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Florida - April 2022 - Day 13

The heart is a bloom Shoots up through the stony ground

It was indeed yet another beautiful day that greeted us. This is getting delightfully repetitive. I love these mornings so much as well as the hot dry evenings where we just sit outside without even thinking about whether it will be chilly or not.

It was therefore another very leisurely breakfast outside as we had agreed that we were not going to set off out for the day until 10.15am. It would be easy to sit around doing nothing all day but we all wanted the best of both worlds, namely exploring as well and chilling.

Today we headed due south down the centre of Florida to Bok Tower Gardens. This was almost exactly one hours drive away. The wide roads were reasonably quiet and we found the turning into the gardens almost precisely on time.

The cost was $15 each to pay at the entrance and we then followed the 1.5-mile drive to the car park. We were pleased that it seemed quite quiet and we suspected that all the other visitors were probably locals. Bok Tower Gardens were created in the 1920’s by Edward Bok. They are set on a hill top at Lake Wales. The gardens are extremely well cared for by volunteers and are all very tropical and lush. Some of the flowers in bloom already are ones that we would not see at home until high summer or have indoors as house plants.

After the drive we decided to firstly have a drink on the lovely terrace of the café. Sadly, the loveliness of the terrace did not stretch to the standard of the drinks which were poor by American standards. However, as we were to quickly realise the coffee was quite strong. By the time we went to explore the gardens, the caffeine had fully hit Karen’s metabolism. She went into hyper Karen mode. Her chatter and talk was non-stop. We were getting a stream of information from her being read out loud from the map whether we wanted to hear it or not. She was like the Duracell bunny. It was all quite funny as I tried

and quieten her down.

We made our way to the actual Bok Tower. This is an impressive tower over 200ft tall. At the top is situated a Carilion. A Carilion is a keyboard instrument that is played by thumping your hand down on the keys. This then cause the ringing of large bells. The sound comes out of the top of the tower and permeates across of the gardens. It is very peaceful and relaxing. There were people sitting and laying all around in the sun and shade listening.

By the time we explored further it was the heat of the day and by now very hot. We had a look at the Window on the Pond which was what we would call a bird hide. The children’s garden was done very nicely, with large outdoor instruments to play with.

The girls went and tried some of the lotions on sale in the shop before leaving. As Graham had never been to Spook Hill before and it was only a couple of miles away, we headed there next.

Spook Hill is an optical illusion. You drive up to a mark on the road, put the car into neutral and just let it roll. Because of the natural landscape around you, it gives the illusion that your car is rolling backwards up a hill. We did it a few times. Karen & I have been here before with the boys. I was impressed before and I was again. Nobody else in the car was. Perhaps the illusion works better from the driver’s viewpoint. They just thought we were rolling downhill, to me it felt and looked uphill. Possibly it could just be another ‘Kings New Clothes’.

Back at the villa we all found some nibbles to have as our by now very late lunch before sitting by the pool listening to some music whilst chatting and reading. The girls demolished another bottle of bubbles and then had a G&T afterwards. All so civilised. I had some fizzy zero sugar zero alcohol pop.

Tonight, we had booked the Bonefish Grill on the 192 for dinner. They took us to a table immediately on the terrace. The server got off to a bad start by tipping over Graham’s special sangria. I was the only victim of the splashes and my white T shirt did not out of it well with many red marks. I just felt bad for the server and relieved it was me that was covered rather than Karen. The server was very apologetic.

The food was delicious. Karen & I both had Mahi Mahi which is a real favourite of ours. It did not disappoint.

After this we headed off to try the Boardwalk again. This time there was no queue and we were let straight in. This was Graham & Jo’s first time on Disney property since their arrival and we were all quite excited. We wandered around slowly and then decided we had time to take a trip on the Skyliner before returning for the fireworks. An extra Disney ride that Karen hadn’t been expecting made her giddy with excitement again when we boarded which was lovely to see and hear.

We went to the Caribbean Resort and then got the Skyliner back again. By now it was dark and the lights from the Disney buildings and from in Epcot itself were very special.

Back at the Boardwalk we walked to the bench we had sat previously and watched the fireworks again. They were just as good. This place is so peaceful for Disney. Everywhere is immaculate and lovely. We just love the vibe and atmosphere. Graham & Jo did so too.

Finally, when back and sitting outside the villa I could allow myself some alcohol. The Red wine tasted so good. Everyone else had tea though as they had already had enough alcohol for the day.

Don't need it now Was a beautiful day

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