Finally! A dragonfly I can actually get a photo of!~
Friday it was Joy's turn to surprise me with a (very) early Birthday Celebration! Yayayayayayay!!! Not only did I get this beautiful necklace but also one of the funniest birthday cards I've even received: (that's a picture of Joy & I by the way. Joy obviously is the one driving)
I also got two gorgeous home made cupcakes and if I wasn't such a absolute pig, I would have a photo of those to show you too but I scarfed mine down so fast that there weren't even crumbs left! Trust me when I tell you that it was realllllllly good :)
AND then, we spent the majority of the day at Marie Selby Gardens. Heaven! I know I've written about Selby Gardens before so I won't bother with the story behind the story. Suffice it to say that it's one of my favourite places in Sarasota.
Like many formal gardens, there are different areas. There is the hothouse area which is stunningly gorgeous and chokoblok with the most stunning orchids and other exotics:
We probably spent as much time in there as the entire rest of the garden put together. It's kind of otherwordly. It's compelling. No matter how much time I spend in that space, there is always something more to see that I didn't notice the first (or second or third!) time through.
There are so many other areas, they have a "great lawn" which is a lovely grassy area dotted with wonderful trees and bordered by beautiful and interesting shrubs and then suddenly there is this Japanese pavilion.....
What else, let's see, there is the actual Selby House of course which currently is housing a Gauguin exhibit. There is the most adorable butterfly garden behind it. It's one of my favourite places at the Garden. There are trellis' and archways covered with flowering vines and all sorts of flowers that I actually recognize, which is kind of a relief always. " Finally something I recognize!" It has charming little bricked walkways and small tables and chairs to sit and admire the view and of course butterflies. Lots and lots of butterflies!
Joy also got some incredibly photos of the many different kinds of bees that were also attracted to that area. They didn't give two hoots about us. We were able to get very close (as you can see) to the flowers, the butterflies and in Joy's case, also the bees, without risking getting stung because they just didn't care at all about us. They were all about the flowers. I don't blame them at all.
There is the Mangrove Walkway which runs right along the water through the mangroves, which shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone at all. You can see out into the Bay and admire the boats, some birds, lots of lizards and if you position yourself just right, you can also see Joy & Bob's Condo. It's right over there..... well you can't see where I am pointing can you? I should have taken a photo of it. Ratz.
There is an area called, Native Florida which, obviously, is loaded with plants that are native to Florida including a small pond which is inhabited by a number of ducks, several turtles and I'm not certain I want to know what else.
Palm Trees? Yes there are many. An enormous variety! Naturally there are. But also Bromeliads, an edible garden, a fragrance garden (another favourite of mine), a Rainforest Area complete with koi pond and fern garden and even a kids area that of course, we've played in too. Here is just a random selection of other photos taken :
Eventually we were just too hungry to continue so we left and had a birthday lunch! What a perfect Day!
On Saturday the celebration continued! Joy and Bob invited Tim and I to join them for birthday dinner (Tim's birthday is ALSO in July) at a very fun little restaurant across the street from their condo in Sarasota. . The restaurant is called Marina Jacks and for a very good reason, it's in a Marina! We had good conversation with great people, watched the water and the boats and a silly dolphin doing acrobatics for us! Dinner and a Show! We also got to have kitty time with their two cats, Charlie and Winston. It's a treat for us because we currently do not have any pets of our own. And it is very generous of them to share :) So we have cat nephews.
It was a perfect Early Birthday and it isn't over yet because Joy said something about a trip to Dairy Queen this week. What's a birthday without ice cream? YAYAYAY! The celebration continues!
Thank you Joy!!!! Fabulous Early Birthday Celebration!!
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.