Another edition of “Christmas, Florida style”.

Patiently waiting for the show to start.

Santa opens the show.  (Shhh, that’s my cousin).

Scenes from this year’s Tampa Bay Water Ski Team’s Thanksgiving weekend show.

It’s a fun festive way to start the holiday season. It’s hard to get in the mood when it’s 80 degrees out side but this is a fun way to do it,  It was actually a bit cool this afternoon. Just over 70 degrees as the sun was starting to go down.  I know these guys were cold after getting wet but they were troopers.

Bok Tower Gardens in early September

Shots from my early September trip to Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales Florida. There’s always interesting things to see there.

The front door to the Carillon bell tower.

From the bell tower area, you can see down into the valley.  The bell tower sits on one of the highest elevated areas in Florida. An orange grove sits right outside the gardens.

SkyWatch Friday

An overdue visit to Sunken Gardens.

Upclose with flamingos.

Butterflies buzzing around the pretty flowers.

Super sized fish.

A few of the plants at the gardens.

Sunken Gardens is a 4 acre 100-year-old botanical garden near downtown St. Petersburg and one of the oldest roadside tourist attractions in the country.  The gardens are located in what was a small lake 10 feet below sea level which is where it got the name. I hadn’t been in nearly 10 years and it’s so close so I thought I’d stopped in one morning for a quick walk.  Since it was the end of summer, there weren’t a lot of flowers blooming but the gardens was a tropical oasis once you got inside. A handful of flamingos live there as well. It was a great little walk but so hot.  My next trip will be in the winter.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing: weekly photo linkup

Storm moving in on Tampa Bay

These were all taken with my phone on my walk across the pedestrian bridge across north Tampa Bay. It was late afternoon on a Sunday.  I was lucky the storm didn’t really move directly towards the bridge and I got a long walk in.  The sun was out on the other side of the bridge. Little disappointed there was no rainbow.

SkyWatch Friday

“Irma”geddon

We were very lucky to have survived hurricane Irma with little damage. Many of my friends did not have power for up to 7 days after the storm and many areas in south Florida including the Keys suffered a lot of damage.  Since we live on the water in the upper Tampa Bay, we evacuated to stay at our friends house about 30 minutes north of us. This was only the 2nd time we’ve evacuated since living here for 15 years. The first was for Charley in 2004 which missed us completely. We spent almost 3 days at our friends and didn’t lose power until the last day. I had thrown my camera in the car before leaving and spent some time taking pictures in the rain. Above were all taken from our friend’s backyard.  We passed the time by keeping the dogs busy, one was a 9 month old puppy who loved to fetch the ball from the pool.  By the time I left my arm was tired of throwing the ball for 3 days. That puppy never did tire out.

Below are just a few “after” storm shots.  Beth walking the puppy around the backyard. The neighborhood was filled with yard debris.  One of her neighbor’s lost their shed.  The shed had completely blown away but the lawn equipment was still in a pile on the grass. Many of the houses has tree limbs in the screens.

I just hope it’s at least another 13 years before we have to do this again. Our house was fine.  We had the wood fences on both side of our house fall down but that is an easy fix.

Linking to Wednesday Around the World