Byline: Anita J. Finkelstein

When two ex-teachers and a ex-commercial photographer ditch New York and head to warm, sunny Sarasota, Fla., to open a bed & breakfast, one can imagine the result might be far from the typical inn.
Sure, The Cypress Bed & Breakfast Inn has its requisite four-poster beds, rocking chairs on the porch and afternoon sherry; but it’s also got B.B. King playing on the stereo, a sunset cocktail hour complete with gourmet hors d’ouvres, an impressive collection of photography books and a cool, laid-back energy.
It’s probably because the owners of the four-year-old establishment, Vicky, Nina and Robert, a trio of longtime friends, came to Sarasota for the same reasons most people visit: to relax and enjoy life.
They bought The Cypress, which was a vacant old house nestled between two high-rise condos right in the center of downtown Sarasota, and spent 18 months renovating it and turning it into a bed & breakfast. They’re full of stories from those months of work, along with a host of other good tales they like to tell when everyone gathers on the porch at the end of each day.
Since it is the only in-town bed & breakfast in Sarasota, it attracts business people as well as vacationers.
While the trio may tell you they like to spend their days in the hammock beneath the mango and palm trees in the yard, you can bet they work pretty hard. After all, everyone, from the owners of local restaurants to the FedEx delivery guy, seems to know them.

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