Bok Tower Gardens – Lake Wales, Florida

A trip to Bok Tower Gardens. Sounds innocent doesn’t it?

Recently, we had a photo walk at Bok Tower. It was a great day, quiet, cool and even a slight breeze. We walked into the lobby and found a couple of folks who got the memo and we started to walk the grounds. I was impressed to see that they have put money back into the gardens. They have opened up a whole new area for kids and even an outdoor kitchen area where they have classes.

We made it over to the Pinewood Estate which I have never been to. The interior was closed due to Christmas decorating but we could at least see the outside. Then we huffed it up to the tower and looked out over the rest of Florida since we were now standing on the tallest point in Florida. Again, it was very serene and folks were mingling around taking photos. Well, most of us. One person had a GoPro on the end of a selfie stick and he kept yelling at it, “GoPro, take a photo!” The chimes were playing so I don’t think the little person in the GoPro got the message to push the shutter. Each time, he yelled louder at it to the point I thought it was going to go into the Koi pond or over the ledge into the defenseless orange trees below. I know when it’s time to exit.

We had lunch at the cafe and I was very pleased with what I received for the price. The folks we ate with tried some of their ice cream and it looked wonderful. I was full of the chicken salad sandwich I ordered so I passed. Angie and I decided we had seen what we wanted to see and we were going to head to “O-Town” (Orlando). We parted ways with the folks we shot with for the day and back into the car we went.

Using the Google Maps app on the iPhone made it very easy to navigate ourselves over to Disney Springs, aka Downtown Disney…and if you go back far enough, I can remember when it used to be called Disney Village. No worries, it has been some time since I have been up that way. Angie has conferences up there at least once a year so she was filling me in on the “upgrades” that had been made. While we were driving “on property” (this is what folks that work there call it, Angie worked there for a time) I was thinking back to when we had our annual passes ten years ago and that it might be nice to have those again. She founds us a great parking spot and the first thing that I noticed was a huge concrete structure in the parking area, they had finally done it, parking garages. They really needed these so it was a nice addition.

We walked in by the House of Blues and it was then I realized why we had not renewed our annual passes, lots of people wondering around like they were looking for a post-it note that they had lost. It was a land of selfie sticks, people with strollers who were apparently the only ones there and some didn’t even have children in them, it was for their designer dogs. Ok, hey what ever works for you. As we made our way to some of the new area, we walked into a chocolate shop. Instantly, there were what seemed like 50 people in this shop that was designed for 10. As I moved around I apparently bumped into a small human that was left unattended who was sitting on the floor. I was like, where are this kids parents? As I looked around, the parents must have been some of the people who looked like they were about to be booked for some crime as they had their hands spread out and tongues hanging out on the display glass where the chocolatier was working. Thank goodness for the glass as the poor employee has a look of fear in her eyes. Apparently they were pumping this store with some kind of mind altering gas as most of these folks had lost theirs. I looked at Angie and gave her the “I’ll be outside” look. We soon moved on. We made the trip around the rest of the property without too much incident. If people, selfie sticks or strollers were in our way, I used my downward dog yoga pose mixed with my Krispy Kreme exterior to make our way back to the car.

We decided to rather than donate $39.95 for a hot dog to the rat Mickey Mouse for his hospitality, we decided to go down the road and have a nice quiet sit down dinner somewhere. As we made our way back to I-4, it was backed up for miles. We were in luck as we were at the 192 interchange. We got off and found a nice place to eat. Then it was back on the road again. Now that we know someone got “creative” on I-4, we were prepared for Plan B, taking the back way. My parents used to do this all the time when we used to go to my grandparents place in Kissimmee but it’s been awhile since I have been this way. No worries, we have Google Maps on our side and the car was full of fuel.

This is when the fun really started. We started down what seemed like a never ending journey. I have seen parts of Florida that I never knew existed. There were highways and there were actual highways. I’m now convinced that Google Maps is backed by Shell, Texaco, and BP. There were certain areas that we decided to make sure our doors were locked in tray tables were in the upright position. At this point it’s pitch black out and the signs are the size of postage stamps. Trying to keep up with traffic as not to start a mutiny, we muttled along. At one point we were going about 65 mph on this little road and all of the sudden the lines on the road disappeared. My first instinct was to slam on the brakes. However, there were cars behind me so I figured if we were going into a lake, dead end, or someone’s home, we were all going. Having lived in Florida for quite some time, there are these things in other parts of the country that we don’t have much of here and I was out of practice, they are called hills. Now the silver bullet that I’m driving, the tires left the road on the top of the hill and was like a scene out of Lethal Weapon when the car came back to Earth, sparks, suspension and swearing were all involved. Awesome. There was a few places that we passed through we thought we heard banjo music so I pressed a little harder on the throttle to red line the ole tin lizzy.

Like I said, it’s really dark and Angie is doing a great job being the navigator and we are trying not to miss any turns. Up ahead I could see a lit sign and I said, “Look honey, we can see where we are.” As we approached the single point of light in this massive black hole we were driving in, the sign read, “Lawn Mower Races Here”. I looked at Angie and I said, “Ugh, did you see that?” It was then we were scrounging around the car. We found a bottle of water and two packages of crackers. We agreed, that after all of our life experiences, it was going to come down to this, water and crackers in lawn mower race inside a black hole. We’re screwed.

After a few more turns we came into Avon Park which then lead eventually to Arcadia then to Port Charlotte. We got home and we felt like we had just won NASCAR. I was expecting the car to look like the “truckster” out of the National Lampoon movie with the rims gone from jumping the hills and fenders bent in from the massive G-Force turns. The car was unharmed and we kissed the ground all the while a Golden was waiting for us.

What a simple trip to Bok Tower Gardens it was. Here are a few photos from the trip. I had my Nikon with me, however I didn’t really use it, these were all taken with the iPhone.

Spencer Pullen photographed path at Bok Tower in Lake Wales, Florida. Path To The Tower – Spencer Pullen © 2016 All Rights Reserved

Spencer Pullen photographed the brass door of the tower at Bok Tower in Lake Wales, Florida.Brass Door – Spencer Pullen © 2016 All Rights Reserved

Spencer Pullen photographed this desk at Bok Tower in Lake Wales, Florida.Edward Bok’s Desk – Spencer Pullen © 2016 All Rights Reserved

Until next time…

Keep Your Glass Clean


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