Saturday, May 31, 2014

Tropical South Florida

We started the first day of our visit to South Florida with our daughter and twin grandchildren in Davie, Florida  which is not too far from Ft. Lauderdale and Miami.  

She started our morning with a delicious breakfast, which included one of her favorite recipes from The Southern Living Cookbook called Banana Muffins.  You can see how yummy they look in the below photo.  I will include that recipe in the next post.

This is a "I bet you can't eat just one" recipe.

Recently my brother and I had been reminiscing about our days of growing up down in South Florida.  We talked about, and remembered as children some of the fruit we picked up from different yards in our neighborhood ... especially Coconuts, Guavas and Mulberries.  I also remembered the Avocados and the Mangoes falling from our Aunt's backyard trees.

During this visit to South Florida we decided to go in search of some of the wonderful tropical fruits available in that area.  Our daughter thought the children might get a kick out of seeing some of the fruit growing on the trees also.  She knew of a grove not too far from her home so off we went ......

Bob Roth's New River Groves
5660 Griffin Road
Davie, Florida

It turned out to be an added plus to visit The New River Groves Gift Shop.  They had a restaurant and gift shop that was amazing.  They also make up gift baskets to send.  Their restaurant looked wonderful with the most delicious looking sandwiches and breads.   They had a whole section of specialty breads that looked delicious.

They had Stone Crab Claws and delicious pies including Key Lime Pie.

Also on display in the Gift Shop was this ferocious looking alligator.

Florida Oranges for sale.


If you would like to see more about Bob Roth's New River Gift Shop and Groves 
you can click on the below link.

More coconuts.

We left the Restaurant/Gift Shop and walked down to where the fruit trees were growing.
In the below photo if you look to the left you can see the banana tree.

As we walked closer to the banana tree it was such a surprise to see 
this huge bunch of bananas growing on the tree

Coconut tree.

Thanks to Mr. Google I found that when the coconut tree is four or five years old the tree begins to produce flowers followed shortly thereafter by coconuts.  The nuts grow to full size in about six months, but take almost a full year to become ripe while on the tree.

A single tree usually has about 25 coconuts a year.  A coconut tree can live for 80 to 90 years.

In the below photo is a ripe coconut and how I remember the coconuts my brother and I collected around our neighborhood when we were children.  My brother would "open" the coconut with his hatchet ... And, I remember it being a half a days job getting it all the way open down to the coconut milk and the coconut.

Across from the coconut trees and the banana tree was a huge mango orchid.  Look closely and you will see the green mangoes.

         In South Florida, mangoes begin growing on the tree in May and are harvested in September.

Another Mango Grove on the way back to our daughter's home.

Since the mangoes at the groves were not ripe, we picked up the mangoes shown in the below photo at the  grocery store.   We enjoyed this delicious fruit for breakfast the next morning.

In the below photo is a flower called a Hibiscus.  I especially love this color, but they come in many beautiful colors.  This particular Hibiscus was growing in our daughter's back yard.

Hibiscus plants are native to warm temperature, subtropical and tropical regions of the world.

Hibiscus Flower.

A beautiful day in South Florida.

On the banks of this pretty little lake we spotted this beautiful  tropical Bougainvillea flower.

These brightly colored Bougainvillea plants are available in many different colors.

As you can see in the below photo the brisk wind was blowing these
 palm trees making for a pretty sight.

Under the palm trees we see a plant called a Hawaiian Bird of Paradise

The flowers on this bush do somewhat resemble a bird.

We stopped at a plant nursery on the drive back to our daughter's home.  
The flowers and bushes were so pretty and colorful from the road we wanted to get a better look.

Croton Plant

These colorful Croton Plants are a tropical plant and grow nicely in plant zones 10 - 11.

The wind was blowing and it was hard to get a nice sharp photo of this
very pretty double Hibiscus flower.

Pink Bougainvillea Plant.

Another pretty Croton Plant

While walking through the plant nursery it was not hard to spot this
brightly colored Hibiscus in the below photo.

We enjoyed our short visit with our daughter and grandchildren in Davie, Florida.  After a couple of visiting days we said our good-byes and traveled on up to Palm City to spend some time with another daughter and grandsons.   After a nice visit with them it was time to head back home again.

Palm Trees

During our travels on back home I spotted Old Glory blowing in the breezes
at one of our stops along the way.

It is always a sight to see the beautiful American Flag.

Thanks for coming along with us on our visit to beautiful tropical South Florida. 

Wishing you happy days and many blessings wherever you may be.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Lace Curtains for the Kitchen

We remodeled our kitchen a couple of years ago after thirty years of living in our home.   It was mainly an "everything was falling apart" remodel.  We expanded one wall to make the pantry larger and to add another countertop, but other than that we just replaced most of everything that was there, similar to how it was originally.

If you would like to see the Sweet Southern Days Kitchen Before and After Remodel post
you can click on the below link:

When completed, due to the somewhat busy counter-top pattern and the brick flooring,  I never was able to zero in on any curtains for the double-windows in the kitchen that felt right.  A print-fabric seemed too much and a solid seemed to simple.

Then one day recently while looking through a catalog that periodically comes to our home,  a maybe that's it moment came into focus.  The catalog is called The Victorian Trading Company.  If you would like to see this catalog you can click on the link below:

The words "lovely lace" caught my eye.  I do love lace and wondered how lace curtains would look in the kitchen windows.  The curtains came in the colors "Antique or Ecru."  The counter tops in the kitchen are similar to an Ecru color.  I knew that could be a nice match at least with the color.

The price of the curtains was certainly reasonable,
which was an added reason to order them, and see how they looked.  

The fit was not totally perfect ... 
I would have liked them to come down a little longer on the sides, but these will do.

It is surprising I did not think of lace curtains before, because as you can see in the adjoining front study to the right, there are lace panel curtains at the windows.  As I backed away and looked at the kitchen curtains, I realized the lace in the two rooms matched and were in harmony.

    It was nice that the lace did not block out the early morning sunlight coming through the windows.  

Now I can move on to another curtain project.  We remodeled our guest house down the hill recently.  Now it is time to make curtains for the windows there.  I will take photos as I go along and share that adventure with you when they are finished.

If you would like to see the Sweet Southern Days Before and After Guest House Remodel and a Monogrammed Wreath post just click on the below link:

It was a beautiful holiday weekend here in Tallahassee.  We hope it was a wonderful weekend for you too, and we wish you a new week filled with many blessings wherever you may be.