Making The Best Of It

Frog fountain. Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, Florida

So what do you do when you’re in Florida for a cruise and the cruise is cancelled?  Well, for Kathy & me, we find something else to do!  We had already been planning to visit our friends Bill & Cathy, who spend the winter in a community near Lake Wales.  Our original plans called for us to visit them after our cruise, so we called them and said, “guess what?”  They were somewhat relieved that we would not be coming to visit them after having spent a week on a Covid-infested cruise ship, even though we had planned to take a test after getting off the ship.

Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, Florida

We were able to shift our motel reservation to a week earlier than our original plan, then take a few days there to decide what to do with our newfound time (and money).  Since the cruise line cancelled the cruise, they are going to refund all of our money PLUS give us the equivalent amount in credit toward a future cruise.  A deal for us – we get a few days in Florida and still get a free cruise in the future!  Some strings are attached, of course, but nothing we can’t deal with.

Photo spot. Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, Florida

We decided to play tourist in Lake Wales while we were there.  We visited the Bok Tower Gardens, a relatively famous landmark that we had heard about but never visited.  We stopped by the Florida’s Natural Visitor Center and learned about the history of Florida Orange Juice.  Who knew?

Door detail. Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, Florida
The Singing Tower. Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, Florida

So what to do?  We looked at the weather forecast and decided that it was just going to be too cool to head to a beach resort somewhere.  Yes, the temperatures were forecasted to be in the upper 60s to low 70s, which is warm if you are coming from Minnesota or Canada, but for us thin-blooded North Cackalackians it just wasn’t warm enough!  We settled on a few days in St. Petersburg, another town we had heard about but never visited.

The Dalí (Salvador Dalí Museum). St. Petersburg, Florida

Over the course of three days in St. Petersburg, we visited the Salvador Dali’ museum, the Chihuly Glass Collection at the Morean Arts Center, and generally wandered around town exploring.

Glass works by Dale Chihuly at The Chihuly Collection at the Morean Arts Center, St. Petersburg, Florida
Glass blowing demonstration at the Morean Glass Studio, part of the Morean Arts Center in St. Petersburg, Florida

On our way home we stopped by Ocala and visited the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing, and were even treated to a “Big Daddy” sighting!

Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing in Ocala, Florida

We’re home now and watching an assortment of winter weather passing through the area.  Yes, it might be warmer if we had stayed in Florida, but it is nice to be home in our house any time.  We’re well stocked and shouldn’t have to leave the house for a few days.  So it can snow/sleet/freezing rain all it wants – the sun will probably be back out tomorrow then it can be almost spring! 🙂

Skyline from the Teak Restaurant on the pier in St. Petersburg, Florida

4 thoughts on “Making The Best Of It”

  1. A good example of adjusting to what is before us rather than throwing a hissy fit and fight against it. Sounds like a good deal the cruise lines offered you. My sister and brother-in-law were given such and offer 3 or 4 years ago. You also show that we do not have to travel to experience the fullness of life. There is so much around us if we only look and see. Welcome home and stay warm.

    1. We always try to have a positive approach to life and for the most part do OK. Yes, there were a few tears shed at first, but once we had a chance to think it through we figured out what to do.

      Your point about traveling or not traveling is a good one, and one I’ve been struggling with. There are places here in Charlotte to have a similar experience, but we’ve never been. We talk about being ‘tourists in our own town’ but never seem able to piece together the itinerary!

      We had a couple inches of a wet, sloppy snow/sleet mix but never got the ice they had expected. I plowed a path to the curb last night to roll out my trash can. Supposed to be sunny and 40 today, so a lot of it will melt. Some of the trees have buds on them, so ‘they’ seem to think spring is coming!

    1. There are neat places everywhere, aren’t there, Howard? That is part of what attracted us to visit St. Petersburg. I think we’ll run out of time before we run out of places, so we keep going!

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