Monday, January 13, 2014

"Families are Like Fudge…"

"Sweet, but with a few nuts…." (Sparky, are you saying my family is a little nuts?! asks a concerned Eldo.) Nope, just saying they can be a little goofy at times…Which is true of both Eldy's and Sparky's families…They have lots of wit which is a WONDERFUL thing when you are entertaining family members. It makes being host and hostess a whole lot easier when there's lots of laughter on a family visit….And laughter we had, when Chuck and Theresa, Eldy's brother-in-law and sister arrived recently for a visit.

We've had visits from  both sides of our families over the past six months, and it's been so much fun showing them our newly adopted towns --Bradenton and Sarasota. Of course, everybody wants to see the stuff we've had in the blog, Myakka River State Park, the Ringling Museum, the Mote Aquarium, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, the drum circle, Ocean Blues--the bar and grill on Hillview Street that has entertainment 7 days a week, the Sarasota Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings, breakfast at the Gulf Cafe in Anna Maria Island, Sarasota polo, the Bok Tower in Lake Wales and so on and so on….

So when Theresa, Eldy's sister arrived for a week with her husband, Chuck, the day after Christmas, we were ready to be the host and hostess with the mostest! Not necessarily in the order we did them, here we go….First, the Marie Selby Gardens which had their nighttime Christmas light spectacle going on. Nineteen dollars for adults, children four to eleven are six dollars. It's gardens, a tropical conservatory, a museum of botany and the arts, and a garden shop. The gardens are open 10-5 every day except major holidays. Unfortunately, we arrived the very next day the night lights display had ended, but we still got to see some wonderful things there during the day time. They've developed a new children's rainforest section which was MARVELOUS and a wonderful opportunity for kids to walk a suspended bridge and learn about the rain forest.

One of Sparky's favorite things at the gardens is the Wishing Tree…..People write wishes on strips of fabric…
If you look a little closer, you see all kinds of interesting and wistful wishes…..
You see amazing plants and beautiful flowers at the gardens….Sparky gets a kick every time out of seeing the wild coffee tree plant and its accompanying scientific name…."psychotria nervosa"…Too funny….(I'm glad she's not a coffee drinker, that might just put her over the edge, explains E. She drinks enough Coke as it is!)

And how about some beautiful orchids….WOW! There's the conservatory there filled with all kinds of exotic ones….Marie Selby Gardens has over 6,000 species of orchids, there are bamboo and banyan groves, and a mansion on the register of historical places that houses botanical art and photography exhibits. They have different kinds of classes and many different styled gardens. This is quite the place!

And how about some beautiful bromeliads?  The center of the bromeliad had filled with water from a recent rain and these little lavender flowers were growing inside. This is so cool with the little tiny plants inside the main one, like a mini cistern! Amazing!

It's such a beautiful place Sparky is thinking of becoming a member so she can go there often for free to work on her photography skills….And on to the next place…..Mote Marine is scheduled for tomorrow…..


  1. Looks like a beautiful spot! i have a bromelid growing in my house, after finding it on clearance at Walmart of all places! It has a huge fuschia flat bladed fin sticking up in the middle, and now has tiny purple flowers coming out the tips of each ridge... too cool!
    Never grew one before, but I must be doing something right because its blooming!

    Karen and Steve
    (Blog) RVing: The USA Is Our Big Backyard

  2. You guys are getting lots of visitors! I'm afraid we'll have to wait until I get back from California to come down. I definitely would like to see it all too!

  3. Gorgeous orchids. Your family sure is lucky that you have a room for them all to take a Florida vacation! Sounds like you are booked up all the time.