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Discover the Wild Side of Florida

Program Number: 17355RJ
Start and End Dates:
7/21/2013 - 7/26/2013; 6/14/2015 - 6/19/2015; 7/26/2015 - 7/31/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Sarasota, Florida
Price starting at: $899.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Intergenerational
Intergenerational
Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 14; 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 4 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Program intended for grandchildren from 9 - 12 years of age.

Get in touch with nature as you forge new bonds with your grandchild amid the wilds of Sarasota and offshore islands. With a collection of naturalists, adventure guides and conservationists, comb the beaches for seashells and sea turtle nest sites, explore the rich archaeology and paleontology, and the various unique habitats and rare species of the only tropical zone in the continental United States.




Highlights

• Discover wild Florida as you search for alligators aboard an airboat and raptors on a rainforest canopy walk.
• Uncover historic artifacts and fossils in shallow water with an adventure guide naturalist.
• Join marine biologist on a sea life encounter cruise collecting marine life with a trawl net, then observe sharks and stingrays at Mote Marine Aquarium.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to a mile over pavement, beaches, and varied terrain daily.



Coordinated by the Friendship Centers.




Sarasota

Situated on the beautiful Gulf of Mexico on Florida's west coast, Sarasota is rich in cultural treasures and recreational attractions within a short driving distance, including the outstanding John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, the Ringling Museum of the Circus, art galleries, golf courses and beaches.



Accommodations
Resort hotel with view, with pool and Jacuzzi; steps away from beach.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Owen Comora

Owen Comora’s passion for birding began in his teens, and that passion has only grown since he and his wife moved to Sarasota in 1998. As a senior volunteer bird interpreter at Sarasota’s Myakka River State Park, Owen has devoted more than 3,000 hours at one of the oldest and largest state parks in the state. Owen is president of The Friends of Myakka River and also a member of Sarasota Audubon Society, the Crowley Nature Museum and the American Birding Association..
 
John Colagrande

The co-author of “In the Presence of Dinosaurs,” John Colagrande graduated from Montclair State College with a B.A. in science education and an M.A. in geosciences. He has shared his knowledge of oceanography, fossils, rocks and minerals during his career as a high school science educator in New Jersey, and has received numerous awards for outstanding teaching. He a member of the Sarasota Shell Club, Manasota Fossil Club and the Gulf Coast Mineral, Fossil & Gem Club of Venice.
 
Carol Mae

Carol Mae has been an active member of the Longboat Key Turtle Watch and is a member of its board of directors. A native of Wisconsin, Carol heightened her interest in shells and joined the Sarasota Shell Club and the Conchologists of America. She is a member of the planning committee for the upcoming Conchologists National Convention in Sarasota.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Lido Beach Resort
  Sarasota, FL 5 nights
 Lido Beach Resort
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Hotel is located directly on the beach of the Gulf of Mexico. Take in breathtaking sunsets, enchanting tropical views and see dolphin making their daily trek through the Gulf. Walking distance to the renowned St. Armands Circle featuring dazzling dining, unforgettable entertainment and some of the finest boutique shopping in the world. Hotel has a Shuttle to drive guests to the Circle if they choose not to walk. There is an option to upgrade to a Gulf View Jr. Suite room for an additional fee of $300 paid to Senior Friendship Centers.
  Contact info: 700 Ben Franklin Dr.
Sarasota, FL 34236 USA
phone: 941-388-2161
web: www.LidoBeachResort.com
  Room amenities: Standard Room: Enjoy a room close to the beach in a four story building, a free daily newspaper, ample closet space, plush top bedding, a refrigerator, microwave, coffeemaker, free Hi-speed Wireless Internet access, free self parking, voice mail, 25" TV, clock radio, electronic safe, and a hair dryer. Plus bottled water and microwave popcorn in your guest room. OPPORTUNITY TO UPGRADE: to the tower with a Gulf View Jr. Suite featuring a private balcony overlooking the Gulf of Mexico and more upgrades. There is an additional $300 per room. Please make these reservations directly with Senior Friendship Centers, 941-556-3269, ask for Lynne.
  Facility amenities: Enjoy two beachfront free-form pools, three poolside Jacuzzis with a tropical landscaped sundeck. Private beach so you can splash around in the surf. A 900 sq ft exercise room is available to guests if you desire more exercise than long walks on the beach. Services include; a business center, two restaurants, lounge, beachside tiki bar and a garden area with waterfalls. There is an option to upgrade to a Gulf View Jr. Suite room for an additional fee of $300 paid to Senior Friendship Centers.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: $146-$206 +20 nightly fee A green form is mailed to participants in their first welcome letter mailed within two weeks of enrollment date. Please make reservations directly with the Senior Friendship Centers by mailing us the form or by calling 941.556.3269, for a discounted rate for additional nights stay. You will be charged by the hotel upon arrival for the additional nights, plus a $20 per night resort fee, plus taxes. These rates are for 5 nights before and 5 nights after this program date. No deposit required! .
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: $146-$206 +20 nightly fee A green form is mailed to participants in their first welcome letter mailed within two weeks of enrollment date. Please make reservations directly with the Senior Friendship Centers by mailing us the form or by calling 941.556.3269, for a discounted rate for additional nights stay. You will be charged by the hotel upon arrival for the additional nights, plus a $20 per night resort fee, plus taxes. These rates are for 5 nights before and 5 nights after this program date. No deposit required! .
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
3:30PM-5:00PM at the Road Scholar registration area at hotel on the 8th floor. (read information board for location) You will be staying at Lido Beach Resort that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends after 10:30AM followed by lunch. You will be staying at Lido Beach Resort the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Free
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Sarasota, FL
  Nearest city or town:  Sarasota and Longboat Key
  Nearest highway: I-75 and U.S. 41
  Nearest airport:  Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport
  From End of Program
  Location: Sarasota, FL
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Sarasota/Bradenton International Airport

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
Diplomat Taxi
phone: 941-365-8294

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Approx $30
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

30 min. 

 

Distance:

 

7.5 miles

   

Taxis are readily available 24hrs a day at the SRQ Airport.

 

Tampa International Airport

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Starlight Limousine
phone: 941-957-6761
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Approx $85 to hotel
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1 hr 30 min 

 

Distance:

 

65 miles

   

They use executive town cars and SUVs, please ask for Rick.

 

Tampa International Airport

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Sarasota Tampa Express
phone: 941-032-6280
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$35 to SRQ Airport or office of Sarasota Tampa Express
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1 hr 30 min 

 

Distance:

 

65 miles

   

Please call in advance for reservations. You will then need to call a taxi to get yourself to the hotel. They can tell you who to call.

 
Driving Directions
  I-75 From I-75 exit #210 (Fruitville Rd) go west six miles to U.S. 41. Turn left and continue south three blocks to Gulfstream Avenue. Make a right onto the Causeway continue to St. Armands Circle. Continue halfway around the circle and follow the signs to Lido Beach and make a left at the beach onto Ben Franklin Drive. The Lido Beach Resort will be on your right just past the public beach and is approx. 7.5 miles from the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Registration/Orientation
(Sunday, July 21)
   
 Arrive To: REGISTRATION: With Road Scholar is between 3:30pm - 5:00pm on the eighth floor, look for signage in front of elevators. HOTEL CHECK-IN: Begins 4:00pm, room may be ready earlier.
 Afternoon: ORIENTATION: At approx. 5:00pm orientation of the week begins.
 Dinner: The dinner will be served at the hotel in our private meeting room at approx. 6:00pm. Forms are sent out in advance to see if participants are vegetarian.
 Evening: GETTING TO KNOW YOU: After dinner there will be an activity for grandchildren to get to know each with youth counselor outside of meeting room. Grandparents will stay in room for additional information.

Walk just steps from your hotel room to the beach to search for shells to create a keepsake craft.

   
Accommodations: Lido Beach Resort
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Dig at Historic Spanish Pt, Art sand project at Siesta Key Beach (rated #1 Beach in 2011 by Dr. Beach), Fiesta dinner at hotel, Preview of Mote Marine Laboratory and guest performance, write postcard to mom & dad or a friend.
(Monday, July 22)

Note: There will be up to 1 mile of walking on paths and uneven terrain at Spanish Pt. To reach the water at Siesta Key Beach there will be approx. walking up to 1/2 a mile on a sandy beach.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast will be served in the private meeting room and includes; a large assortment of fresh fruit, oatmeal, yogurt, bagels with cream cheese, muffins, scrambled eggs, hash browns, and freshly brewed coffee, decaffeinated coffee, herbal teas, orange and prune juice.
 Morning: PRESENTATION: Preview of what to expect at Historic Spanish Point then board bus for field trip.

FIELD TRIP: Walking on this field trip will be approximately 1-1.5 miles. There will be time to rest between each outdoor exhibit. Historic Spanish Point has a rich archaeological history 5000 years in the making and this interactive experience provides students with an appreciation of the prehistoric people of Florida.

The adventure includes a stop at the burial mound, the high summit of one of the shell middens, and the most unique exhibition in the country, A Window To The Past. This one-of-a-kind experience puts the participant inside a prehistoric shell mound. Discover evidence of the early settlement of Calusa Indians and Mrs. Potter Palmer's innovative cattle ranching methods. Artifacts and a multi-media presentation enhance the participants' knowledge. Support materials include: Archaeology and the Prehistoric People of Southwest Florida, a publication produced by Historic Spanish Point.

You will never forget the highlight of the day, a real archaeological dig site where you can get your hands-on and in the past.

 Lunch: Picnic lunch at Spanish Pt.
 Afternoon: HANDS-ON-EXPERIENCES: Cool off in the surf of Siesta Key Beach, as you make a sand sculpture of your favorite wild animal or endangered species.
 Dinner: Fiesta dinner at hotel.
 Evening: Watch sunset on Lido Beach right outside your hotel room or stand on the beach for a better view. Overview of Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium visit for tomorrow.

PERFORMANCE: Special guest tba

HANDS-ON-ACTIVITY: Write post card to mom and dad or friend.

   
Accommodations: Lido Beach Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Depart for Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium/Turtle Talk: about sea turtle nesting season, seashell craft time, seashell nature hunt, Caribbean game of Limbo!
(Tuesday, July 23)

Note: In order to see all of the exhibits at Mote there will be walking up to 1 mile. Walking on the beach to collect seashells will be on very uneven terrain.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast will be served in the private meeting room and is a continental breakfast on the 2nd and 4th breakfast.
 Morning: HANDS-ON-EXPERIENCES: Create your own marine animal or frame out of seashells with youth counselor.

PRESENTATION: At Mote Laboratory on sea turtle nesting and conservation. Learn how volunteers walk on area beaches every morning searching for freshly laid turtle eggs. Volunteers put stakes up to alert beach enthusiasts to avoid that area. Sea turtles are endangered species and protected by law. Learn why beach lighting needs to be on low during the nesting season.

FIELD TRIP: Explore Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium. Learn more about all types of marine life, a hands-on sting ray display, sea urchins, rescued sea turtles and their hatchlings (baby turtles), manatees and other marine life common to south west Florida. The research facility uses sharks in their quest for a cure for cancer. Participants can view sharks up close and other marine life.

 Lunch: Lunch at aquarium's Deep Sea Diner.
 Afternoon: Continue to explore Mote's exhibits, shark movie and computer game on the big screen. (movie and computer game themes may change due to Mote's changing of exhibits)

HANDS-ON-EXPERIENCES: Search with shelling expert for shell identification and exploration.

 Dinner: Italian themed dinner at hotel.
 Evening: HANDS-ON-EXPERIENCES: Game night, including the popular Caribbean game of Limbo! Go to bed early to rest up for early am sea turtle walk with Mote Marine volunteers as you search for freshly laid turtle eggs.

Please note Sea Turtles are an endangered species and are protected.

   
Accommodations: Lido Beach Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Sea turtle walk before breakfast, An adventure guide naturalist will help identify fossil finds as you cool off in the water, Presentation on Myakka State Park/Dinner on your own
(Wednesday, July 24)

Note: There can be up to 1 mile of walking on the sandy beach in search of sea turtle nests. Afternoon fossil adventure will involve walking from the bus to the shoreline. Take the hotel shuttle to St. Armands Circle for dinner on your own, some restaurants are close to the drop off point and some are up to one mile away round trip walking.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast will be served in the private meeting room and includes; a large assortment of fresh fruit, oatmeal, yogurt, bagels with cream cheese, muffins, scrambled eggs, hash browns, and freshly brewed coffee, decaffeinated coffee, herbal teas, orange and prune juice.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Wake up early for a 7:00am sea turtle walk with adventure guide as you search for freshly laid turtle eggs. This walk is approximately 1/2 mile each way.

Breakfast will be after sea turtle walk. Bring your camera!

FIELD TRIP: Wade through shallow water cooling off as you search for vertebrate fossils including bones, teeth, natural casts, molds, impressions and remains of prehistoric animals, fossil sharks teeth, fossil plants, invertebrates and shells.

An adventure guide naturalist will help identify your finds.

Wear swimsuit and flip flops for a more comfortable experience.

 Lunch: Lunch will be at a buffet restaurant. Have fun making your own sundae!
 Afternoon: PRESENTATION: Discover unique facts about the Florida alligator, wild pigs and birds found in Myakka State Park.

Learn why you should NEVER feed an alligator. Discuss the plants you will see on the guided canopy walk tomorrow. Presented by a Florida naturalist guide.

 Dinner: Dinner on your own at St. Armands Circle. Walk or hotel shuttle will take you to St. Armands Circle, renowned as a continental marketplace. The Circle is a charming and graceful synthesis of past and present. Relax and enjoy a meal from a plethora of award winning restaurants, get out of the box and into the Circle, you'll find it all on St. Armands Circle.
 Evening: EXCURSION: Stay and enjoy historic St. Armands Circle's rich history architecture and unique statues placed by John Ringling. See the circus walk of fame, dedicated to famous circus performers.
   
Accommodations: Lido Beach Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Ride a giant airboat/canopy walk at Myakka State Park, Farewell dinner at hotel, Grandchildren and grandparents can talk about their favorite animal seen during the week, talent show and Caribbean Limbo game.
(Thursday, July 25)

Note: Walking at Myakka State Park could be up to 1 mile on paths and uneven terrain. The giant airboat ride is very smooth.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast will be served in the private meeting room and is a continental breakfast on the 2nd and 4th breakfast.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Bus departs for Myakka State Park for airboat ride to see and learn about Florida alligators in their native habitat. Hop aboard one of the world's largest airboats, the Myakka Maiden or the Gator Gal, and take an educational cruise of the Upper Myakka Lake. Discover what makes the Myakka unique among America's freshwater lakes. These slow-moving but powerful air-powered boats venture into shallow, grassy areas where traditional craft of such size could not venture. The leisurely ride is safe and smooth, allowing ample time for photographs and the opportunity to see alligators, wild pigs, birds and unique plant life.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch at Myakka State Park
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Enjoy a guided canopy walk at Myakka which will provide a unique prospective similar to a rainforest environment. The canopy walkway is on a spur trail that goes off of the Boylston Nature Trail. The entire loop trail takes about 30 to 40 minutes to walk at a very leisurely pace. If you prefer not to walk the entire trail and just walk to the spur trail and then to the walkway, it takes about 5 minutes to reach the walkway and not over 1/2 mile total walking.

FREE TIME: Board bus for hotel.

 Dinner: Farewell dinner at hotel.
 Evening: HANDS-ON-EXPERIENCES: A talking stick will be passed around for grandchildren and grandparents to talk about their favorite animal seen during the week and why it is their favorite. Opportunity for you to share a talent with everyone. Play the ever popular Caribbean game Limbo.
   
Accommodations: Lido Beach Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Sarasota Jungle Gardens Animal Trainer brings reptiles for photos, box lunch at hotel
(Friday, July 26)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast will be served in the private meeting room and includes; a large assortment of fresh fruit, oatmeal, yogurt, bagels with cream cheese, muffins, scrambled eggs, hash browns, and freshly brewed coffee, decaffeinated coffee, herbal teas, orange and prune juice.
 Morning: HANDS-ON-EXPERIENCE: Reptile trainer from Sarasota Jungle Gardens has a presentation on reptiles and animals living in Sarasota County. Bring your camera so you can pose with your grandchildren and reptiles.

Pick-up souvenir photos taken during the week by program staff. Wrap up and goodbyes!

 Lunch: A box lunch is offered on the sixth day to allow participants who need to catch an early flight to take their lunch with them. Participants who do not need to leave can enjoy their lunch in the meeting room or on the patio by the pool. Program ends at 10:30am followed by lunch.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Sarasota, FL Sarasota attractions
Sarasota is known as the cultural arts center of Florida. The area has a plethora of activities: Selby Botanical Gardens, Ringling Museum of Art, Mote Marine Aquarium, Historic Spanish Point, Sarasota Jungle Gardens, Florida WestCoast Symphony, Sarasota Opera House, Van Wezel Performing Arts Center, Sarasota Ballet Co., Asolo Theatre Co., Golden Apple Dinner Theatre. The area also offers several high quality beaches, boat rentals, water skiing, canoeing and kayaking. Hiking in two local state parks. For additional information, visit www.sarasotafl.org
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Myakka


Author: P. J. Benshoff


Description: Explore Myakka River State Park as each page takes you into the shady hammocks of twisted oaks and aerial gardens, down the wild and scenic river. When you visit the park, the adventures described here are sure to awaken your primate instincts to explore the unknown. The possibilities for new and exciting experiences are unending. If you return to the same places at different times of the year, you'll find enough adventures to last a lifetime.



Collectible Florida Shells


Author: R Tucker Abbott Abbott, Ph.D.


Florida's Fossils


Author: Brown, Robin


Fossiling in Florida: A Guide for Diggers and Divers


Author: Renz, Mark


National Audubon Society Field Guide to Florida


Author: National Audubon Society




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