Thursday, March 8, 2012

Where AM I (completed)!

Tom and I have been in Florida for a week. I drive (due to severe directionality problems) so he gets to tell me "where to go"! Thank goodness he is nice about it. We travel to a city, visit parks, gardens, monuments, malls, beaches, villages, and then go to whatever motel we booked the day before. This is called Flying by the Seat of Our Pants. We have done quite well but we are both a little tired of changing motels daily.  We did spend two nights at the Bilmar Beach Resort and will spend two nights here in Bradenton and when we get to Fort Myers we will stay in the same hotel two nights in a row. Next week, we will stay with our dear neighbors, Penny and Gerry Youngman before heading back to Indiana. They will get a blog posting of their own.
Since it took 20 minutes for the above photo to download to this blog (with 29 to go out of a few hundred), I have to either give up with this blog or try again later. They wouldn't download last night or this morning so....consider yourself spared! There is sun, heat and adventure out there and we have things to do. Later today, I'll try again.
We visited the Florida Botanical Gardens in St. Petersburg (see the gorgeous purple flowers above) on Monday and then happened upon the Safety Harbor Church within the gardens.What got my attention was the wonderful sign on the front steps:
Being so old and empty and having wooden floors, there was a great echo when one sang. I know. I did it.

We arrived in Tampa in time for lunch. The temperatures were in the 70s and we sat here and ate. Such a gorgeous place! When I turned around, this is what I saw:
                                             And this:
These pictures are taken downtown Tampa near the Riverwalk.
Tampa was a beautiful city to visit but it was time to move on. We headed to Lakeland where we did some exploring before we went to our B&B. We found Frank Lloyd Wright's Florida Southern College. We are wondering if Frank was a short person since Tom had to be very careful of his head in several places.

"Watch your head!!!

The bell tower was beautiful against the blue sky!
We drove to downtown Lakeland and found a street that had several "creatures" made of car parts. They were totally unique! I took pictures of them all and chose these to show.

And then there were statues of beauty:

We took a walk around Lake Hollingsworth...well...Tom went all the way around (3 miles) and I went part way. (The temperature is in the 80's and will be all week.)
The tree (below) was huge! That's Tom waaaay down there!

We saw this true sign of spring...Mommy and her babies.

With our walk over and a chance to sit and read for a while, we drove into town to our Lake Morton B&B which had been built in 1928. Due to spring training, the place is booked for the month of March. They happened to have a room available. It felt good to have a lot of room. I kept thinking how my niece, Heather, would have loved the old place.

Our room was upstairs to the left.
Breakfast was charming.

Wednesday, after breakfast, we traveled to Bradenton. We visited the oldest remaining sugar plantation. Of course we picked a day that it was closed...never fails...but enjoyed peeking in the windows.

And from the side view below:

Moving on, we drove to the DeSoto National Memorial.

The view was so beautiful and warm. Tom checked out the garb that DeSoto would have likely worn. Talk about HEAVY!

 We then visited the Palmetto Historical Village. Below is Heritage Chapel.

My favorite building was The Schoolhouse (The Kindergarten Building). I had to take the picture through the window.

Being in Bradenton was a treat because I knew that my teacher friends (also retired from Jefferson) had just arrived this week to stay in Sarasota for the month. We met Terri Brunson, Kathy Robarge and their friend Janet (who happens to be the mother of Angie Miller who used to teach at Jeffeson!!!) . We met at Dry Dock Waterfront Grill for dinner and had such a fun time catching up. Twenty-nine years ago, I student taught for Kathy Robarge. She  became pregnant so I continued in her classroom for the next year before I moved to 1st grade. Kathy and I proceeded to retire together in 2005. What are the chances of that? Terri and I share a birthday (not the same year) and have always had such fun with that. We had to come to Florida to get together!

And then there is today. It's Thursday I think. We continued to check out the Bradenton/Sarasota area and drove up and down some of the Keys. When we saw a sign of interest, we would stop. Here are a few of the things that we saw:

...and then on to visit a "botanical garden" that really wasn't much of one.

Then, of course, there is the beach...always the beach. We have "floated" from one beach to another. There are many of course. We have done lots of walking. This is a good thing but there are always problems with walking a lot. These problems can be fixed if......

a person owns enough Band-Aids!!!
"Do I want to go shopping??? Of course! My feet are fine!!!"

"Now, remind me what town this is? What day is this? Where are we staying tonight? Who am I???"

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