When you saw the title of this post, did you think about sun, tourists, and Disney World? While those things certainly are identified with Florida, that’s not the Florida that I experienced almost 2 months ago.
Those of you who know me will not be surprised to learn that just going over the Sunshine Skyway was exciting! I wish Donna could have stopped the car but for some reason she didn’t think the Florida troopers would appreciate that too much 🙂 I do love a bridge and I’d have loved to have been on the bike!
My welcoming committee!
My three day visit was jam packed! In fact, we rarely stopped exploring. A brief, early morning visit to the beach …
… was followed by a stop at the Sarasota Farmer’s Market.
Is this not the perfect view for lunch and a cold beer?
We spent time at the Myakka River State Park and it was during our time there that I KNEW I needed a zoom lens! Visitors to Myakka can enjoy “the land in its natural state, a piece of the REAL FLORIDA”.
The Birds! The Gators! The Trees!
“Myakka protects one of the state’s most diverse natural areas. The Myakka River, designated as a Florida Wild and Scenic River, flows through 58 square miles of wetlands, prairies, hammocks, and pinelands. Visitors can enjoy wildlife viewing from a boardwalk that stretches out over the Upper Myakka Lake, then take to the treetops with a stroll along the canopy walkway”
And then there’s the Canopy Walk!
76 feet high, the walkway offers an incredible view over the park. It was a bit hazy that day, but you’ll still be able to appreciate the vista.
The Airboat tour brought us up close and personal to the gators and other wildlife.
On our last evening, we took a long leisurely walk around the neighborhood, admiring the trees, flowers, and the sunset.
It was a wonderful 3 day getaway, one that ended far too quickly. I’m already looking forward to next year and time with my dear friends!
That first shot looks like a real wild ride! Great shots Laurie, what a wonderful time in paradise for you all – winter feels so long ago already!
It really was wonderful, Patti. I loved seeing the “real” Florida.
I’m not sure if you know the history of that bridge, but this is the new Skyway after the old one was hit by a tanker in 1980 and collapsed. A terrible tragedy.
Laurie, I have always loved the beauty of Florida. I was stationed in Pensacola in 73 – 74, but I never made it that far south. Close; Orlando for basic training, but that doesn’t count now does it? Your photography, as usual, found me desiring to add this to my bucket list of places to go!!!
Lynda, with your love of wildlife, I think you’d love Myakka River State Park.
Just be sure to go in March / April or the fall. The employees said it gets terribly hot during the summer and not many venture out.
Oh my goodness, what a jam packed post of loveliness and beauty! Happy you had such a good time. Does that bridge make people with fear of heights (like me…) scream?
That bridge does make people fearful. Especially knowing that is a replacement for the original bridge that was hit by a tanker in 1980 and collapsed. A terrible tragedy.
Still … the views from up there are beautiful!
The “real” Florida is wonderful!
Glad you liked them, Derrick!
The Florida of yesteryear that I remember from the ’50s – now a person has to hunt for it amidst housing communities and shopping plazas. Your photos are fantastic.
I’m so pleased to see your comment as I was literally just thinking of you as I read another blog. Jo is a lover of France and her recent post about a visit included a photo of Omaha Beach, Pointe du Hoc and the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial. If you have time, you might check it out.
So glad you enjoyed this post!
A very nice post! Thank you for sending the link.
What a great group of photo’s!! Especially love the bridge shot. Great angle!!
Thanks! I’m so glad you and others have liked it … I really wanted to get more shots somehow. Next visit!
Beautiful images Laurie and great post 🙂
Hi Joe, thanks and can I just say that it seems I haven’t “talked to you” in awhile (and it really hasn’t been that long!). Hope all is well with you and Terry.
Oh my! That looks equal parts wonderful and scary! [Gators!!] I love the photo where the reflection of the flamingo [?] is pinker than the bird! And the market! And the canopy – and the bridge ….. all wow-making! What a wonderful life you live!! xoxo
Hi Pauline! While the first 14 weeks of the year were jam packed, I was indeed fortunate to have experienced so many wonderful things!
How are you hearing things these days?
My favorite three photos: The bridge, the beach and the beer. Awesome, Laurie! Time spend with girlfriends is the best, glad you had such a good time.
I agree! While I would have loved to have had more time with Donna and Sheila, I’m grateful for what I had. That cold beer overlooking the gorgeous water was divine!
Seriously… I don’t want to seem like a stalker but I want your life!
The first 14 weeks were a bit chaotic but in such a great way. Of 13 trips in 12 weeks, only 4 were for business. I was able to spend time with incredible friends in some wonderful places.
You know how it is though … when you travel on the weekends, and work during the week you never really get caught up (especially with the campaign). It’s all coming together though now that I’ve had a few weekends at home!
Okay, 13 trips in 12 weeks. Now I don’t want your life. What a whirlwind. Delighted to hear the campaign is coalescing and coming together. Many blessings, my friend.
What a nice trip, thank you for bringing back a little bit of it for the rest of us.
You are most welcome! I was so excited at the thought of seeing one gator … and then realized that they were everywhere! So cool!
It looks like an amazing trip! I love that bridge too!
It offers such great views and it was such a beautiful day.
Yes indeed! I keep saying I’d loved to have been on the bike over that bridge, but I might have wrecked looking out over the water the whole time 🙂
There are some great photos here, Laurie. Just the kind of Florida scenes I thought would attract you. Not a single roller coaster in sight.
Thanks Bruce. I really enjoyed hearing about the natural and human history of the “real” Florida. Such beauty and so much more open space than I thought I would see.
Aah cold beer, now I want one too, or is that two? Great photos mate 🙂
Oh yes, there were two!! It was incredible to sit out there, in that sun, with the cold beer, and just breathe happily. Good, good stuff!
See, I would want pizza with that 🙂
What a fabulous trip you’ve had! Love your photos Laurie!
Thanks Elina! It really was fabulous 🙂
I’ve been to this area many times and have not once gone to Myakka–I need to fix that! Are the photos of the anhingas and roseate spoonbills from there? It looks like a truly fab trip!
Kerry, I’m so glad you know the names of the birds! I was told but completely forgot both of them. The park has the most wonderful bird walk and it is from there that I took the shots. This link will show you a couple pictures http://www.escape-to-sarasota.com/myakka-state-park-birdwalk.html
I have seen this vision many times. I love this bridge…the old Skyway was scary.
I did some reading about the accident and many folks said that the bridge was frightening. What a tragedy!
Gorgeous composition, Laurie! Thanks so much for taking time our of your VERY busy life to put it together. Can’t wait to see you this summer and next year back here! I promise to pull over for more Skyway shots and maybe find you some more bridges 🙂
Yay for bridges!! Can’t wait til you get up here, Donna!
Laurie, what a trip! Gorgeous photos of an interesting place. It makes me want to go back. I’ve not been in twenty years.
Alys, you would have loved Myakka – so much wildlife! and the Farmer’s Market was incredible!
It sounds incredible, LB. I hope to go some day. There is so much of the world to see.
Oh all the color! Like summer year round.
Yes! After a month of ice and sub-freezing temps in Virginia, it was quite the change. Instant summer!
You are going to get me back on that bike yet, LB.
It looks like you had such a wonderful time! Loved seeing your photos. Another place I’d like to visit someday…. 🙂