Tag Archives: florida

Julie Vs. The Tiny House: Part 2

My first experience with a tiny house, was well… fun, but not something I felt would work long term for people as tall as Andy and myself. The second tiny house we tried was about twice the size of the first: still tiny, but with enough space to leave me thinking “yeah, I could absolutely do this!”

 Another Air BnB find, the Crooked Lake Tiny House, was such a wonderful place to stay. So nice in fact, that I have the listing bookmarked and saved in my Air BnB account for future use.   Interestingly enough, this place is located on the same lake as the neighborhood I grew up in, the opposite side, but theoretically I could look across the lake with a pair of binoculars, on a clear day, and see the edge of it.   Very clean in and modern in decor, Andy was absolutely in love. I think this is exactly what his home would look like if he didn’t have me throwing color and bits of this and that all over the place.  One of the most thoughtful hosts I’ve ever had. Our little welcome package basket had soap she had made herself, eggs from her chickens, and beverages to make sure we were hydrated after our long car ride and late arrival. She even set out solar lights to make sure we’d be able to see the turn for the tiny house and find the parking area in the dark.  I didn’t get a good picture of the loft (the listing has some if you want to check it out), but Andy and I quite enjoyed our “fort,” and although my mom did make the climb up the ladder once, she was more than happy to leave the space to us and claim the downstairs bedroom.  The kitchen was fantastic and had suprising amount of storage. We easily made both breakfast and late night snacks during our stay. The other thing that really set this place apart was the outdoor spaces. There was a fire pit, a really nice hammock for lounging, and a gorgeous little garden with fish pond. Our host even left us fish food so we could go out and give the fishes a bit of a snack when we felt like it. 

Not pictured is the turtle we saw walk up from the lake and lay her eggs in a hole under one of the lounge chairs. An amazing highlight to what was not the most enjoyable trip. I am really, really hoping to be able to come back someday when I have more time to spend. Also, I’d like to make some sketches because Andy and I are very much thinking of building ourselves a place like this somewhere down the road.


Outing & Abouting: Bok Tower

Before all the mess that happened in December, I hadn’t been back to the town where I grew up since my wedding shower, almost seven years ago. I figured since we were there, it wouldn’t be a horrible idea to schedule in a few “fun” activities to give us a break from all the stress and sadness. One of the places at the top of the “to do” list was Bok Tower Gardens. Bok Tower has been around since 1929, a generous gift to the American people from immigrant Edward W. Bok as a token of appreciation for all of the wonderful opportunities he’d found in our country.

 The original tower and surrounding gardens have been painstakingly maintained, but over the years the grounds have expanded to include a visitor center, additional gardens, a children’s area and now a gorgeous outdoor kitchen with nearby edible garden. I grew up running around the trails and feeding the lazy koi that live in the tower’s moat. We’ve been to Easter sunrise service, listened to orchestral concerts under the stars, and spent hours stretched out on a picnic blanket under their towering trees.   This most recent trip, it was monarch season and we were lucky enough to see all stages of butterfly development, although the poor milkweed plants were considerably worse for the wear after playing host to hoards of voracious caterpillars. 

When I was much younger, I was convinced that these giant lily pads were in fact, fairy stages. That the fairies waited until the gardens closed, and then hosted elaborate affairs atop these massive (easily 2-3 feet across) green boats. Fireflies would weave about over head, and the fairies who were tired of dancing could recline in the flowers and still enjoy the festivities. As the sun began to rise, they’d all return to their homes all over the garden and sleep soundly for the day while we humans explored their garden.

 When I graduated high school, I was allowed to climb to the top of the tower and run my fingers across the carillon’s “keyboard”. The tower is not open to the public, and other than being a graduating senior, the only other way to see the inside it to purchase one of their top tier memberships. It’s a lot of stairs, but an amazing opportunity that many a local would turn green with jealousy over.

Even though we’ve been before, it was nice to share this place with Andy again. No matter now much is added and no matter how far the grounds expand, this place feels like home, and every time I visit I feel the desire to curl up on the grass and just listen to the breeze ruffling the leafy canopy overhead. 
Someday I will own a fountain just like this one. Frogs, painted tiles, and all 🙂

It was a wonderful distraction, and one that I am hoping to indulge in again the next time we have to head down south for another round of cleanup.