Mosquitoes in Florida

Mosquitoes in Florida

Florida and mosquitos

Mosquitoes in Florida: Every Florida visitor knows them: Mosquitos and No-see-ums.

Mosquitoes in Florida


Insects and vermin feel particularly comfortable in tropical climates, so Florida with sometimes high humidity and heavy downpours is a real paradise for them. It depends on the season, the current weather and the area whether you encounter the blood-hungry mosquitos and no-see-ums. In the Everglades, the chance is certainly much higher than when strolling around the city or on the beach.

Not everybody gets a bite

In addition, some are more popular as victims and can hardly save themselves from stings, while others – even within the same family – are spared. This may be due to blood type, personal smell mix or diet.

What helps?

If you are looking for recommendations on how to protect yourself from getting bitten, repellents such as “Off” or “Deet” are often mentioned. They are effective and widely used. However, the active ingredients of most common used repellents are not harmless and you may be looking for natural and safe alternatives.

Mosquitoes in Florida

Natural alternative

Without a doubt I can recommend a mixture that I found on the Internet. We tested them several times while hiking through nature reserves, both in Florida and in Germany. It’s easy to mix. Just change the ratio to your needed amount and put it into a spray bottle.


16 oz witch hazel

16 oz Listerine Original

1/3 ounce tea tree oil

Mosquitoes in Florida

Itching treatment

You have been bitten and it itches very badly? You are looking for help? For this purpose try “bite-away”! The itching disappears within seconds, without any chemicals. I bought mine on amazon.

Best Beaches of SW Florida: North Jetty Beach Park at Casey Key

Best Beaches of SW Florida: North Jetty Beach Park at Casey Key

North Jetty Beach Park is on Casey Key, an approximately 8-mile barrier island stretching from Venice to Sarasota. The beautiful sandy beach is lined with numerous lovingly maintained houses. Since there are only 2 public beach accesses – another one is Nokomis Beach, it is never crowded, even in high season.

North Jetty Beach Park

The Park is situated at the southern end of Casey Key, on the northern side of the Venice Coastal Waterway that separates Venice from the mainland. Fishermen particularly love to meet at the North Jetty with its rocks, as it is a great place for catches.

The beautiful park has many old pine trees, that offer shade to several picnic tables as well as barbecues and a playground. At the weekends, this park is very popular among families with children. The restrooms are well maintained and of course parking is free.

Beach Bar and Bait Shop

North Jetty Fish Camp & Beach Park Concession offers baits and a nice variety of delicious snacks and drinks. Don’t miss their live music events! Location, food, drinks and music are a perfect combination.
Please see info on their Facebook Page

Several boardwalks lead over the dunes to the beautiful beach.

Kayak Rentals

If you like to be active, you may visit Jetty Rentals and get a kayak or paddle board. They also offer guided tours, that are very popular. There is indeed a good chance to spot dolphins and manatees.
More info on their homepage


1000 S. Casey Key Road
Nokomis, FL 34275
Sarasota County website:


Siesta Key Crystal Classic Nov 15 – 18

Siesta Key Sand Sculpting

Sand Sculpting Festival in Sarasota

You are fascinated by sand artists who create magnificent sand buildings? Come to Siesta Key Beach from 15.-18. November 2019!

“The Siesta Key Crystal Classic” is an amazing Master Sand Sculpting competition. Since 2010, international sand sculpting artists meet every November to create numerous sculptures out of tons of fine sand. The jury selects winners for solo and team artists. The announcement will be made on Sunday afternoon.


Even for amateurs there will be the opportunity to prove their skills in the “The Crystal Classic Amateur Competition”. For this competition on Saturday, there are different classes. The winners will be awarded the same day.

The “Quick Sand Contests”, which take place several times on Friday and Saturday, are also fascinating. Within 10 minutes, a participant has to create something out of a pile of sand, that fits to a given word. The applause of the audience will be used as an indicator for the best result. Winners advance to the next round. The competition culminates at the finals on Sunday at 12:30.


Other highlights of the festival are:

– Learning Curve Tent with tips for building yourself

– Bearfoot Beach Party Tent with live music and bar

– Vendor Village with food, drink and stalls

– Evening illumination of the sculptures


More info at


Siesta Key Sand Sculpting


National Taco Day

You love tacos? Then October 4th is your day, because it’s National Taco Day!

History and origin

The history of tacos dates back to the arrival of Europeans in Mexico. The indigenous people in the Lakes region of the Valley of Mexico traditionally ate tacos, which they filled with small fish. Already in the days of the Spanish conquistadors there was the first taco festival: Hernán Cortés, the famous conquistador, arranged this for his captains in Coyoacan.

Why the Spaniards called this local food “taco” is not exactly known. The Spanish word actually means “cone” or “peg”.

Difference between taco and tortilla

Do you know the difference between a taco and a tortilla? The tortilla is a Mexican flatbread, which is served as a side dish, e.g. to Chili con Carne, but is also used as a basis for tacos.

A taco is a tortilla stuffed with different ingredients. Popular fillings are ground beef, salad, onions, tomatoes and cheese. You can choose between corn and wheat tortillas. The original corn tortillas are crispy fried, while the wheat tortillas are soft.

What is your favorite?


If you want to celebrate National Taco Day, here are two delicious recipe suggestions:

Taco Pizza 

Veggie Tacos 


Many restaurants in the US offer deals on National Taco Day offers. Here you find a selection.

How about visiting our South Venice Taco Bell? It is only minutes from our Villa Happy Gator. Get directions here.

National Taco Day



Sarasota Bay – A Safe Haven from a Hurricane in Florida?

Hurricane in Florida

Is the Sarasota Bay area …blessed? Depending on who you talk to, the answer is yes. There are various Sarasota Indian myths that the lands were blessed by Native Americans to be protected against hurricanes.

Indian Legends

Some hold the belief that Sarasota is protected from hurricanes because the Native Americans who first settled there knew that it was safe from the elements.

Others believe that they blessed the lands to stay eternally safe from destructive storms and hurricanes. Still others think that it’s an ancient Indian burial ground on the lands of Sarasota that keeps it protected.

There is not much known about those ancient ones, who were not Tocobaga, the people of Tampa Bay, nor Calusa, people centered by Charlotte Harbor. Isn’t it tempting to believe in those fascinating myths?

Hurricane in Florida

Facts about a hurricane in Florida

Fact is: Sarasota Bay has not been a bull’s-eye for a major hurricane in Florida since reliable records began in 1871.


Science explains this luck with geography. The typical tracks are moving on a “hurricane highway” through the Bahamas and the Yucatan Channel. Then hurricanes curve towards the northeast. Cuba with its mountains is a major inhibitor of tropical systems. Heading to Sarasota would require an unlikely sharp curve into eastern direction, what would also significantly weaken any storm. Same is with the often seen scenario of landfall on the east coast of Florida, preventing Sarasota Bay from getting the worst of it.

Enjoy your vacation

So whether you choose to believe the legends or not, always be sensible and keep an eye on what’s going on – and enjoy your stay in the beautiful Sarasota Bay area from Venice to Bradenton.

By the way: Towns and cities in Florida are well prepared for severe weather conditions and will always inform the public if there is any action recommended. You have rented a vacation home? Ask your landlord if you have any questions.

Here is a link to the local weather news:

Celebrate Downtown Venice Day – August 11th 2019

Venice Day

The Venice Downtown Beaufication Project is finished. Come and enjoy the beautiful result on  Downtown Venice Day, Saturday, August 11, 2019.

The event starts at noon with a free trolley tour of the city. You will be accompanied by Harry Klinkhamer, Manager of Historical Resources. Learn interesting and amusing facts about the history of the “City on the Gulf”. One lap lasts 45 minutes and starts at the kiosk of the Centennial Park. The trolley will go until 3 pm in the afternoon.

Be active

If you like to be active, bring your bike! At 12.30 pm and at 4 pm, a guided tour will start at the Gazebo in Centennial Park. The bicycle experts from “Bicycles International” will bring you on a leisurely trip to and from the Jetties. For those interested, there is also a free “Fix-a-Flat” workshop where you will learn how to easily and quickly mend a flat tire yourself. The workshop starts at 3:30 pm at the Gazebo.

Local businesses

How about visiting a full-face-painting artist at work? You will meet him by the kiosk between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Or relax with with Afternoon High Tea – at 2 pm at “Café 124” and at 3 am in the “Upper Crust”. Other restaurants and shops along the roads offer specials, raffles and appetizers, such as the famous Rum Punch of the “Down Island Way Boutique”.

Moving into the evening, downtown goers will be able to enjoy extended Happy Hours at “Daiquiri Deck”, “TJ Carney’s”, “Made in Italy”, “Abby’s on Miami”, and “Ciao Gelato” (Wine & Gelato Floats) from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Are you a wine lover? “Café Longet” between 5 and 7 pm, to “Olive Grove Wine Bar” or the “Zebra Piano Bar Lounge” welcome you for a wine tasting.


Celebrate Downtown Venice Day is organized by Venice Newcomers Club and Newcomers of Venice Alumni.

Read more here.

Venice Day    Venice Day

National Avocado Day – July 31

National Avocado Day

On July 31st, we celebrate avocados in the USA!

Did you know that avocados have been collected and consumed by humans for at least 10,000 years? Archaeologists found evidence in Central Mexico. About 3000 BC, avocados were cultivated by Central American peoples such as the Inca and Maya.

The name avocado – also called “alligator pear” in the Caribbean – was first mentioned by the Irish scientist and botanist Hans Sloane, who depicted it in his catalog of plants native to Jamaica.

In 1833, the first avocado trees were planted in Florida. However, it took until the 1950s, until they entered the grocery stores.

Today, avocados are popular worldwide. The creamy, vitamin-rich interior is extremely tasteful and perfect for salads or the famous Mexican guacamole. The beauty industry loves the skin friendly ingredients.

So let’s celebrate – maybe with a homemade guacamole?

Here is one of my favorite recipes


  • 2 avocados
  • 1 lime
  • 1 onion small
  • 1 chili peppers e.g. pickled jalapeno or fresh green ones
  • 1 tomato
  • salt according taste


  • Peel the avocados and mash them in a bowl with a fork. Add the juice of a lime.
  • Cut the onion, chili and tomato into very small cubes. For tomatoes, it is best to leave out the seeds.
  • Stir the cubes into the avocado cream, season with salt and serve soon.


National Avocado Day


By the way – If you would like to celebrate National Avocado Day away from home, you can use the Chipotle offer: On July 31, there will be a free portion of guacamole for every regular entree. You have to pre-order with the Chipotle App or online here on the Chipotle page.

Chipotle in Venice is located Bird Bay Plaza, 519 U.S. 41 Bypass, Venice, FL 34285.

Best Beaches of SW Florida: Englewood Beach

Best Beaches of SW Florida: Englewood Beach

Englewood Beach – locals call it also Middle Beach – is located in Chadwick Park and is a popular beach with beautiful white sand.

How to get there – Scenic Canopy Drive

From Englewood, take the Beach Road to Manasota Key. If you cross the bridge,be sure to stop and have a look! Very often you will enoy watching some Manatees and dolphins.

Alternatively choose the Manasota beach Road in South Venice and take the famous Canopy Drive on Manasota Key Road. You will love driving under the crowns of those old beautiful trees.


At Englewood Beach there are basketball courts, a beach volleyball court, shelters with picnic tables and barbecues, a nice playground and well kept sanitary facilities.

Larger pavilions are often rented for family gatherings. There is ample parking for which a small parking fee is due.

For more info go to

Happy World Chocolate Day!

Wordl Chocolate Day

Today, July 7, is “World Chocolate Day”!

We love chocolate in all sorts and variations: as a bar, in ice cream, as spread and cake icing, in cereal or even as a face mask – the ideas für using are endless.

Here are some sweet facts about our favorite treat:

The earliest known cocoa bean cultivation regions were Mexico and South America, where Inca, Aztec and Maya people mixed ground seeds with spices to a drink they called “Chocolatl”. The chocolate from the beans was considered a luxury commodity and was reserved for wealthy people.

Among the Aztecs, cocoa beans were even common as a means of payment. Taxes could be paid with them. For 100 perfect beans you could buy a slave!

In 1550, the first cocoa beans appeared in Europe, but it took until 1847 that the first chocolate bar was produced in England.

The worldwide most chocolate is cosumed in Germany and Switzerland: an impressive 10 kg per person per year. That’s almost twice as much as in the US. By the way: Women are much more likely to be a chocolate lover than men.

Happy World Chocolate Day!

You are in Venice Florida these days? Be sure to stop by at Kilwin’s on W Venice Ave, their choices are simply delicious!

Wordl Chocolate Day  Wordl Chocolate Day

Alligator vs Crocodile – What is the Difference?

Alligators and Crocodiles

Florida and the Alligators – or are they Crocodiles?

Have you ever asked yourself what is the difference between alligators and crocodiles? Don’t they look alike? Well, they may look similar, but there are some differences.

Read more about those fascinating reptiles you can meet in the wild here: