Cedar Cove Resort & Cottages
Anna Maria Island, Florida

2710 Gulf Dr. Holmes Beach, FL 34217
Fax 941.778.5764

couple has vacation to remember

An anonymous local couple paid the resort bill for two first-time visitors from Pennsylvania
By Tom Vaught

sun staff writer

  Anna Maria Island's beauty is matched only by the charm of its residents, as two first time visitors found out.
   The couple from Drexel Hill, Pa., Phil and Anne McGee, were speaking with the owner of Cedar Cover Resort, where they were staying, and asked him how he found out about Anna Maria island.
   "I told them I spent two years researching the barrier islands in Florida before I found this place, the greatest thing about this Island is the personality of the people who live here." He described how everyone on the street or at the beach says hello, and everyone seems genuinely happy.
   The owner then said the couple told him they also found that to be true, especially after they met a gentleman at Walgreen's earlier in the day who made them feel at home.

   "We were asking if they had any brochures about places to go on the Island, and he must have been behind us in the line," said Phil. "We all went outside and started talking when his wife came up."
   "I noticed how handsome he was and how he had the prettiest blue eyes," said Anne. "His wife had pretty blue eyes also. They both looked so happy. We started asking them about economical restaurants and he pointed out the Peaches, in the same shopping center, is a good place for breakfast."
   The Owner of Cedar Cove Resort said the story took a strange twist later in the day. "Around 2 in the afternoon, a gentleman appeared at the office," he said. "The man described the McGees and asked if they were staying here. When I said they were, he told me he would like to pay for their entire stay."
   The owner said the gentleman asked that he remain anonymous.

She has been in Contactt with friends and family in Pennsylvania.
   "I told them about the gentleman and his wife and asked them to pray to God and thank him for those people," she said. " I think it was Megan's way of telling us, 'It's alright.'"
   The generous offer was icing on the cake to the McGees, who are enjoying their stay at the beachfront resort in Holmes Beach.
   "I went out the door headed for the beach yesterday morning, and I only got as far as that hammock over there," Phil said, laughing. "I would definitely come back here. I would recommend it to everyone."
   There are no guarantees that the offer will ever be repeated, but the McGees will attest to the fact that the only thing that approaches the natural beauty of Anna Maria Island is the personality of the people you meet here.
Cedar Cove in the new in England
   "He said, 'When these people thank you, that will be my reward."
The Owner said he called the McGees in their room and asked if they were sitting down before he told them that the gentleman had paid for their room. Anne had an immediate reaction.
   "I call him our friend' she said. "The reason we are here is because we wanted to be away on our daughter, Megan's, birthday. She passed away seven years ago, and we don't like to be at home on her birthday.
Phil said they found out about Anna Maria Island form friends who had researched it.
 He said they were impressed with the beaches and with Cedar Cove's website, which includes a live "Beach Cam" that offers a view of the beach that is updated every 20 seconds.
   The owner said when the unidentified benefactor made the offer, he said, "I'll bet you never had this request before. It's true, in 11 years in the business, I never had."
   The McGees's have five children and another daughter, Coleen, who also passed away. Anne has some physical disabilities, but she volunteers for a hospice and an organization for the blind back home.
Copyright of The Anna Maria Island Sun 2004.