Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Happy New Year From Mt. Dora

And a Happier, Healthier New Year to All!!    When we woke up on January 1, 2016 - It looked like the year that just ended but, hey, let’s not judge it yet and give the New Year a chance.

Congratulations to the Michigan Wolverines who handily whooped the Florida Gators in the Citrus Bowl stadium down here in Orlando!  We had been out exploring Winter Garden when the game came on so we listened to the enthusiastic announcers on the radio calling all the game plays. Their
exuberance sounded more like they were calling a horse race instead of a football game!  We were close enough to the stadium we could see the big blimp slowly circling above!  We were home by half time and were glued to our seats in front of the TV for the rest of the game.  Oh – and congrats to Ohio State for winning their game also.
Fountains of Winter Garden

The Christmas displays are still up in downtown Winter Garden.   On this visit, the dancing fountains were busy with little tots and their attentive parents.  The little ones would giggle and dance and then when the

water spray would stop, they would turn and look to see where the tall wet refreshing spray went.  Whoosh!  It would start up again and so would the giggling!  
Fishing pier at Winter Garden

On each visit to Winter Garden, we must visit the peaceful lake front park on the edge of downtown next to the slimy green Lake Apopka to stroll the bridges, sidewalks and lone fishing pier . . .. and look for alligators.  There were none to be found on this visit!  Lake Erie is not alone in its fight against pollution and Algae Blooms.
So far, this January in central Florida has been sunny, warm and humid but the breeze coming off the lake, just 20 or so feet from the back of the trailer has kept the heat under control.   #8, then #7, then #6 were our normal 1st choices of campsites at the other end of the small dusty circle of 15 sites. This year we are nestled in on site #12 and the back of the trailer with all its huge windows is about 20 feet from the small waves that lick the shoreline.  Palm trees, Cypress and Live Oak trees draped with silvery Spanish moss border the shoreline and protect the trailer with dappled shade during the warm afternoons.  Across the lake, the sunsets are either glowing gold that softly change to bold corals before disappearing into the blackness of night or shades of silver with bright chrome accents of light glimmering across the steel shades of the water with the stark silhouettes of the trees standing guard.  And, yes, we have seen the alligator lurking out past all the reeds! The owl is still here, as are the woodpeckers, cardinals, a flock of shorebirds that resemble long legged, hungry chickens and the always-present squirrels, chasing each other thru the palmetto brush!

In the past, Webster Florida has been best known for it’s HUGE Flea Market that has ALWAYS been open only on Wednesday. S had taken me to this market years ago and we had only managed to complete about a quarter of the rows and rows of venders.  This year, H answered the call to finally go explore this market, so off we ventured – across long bridges and thru tiny towns with silly names like Howie-In-The-Hills and Yalaha.  As we drew nearer to where the market was, we noticed the lack of the normal backed up traffic that comes with popular flea markets.  As we approached the intersection, we then noticed the empty parking lots and the skeletons of wooden tables where the busy, hawking venders should have been.  All of the multiple rows and rows of rickety, rotten tables looked like a neglected cemetery with decayed, dilapidated grave markers.  I guess we should have checked before we ventured out, eh?  The trip was not a total bust – we did enjoy the great scenery and on the way back to base we stopped at a German Bakery in Yalaha that we had been told about.  This ethnically designed big yellow building was painted with German designs over all the windows, the doorway, and even over the archway to the outdoor sitting area.  Inside, crusty looking loaves of flour dusted bread sat on the shelves and in the front glass display case were all the pastries - expensive but delicious looking!  H’s choice was the small, creamy rich hazelnut confection in a scrumptious chocolate-crusted pie appropriately called “Fat Man’s Misery”
Bakery in Yalaha, Fl.

We’re here in Trimble Park for 2 weeks and we have another week yet to go. A cold front and rain are pushing out the warm sunny weather. So we’ll see what is to come!