Monday, February 9, 2009

Color Overload

To see Jenna and me walking around my aunt and uncle's development here in Bradenton (Florida), cameras in hand, you would think we were visitors from another planet. Hearing our oohs and aahs as we came upon yet another tropical bloom in all its glory must sound a bit amusing to those who enjoy these things every day.

But we are from The North. The land of snow and ice and gloom and cold. Jenna and I are delirious with the the feel of the sun on our skin. We close our eyes and raise our faces to it so we can get its full benefit. We are sun-starved by this point in our northern winter.

I was looking forward to seeing the bougainvilleas in bloom and I worried that the freezes they'd recently experienced here would rob me of it, but I wasn't disappointed at all. Pink, purple, magenta ... they are all here. I have two bougainvilleas at home and both were purchased right here in Bradenton on previous trips.

There are other beauties, som
e of which I know the names, and a couple that I don't.



Another gorgeous hibiscus.

Berries on a Schefflera - I have one of these in a small pot at home, but of course, it doesn't even bloom, let alone get the berries.

Euphorbia (Crown of Thorns)

Later in the day, we made our traditional trip to Mixon's Fruit Farm, a place we've loved since I was young. We sample the oranges, the juice, and the fudge, and decide to buy some 'Honey Belles,' a.k.a. Mineolas. We ate lunch here and of course, had to have the orange soft-serve ice cream. I felt just a little tinge of regret while eating the ice cream, knowing it is one of Romie's favorites and that he was still back home and wasn't here to enjoy it with us.

We swung by the park where my grandma used to come for the winters for many years, just to see her place and reminisce about the times spent here. While my aunt and uncle visited with old friends in the park, Jenna and I walked over to nearby Braden Castle to see the ruins of the castle there. Not much left to it anymore, but it's always fun to see it and the pier.

We hear they've had the coldest winter in years, but we picked a great week to be here. High 70s and 80s all week.

Tomorrow, I get to meet Meems of Hoe & Shovel. We spoke on the phone today and chatted for over an hour. I have a feeling meeting Meems is going to be like meeting an old friend.


Robin's Nesting Place said...

I'm trying really hard to just be happy for you, Kylee, but that little green monster is rearing its ugly head. LOL. Seriously, I hope you have a wonderful time and I can't wait to read and see more, even if it does make me envious.

Nutty Gnome said...

The combination of the glorious colours in the photos and the thought of the orange soft-scoop ice cream has made me positively drool!
(Must try making orange ice cream and add it to my repertoire!)
Enjoy your holiday.

Muum said...

looks like a great time. DH and I went to Hawaii for a week, and had a similar experience. Oh, and the botanical gardens there are a whole new realm of fun!

Unknown said...

I am so excited for you, soaking up sunlight and colour and orange ice cream. Yummmy! Glad you are having a great time, and that you're sharing it with us.

Cathy S. said...

Wow such nice flowers and weather too, glad you are having a great time!

Unknown said...

great vacation. Hibiscus are always so wonderful to see.

Brenda Pruitt said...

I have never seen berries like that! Didn't know it could have berries.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I would be just like you Kyleee. Oooing and aahhhing. I would probably be sticking my nose into all those flowers trying to get a whiff of warmth and color as well. Can't get enough of seeing your sunshiny, colorful photos.

Anonymous said...

A castle! I looked it up - looks like it was once a pretty cool place. I'm obsessed with castles - even of the not very old American variety. They're just so fascinating! Sad to see there's not much left of this one.

Also, I remember being totally amazed at the hibiscus when I went to Bermuda. Now I even see them here in MD, but at the time I hadn't really considered the fact that they existed outside of tropical shirts - much less growing randomly on the side of the road! So pretty. Can't wait to enjoy them again when I go to visit a friend in Hawaii this spring!

Unknown said...

Oh wow! We are going to Orlando in 5 weeks. I am so ready! The flowers are so pretty. I am glad you are having a good trip!

Kerri said...

Hibiscus, bougainvillea and all the other wonderful plants would have me just as excited, Kylee! My daughter, Kylie, and I were the same way on our last trip to Australia. It's such a glorious change to see all that lush growth, and feel the warm air.
Glad you're having a wonderful time :)

Island Rider said...

Welcome to Bradenton. I read about your visit on Hoe and Shovel and now, on your blog. It is fun to see our community from the eyes of a visitor. If you get a chance while in town, go by the Manatee Village Historical Park, State Road 64 and 14th Street East (just west of Braden Castle) and learn more about our community. Sorry for the foggy day today, but at least it was still warm.

Kylee Baumle said...

Robin ~ I totally understand, Robin! The winter up north hasn't been the best, has it? Don't worry, I'll be back home soon, commiserating with you once again. LOL

Nutty Gnome ~ It was good!

Muum ~ I can imagine! Maybe someday!

jodi ~ Thanks! There's more to come!

Cathy ~ Thanks!

flowrgirl1 ~ They're one of my favorites!

Brenda ~ I didn't know they could get berries, either! Meems said hers don't even bloom; it's just enough cooler up where she is.

Lisa ~ Many of them aren't fragrant, but you can bet I've got my nose in the ones that are!

Jennah ~ You do waymarking! We are geocachers, but don't do waymarking. A lot of our caching friends do, however.
Hibiscus are soooo pretty. I love seeing them here. Enjoy Hawaii!

Creative Country Mom ~ The weather should be wonderful for you by that time, too! Enjoy your trip!

Kerri ~ You're absolutely right on with your description!

Island Rider ~ Thank you! My husband and I have already been to Manatee Village Historical Park, two years ago. I didn't blog about that directly, but there are several blog posts about our March 2007 visit.
My grandma came down here for something like thirty years for the winter, living in Two Rivers Park, so we're quite familiar with many areas of Bradenton. This is a nostalgic place for me, having been here many times during my life.
Not to worry about the fog today, because we were in Ft. Myers, visiting the Edison and Ford Estates. It was a beautiful day there - not too hot and not too breezy. We noticed the fog when we were returning late in the afternoon.
We are sure enjoying the warm, sunny weather! Sooooo much nicer than Ohio right now!

Corner Gardener Sue said...

I am catching up on my blogs from my own blog instead of blotanical, so I can read the posts I've missed with fewer clicks.

Thanks for posting these lovely splashes of color! It sounds like you had a fun time!

Cindy Garber Iverson said...

As a chilly rain falls outside right now, I SO appreciate the beautiful warm that seems to glow from your post. I miss my bougainvillea and can't wait until it leafs out again when it gets warmer (it always loses its leaves some time after Christmas because of frost).


Anonymous said...

Oh no - the waymarking site was just a google find to share the link. I don't get our enough to do that :)

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