Thursday, 12/8/11 - Every Thursday this month in the park at 10 am they have an Arts & Crafts project, in the club house, you can sign up for....this being December, they are all about Christmas, decorations, duh! For what ever reason, and I still don't believe I did it, I signed up and showed up to make a table decorations. Of course, the other ladies took me "under their wing" and helped me even showing me how to use the glue gun. So I started gathering up poinsettias flowers, Christmas bells, leaves, ribbon & etc and "attacked" my piece of foam and came up with what I thought was a beauty!!!! Actually, I was shocked how nice it turned out and a picture is available on request to see the finished project. When I brought it home Will even wanted me to put it on the kitchen table to display it.....which shocked me as nothing is displayed here. I can't wait for next weeks project (I'm already signed up) a Christmas Wreath!!!
Saturday, 12/10/11 - RT Orchid Co of Homestead offered a free tour of their gardens this weekend so Will and I decided to go down there (a 10 mile trip south of us) for the 11 am tour. Because of the tropical weather here, orchids grow everywhere around here, in the trees, gardens and lots of nurseries specialize in them. We got there about 10:30 am and strolled thru several large greenhouses filled with every imaginable orchid....beautiful colors and my camera was going non stop. At 11 am Bob, who turned out to be the owner of the place, was gathering up people for the 11 am tour.
He then proceeded to explain that his grandparents started this nursery in 1932 on about 160 acres they purchased for the vast sum of $2,500. It was property they couldn't practically give away. The grandparents started the nursery & it has been in their family ever since. The amazing part we were to discover that the "garden tour" actually turned out to be his "backyard." The grandparents built their house there & he has added on....A LOT and what we saw were the orchids, plants and sculptures he has accumulated from all over the world. IT WAS FABULOUS. One incredible thing he told us that after Hurricane Andrew in 1992 there was not a green leaf or plant left standing. Most of the trees were toppled over and a lot of the palms that fell....they were able to pull them back up. His house & the grandparents house, when rebuilt, were constructed out of concrete and steel.
The tour consisted of about 25 people and Bob took us through the front, side & back yards explaining about all the different orchids, the amazing parrots he has in cages through out the yard. He told the story of one red, very large parrot that was given to him by some wealthy lady as one day the parrot "escaped" from his cage and completely destroyed a Chippendale dining room table & chairs by the time she had returned home. The bird left that night and rules the other birds in that cage.
The back yard had two amazing features, a beautiful black bottom swimming pool with a spectacular large orchid decoration on the bottom of the pool. He also has in the back yard a natural water spring that they have built 3 waters falls. The spring is FILLED with different types of huge fish, turtles and even a small alligator. When the alligator gets to big he donates it back to a local alligator farm and gets another "baby." He threw a hand full of fish food in the spring (that required NO maintenance as it is a natural spring) and every fish/animal in there went crazy feeding on them. We also were able to view his fabulous outdoor living room complete with a bar and lots of seating with an amazing stain glass window of orchids and animals. Words do not do this place justice and it was hard to keep remembering...this is someones backyard! Plus the fact that Bob was a genuinely nice guy and was very appreciative of what he has been given and he is definitely a good steward of the land and the people that work for him. It was a wonderful experience.
That evening, back at the RV park, was a potluck dinner at 5 pm open to all to attend. I, of course, brought, my world famous....WalMart potato & macaroni salad but I must say all of the people brought a wonderful array of food. It was a fun dinner and we met more very nice RV people from different pods. It was a busy Saturday while Sunday was just an off and on rainy day but the laundry got done and then we went out for our favorite lunch..... Costco....Will for a polish hot dog and me a yogurt and of course a quick tour around to visit the "food ladies." Another great day in Florida and sending out much love to all our family and friends.