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    Wednesday, 10 December 2014

    Anna Maria Island Villas – The perfect seasonal spots for over the holidays

    Some people dream of a white Christmas. Personally, I’ve always preferred a white sandy Christmas!

    Why bundle up in a parka and snow boots, when you can walk barefoot on the beach, instead? This is why year after year I find myself returning to Anna Maria Island for the holiday season.
    This year I’m looking forward to the best Christmas ever, as more of my family than ever before will be joining me for some holiday fun in the sun. 

    My sister and her family live about a two hour drive from me, but it may as well be two days. Her husband is a police officer who often works on weekends, she’s a social worker, and oh yeah: they have three kids ages four and under. It’s not exactly conducive to travel.

    Anna Maria Island Villa, Mintfish

    My husband and I get up to see them when we can, but we both work full time and even though we only have the one kid it’s still a pretty long trek for us. So we love getting to spend time with them around the holidays, which is why we love staying at Mintfish on Anna Maria. 

    Relax at Mintfish on Anna Maria Island

    You might think having four kids and four adults in one house would get a little cramped, but Mintfish has plenty of room to spare for our family. My sister’s two older boys (aged 3 and 4) share a bunk bed in the cheerfully-decorated kids bedroom: my three-year old daughter loves playing with them in there during the daytime, but come nightfall she gets her own room (namely because she’s a little daredevil, and we don’t trust her not to fling herself off the top bunk).

    My husband and I have our own room, while my sister’s seven-month-old shares a room with his parents. Even better than the four bedrooms are the four bathrooms the house is equipped with – extra bathrooms are paramount when you’re potty-training two three-year olds!

    What I also really love about Mintfish is the big, wide-open floor plan. My sister and I really love cooking together, and while we’re whipping up something fantastic in the kitchen, we can look right out in the living room and see our husbands try to watch TV while getting mobbed by enthusiastic preschoolers. For me, holidays are all about family: Mintfish is the perfect spot for my large family to gather together and still have plenty of room.

    Mintfish's spacious living room on Anna Maria Island

    Anna Maria Island Villas, Berryfish

    Of course, we have other family members, too. Most of them are grandparents and while they adore their grandkids, they prefer not to be around them 24 hours a day. That’s why they often get together and rent another Pineapplefish property that’s close enough to be a convenient trip, but far enough away that they can definitively have their own space.

    They typically rent Berryfish, partly because it is just steps away from the white sand beaches of Anna Maria, but also because its setup allows our unorthodox family to stay together while still having plenty of personal space. 

    Anna Maria Island's sandy white beaches

    Berryfish is a large duplex with a total of six bedrooms if you rent both sides. This year we only need one side, so we’re excited to meet the neighbors that we will share a front deck with. My mom and dad split up when I was little, but they are great friends now and we all typically spend the holidays together.

    They each take one of the upstairs rooms for themselves. My mom usually calls dibs on the plush master suite, while my dad is happy with one of the two twin beds in the kid-friendly room (the spare bed is extra helpful for when we have a sandy and overtired kid in need of a nap and don’t feel like schlepping back to our own place just yet!)

    My husband’s mom and dad live close by in Bradenton but they’ll stay for a night or two and they really appreciate the downstairs bedroom that offers them a little respite from my side of the family (which admittedly lacks boundaries).

    Both houses are beautiful. They have pools, gorgeous views of the Island, and bright and vibrant décor that’s stylish yet comfy. But most importantly, their flexible layouts make them the perfect places for my unorthodox hodgepodge of a family to gather together over the holidays. Whether you like all the closeness you can handle or prefer a little more privacy in your family retreats, both properties are set up to offer what you need.

    For me, getting to see my family all in one place is the best Christmas gift I could ever ask for. I’m so excited we’ll spend the holidays at Mintfish and Berryfish, and I’m looking forward to it becoming one of our holiday traditions.

    And as our family grows, well, we can always just rent more Pineapplefish properties to accommodate us! 

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