“There’s no place like Home.” ~ Dorothy ~
Always nice to go away, but nice to come home, too. Opening the front door is such a great feeling.
HOME SWEET HOME
Calvin Coolidge, our 30th President of the United States was known for his dry Yankee wit and his frugality with words. His wife, Grace, recounted that a young woman sitting next to Coolidge at a dinner party confided to him she had bet she could get at least three words of conversation from him. Without looking at her he quietly retorted, “You lose.”
Built in 1883, the Lakeside Inn in Mt Dora is the last of the Grand Victorian Era Hotels still remaining in Central Florida. There are five brightly-painted yellow and white buildings surrounded by stately oaks covered with Spanish moss. The last two additions were completed in 1930. During their month’s stay in the winter of 1940, President Calvin Coolidge and his wife Grace were on hand to dedicate the Gables and Terrace wings.
That explains why the white swan paddle boats on the banks of the inn boast the names of Grace and Calvin. The two-person paddleboats are about six feet long and three-and-a-half-feet wide. When I first saw them, they were positioned side by side. As the sun was setting, I noticed that someone had re-positioned them facing each other. I could see their necks formed a heart. I started taking pictures as the sun was setting in the background. When my husband and I are together in a beautiful setting, it’s not easy to get a photo of “the two of us”, so as couples were strolling to and from the dock I drew their attention to the swans and offered to use their cameras to take pictures of the two of them with the romantic prop.
“Every one of a hundred thousand cities around the world had its own special sunset and it was worth going there, just once, if only to see the sun go down.” ~ Ryu Murakami ~
A lot of times my husband is like “a horse to a barn” on our return from a vacation, but on this August trip, he had booked a night at the Lakeside Inn in Mt Dora, Florida. What a treat. We had visited Mt Dora before, but had never stayed downtown. We happened to arrive on the night of their monthly Street Palooza. This was a night of music on the lawn of the Lakeside Inn and vendors on the street. There was a porch right off of our accomodations where we could listen to the music and watch the sun go down.
Founded in 1883, Lakeside Inn is the oldest continuously operated hotel in the state of Florida and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Inn opened originally with 10 rooms and early guests arrived by lake steamer from Jacksonville. Travel was long and arduous, so visitors would normally stay for many weeks or even months at a time. Lakeside Inn now features 87 comfortably appointed guest rooms and suites and a unique central Florida location that allows for easy access from anywhere in Florida or around the world. this is a view of the buildings from the long dock on the lake.
If you weren’t lucky enough to have a porch to sit on, as we did, the lawn was a perfect setting for your blankets or chairs as you listened and watched the sun set.
“The mountains are calling and I must go.” ~ John Muir ~
Our first night in Asheville, good friends invited us to go to the Pisgah Inn Restaurant, which is located at the peak of the Blue Ridge Parkway in Waynesville, NC. Since they picked us up, we were able to sit back and enjoy the 30 mile drive. There were many scenic overlooks along the way and we went through a number of tunnels. We reached the restaurant at mile marker 408.8 on the Parkway. As we walked into the rustic restaurant, we wondered how we had overlooked this place in our past travels. A sign boasting that we were going to “Dine at 5,000 Feet Elevation” greeted us. The restaurant has large tall windows on three sides that overlook the mountains and valleys of the Pisgah range. What an amazing view!
After a hearty meal of mountain trout, meatloaf, and chicken pot pie, we walked out to the railing to take some pictures of the spectacular view. Thank you to our friends for introducing us to the Pisgah Inn Restaurant! This visit will not be our last!