Christmas in Sarasota

This year my wife and I decided to do something different for Christmas.
Our kids were all going to be out of town so we were “Home Alone”.

It would be a different kind of Christmas with no family around, first problem was to figure out “what to do.” There are very few businesses and restaurants open on Christmas Day, so that would be our first challenge.

Christmas Eve was easy, we have made a tradition of going to the Madfish Grill on Cattlemen Road, so that was the first thing on the list, making a reservation for 7:00PM our holiday was underway! Next on the list was deciding what to do next, we both grew up with a religious background, but although we are spiritual in nature we are not avid churchgoers.

We bought each other Christmas gifts on our last cruise, so that function was already taken care of. We have throughly enjoyed this Christmas Season although we didn’t put up a tree, my wife , who converted to Judaism has no problem with a tree, but I wasn’t in the mood, so no tree, maybe next year!

By chance we saw a news blurp on TV about a Christmas display at 59th and Tuttle in Sarasota, so we decided that would be our evenings entertainment.It was fabulous, there were probably two acres of lights, displays and music, complete with cookies and punch! 

It had drawn quite a crowd as there were literally people there from all over the country as well as Canada! It is our understanding that this display has been available for several years and I am sure it will be on our list of “to do” things next year!

Christmas morning dawned warm and beautiful, so after all the calls to family, we decided it was time to hit the beach. Thinking that no one would be there , we were surprised to find the beach at Siesta Key packed, so we were able to partake in the time honored ritual of searching for a parking spot.

No beach chairs for us! We came to walk, so off we went to the Point of Rocks, the beach was filled with locals and visitors alike, you can tell the difference,the visitors are swimming in the 70 degree water(no self respecting Floridian would ever go in water with a temperature lower than 80 degrees!)and when they exit the water they are either fried to a crisp or lilly white.

We enjoyed the holiday spirit, as people were building snowmen out of sand, I just had to send a photo to my snowbound northern relatives!

Hunger having overtaken us, it was time for our Christmas feast. Driving around, most of our normal haunts were closed, making our way to St. Armand’s Circle,we found life, there were places open!

 Christmas Day offered us the opportunity to find a convenient parking spot close to the restaurants on the north side of the circle.

After discussing our options, we decided to eat at Coconuts, which affords open air curb side dining.

The evening was perfect, the temperature was a balmy 75 degrees, no snow, and my Caribbean Steak ,complimented with onion strings and a vegetable was delicious. What a way to celebrate Christmas, life is good!!
 

But I did miss family.
Florida Vacation Rentals

 Gary has been a writer/ photographer for over 20 years, specializing in nature,landscapes and studying native cultures.Besides visiting most of the United States, he has traveled to such places as Egypt,the Canary Islands,much of the Caribbean. He has studied  the Mayan Cultures in Central America, and the Australian Aboriginal way of life.Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in many different parts of the world!

He has published several books about the various cultures he has observed.

For more information and a link to his hard cover and Ebooks,and contact information: please check his website.www.commonsensejourneys.com

You can also follow him on your Kindle.

Your comments appreciated

money photography

This informative Ebook describes alternative methods of making money ,often a full time income in photography even if you have no desire to shoot wedding photography. this book gives examples and websites where you can use your photos to supply you with an income, not only to enable you to buy new equipment, but a living income as well.

 

 

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A Road Less Traveled

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 After taking some clients to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, I decided to take the “back roads” home.
Living in Sarasota, I sometimes tire of driving the freeways so I exited I-75 just west of Fort Lauderdale on US 27 and proceeded north. I live on the west coast of Florida and had never traveled through the middle of the state.
I began to be pleasantly surprised, the landscape quickly changed to farm land. Miles and miles of very sparsely populated farm land awaited me. It reminded me of Texas combined with Indiana, flat, big sky like Texas, with the green vegetation of Indiana.

I drove approximately 70 miles passing through nothing but sugar cane fields, it seemed like I drove 20 miles through the King Ranch,  it was harvest time so many produce-laden trucks were on their way to the processing plants.

I was getting a little concerned as both my stomach and gas tank was getting empty and there didn’t seem to be a gas station anywhere, either for my stomach or my car.

As I approached South Bay, the first town for miles, the crop of choice changed from sugar cane to citrus with miles and miles of citrus trees lining the landscape.
f8ed0-pumplakeokeechobee2

Old water pump at Lake Okeechobee

South Bay sits on the south edge of Lake Okeechobee, it is a quaint, pretty little town, with a lot of emphasis on “little.” I was through it in the blink of an eye, still no gas station or restaurant!
central Florida

Central Florida


The lake can’t be seen from the highway, although there are plenty of places to pull off where the lake could be observed. However my stomach kept calling me so I drove on, I will do the scenic tour next time.
clewiston
The next town on the agenda happened to be Clewiston, “The sweetest little town in America” , as the sign proudly states as I enter the city limits. Although this is the corporate headquarters of the United States Sugar Cane Corp., it is still rather small.

Luckily for me the first business in town was a gas station and the second was a Sonny’s Bar-B-Cue, the home of barbecue chicken,pork, and beef, top it off with garlic bread and a salad bar and it has the potential for some darn good eatin”. If you are in the mood for good barbecue this is the place for you!

Now that my gas tank and stomach were both full, I wished I had stopped and checked out Lake Okeechobee, Oh well , next time!

Traveling north I soon came to my turn off on Hwy 70, going west the landscape remained pretty much the same, fruit trees and cattle.
Arcadia station
Arcadia is the only town of any size, it does has restaurants and gas stations! It was torn up pretty bad during hurricane Charley in 2004, but it looks to be totally built back. People had evacuated from the coast to Arcadia during Charley, but the hurricane turned and hit Arcadia broadside.

After leaving Arcadia and turning onto Hwy 72, it was a short ride to Sarasota and home.

All in all it was an enjoyable ride, providing a good alternative to the freeway and an opportunity to observe the “Real Florida”,as the natives reminisce about how things were before all the Yankees invaded!


Believe it or not, I made the trip in about 3 1/2 hours, not counting the lunch stop, which is about how long it would have taken me on I-75.

 The author has been a writer/ photographer for over 20 years, specializing in nature, landscapes and studying native cultures. Besides visiting most of the United States, he has traveled to such places as Egypt, the Canary Islands, much of the Caribbean. He has studied  the Mayan Cultures in Central America and the Australian Aboriginal way of life.Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in many different parts of the world!

He has published several books about the various cultures he has observed.

For more information and a link to his hardcover and Ebooks, and contact information: please check his website, www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments appreciated

Improve your health, Increase your wealth

Improve your health, Increase your wealth

money photography

This informative Ebook describes alternative methods of making money  often a full time income in photography even if you have no desire to shoot wedding photography. this book gives examples and websites where you can use your photos to supply you with an income, not only to enable you to buy new equipment but a living income.

Christmas With Louis

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Christmas With Louise

As a joke, my brother used to hang a pair of panty hose over his fireplace before Christmas. He said all he wanted was for Santa to fill them.
What they say about Santa checking the list twice must be true because every Christmas morning, although Jay’s kids’ stockings were overflowed, his poor pantyhose hung sadly empty.

One year I decided to make his dream come true. I put on sunglasses and went in search of an inflatable love doll. They don’t sell those things at
Wal-Mart. I had to go to an adult bookstore downtown. If you’ve never been in an X-rated store, don’t go. You’ll only confuse yourself. I was there an hour saying things like, “What does this do?” “You’re kidding me!” “Who would buy that?” Finally, I made it to the inflatable doll section.

I wanted to buy a standard, uncomplicated doll that could also substitute as a passenger in my truck so I could use the car pool lane during rush hour.
Finding what I wanted was difficult. “Love Dolls” come in many different models. The top of the line, according to the side of the box, could do things I’d only seen in a book on animal husbandry. I settled for “Lovable Louise.” She was at the bottom of the price scale.

To call Louise a “doll” took a huge leap of imagination. . My sister-in-law was in on the plan and let me in during the wee hours Christmas morning.
With the help of an old bicycle pump, Louise came to life Long after Santa had come and gone, I filled the dangling pantyhose with Louise’s pliant legs and bottom. I also ate some cookies and drank what remained of a glass of milk on a nearby tray. I went home and giggled for a couple of hours.

The next morning my brother called to say that Santa had been to his house and left a present that had made him VERY happy but had left the  dog confused. She would bark, start to walk away, then come back and bark some more. We all agreed that Louise should remain in her panty hose so the rest of the family could admire her when they came over for the
traditional Christmas dinner.

My grandmother noticed Louise the moment she walked in the door. “What the hell is that?” she asked. My brother quickly explained, “It’s a doll.” “Who would play with something like that?” Granny snapped. I had several candidates in mind, but kept my mouth shut.
“Where are her clothes?” Granny continued. “Boy, that turkey sure smells nice, Granny,” Jay said, steering her into dining room. But Granny was relentless. “Why doesn’t she have any teeth?” Again, I could have answered, but why would I? It was Christmas and no one wanted to ride in the back of the ambulance saying, “Hang on Granny, hang on!”

My grandfather, a delightful old man with poor eyesight, sidled up to me and said, “Hey, who’s the naked gal by the fireplace?” I told him she was Jay’s friend. A few minutes later I noticed Grandpa by the mantel, talking to Louise. Not just talking, but actually flirting. It was then that we realized this might be Grandpa’s last Christmas at home.
The dinner went well. We made the usual small talk about who had died,  who was dying, and who should be killed when suddenly Louise made a noise like my father in the bathroom in the morning. Then she lurched from the panty hose, flew around the room twice, and fell in a heap in front of the  sofa, the cat screamed. I passed cranberry sauce through my nose, and Grandpa ran across the room, fell to his knees, and began administering mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. My brother fell back over his chair and wet his pants. Granny threw down her napkin, stomped out of the room, and sat in the car. It was indeed a Christmas to treasure and remember.
Later in my brother’s garage, we conducted a thorough examination to decide the cause of Louise’s collapse. We discovered that Louise had suffered from a hot ember to the back of her right thigh.
Fortunately, thanks to a wonder drug called duct tape, we restored her to perfect health.

Louise has become such a big part of my brother’s family that they just can’t seem to throw her away, so I guess she has found herself a home.

 The author has been a writer/ photographer for over 20 years, specializing in nature, landscapes and studying native cultures. Besides visiting most of the United States, he has traveled to such places as Egypt, the Canary Islands, much of the Caribbean. He has studied  the Mayan Cultures in Central America and the Australian Aboriginal way of life.Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in many different parts of the world!

He has published several books about the various cultures he has observed.

For more information and a link to his hardcover and Ebooks, and contact information: please check his website, www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments appreciated

Improve your health, Increase your wealth

Improve your health, Increase your wealth

alcohol

In today’s world, many resort to abusing drugs and alcohol, why are so many becoming addicted and not only destroying their lives but the lives of others around them as well?

Egypt:Then and Now

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I remember traveling to Egypt after Christmas of 1986. It was a fascinating trip, one of the things that stood out at the time was the fact that we weren’t allowed to take photos of bridges and airports, the military would actually approach us and threaten to confiscate out cameras.

I remember thinking at the time how lucky we were in the United States to not have that threat and that we could travel anywhere or photo anything we wanted to.

Little did I know that a short 15 years later we would be having the same safeguards implemented here in the U.S.

What a difference a few years and a few extremists make.

Egyptian Items

If you would like to learn more of the Egyptian Culture.

 The author has been a writer/ photographer for over 20 years, specializing in nature, landscapes and studying native cultures. Besides visiting most of the United States, he has traveled to such places as Egypt, the Canary Islands, much of the Caribbean. He has studied  the Mayan Cultures in Central America and the Australian Aboriginal way of life.Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in many different parts of the world!

He has published several books about the various cultures he has observed.

For more information and a link to his hardcover and Ebooks, and contact information: please check his website, www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments appreciated

Improve your health, Increase your wealth

Improve your health, Increase your wealth

land of the pharaoh

Coming from a small midwestern town, the traveler decides to go to Egypt as his first trip to a foreign country. Travel with him as he makes new discoveries in an ancient land.

Available in paperback and ebook format.

 

 

INS

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I have a friend who is president of his homeowner’s association down in Washington. They are having a terrible problem with trash on the side of the road that is around his association’s homes. The reason according to Wallace (my friend) is, there is being built just next to them, six new homes…..big ones! Wallace said the trash is coming from the immigrant work crews working at the construction sites. (McDonald Bags, Burger King trash, etc). He has pleaded with the site supervisors and the general contractor to no avail, called the City, County, the Police and got no help.

So………………guess what some people in his community did?

They organized about twenty folks, named themselves The “Inner
Neighborhood Services” to go out at lunch time and “police” the trash themselves. It is what they did while picking up the trash that is
HILARIOUS !!!!!!!!

They got some navy blue baseball caps and had the initials “INS” in
gold put on the caps. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist, however, to
understand what they hoped people would think it means.

Well the day after their first pick up detail, with them wearing their
caps and some carrying cameras; 46 out of 68, of the construction
workers did not show up for work the next morning!!!!!!!!………….and haven’t come back yet!!!!! It has been ten days.

Now the General Contractor, I understand is madder than hell, but can’t say anything publicly, because he could be busted for hiring “illegal aliens”.

Wallace and his bunch can’t be accused of impersonating INS folks,
because they have it on their home owner association records the vote to form the new committee within their association, plus they informed the INS about what they were doing in advance, and the INS said basically according to Wallace…………..”have at it”!

SO, FOLKS I THINK YOU COULD SAY THAT A LITTLE INGENUITY TRIUMPHS AGAIN!!!!!!!

 The author has been a writer/ photographer  for over 20 years, specializing in nature, landscapes and studying native cultures. Besides visiting most of the United States, he has traveled to such places as Egypt, the Canary Islands, much of the Caribbean. He has studied  the Mayan Cultures in Central America and the Australian Aboriginal way of life.Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in many different parts of the world!

He has published several books about the various cultures he has observed.

For more information and a link to his hardcover and Ebooks, and contact information: please check his website, www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments appreciated

Improve your health, Increase your wealth

Improve your health, Increase your wealth

baby boomers

Each generation from the beginning of our country has contributed to what our country has become. By the same token, no one is perfect. Consequently, each generation has done and will continue to perform acts that it would have been better if some other course of action was taken.
The baby boomers have contributed much and have been blamed for the decline of America. What is the true story?