Friday, January 20, 2012

Birthday Plans a Success

As I mentioned yesterday, today we had special plans with David and Arlene Harrison who are staying in Davenport, but agreed to meet halfway at a special town called Lake Placid.  Lake Placid is special because it is a town with 44 murals painted on buildings throughout the streets.  It is also the Caladium capital of the world.  Ninety-five percent of the world's supply of Caladiums come from Lake Placid.  There is a Caladium Festival at the end of August when the acres of caladiums are fully grown and in brilliant color. 

We met at the Chamber of Commerce where we saw a 10 minute film and picked up a catalog/map of the murals.  The murals were painted from 1993 and the most recent was in 2010.  The catalog gives you secret items to find in each mural (something our grandkids would love).  Here are some of our favorites:

David, Arlene and us at the Chamber

The mural on the local newpaper office.  All of these letters are hand painted.  We also like the name of the author.

We toured this cute three room museum. 

When I was VERY young, I worked at a switchboard like this one!  Really!

Awesome, huh?  Done on a cement wall 45 feet by 13 feet tall
There are also garbage cans in all shapes and sizes scattered around.  Here are some fun examples:

This particular "can" was by our favorite mural on the side of the Winn Dixie Food store.  It is called the Cracker Trail Cattle Drive and it is one of the few with 'sound'.  It is 175 feet long, 30 feet wide and so expensive that the funds ran out before it was finished.  To raise more money, one could pay to have their initials painted as brands on the cattle.  Within a week, they had enough for Keith Goodson to complete the mural.  The sound is a combination of moos, thunder, whistles and yips.  Close your eyes and you're in the middle of Texas (but it was really in Florida) where the Highlands County cattlemen still produce top-ranking beef cattle.

We were warned to have lunch a littler earlier than 12, which was OK as we had a really early breakfast.  The Main Street America Cafe welcomed us where we ordered burgers and fish and chips.  I was trying to save room for a hot fudge sundae (after all, it was my birthday) but boy, that burger was delicious!  I did put it down and said take it away then ordered a sundae for Gary and me to share.  Well, I forgot to take a picture of it (darn) until we got up to leave.  This is all that was left: 

Arlene was the navigator and the boys talked all along the way.  This was in the middle of town:

There is a koi pond at the bridge:

Two other murals:  One famous man, Melville Dewey, who invented the Dewey Decimal System and helped develop Lake Placid in the 1920s:

And a view of the Caladium growing fields:

These baby caladiums will make it to full growth as long as it doesn't get too cold down here. 

We finally said our goodbyes around 3:30 and promised to get together again - maybe in ALASKA in 2013! 

Meanwhile we will continue with Doctor appointments which begin with new therapy on Tuesday, and this Sunday we move to Thonotasassa.  [say that three times fast]

Thanks for joining our day!

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