The Wonder of Florida

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?

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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”.

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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”

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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.

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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!


48 thoughts on “The Wonder of Florida

    • 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.

  1. 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.

    • 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!

  2. 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.

    • 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.

  3. 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?

    • 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!

    • 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.

    • You are most welcome! I was so excited at the thought of seeing one gator … and then realized that they were everywhere! So cool!

    • 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 🙂

    • 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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 🙂

Because Boomdee dared me: Lay a little sugar on me :-)

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