Saturday, January 27, 2024

West Coast Visits (Florida that is)


The long white sand beach on Pelican Landings'
private beach

Scott loves to take pictures of the wildlife

This reminds me of the Hitchcock movie, "The

We crossed over the state of Florida from Jupiter to Bonita Springs to visit our cruiser friend Barbara. We met her and her husband in Trinidad back in 2005. They were on their boat Enkidu then, but not long after, sold her and bought a home on Bonaire. We spent quite a bit of time with them there but after their divorce, and her move to Florida, we remained friends with Barbara. She visits us up in Vermont in the fall and we return the visit in January. Her home is in a huge development named Pelican Landing - it would be a good sized city in Vermont! There is a gated community inside their gated community. After the last hurricane it was a year before their beach, on a barrier island, opened again. Happily we had a nice morning to take the boat shuttle out there and walk the beach. Having worked up a good appetite, we had a great lunch and walk around the Shangri-La Hotel in the historic downtown. 

The farm to table restaurant is highly rated and
we agree!

The landscaping is wonderful at the Shangri-La
Hotel, originally built in 1921 and a historic
landmark downtown.

Next we had two couples to visit, both in St. Petersburg, several hours north. Bill and Suzanne are renovating a home there. I first met Bill in 1969 when I rented an apartment in the "Old Hotel" in Hancock, VT with a group of friends for the ski season. That was the beginning of "the ski group" many of whom are still friends today. Scott and I stopped twice in St. John's, USVI to see them in Scott Free where they are still residents. Bill has had some health problems recently but looked great and we enjoyed a walk along the bay and lunch at an excellent Turkish/Greek restaurant, Mio's Grill. 

Suzanne & Bill

Mio's Cafe & Grill for an excellent lunch
and time to catch up with these old friends.

It was only a half mile down 1st St to my cousin Joanie's home for 3 nights. Joanie and Kent are world travelers and were leaving in only a few days for Antarctica!! Joanie and her sister Mary, along with 5 other siblings were the children of my mother's sister and we all grew up together. Mary came down the first night for dinner and her daughter and husband came for another night. We enjoyed two of the many great museums in St. Petersburg, The Imagine Museum of Contemporary Glass Art was first and the second, the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art. Both were wonderful. 

At the James' Museum. As you can 
see the weather was cool.

Joanie and I make pose with William Cody, a distant
but not direct relative of mine.

At the Imagine Museum they had a special exhibit of the glass artist Karen LaMonte. Her life size
"sculptures" in glass of women were so beautiful. She started with classical themes but after several years in Japan she did a large series of women from the so called "Floating World" along with exhibits of actual kimonos. It was breathtaking.

Photos do not do justice to any of this.

This is over 8 feet tall and a combination of 
glass rods and mirrors. It's like looking into

A close up

A loved this painting in the James Museum - the
works were collected over time by Tom and 
Mary James and are of living artists.

The jewelry was so beautiful. This is a close
up because I loved the grin on the bear!

Every medium was represented, here a piece in
pottery of the Long Walk.

I'm not as much a fan of wildlife art but this oil
of the three cubs and the turtle was such fun.

Despite the cool weather the sun allowed us to spend some time in their huge porch living room. 

I selfie of Scott, myself, Joanie and Kent just before
we left.

But then it was time to return to Baby, left at Harpal & Jeannie's in Winter Park. One more night with them enjoying dinner out at a Peruvian Restaurant! We learned to love Peruvian cuisine while there for 2 moths and look for another opportunity when we can. 

Baby at Harpal's in Winer Park

Jeannie, myself, Harpal and Scott out for dinner. 

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