Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Enjoying the Sunset

Before dinner we headed to Ponce de Leon park to sit on the seawall and watch the sunset.
taken with my iPhone
Love the reflection on the water

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Sunday, February 19, 2017

It's That Time Again...OPA!

The Greek Food Festival was this weekend, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  We had a couple of other things going on, so we decided to go on Sunday.  The weather was good, warm and dry, which was nice after showers yesterday.

We really just go for the food!  They did have entertainment under a big tent but we didn't get there in a timely fashion to get a seat, or even stand close enough to see the dancing.  We were able to enjoy the music, tho while we ate our lunch.

We both ordered the Greek Salad, which is so silly because it's just lettuce, tomatoes, olives, onion, feta cheese and dressing but it's always soooooo good!  We each got a piece of Spanakopita, a spinach pie, which we really enjoy.  The pieces were a really good size and worth the $5.  When we go to the festival in Portland, the pieces are about half the size.  
We did a little window shopping among the vendors and actually bought something this year...a Christmas ornament...it's a Greek Evil Eye, which is supposed to be a good luck charm.  Makes no sense to me.

"Attempts to ward off the curse of the evil eye has resulted in a number of talismans in many cultures.  Talisman means that they turn away or turn back harm."
Most of them are shaped in a circle but we liked this one because it was a little different.  Never hurts to have some good luck ;o)

We were trying to kill time because we enjoy the church tour/talk given by the Priest, who is from Ireland and has a wonder accent.  However, the only tour was at 3:00 and we still had an hour to kill so we decided to get our desserts and leave.  HA!  Never go to the Greek Food Festival on Sunday afternoon!  My favorite Greek cookies (kourabiedes) were SOLD OUT and they sold the last two of my second choice to a person right in front of me!  UGH!  The nice woman filling orders told me "the walnut cake is really very good".  Thanks but no thanks, I really wanted cookies!  Bill bought some baklava for our friends from Kennebunk that we see monthly and some kind of chocolate cake, which was delicious.

"Kourabiedes are special Greek Christmas cookies made with butter and almonds and dusted with powdered sugar."  Next to the spanakopita, they are the only reason I like to go.
photo from thegreekglutton.com
The other ones are called Amygdalota.  They are "delicate Greek almond cookies that are crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside."  Not my favorites but a good replacement.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day

We enjoyed a super nice Valentine's Day!  We walked Titan from Landmark to the hospital and back.  After returning him to the house, we decided to have lunch at the Celtic Ray.  We sat at one of the covered swings in the front and had a great meal of fish and chips.
Gingerale and Strongbow
We used the gift card Greg gave us for Christmas!  

We came back home, let Titan out and Bill did some reading on the deck until we left, around 4:00 and drove to Venice.  Our first stop was Ciao Gelato, yummy!  
This stuff is so much creamier than ice cream.

We sat on one of the benches along the sidewalk and did some people watching while we finished our cones.  I stopped into the quilt shop and wandered around briefly, since it was time for it to close but the owner was nice enough to let me shop.  I bought a quilting pattern and a pattern for some small bags.  Bill waited patiently outside.  Unfortunately, most of the shops close at 5:00 but we found one that stayed open until 5:30 so I was able to get a postcard for Lori.

From there we drove to the Venice Beach jetty and were fortunate enough to find a parking spot right in front ;o)  It was fairly breezy, and we were early for the sunset, so we waited in the car for a while.  We got out around 6:00 and found ourselves a nice place to sit on the rocks and watch the sunset.  There weren't any clouds in the sky, so the sunset was nice but not spectacular. There appeared to be some fog along the horizon because the sun sort of disappeared.
I think I like the ones with the birds the best.

We even waited for the "after show", which is often better than the sunset itself, but not tonight.
I took these two with my phone because I wanted to try black and white.
We stopped at Bocca Lupo for a Margherita pizza on our way home.

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Thursday, February 9, 2017

It's a Wrap...Naples Botanical Gardens

This is the boardwalk leading into the Asian Garden and overlooking the River of Grass.  While we were reading one of the informational posters, we heard "crashing" in the grass behind us and spotted an armadillo.  That's only the second one we have seen in our nine years here.
This is a beautiful teak table and benches.
One of several mosaic tile walls along the entrance.
Other interesting items in the Asian Garden but oddly, not many "garden" pictures.
Candi Sukuh
Finally, the orchid garden.  I love taking pictures of orchids, but have no idea why.  I just like the way they turn out, I guess.  The orchid garden at Marie Selby is inside, however, this one is outside and somewhat smaller.  It is currently home to the "Rising Cranes" origami.
Some are big, some are super small but they are all so beautiful!

This was the last sculpture we spotted on our way out.
"Gathering Peace"
I think it's pretty difficult to see what it looks like, so I copied a photo from the website.
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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

As Promised...More Naples Botanical Gardens

We walked along the shore of Lake Tupke to the Brazilian Garden, which you can see from this earlier photo...
This is the view looking back from the top.
There is a really nice pool at the top, where the "Master Peace" origami is currently residing.
This sculpture is made up of 500 origami cranes and stands 25 feet tall.  It's very impressive.

There are some pretty cool lily pads floating in the pool, as well.

There is a much better picture of them on the NBG home page.

One of the vines blooming near the pool.

From here, we walked into the Caribbean Garden and found these plantain/bananas "blooming".  We weren't sure which they were and never found anyone to ask.  I'll call them bananas.
I may have seen bananas growing when we were in Jamaica but never this close.  

This Gru-Gru palm tree was in the same area.  It's a palm tree with long thorns that grow along the trunk and they are SHARP!  It's native to the Dominican Republic.

internet photo
The "Balancing Act" was the sculpture we came to next.
So many of the sculptures are white and it was super sunny, which makes them hard to see in the photos.  I'm sure Greg could have taken much better pictures.

Next up...the Succulent Garden and the "Emerging Peace" piece ;o)  haha

In case you can't tell...it' a butterfly.
Wonder how they keep a succulent garden growing in tropical Florida...

"Flying Folds" is located along the path to The South Grove, which contains several smaller gardens, an overlook and a labyrinth, which we somehow missed completely.
The path meandered between Lake Tuple on one side
and this stream/waterfall on the other
until it comes to Lucy's Landing, which overlooks Deep Lake and is home to the sculpture "Folding Planes".
Seems more like UNfolding planes to me.  Bill spotted an alligator on the far side of the lake.

We continued along the shore of Deep Lake, past the "Light Boat" sculpture, to the bathrooms.
I really liked this one!

We followed the path through the Idea Garden and the Enabling Garden back to the South Grove, where we rested our feet.
Cactus blooming in the Idea Garden
From here we could see the blooming African Tulip Tree
internet photo
and this white sculpture, which isn't one of the origami sculptures and I can't remember what it's called.

That's it for now, more to follow.

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