Wednesday, April 29, 2015

On the Road 3: Country Cottage Corner

We came upon Trenton, Florida, home of the Suwannee Valley Shoppes, where there were sweet English-cottage style gardens.

Complete with butterfly

 And a natty goose and froggy friend welcoming us into a shop selling material and sewing needs... enormous quantities.  I still have nightmares about needlework lessons ar school but for someone who loves that sort of thing, it would be a paradise..

Complete with old-fashioned cotton reel dispenser.

It even had a little ol' ice cream parlour.

I loved the retro pink and blue tables against the black-and-white floor, though when we tried to buy ice creams, there was suddenly no one there, perhaps a good thing for our waistlines. It was like being in an Alice in Wonderland fantasy. One blink and it just might all disappear in a puff of candy floss.

The salt and pepper pots were a nifty touch.

 Meanwhile across the street

A retired railway station. We see a lot of those on our route. Americans really should go back to railways.

The Suwannee Valley Quilt Shop(pe),  according to its signs, managed to be both a shop and a shoppe and it contained a quilt I fell in love with - all on a watermelon theme.

This being my favourite patch.

If they'd just known, they could have named their price. I would have given anything (well almost) to have that watermelon pig and his environs. But he wasn't for sale. It was a love affair destined never to bloom. He'll live on only in fond memory.

Monday, April 27, 2015

On the Road Part 2: A Picnic Spot

Funny how, on some trips we search and search for somewhere to pull off the road when it's time for a sandwich and find nothing that isn't someone's private driveway or the car park at Dollar General. (And then of course the perfect spot appears mid-afternoon when we don't need it.) And sometimes we get lucky. 

This picnic spot, in a place called Hernando, Florida, was pretty near perfect. A lake. Stately oaks draped with Spanish moss.

And best of all, hardly anyone around. I noted that Hernando is near a place called Inverness Highlands North. A more inappropriate name for somewhere in Florida I cannot imagine. Though I did once go to a Highland Games in Sarasota.

(More pictures from which at a later date. It was quite something.)

Saturday, April 25, 2015

On the Road Part 1: A Florida Rose Window

Amazing what you see when you turn off the road..

Like this fine rose window which belongs to the Abbey church at St Leo University, north of Tampa, Florida.

We swung in through the campus gates - beautifully bedecked with flowers. St Leo, apparently is big in educating members of the military forces studying for degrees. It's also Florida's oldest Catholic university, a phenomenon we don't really have in England, founded by Benedictine monks. According to its Wikipedia entry it became, for a while, an "English-style prep school". I wonder what they mean. An English-style prep school being a private school for little boys, whereas an American-style prep school is a private school for ages 14-18. (As opposed to a "public" school, which in England is of course a private school, etc etc.) I suspect they may mean the latter. Anyway, it's back to being a university now.

And I would think, a rather nice place to study.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

But First A Little Glimpse of Spring

And just when the flowers thought it was safe to come out...

 They realised they were wrong.

Happy St George's Day from Cattaraugus County! To bad the ski resort is closed for the season.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Road Trip Here We Go

  Sister-in-law and I have been on another road trip up north, in which we encountered her



And a bit too much of this

Details coming soon. Watch this space!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Doggie Conveniences

Spotted outside the Black Gold cafe. How very thoughtful. How very Florida.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Flashback to the Car Show

 Which was back in January and not held at Venice airport this time but at a place called Lakewood Ranch, although I didn't notice any horses. Sadly we got there a bit late and people were already packing up. What is it with car shows? They always pack up sooner than they're supposed to.

Some nice old British numbers here

Needs a bit of work..

But plenty of room in the back

Love those old steering wheels

They just don't make them like they used to

Time to chew the fat, as they say

Hangers on come in all shapes and sizes

As do passengers

This is America - be prepared.

There's definitely something odd about this boat.

Pity they were closing up

Remember those old front seats?

I always like the little touches

Well we are in Florida

More nice little touches
 And some we could have done without

No, they definitely don't make them like that any more.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Florida Flora...and Fauna

Nice to be here in April and see some different flowers...

 And the jacarandas in the park

Coming into their own

And the banyan tree round the corner just keeps on going ..

But the garden looks oddly depleted.... 

I wonder why.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

All Quiet on the Beach...

This morning, the transformation continued.

And he seemed happy enough

As do the fishermen.

I suppose the passage of time will smooth the tyre tracks

Though Florida does suddenly seem to have sprouted a lot of hills.

 Not sure what the turtles will think of that.