Every March for the last 20 years we have made the trek to Key Biscayne to a Masters 1000 Tennis Event. We shared our trips with good tennis friends, navigating buses, taxis and that “lovely” Miami car traffic, but we always enjoyed this spring fling. Over the years, this tournament was known as “The Lipton”, the “Sony-Ericcson” to name a few for the diehard tennis fans out there! It was held at the Crandon Park Tennis Center on the Key. It use to be fun and relatively simple to enjoy real live tennis in a beautiful tropical setting. But the event has outgrown Key Biscayne and it is no longer a relaxing trip as you fight the logistics of getting to the stadium, not to mention, pricey hotel rates and $7.50-Lemonades! Now known as the Miami Open, the 2019 Miami Open will be held at the Hard Rock Stadium, part of the Dophins complex, in Miami.
So from where we stood, this was the last thing we would see as we exited Crandon Park Tennis Complex. It was nice while it lasted but like all good things, it will come to an end for us. Next year, the view from where I stand will be in my living room, flipping the channel (who says that anymore?) to enjoy the Miami Open on the Tennis Channel. .

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If you live in Florida, this is a no brainer for this theme!! Shot at St Augustine Alligator Farm where you can see more alligators in one day than you will ever see in a lifetime.

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As time goes by, the often photographed fishing shack off the shore near the Starfish Company in Cortez Village changes with the whims of the weather. Each time we visit, it (like the rest of us) shows its age.
On our last visit, which was pre-empted by hurricane Irma, we saw considerable changes to this local,iconic landmark. Well at least it is still standing.

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Well this photograph has a different meaning for this theme as we get older. Are we ready to be outside looking in at the youthful world around us??? That is a question for all ages.

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These rare white pelicans were spotted swimming around in the bay by Cortez Village a few weeks ago, obviously looking for some stray pieces of fish from the catches of the local fisherman. We were dining on the pier and the waiter told us these birds were nesting here; getting ready for their final migration to their winter home in SOUTH AMERICA!! Egads, imagine flying (and not on an airplane) by wing from Florida to South America??? Well cross that one off my bucket list!
Anyway, I thought these two made an interesting design of two Z’s. (It’s a stretch but that’s what I saw!)

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On a dreary, rainy day like today, I like to think back to the warm, sunny days of summer at the beach. A collection of shells found at the beach by youngsters seeking out sea treasures made a balanced still life.

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One of my favorite places to visit in November is Orban’s Nursery in West Bradenton. The Saturday after Thanksgiving they open to the public and there are rows and rows and rows of beautiful, colorful poinsettias, just in time to welcome the holiday season.

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I think this beauty would be saying: “Look at me I am beautiful!”.

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While strolling down this quiet downtown in Sebastian Florida, I came upon a charming restaurant. It was patiently waiting for dinner time and a bit of shade so that it could provide a delightful spot for its patrons to share a drink, chat with friends and sample some local cuisine.

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It was the reason we moved to Sarasota 27 years ago. After spending a week’s vacation at the Colony Beach and Tennis Club on Long Boat Key, we thought, YES, we could live like this. And the rest, as they say, is history. In its heyday it was a vacation paradise, featuring a 5 star restaurant, golden beachfront property on the quiet Gulf of Mexico with shaded tennis courts outside of every door. It was, at the time, featured in Tennis magazine as one of THE places for a perfect tennis vacation. When it fell on hard times, due to management and owner squabbles that could not be resolved, this once lovely resort was abandoned; a weed infested, deserted mess whose only residents are the skimmers who nest along its empty shores. The entrance way, once a tree lined path to fun and games along the Gulf of Mexico, is closed with a not so glamorous chain link fence. Strangely, the aging guard house still bears the warning …”Guard on duty please stop!” ?? Perhaps it should say “Abandon hope all ye who enter here.” Sad!

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