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anna maria island





  • Writer's pictureNancy McAleer

Anna Maria Island Contest Winner!

A few months back we had the opportunity to host a vacation contest giveaway. What a resounding success with close to 7,000 entries! We had one lucky winner, Jennifer Schultz, who recently stayed at Sirenia Cove with her family. We want to share her experience with you.


Imagine my surprise last August when I received an e-mail telling me I won a free vacation in Florida! I started yelling aloud to my family... "I think we just won a trip!" No, it wasn't a scam. I had entered a contest to win a 4 night stay at a luxury beach house called Sirenia Cove and it didn't end there. Included in the contest were a gift certificate to Eat Here, golf cart, bikes, paddle board, beach chair rentals from Fun and More Rentals, Shadepops and a photography session on the beach with Memories by Billi. I was contacted and congratulated by Nancy McAleer of Anna Maria Island Home Rentals. She was just as excited as I was to share the news & details of my contest win. As well as the location of Anna Maria Island, Florida, which I had never visited before. All we had to do was pick a date and get ourselves there. It meant so much to our family to get to go on this trip.

Here we are jumping for joy on Anna Maria Island! - Memories by Billi Photography

I checked out the pictures of the house online, and grew more excited by the minute. The house boasted 4 tropical bedrooms, a huge kitchen, loft library, screened in porch, crow’s nest with ship's wheel, and an amazing backyard oasis complete with an outdoor bar and heated swimming pool. To top it off it was on a canal within walking distance to the beaches and shops. I knew that the pictures would not compare to seeing everything in person upon our arrival. It was more than ample space for our family of four.

We drove to the island from the chilly North and were so pleased when we entered the french doors into the Key West style home, tastefully decorated with warm beach colors of blues, peaches, yellows and pinks. We found comfy beach style couches in the living room, large beds, colorful dinnerware and basically everything looked clean and brand new.... did I say clean? Yes, not just clean, but VERY CLEAN! We were welcomed with a basket of goodies on the counter and a thoughtful bottle of wine to get us started on island living.

When I say that we just had to bring ourselves and food, I am not telling a tale. The kids took their pick of the bedrooms with my youngest choosing the fun bunk bedroom... of course! My eldest enjoyed grown up living in the private upstairs master suite, just off of the library loft, while we enjoyed the sunny yellow master bedroom on the main level.

We spent some days at the beach and found alot of very unique shells and our first sand dollars. I was super excited to pick up a gorgeous peach colored conch shell, but, disappointed when I turned it over to find a live sea snail inside, so I had to throw it back in the ocean. It was fantastic getting around the island in our rented golf cart and bike rides to the beach, Rod n Reel Pier, Pine Avenue shops and the town museum were super easy. The Gulf of Mexico was too cold to swim in but the heated pool at Sirenia Cove took care of our kids need to swim in January.

We headed to Mote Marine Laboratory to learn about the marine life in the area which was especially fun for the kids where we were joined by my uncle. He is a retired marine biologist, living a few hours away, and we were lucky to have him join us to expalin a lot about the local ocean life.

A trip to Eat Here restaurant was a favorite with the whole family. We have picky eaters but everyone found something they liked on the menu. The staff was more than friendly and generous, giving us a complimentary plate of shrimp tacos to share, when we told them we received the restaurant gift certificates through the contest. The son loved their make your own pizza and my daughter savoured the "not yo mama's pot roast". My husband and I ordered the Gulf Coast Shrimp and Atlantic Salmon, which everyone tried. Dinner was nothing short of amazing!

Our photo session on the beach with Emily from Memories by Billi was exciting, as this was the first time we ever had our photos done on the beach and long over due for a family portrait. The sky opened up with enough sunshine and a beautiful sunset for the perfect backdrop. Emily worked with us to get a lot of creative shots and we love how they turned out!

My only regret was forgetting to bring our shadepop drink umbrellas, we will be sure to use them this summer on our patio.

Towards the end of our trip I starting reflecting how nice it was not to have the hustle and bustle of our normal every day lives for a while and how we really created some spectacular memories in a short time. The kids have already started talking about what to do next time we visit.

We can’t wait to plan our next trip to Anna Maria Island, as it has left it's mark on us. We encourage anyone who is looking for a top notch place to stay to reach out to Nancy and Terri at Anna Maria Island Home Rentals. Thanks to them both and all of the other sponsors for a fantastic trip!

Jennifer Schultz

Memories by Billi Photo

Contact us for luxury accommodations on beautiful Anna Maria Island, Florida

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