Welcome to my "Florida" blog

Being a third generation Florida native, I'm completely enamored with the diverse beauty of this gorgeous peninsula. For most of the year the weather is divine which makes exploring its unlimited nooks and crannies fun and easy.

Wherever I go I appreciate nature and the world around me. Come along with me as I share the places I visit and perhaps a few other amusements I find interesting along the way.

(FYI: Every post prior to January 1, 2009 was previously published and imported from my garden blog)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

touring historic lake wales, florida

mom and i spent a day together last week in lake wales. our first stop was chalet suzanne for a 7 course, leisurely, talk-all-we-want lunch. thanks, mom. it had been many years since we had visited this part of florida.

"A favorite of celebrities, Chalet Suzanne has a proud heritage and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. On the property are five dining rooms, 30 guest rooms, a landing strip for airplanes, a gift shop, Spa, the Ceramic Salon, a Cannery for soups and sauces, citrus groves and a small experimental vineyard."

this was the view taken through the window from the dining room... with an anhinga in one snag and a little blue heron in the other.

flowers, fountains, statues, and an abundance of butterflies surround the structures on the acreage.

white peacock

zebra longwing
after our ample meal (my fav - carrot cake for dessert) it was on to bok sanctuary and gardens a few miles away. in 1922, Edward Bok decided to create a sanctuary for birds and people in Florida because he was so awed by the beauty of Iron Mountain. (until this tour i never knew we had mountains in florida. hmmm.. more like a hill ... but even a hill in florida is something to be pondered.) mr. bok acquired a large tract of sandy soil covered with pines and palmettos and hired a landscape architect to transform the area into a sanctuary that would "touch the soul with its beauty and quiet."

Mr. Bok decided to add a 205' carillon tower to be a visual and aural centerpiece for the garden. It is a majestic marble and coquina belltower housing 60 bronze bells ranging in weight from 16 pounds to nearly 12 tons. it is one of 4 carillons in florida. the carillon delights visitors with 30 minute concerts every day.

mr. bok claims to have been inspired by the words of his grandmother, "make you the world a bit better or more beautiful because you have lived in it."

the view from "iron mountain"

it was a beautifully quiet day in the gardens with perfect temps. we stayed to watch the sunset which didn't disappoint in its painting the sky a glorious pink and orange.

i'll share the flowers and wildlife of bok gardens in another post.


Susan said...

I love Bok Gardens - such a peaceful place. The sunset photo is fabulous, Meems. I must get to Chalet Suzanne sometime. It looks like a really cool place, and I've heard the food is scrumptious.

MLM said...

What was the cost like at CS? I'm thinking the MIL would like Bok for a day trip.

All the photos were lovely, but my favorite hands down was the "view from the mountain."

Thanks for sharing!

Meems said...

susan: good description-- it is a most peaceful place. we didn't have enough time to really check out CS but what we did see was quite unique and quaint. the food was not what i would call scrumptious (and i had heard the same thing) but very decent.

mlm: she would love Bok Gardens! great idea.