnessed over the past two months.

People in America have decided that whatever the state of the pandemic, nothing is going to stop us from breaking out of our homes and heading for somewhere new, different…or just not where we’ve been living the last 18 months. Believe me, I’m there. (And no doubt why I’ve been cruising up and down the East Coast in my RV this summer!)

If you’re in this mindset (and I really hope you are!), I’m here to both welcome and warn you. First, the welcome: It’s been a glorious summer at Ponce Inlet and Anna Maria Island, where aside from a few rainy days in the aftermath of Hurricane Elsa, it’s been a beach lover’s paradise. Whether you want to veg out or pack your days with activities it’s totally your choice. You’re just one or two clicks away via Sandy Beach Vacay from locking in possibly the best vacation you’ve experienced in at least two years.

Okay, so now here’s the warning: Don’t wait until January to book your 2022 vacation. My winter and summer months are already almost filled up. There, I said it. This is a first for me, and no doubt a sign that everyone is just aching to get away.

You may be thinking: “Is it a good idea to book anything now, given the possibility of a virus resurgence in the fall or next year?” I’d just like to assure you that all of the health recommendations and enhanced cleaning protocols that I put into effect at the start of the pandemic, are still in and have become my standard protocol. There’s no substitute for safety first, especially when it comes to caring for friends, family and each of my guests.

Speaking of family, I’m delighted to report that Jessica, my niece, was finally able to tie the knot with David, her beloved, earlier this month. We RV’d from Florida up to New Jersey for the event.

Aren’t they lovely?

Sadly the pandemic forced her to delay the ceremony and reception last fall, but happily, we were all able to come together and celebrate this wonderful occasion. It was so very special.

If you have a special reason to celebrate something next year, (or even if you don’t), now is the time to start living the dream by taking the first step and booking a unit for the summer or fall of 2022 now.

Something to look forward to! Isn’t it always better that way?

Stay well…and stay safe!


I’ve written before about the advantages of renting a condo unit versus going to a hotel (Why Condos Are Better.). I was in a hotel not too long ago, and I have to say, everything that I believe about condos being a better option still holds true.

sandybeachvacay April 9, 2021

What do grilled cheese, pretzels, burritos, peach cobblers, cheeseballs, pecans, animal crackers, cheddar fries, cherry cheesecake and pigs in a blanket have in common? And while we’re at it, what do brothers and sisters, barbershop quartets, zoo lovers, unicorns, dolphins and Winston Churchill have in common?

You guessed it. They all have their own observance “day” in April. In fact, there are more observance days this month than any other time of the year (except October). Which makes April a fun month and a great time to find your reason to celebrate a day or week or — why not — the whole month, here in Daytona Beach or Anna Marie Island.

Do you love dolphins? You don’t have to wait for National Dolphins Day (4/14) to climb into a boat and ride the waves in search of these friendly silver-finned beauties. In both Daytona Beach (Ponce Inlet Things to Do ) and Anna Marie Island (AMI Things to Do ), the tours happen all year because who doesn’t want to see a dolphin up close?

Do you miss your brothers and sisters? Today (4/10) is National Siblings Day, so take a moment, call your sis or brother up, rent a unit and start planning that post-pandemic reunion. Throw in a fun night of nostalgia at the Daytona Hard Rock Hotel, home to the famous “Rock the Beach” Tribute Band series on the venue’s Wave Terrace.

This month the series is paying tribute to Motley Crue, Hootie and the Blowfish, Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty. (I can’t help it – I just pulled up the rock legend duo’s rendition of Stop Draggin My Heart Around on YouTube — Who could forget this masterpiece?)

Have a hankering for grilled cheese? Pretzels? Cheddar Fries? They all have their days in April – and they all have their place on the menus of the local haunts here in Daytona and Anna Marie Island.

So go ahead….pay homage to your favorite “fromage” sandwich at the North Turn, order your fries at the Anna Maria Oyster Bar or Beach House Restaurant…or just grab a bag of pretzels on the 26th and head to the beach (or your balcony) to pay tribute to the best snack in the world (at least in my book).

None of these days resonate? Then create your own! We’re all way overdue to start (safely of course) celebrating, well…anything or anybody. April’s as good a month as any to start a new ritual. The weather is fine and the beach is welcoming. So pick a day and come to Florida to rock the beach, celebrate your sis – or just relax and replenish your soul. Book now click here (Sandy Beach Vacay )

You’re so worth it!


sandybeachvacay March 17, 2021

Several months ago, I had the privilege of renting one of my condos to a traveling nurse. Honestly, I had never heard of a traveling nurse before, but in short, these are healthcare workers who have pulled up stakes in their hometowns to head to where they are most needed – whether it be to assist Covid patients in hard-hit hospitals, or to help fill out staffs that are already stretched paper thin. (Sadly, we’ve all read those stories.)

With March marking the one-year anniversary since the U.S. first went into lockdown to fight the coronavirus, we can never do enough to acknowledge all the nurses and doctors fighting on the pandemic’s front lines – but even within their ranks there’s a special place for those who have been willing to leave their homes to lend their service and expertise to those most in need elsewhere. Thank you, thank you…and THANK YOU again. Like others, I’ve cried many times this year, listening to a nurse or doctor on the news bear witness to heartbreaking stories of loss and grief…or amazing tales of Covid recovery.

What I also didn’t realize is that traveling nurses and healthcare workers need a place to stay during a typical 6-13-week assignment. If you’re a nurse or healthcare worker with an assignment in Florida, here’s something to consider: Given the choice between selecting accommodations provided by the hiring agency, or taking a housing stipend that allows you to pick your own place, you just might want to take the stipend and keep a beachfront rental condo in mind. (Check out the booking options here:

It’s an affordable alternative for lots of reasons. Fully furnished. Very private, especially during the winter months. And after a hard day (or night) of work, an ocean view can help ease the stress that our frontline healthcare workers are feeling every hour of every day that they’re on the job.

Footnote about my traveling nurse guest – although her assignment ended up getting cancelled, she decided to keep her four-week reservation because, in her own words, “Life is too short.” She would know. I was happy that she found peace and rest at my place during this very difficult time. In my own small way, I felt good that I was able to give one of our most essential workers something equally essential: A place to restore and replenish.


sandybeachvacay February 13, 2021

A beautiful beach. Temperate Florida weather. Great restaurants and of course, a balcony overlooking a wonderful ocean view. Can you think of a better way to spend Valentine’s Day with your beloved? In fact, can you think of a better place to spend the whole winter?

If you have been dreaming of taking a much-needed break in a warmer place, it is not too early to book a unit at Sandy Beach Vacay for the 2022 season.

Yes, you heard right. Book now to secure a rental unit in Florida for 2022. Why?
My snowbird guests tend to come back to the same units every year. And they often re-book right away before they have even ended their current stay.

I have been renting my units in Ponce Inlet and Anna Marie Island for 18 years now. During that time, I’ve come to believe that many of my winter renters enjoy Florida even more than the younger families who frequent Florida during the hot summer months. They come from pretty – but really cold! – places like Michigan, Minnesota and Toronto, Canada for three reasons:

1) The Weather (of course!) – Compared to Utah or Montana, Florida is downright balmy in the winter. It is the #1 reason why snowbirds migrate every year to the Sunshine State. And you don’t have to be retired to consider doing this. All you remote workers out there…you can do this, too! (Printer included in each unit at no charge).

2) The Locals – There’s something to be said for leaving behind the bustle of the holidays and heading south to chill out in a sunny “home-away-from-home” environment. Picture this: A winter stew warming on the stove while you peruse the latest Netflix line-up. If you don’t feel like cooking, there’s always takeout. Regardless, you’re warm, you’re cozy…and you can still enjoy that early morning or late afternoon walk on the beach – even in February! If you’re one of those “homebound-for-way-too-long” types desperately looking for something to do and somewhere to go, you can take a dolphin cruise, get some fishing in, snap a picture of the local lighthouse and/or schedule your stay around the annual Daytona 500 (I’ll be there this year with family and friends in tow). Anna Marie Island similarly offers great fishing, a gorgeous sunset cruise and fantastic shopping in the local boutiques that grace the downtown AMI area.

3) The “Grub” – For breakfast aficionados, the Cracked Egg, Crabby Joe’s and iHop are just a short drive away in Ponce Inlet, while The Doughnut Experiment in Anna Marie Island is a fun local favorite. For dinner, you have your choice of great venues like The Garlic in Daytona, and The Waterfront Restaurant in Anna Marie Island. And of course, there is always the North Turn right next door to the East Winds complex in Ponce Inlet.

So even if you’re homebound this Valentine’s Day because of “you know what,” surprise your loved one with the gift of a great get-away this time next year. Honestly, you don’t even need a holiday excuse. Just look at your choices at Sandy Beach Vacay , and then…take the leap.

Don’t we all need something to look forward to next year? I know I do!


sandybeachvacay January 22, 2021

Ok, let me just say it.
I’m over the pandemic (even though it’s not over us, by any means!). But with vaccines finally rolling out here across the country, at least there’s a smidgen of hope that better days are coming.
And what better way to anticipate a better day than picturing yourself on a beach, with the friends and family members that you haven’t been able to see for too many months to count. Or visualizing yourself working remotely in a beautiful condo with the ocean breeze wafting in through the sliders overlooking the beach. How about just taking yourself to a new place for no reason other than…well…you can.
Having been a property manager for more than 15 years, I can’t emphasize this enough: No matter what your reason for wanting to transport yourself to Ponce Inlet or Anna Marie Island, you need to book NOW to make sure you have a place to stay, come the spring or summer. I’m getting a LOT of calls from cooped-up people wanting to break out – or at least know that they’ll be able to take themselves elsewhere after enduring another difficult winter sheltering in place.
I can relate.
Two weeks ago, my love and I stole away to Anna Marie Island for a couple of days when our unit there opened up unexpectedly. I have to say, I didn’t realize how badly we needed the change of scenery, after quarantining for months and living through the holidays sans the usual crowd of family members and well-wishers.
We didn’t do a whole lot. Spruced up the place, NETFLIX-ed some movies, enjoyed the local takeout, and met up with just two friends who are part of our bubble.
Toward the end of our stay, we shared a bottle of wine on the beach, bathed in a glorious sunset. Nothing too crazy and totally pandemic-appropriate, but so worth it to sit on the sand and enjoy the moment.
We all need that kind of moment right now. So if you’re reading this and you suddenly realize that, yes, you, too, desperately need that change of scenery (for whatever reason), click here and get the dream going.
You won’t regret it. I promise….


sandybeachvacay October 3, 2020

Look, there’s no getting around it. Seven months in, the pandemic has upended the way we live, the way we play and the way we work (for those of us lucky enough to still have jobs) during this difficult time. But if you’re among the legions of digitally connected employees who have been sheltering in place for most of this year, by now you’ve figured out that home – or work – can be anywhere. And if that’s the case, I can think of three reasons why you might want to tuck your laptop under your arm and head to either Ponce Inlet or Anna Marie Island this fall.

1) Great Work Setting – Imagine beginning your day with an early morning beach stroll, before heading back to your beautifully furnished and well-connected condo to power up for the day. Now picture yourself working until noon, and then making your way to the pool for a quick swim before you tackle your afternoon work tasks. When your workday is over, you can put in your takeout order (or make dinner in your fully-stocked kitchen!), kick back and enjoy both your meal and a crisp evening breeze from the comfort of your balcony. Who wouldn’t want to sign up for a workday like this?

2) Ideal Weather – Warm days and cool nights are a great combo for those of us who want to hang onto our summertime selves throughout the fall. Autumn in Florida offers one of the best times of the year to enjoy the beach, the restaurants (with appropriate measures) and the town – without the brutal heat and family crowds that typify the height of the summer season. Whether you’re working or retired, the fall is a terrific time to come to Florida and stay on either the gulf or Atlantic side

3) The Right Price – Now that you’ve envisioned yourself in an ideal work setting, where the weather is wonderful and your combo workplace/staycation plans are in place — what if you could have all this for a price that’s roughly 30% lower than what you would have paid just three months ago? And yet, this is exactly what you can expect to pay, whether you choose to nest in either Ponce Inlet or Anna Marie Island.

All you need to do is click here to get your work, stay and vacay plans started.

C’mon, it’s Christmas in October! What are you waiting for?


sandybeachvacay August 25, 2020


If you’ve been weighing the pros and cons of staying in a hotel vs. toughing out your vacation in a rental unit – look no further. I can help you with this.

But first, I begin with a cautionary tale involving my two sisters, who in July decided to drive to Maine (a low-Covid state) for a few days of nice sightseeing, good company and great lobster.  Having booked the Hampton in Kennebunkport through, and they were looking forward to the usual amenities – free breakfast, indoor pool, room service, etc.

And here’s where it went a bit sideways. First, the pool was closed. Second, because of Covid concerns, the hotel was not serving breakfast (though we could pick up from the lobby in the morning a “grab and go” featuring a banana, a Nutrigrain bar and a muffin.  As for room service? Out of an abundance of understandable caution and respect for people’s safety, the hotel would provide it, but only if you requested it in advance.

Now, none of this ruined the vacation, which was still lovely for my sisters and brothers-in-laws. They drove along the beautiful coastline, enjoyed shopping in some quaint towns, and thankfully still experienced wonderful meals (a la outside dining, of course).

But when you compare their hotel experience with what they might have experienced if they had rented a condo, I can think of three reasons why a rental unit makes more sense during a time when most of us are already weary of the restrictions governing our day-to-day lives:

  • Control – From the time you enter the unit until the day you leave, your environment belongs to you. Like other rental unit owners in Florida, I’m complying with CDC guidelines for cleaning and sanitizing each unit in between renters, (Sandy Beach Vacay Cleaning Guidelines), so you know the unit is completely clean and sanitized, from beginning to end.
  • Safety – This one goes together with control; in that you can create your own “pod” by inviting whoever you feel comfortable being with into your unit. You can stock your own supplies and cook your own meals (or bring in take-out) without risk and in general, live in a self-contained – and therefore completely safe – indoor environment, when you’re not out and about on the beach or by the pool. Which brings me to advantage number 3.
  •  Better experience and more options – My sisters were really looking forward to hanging by the pool when they reserved their rooms at the hotel in Maine. It was the main (no pun intended) reason why they picked the place. The fact that they didn’t have this option put a real crimp in their plans.

Imagine if they had traveled to Florida and stayed at one of the units at Ponce Inlet or Anna Marie Island. The pool would have been open and available to them all day, every day. And the beach would have been steps away, rather than the 40-minute car ride they had to take to get to the beach in Ogunquit.

Not only that, they could have hung out in a 1200 sq. ft. fully equipped two-bedroom condo with kitchen, balcony and living room, rather than the 325 sq. ft. hotel room that offered little more than a bed and an empty mini-bar. There’s no question – a condo definitely expands your entertaining options, especially if you’re vacationing with other family members or friends.

The choice is yours, of course. But if you are weighing the pros and cons of hotel/motel versus renting a condo, I really believe the better option is renting your own unit.

So…book a reservation at and see you poolside!

(Except not you, Pen and Candy – because you girls went to Maine instead. Sorry about that….)


sandybeachvacay July 17, 2020

When our governor first re-opened Florida in the wake of Coronavirus concerns, I was worried at first that people would be afraid to leave their homes and head to the beach.
We all know how that went.
I can’t keep up with the calls from would-be renters desperate to break free from their home quarantines. It’s astonishing to realize just how many people are looking for relief, and a return to normal living.
But it got me to thinking. Even in so-called “normal times,” what is it about the beach – sans the pesky sea gulls – that calls out to us, long before we actually pack our bags and go?
Here are the 5 reasons I came up with:
1) Family – For many of us, this is the number one reason why people book a beach vacation. I so get this. For many years, summer meant hanging out at the Jersey shore with my dad and my sisters and their kids. I have wonderful memories of Pop making Mickey Mouse pancakes in the morning, before we all packed up and headed down to the beach for hours of lazy lounging, interspersed with short bursts of boogie-boarding or sand-castle building. In the late afternoon, we would pack up yet again and head to the pool to cool off before dinnertime. And that’s how it went for two weeks, every year for too many years to count. We just made great memories. And isn’t that what it’s all about?

2) Friends – Okay, I’ll admit it. I headed to the beach this week with friends to celebrate my birthday – in a socially-distanced appropriate way, of course! Cold beer, good conversation and great people sitting together against the backdrop of a breezy, sun-speckled ocean. C’mon, guys. Is there any better way to mark a major milestone?

3) Solitude – And then there are those at the other end of the spectrum. The people who just need to get away, by themselves, from the noise and chaos of their lives. One of my renters – let’s call him Joe – has done this for years. He spends several months in the winter in one of my units, just living his life, alone and content. It works for him. You’d be surprised. It works for a lot of people.

4) Healing – We don’t typically think of the beach as a sanctuary, but for some, it can become that quiet place to work out whatever it is that’s going on in your life. That’s what it was for my sister, who lost her husband to cancer when she was still in her 40s. I would watch her head down to the beach in the morning by herself, and wouldn’t see her again for hours. With the ocean in front of her, she washed away her grief in those first difficult years. When everything in your life has fallen apart, she would say, it’s good to watch dolphins frolicking in the waves. (She even made allowances for the damn seagulls, but she’s a more generous person. To me, they’re just cheese doodle thieves).

5) Finally…..the Experience – For someone who has never done it, it’s just exhilarating to throw up your umbrella with everyone else and join the beach crowd on a hot summer day. Don’t we all, at some point in our life, yearn to be part of the experience in a place where everyone just seems to beam with joy? It’s contagious (in a good way!). I feel the same way about mountains, by the way. Skiers and snowboarders are some of the happiest people on earth. Unfortunately, I don’t rent chalets.
Yeah, I totally get why my phone is ringing off the hook. The great news is this: We’ve gone above and beyond to keep our units safe (insert link from previous blog) so you can have a wonderful experience.
So if the ocean is calling you – for any reason – I know a place Sandy Beach Vacay.

sandybeachvacay June 23, 2020

It’s been three weeks since our governor lifted statewide restrictions on vacation rentals and I, for one, couldn’t be happier to be welcoming families and friends back to Florida beaches.

After months spent in isolation and with the beach and pool calling your name, you might even be lulled into forgetting that we’re still in the middle of pandemic.

But…..we are. And people are still nervous, especially here in Florida, where the virus is stubbornly lingering. I’d just like to gently remind everyone to continue to observe the CDC guidelines for social distancing, whether you’re on the beach, at a restaurant, by the pool or just strolling through town.  It’s a relatively small thing, but it makes a huge difference in how we can all avoid the virus while still having a wonderful vacation experience. Believe me, I’m all for banishing the winter quarantine blues! But we still need to be smart.

I’m doing everything I can to make sure everyone can safely enjoy their stay in my units. All I ask is that you do the same. And let me just say that so far….you guys have been great!

I’d like to take this moment to thank my rental clients, who have been both understanding and accommodating, not only to the needs of their own family, but also to the local community at large.

As the state continues its reopening efforts, I’ll come back soon with some sightseeing tips. (You’d be surprised how much history resides in our little towns here in Florida),

But for now, let the beach be your lure and come visit.  But stay safe!


sandybeachvacay June 4, 2020

After a really tough spring and a rough start to the summer season, our state and local officials have given Florida property owners the green light to rent their beachfront properties to vacationers once again.

While I’m delighted to be back in business and able to offer my condos to everyone out there who desperately needs a break out from the “shelter-in-place blues,” my top priority is to make sure that your vacation experience is a safe one.  Please know that we’re doing everything we can (and then some) to comply with the recommendations issued by both the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and our local county officials.

What does this mean? For the foreseeable future, we’ll be:

  • Cleaning and disinfecting all frequently-touched surfaces within the unit between each guest stay.
  • Washing all linen, dishware and other service items available for use by guests between each rental.
  • Putting more time in between the conclusion of a guest stay and the check-in of the next guest to allow for appropriate cleaning and sanitation.
  • Minimizing direct contact with guests by using remote check-in and check-out procedures.

I hope you find this helpful.  I’ve also placed copies of our safety plan in each of my rental units, as required by county law.

I’m looking forward to you shaking off the surreal times we’re in with a break-out vacation experience that you’ll remember for a long time to come.

With a little bit of patience and a lot of social distancing on the beach and in town, (our new normal for the time being), I’ve no doubt you’ll be able to enjoy the sun, sand and surf to put yourself in a better frame of mind.  I know I’m feeling the call of the ocean……

Enjoy (and please stay safe!)

sandybeachvacay April 15, 2020

“Ponce Park” used to be a fishing village that was home to a few families in early 1908. Valda Stone was the daughter of Frank E and Annie who had moved to Ponce Park from Titusville. Valda met and married B.G. Timmons and took over the family river row boat business. In 1948 they officially opened Timmons Fish Camp. B.G. Timmons son Frank bought a party boat “Marianne” to berth at the fish camp and began running deep sea fishing trips.

sandybeachvacay April 21, 2015

During low tide every day without fail an island appears as the water recedes at the inlet where Ponce Inlet  and New Smyrna almost meet. When it does, boaters from all around come to play on the pure sandy island. It is as if it were made for recreational boating. The island is easily accessible from various boat ramps in the area. Buit it is only accessible by boat. For several hours it provides sunbathing, fishing, swimming and a party atmosphere. Once the tide comes in it disappears until the next low tide.


One of my all time favorite things to do on Saturday or Sunday when I am over at Ponce Inlet is go to Joe’s Crab Shack for a made to order omelet and mimosa. Sitting in the open air tables on the pier,  I can watch the waves roll in while sipping on the bubbly and eating my breakfast creation.  The location is close enough that I can ride my beach bike up A1A to Joe’s and then work off my brunch before heading to the beach. Go earlier (before 9am) if you want to beat the crowds.


I eat at this restaurant all the time. Over the years I have learned more and more about the history of this site and beginnings of today’s NASCAR racing.

Before race cars negotiated the banks and bends of Daytona International Speedway, the need for speed was met on a mix of sand and asphalt along the Atlantic Coast. The roar of engines has been heard around this part of Volusia County since 1936. The Daytona Beach road course once stretched to Ponce Inlet.

Racing’s North Turn Beach Bar & Grille in Ponce Inlet is located at one of local racing history’s pivotal points.  In 2007, the Ponce Inlet Historic & Archaeological Preservation Board recognized the site of the casual ocean-side restaurant as a historic landmark. From the north turn on the pavement of Atlantic Avenue, the path went south two miles on U.S. Highway A1A to the end of the road.  There, drivers hit the beach to speed two miles north and catch another lap at the north turn, according to These wild and woolly car races ran until 1958, according to local historians, when they were relocated to one of the world’s most famous tracks, Daytona International Speedway. Today, the aroma of sunscreen has replaced the smell of gas, oil and burning rubber. But Racing’s North is still making history.

Inside the restaurant, guests are greeted with cases of race-car memorabilia, including event photos and a gallery of drivers. The menu has a checkered flag theme with some sandwiches named for racing legends such as Russ Truelove, Vicki Wood and Ray Fox. There is an inside dining room– but really, you came to the beach to eat inside? … Take a table outside or eat at the bar. Service is time-trials quick, but you will want to linger with the ocean view. A wall of glass doors lines one side as wind protection, I suppose. But on most days they are open to a long deck set with Adirondack chairs.

We started our first lap with the fish dip ($8.99). It’s a very cream cheesy blend with minced vegetables and garlic and served with buttery crackers. It’s extremely light on the smoked flavor promised on the menu but it’s a nice spread nonetheless. The clam chowder is a favorite anytime of the year.

We also shared the fried coconut shrimp ($8.99). It’s large enough for a light entree, if that’s the route you are seeking.

The Cup Series Cuban ($9.25) landed at our pit stop barely fitting in the basket. Generously piled with meat, it’s not an authentic Cuban but it’s a darn good sandwich created in the Cuban style. All the fish sandwiches are loaded up with a huge filet spilling over the side. The snow crab legs are one of my favorite.

With no caution flags in sight, we barreled into lap three with the Crew Chief Chicken Sandwich ($9.25 plus 75 cents for bacon) and fries ($1.75). The pounded tender breast meat was nicely grilled and the salty bacon added a BLT punch. Also, we ordered the prime rib sandwich ($9.75) with a side car of slaw ($1.75). The beef was medium-rare as requested, and the horseradish kicked it into overdrive.

On the weekends they do breakfast and Bloody Mary’s in case you didn’t get your fill the night before. Drinks are reasonably priced and they offer several varieties of beer (available in ice filled buckets) for large parties. Racing’s North Turn has long been a local favorite for its sense of place, but it clearly stands on its own as a fun beach-side eatery as well. Walk across the parking lot to enjoy a piece of history, you won’t regret it.

sandybeachvacay April 20, 2015

In 1870, Congress appropriated $60,000 to buy a site and build a lighthouse near Mosquito Inlet in Volusia County. Within a few years the site was secured and an engineer was appointed for the construction. After naming the lighthouse Ponce Park, the engineer DROWNED in the inlet, but the lighthouse was completed in 1887. Within a few years a hotel was built nearby called the Ponce Park subdivision and President Theodore Roosevelt designated Mosquito Inlet a bird sanctuary. In 1928, the name was changed to Ponce de Leon Inlet and the town of Ponce Inlet was incorporated in 1963. The first town council was sworn in at the lighthouse office, which became the first Town Hall after the municipality leased the lighthouse property from the U.S. Government for $1 per year. Ponce Inlet has long since constructed a Town Hall and today the city is popular for its deep sea fishing charters, beaches and seafood restaurants. The Ponce Inlet Lighthouse is the second tallest in the U.S. and is still a prominent feature. The restored lighthouse and grounds are now a museum and park.