Friday, August 31, 2012

Alphabe~Thursday "O" is for Ocala, Florida


Hi all! This week’s Alphabe~Thursday is dedicated to two lovely Florida bloggers, Diane (Lavender Dreams) and Della (Del’s Shells), both live in Ocala.

Where is Ocala?

See the green arrow? 

I have some fond memories of Ocala.
 
I bought my first Stetson hat in Ocala.

And I learned to dance the two- step. Oh what fun that was!

(Of course that was before Mr. Ames)

Ocala is the Horse Capital of the World.
 

It has some of the most beautiful countryside around. Lush green rolling hills dotted with horse farms.

Yep thars money in them thar hills!
You might even see a lot of Red when you are driving down Interstate 75.
That’s because Ocala is home to Emergency One.
I had the privilege of touring the Emergency One Headquarters in Ocala many years ago.
E-One is a manufacturer of Fire Rescue vehicles and Apparatus. It was an interesting tour. But… being the female that I am, I was fascinated by the furniture in their lobby! It was made out of highly polished Aluminum diamond plate made by a fabricator working at that plant. I’ve never seen anything like it anywhere else. Sorry, no pictures to share, it was back in the 80’s and I didn’t even own a camera back then. But oh what a thing of beauty!
 
Photo credit: Bruce Mozert
Speaking of beauty… Silver Springs is a must see place.

Presidents Ulysses S. Grant and Calvin Coolidge, and Harriet Beecher Stowe have visited the Silver River.
Many movies have been filmed there; Tarzan, Sea Hunt TV series, The Creature From the Black Lagoon, The Yearling (written by one of my favorite Florida authors, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings) James Bond, Six Million Dollar Man, and Smokey and the Bandit 3 just to name a few.
The water is crystal clear until it meets the Ocklawaha River*. Then you will see an amazing thing. A perfect demarcation where the tannin stained waters of the Ocklawaha River meet the crystal clear waters of the Silver River. It’s like night and day with no dusk or dawn. You just have to see it for yourself.
 
You will also see many wild Rhesus monkeys and some of the largest alligators I’ve ever seen.
*The Ocklawaha River is the principal tributary of the St. Johns River. The St. Johns is included alongside the few rivers that flow north in the United States, such as Yellowstone and the Red river.
Gosh there’s so much more to cover so I will just leave you with this link to enjoy: http://www.silversprings.com
~~~*~~~
See you next week for the letter “P”.
To return to Jenny Matlock’s Alphabe~Thursday click here:

Thanks for stopping by! ~Ames


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Alphabe~Thursday "N" is for Naples, Florida


 
See the Red star?

Yep, we are back down South again.

What??? You didn’t think I’d show my Florida in descending order did ya?

Heck no! We’re going to get dizzy and bounce all over this Peninsula.

I can’t help myself. J

Now back to Naples….

Naples is on Florida’s Paradise Coast. If you’ve ever been there before, you would know why it’s called the Paradise Coast.

The tranquil aqua waters of the Gulf of Mexico,

White sandy beaches,

Shells

Ahhhhhh,

 The Naples Pier.
Doesn’t it just make you want to put your toes in the water and you’re a** in the sand? (A little Zac Brown humor here.J)
 
 

This is the view of 5th Avenue South. Can you say M~o~n~e~y?? I can smell it!

But you don’t have to be a millionaire to visit here.

The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in Naples.
 
Don’t forget your bring your clubs!

You’ll see plenty of these birds.

Oh, and don’t forget to purse your lips when you look up! J

 
 
aahemmm......

The Pelican

by Dixon Lanier Merritt

A wonderful bird is the pelican,
His bill will hold more than his belican.

He can take in his beak
Food enough for a week,
But I’m damned if I see how the helican.

 

Speaking of looking up….



Former Astronaut Buzz Aldrin has a home in Naples, as well as former NBA player Larry Bird, Bill Gates, and Janet Evanovich.

 

Janet’s another of my  favorite authors. If you haven’t read The Stephanie Plum Series run to your local library and check out her books. Her books make me laugh. Forget cooking dinner, doing laundry, or even walking the dog. When I’ve got my nose in one of her books I can’t put it down! The first book is titled “One for The Money”, the second is titled “Two for The Dough” etc.

~~~*~~~ 

Well that was short and sweet. Don’t forget to return to Jenny Matlock’s Alphabe~Thursday for more interesting subjects about the letter “N”. You can get there by clicking here: off on my tangent

 

See ya next week for the letter “O”.  Oh I wonder what place starts with the letter ”O” ?

Thanks for stopping by!~Ames

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Saturday Centus 120~ A Rainbow


I think Jenny is feeling frisky.  Maybe all those letters she is painting for Alphabe~Thursday has blurred her mind.  Regardless, she has challenged us this week to write a sentence omitting the letters "E" and "T." It can be  a long sentence or short one. I think I can pull that off. You tell me.....


A rainbow has many colors.
~~~*~~~

Short and Sweet just like I like it!
Thanks for stopping by!~Ames
Click here to return to Jenny Matlock's Saturday Centus:

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Alphabe~Thursday "M" is for Micanopy, Florida


Hi all, This week we visit “M” and my “M” stands for Micanopy Florida, pronounced Mick-can-oh'-pee.

Micanopy is such a quaint little town to visit. It is located just South of Gainesville, Florida off I75. If you are visiting Florida make Micanopy one of your “must see” places!




Seminole Chief Micanopy

You should Google Chief Micanopy. He was a very interesting man in Florida’s history.


Micanopy is Florida’s oldest inland settlement. It is often called the town that time forgot. It is also mentioned in John Anderson’s song Seminole Wind. The town was founded in 1821 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the movies Cross Creek and Doc Holiday have been filmed there.



Herlong Mansion is a lovely B&B. Here is a link if you are interested in staying there:  http://www.herlong.com/



You may have read in one of my previous post that I am a huge fan of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. Her books speak to my soul. Marjorie’s homestead at Cross Creek is not far from Micanopy so you might as well drive a little further and take in her place while you are visiting Micanopy. A slice of rural Florida at its finest, it too is worth the drive!

 
Marjorie’s home at Cross Creek
I know you may think this was a short visit but I have left you with some wonderful links to check out. I hope you do!
~~~*~~~
Until next time! ~Ames
P.S. To return to Jenny Matlock’s Alphabe~Thursday please click on this link: off on my tangent

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Saturday Centus #116-Absent "E"




This week’s Saturday Centus is a tricky one. Jenny has challenged us to write one sentence without using any “E’s”.

The letter “E” is the most used letter in the English language. Without the letter “E”, communicating our thoughts and ideas with written words can be most difficult.



Without an “E” a blind man cannot …see

Without an “E” a hungry child cannot….eat



Here is my attempt at this week's challenge.…

~~~*~~~

Without food mankind would go hungry.

~~~*~~~

You can rejoin Jenny Matlock’s Saturday Centus writing meme by clicking here:  off on my tangent

Thanks for stopping by!~Ames


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Alphabe~Thursday "L" is for Lake Wales, Florida


Hello friends, This week we are going south to Lake Wales Florida.

Lake Wales is located near the geographical center of the Florida peninsula and is located on the Lake Wales Ridge.


The highest point of this ridge is Sugarloaf Mountain. It is 312 feet above sea level.
Iron Mountain is 295 feet above sea level. And that is where Bok Tower is located.
See I told you we have mountains in Florida!  J
Also at the base of Iron Mountain is a private gated community called Mountain Lake Estates which is on the National Register of Historic Places. It was founded in 1915 and includes an 18 hole golf course. You can see Bok Tower in the background.
This is the club house called The Colony House. I have provided a link to surf through if you are interested in possibly staying there. http://www.mountainlakecc.com/The-Colony-House.aspx
Anyway…Back to Lake Wales.
In 1879, Sidney Irving Wailes surveyed land around Lake Watts. He then renamed Lake Watts after himself and called it Lake Wailes. In 1911 The Lake Wales Land Company used the name Lake Wales for the new city but the name of the lake remained Lake Wailes.
Six miles east of Lake Wales is St. Anne des Lacs. A rural shrine built about 1923 by French-speaking Catholics on Lake St. Anne. Might be something neat to see.
The Down Town area of Lake Wales was developed during the Great Florida Land Boom of the 1920’s and has over 15 historical buildings.
Here are just a few:
Lake Wales First Baptist Church

The Train Depot then.
The Train Depot now.
The Lake Wales Art Center, originally the Holy Spirit Catholic Church.
If you are interested in going to Lake Wales here is a really neat link for other places to see: http://www.cityoflakewales.com/city/visitor.htm
Don’t forget to check out Spook Hill!
and
Chalet Suzanne.

This is another nice place I plan to go to that is steeped in Florida history. http://www.chaletsuzanne.com/ 
Also about 28 miles from Lake Wales is the Westgate River Ranch. This is a place I want to take my hubby to. And they are pet friendly too!
I have provided a link for you here: http://wgriverranch.com/
~~~*~~~
Well that’s it until next week’s Alphabe~Thursday when we will look at the letter “M”. To return to Jenny Matlock's Alphabe~Thursday click here:

Thanks for stopping by!~Ames






Thursday, August 2, 2012

Alphabe~Thursday "K" is for Keystone Heights, Florida



Keystone Heights, Florida

I bet a lot of you that stop by frequently to follow my Alphabe~Thursday tour of my home state, Florida, thought I would go with Key West.


Not!


Not that I don’t like the keys, they are beautiful. But most people already know about the keys. I want to show some different areas of Florida that most tourists don’t even know about.


Keystone Heights was originally called “Brooklyn” but got its present name from Pennsylvanians that settled here and named it after their home state. Keystone Heights is located in Clay County Florida.


Keystone Heights is a sleepy little town with proud people. Its population is less than 2,000. Its clean simple living, yet it’s not far from the hustle and bustle of Jacksonville or Gainesville.

Downtown Keystone Heights.

I don’t see a traffic light do you?
This is rush hour traffic.
One of the best places from my childhood is Mike Roess Goldhead Branch State Park in Keystone Heights.
Our family traveled 3 weeks out of every year for vacation. If we stayed in Florida, Goldhead Branch was one of our stays during vacation. We had so much fun there. It was always crowded. There were always a lot of cool kids to meet and make friends with. It was a safe place back in the day. Kids would swim, hike, feed gopher turtles pawpaw’s, stay up late, chase fireflies, bike around the park in the dark, tell ghost stories around the campfire, and become someone’s girlfriend or boyfriend for the week. Although those families that stayed in cabins didn’t mix with the campers. They were on the other side of the Lake. They don’t know what they missed out on.



The Bath house 1939
*Note I wasn’t born yet but it looked the same when I was a little girl.
The bathhouse today.
Lake Johnson 1939
Lake Johnson today.
1 of 9 Cabins built by the CCC
The CCC Camp- The Civilian Conservation Corps was created in 1933 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to aid young men who were unemployed during the Great Depression. Gold Head Branch was one of the first four of eight original parks created in Florida by the CCC. The buildings are still standing and in use today.

The record combination of years of below-average rainfall and water leaching in to the aquifer has caused lakes around and in Keystone Heights to dwindle away.
Water is a precious commodity. When it’s gone it’s gone.



Even the Keystone Heights inland Beach established in 1924 is dwindling. And apparently full of alligators now. What fun is that?
One more little piece of information you might not know is that Keystone is far enough north that it has even snowed there.
Snow! In Florida!!
Hey what can I say, we have it all down here!
~~~*~~~
 I enjoyed my walk down memory lane by visiting Keystone Heights. To return to Jenny Matlock’s Alphabe~Thursday click here:

See you next week for “L” and thanks for stopping by! ~Ames