Archive for ‘Observations’

Worth the Trip

A good friend visiting from North Carolina was the extra incentive needed for me to make my first trip to St. Augustine. The warm and sunny weather was perfect for wandering the historic city’s streets.

While we only had part of a day to explore, we covered a lot of ground and it was a great overview. More importantly, we had a lovely time catching up. I know I’ll return someday for a more thorough exploration, though definitely not on a weekend (talk about crowded).

End of an Era

This past weekend I bid adieu to my trusty companion of the last ten years. After traveling 164,000 miles across this country (through all of the lower 48 states excepting New York and the ones up in New England) the house battery in my 2012 Prius finally gave up.

After careful consideration, I decided not to spend the several thousand dollars to replace it. Instead, I purchased a new hybrid. I’m hoping my Kia Niro will be as reliable and long-lived.

And yes, for those of you who know me, she does already have sand in her. That’s life at the beach for ya…

Back in the Day

Took advantage of the sunshine this past Monday and wandered through the Manatee Village Historical Park in downtown Bradenton. Thanks to the foresight of Manatee County back in the 1980s, this site preserves 14 historic buildings along a stretch of brick-paved Manatee Road.

Only the visitor center, which occupies the old Wiggins Store/Hotel Dixie Grande, is original to the site. All the others were relocated from various locations across the county.

According to their signage, the town of Bradenton owes its existence to a storm. In 1865, Captain John Fogarty’s fishing vessel was beset by wind so he turned up the Manatee River for protection. The natural harbor and thick woods enticed John to move his entire family from Key West.

The family claimed 132 acres and established the Fogarty Boat Works. Boats were in high demand at the time for two reasons; the consequences of the Civil War and waterways were Florida’s highways. The rest, as they say, is history…

Kayaking Downtown

I joined a local ladies meetup group on Facebook last May, and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve yet made (besides the one that landed me here). Not only have I met some amazing women who inspire me (looking at you, Katie) but I’ve taken part in some fun adventures along the way.

Last night’s sunset kayak in downtown St. Pete was one such outing. One of the members of our group Christine (owner of Wandering Adventures a kayak rental/guide company), hosts this monthly paddle at the municipal marina.

It was a bit breezy which kept us close to shore since there were some novices in our group. The sunset’s afterglow was stunning, the conversations were fascinating, and we were escorted around the bay by a couple of dolphins. What a fantastic way to spend an evening!

Silica Transformed

Spent a chilly winter day exploring the Imagine Museum in downtown St. Petersburg this past weekend. Not only was it a perfect respite from the weather but it was a sensational experience.

The museum is the brainchild of Trish Dugan (a glass artist) who spent decades acquiring glass from influential artists around the world. There are over 1500 pieces in the collection, and it’s still growing.

I have some familiarity with glass art; my sister designs stained glass, I toured Dale Chihuly’s “The Nature of Glass” exhibit with her and my aunt, and the Oregon coast town where I lived is famous for the local, handcrafted glass floats.

Even with those experiences I was blown away by the creativity on display. I am naturally drawn toward items styled in a more natural bent and, of course, ones in shades of blue. The hyper-realism of Matthew Eskuche’s Trashglass series gave me pause, what a disposable world we live in.

The display that absolutely mesmerized me was Portal Icosahedron by Anthony James. It is a modern recreation of a mathematical experiment in unity by Plato, “twenty identical triangular facets…an ideal compositional system of perfect symmetry in three dimensions.” Every step I took around the piece offered a completely different view.

Looking down into a seemingly infinite portal I was reminded of the One in a Million scene from Star Wars: A New Hope when Luke Skywalker does the “impossible” and fires the shot that destroys the Death Star. Hey, I grew up with those movies, what can I say, they made an impression.

There will be a new exhibit opening soon and I will definitely return to explore some more!