This morning they closed the main road for half an hour for the annual 4th of July parade. We took the kids and dog up to watch the floats go by and collect candy. We got plenty of gum, lollipops, Skittles, Tootsie Rolls, and more good things. This is a photo of the horses. It’s always such a great hometown event.
This is a photo my daughter took from the playground in St. James City. These are Flamboyant trees in bright red bloom covered in hanging Spanish Moss. Another name for Flamboyant trees is Royal Poinciana. They are mostly evergreen and make fantastic shade trees. They are found in South Florida, throughout the Caribbean and all over the world in tropical climates.
This week we took a trip north to swim at the beaches of Boca Grande on Gasparilla Island. It’s an enjoyable car ride of about 1.5 hours from Pine Island. The Boca Grande bridge is new and the views in all directions are of amazing tropical blue waters. Once on the island, we parked right at the very southern tip of the island at the scenic lighthouse & museum. There is self-serve public parking for $3/day and beautiful changing rooms that overlook the ocean. We saw up close and swam with about six or seven manatees as they travelled up and down the crystal clear shallow waters. Off in the near distance, in this photo you can see some fishing boats and waves, which are likely Tarpon “flipping”- Boca Grande is the tarpon fishing capital of the world.
One benefit to living in Florida is the ability to take a quick trip to Disney World, by car, with a big admission discount for residents. We hopped in the car and were in Orlando in only three hours! The trip across the state was arrow-straight and enjoyable. Disney, Magic Kingdom and Epcot was as I remembered… fun, crowded, amazing, exhilarating, exhausting, thrilling, frustrating and magical. Gotta love FastPass! Photo is from the incredible fireworks and projection display around 9 pm.
This front yard is pretty cool in my book. It’s landscaping’s version of the laid-back beach vibe. It’s a tropical oasis in the heart of Bokeelia’s waterfront. Tall coconuts, Ti plants, variegated heliconia, bougainvillea plus one of those fun signs pointing to various far off earthly destinations makes this yard a stand out. Boston 1468 miles!
The other afternoon we went to Bert’s Bar and lucked out with a waterfront table for two overlooking Matlacha Pass. We ordered fish tacos and clam chowder – both were delicious! In the air was live steel drum music, boats coming and going, and plenty of smiling faces. We talked, drank Corona and wine (Bert’s is beer and wine only) and watched the pelicans dive for fish. Bert’s Bar & Grill is highly recommended for a casual, good time with a water view.