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Author Nancy J. Cohen discusses the writing process and life as a Florida resident.

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Playing Tourist in Florida

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on March 31, 2013

Happy Easter to my friends who celebrate the holiday! As with any celebration, it’s a day to relax and enjoy your family and friends. In our busy lives, it’s not so easy to take a day off. I like to take walks and enjoy visiting parks when the weather is suitable.

We were lucky to be in Naples, FL during perfect weather to tour the Naples Botanical Garden. We’ve seen many of the other attractions in the area, but this was a first time here. After paying the $12.95 admission fee at the ticket booth inside the gift shop, we emerged onto the garden path. Different ecological areas are nestled among the 170 acres. Created in 1993 by a group of inspired Naples residents, the garden boasts seven habitats, 2.5 miles of walking trails, and restored native preserves. New construction is planned for a welcome center, auditorium, café, and more.

A sculpture exhibit was going on the same time as our visit. Enjoy the photos and picture yourself in sunny South Florida.

Naples Garden2 (800x600)    Naples Garden1 (800x600)

Naples Garden3 (800x600)  Naples Garden4 (800x600)

Naples Garden5 (800x600)   Naples Garden6 (800x600)

Naples Garden7 (800x600)  Naples Garden8 (800x600)

Naples Garden10 (800x600)  Naples Garden13 (800x600)

Naples Garden11 (800x600)  Naples Garden14 (800x600)

Naples Garden15 (640x480)  Naples Garden16 (640x480)

And here are my friends from Southwest Florida Romance Writers who gave me an excuse to go to Naples in the first place. I spoke to the group on “Social Networking for Writers.” You’ll see me at the far end in the first photo.

P1020304 (800x600)  P1020303 (800x600)

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As for other day off activities, we’ll often take a walk inside Sawgrass Mills Mall. Last week we went there to see Oz: The Great and Powerful. We liked this Disney movie despite the negative reviews. The storyline was clever and the scenery beautiful and creative. It reminded me of Avatar. We didn’t see it in 3-D but I would buy the DVD that way.

We discovered a new sushi bar inside the mall at a central location. Patrons sitting at the bar can watch sample dishes glide by on a conveyor belt.

Sushi Sawgrass   Sushi Sawgrass2

Another day, I met my friend Margaret, a former member of Florida Romance Writers. We dined with our husbands at La Bonne Crepe on Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale. I indulged in the baked brie with fruit and an iced tea.

La Bonne Crepe  Nancy Margaret

After lunch, we strolled by the New River to see the Water Taxi landing where a bunch of people waited for the boat. That’s one adventure I haven’t done yet.

Where do you go on your days off?

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11 Responses to “Playing Tourist in Florida”

  1. Marcia said

    Since I live in central Florida, myself, it’s pretty sunny and bright here, so on my “days off,” I just…go outside! *grin* Loved your pictures. I used to live in south Florida, so it brought back a lot of memories. Was just down in Ft. Myers for the Book Festival, and thinking how very different the landscaping is compared to that in the Orlando/Sanford area. Thanks for sharing. I will enjoy looking around your blog, and checking out your books, as well.

    • I’m in Orlando often since we have a condo there. We love Disney and have annual passes. Looking forward to the Flower festival and the new food booths they have there. Central FL is always about 10 degrees hotter or colder than here in Ft. Lauderdale.

      • Marcia said

        I know…no large body of water to moderate our temps. I have never been to the Flower festival at Disney, and that’s really a shame, as I’m very fond of gardening. I really should get over there for that. I lived in Lauderdale when I was a MUCH younger girl. I have a lot of memories of good times down there, waaaaaay back in the day. I was a Weekend Hippie! (Ha. Had to work a real job during the week.) Hard to imagine these days, but I wasn’t BORN a Granny. :D

        • I wish I was a granny but my kids are taking their time finding a soul mate. As for the flower festival, this is the first year they’ve added food booths like at the Food & Wine Festival. I’m hoping to go at the end of this month.

          • Marcia said

            Don’t worry about your kids. My daughter is having her first (a boy) at age 37. My DIL had her first (a girl) at age 34. While Erin would like another, I don’t think it’s going to happen for my son & his wife. It took them ten years to get Tabitha. But she’s our miracle girl, and we are blessed to have her, so no one’s complaining. Anyway, they are starting families so much later these days, and in some ways, that’s a good thing. So I’ll be you’ll have plenty of opportunities for Grannyhood ahead of you. I may have to miss that festival this year, though, as I’ll be in San Diego for awhile, getting to know my grandson. For that, I’ll postpone a visit until next year, but then, I’m going, by golly! I suspect it’s just as glorious as everyone says.

  2. Thanks for the tour, Nancy. I’m only an hour away from Naples in Fort Myers and will have to visit the Naples Botanical Gardens. I see Marcia mentioned the Fort Myers Readers Fest. It’s a great event every year.

  3. Marcia, I hope you’re right about the grandkids. We’re not getting any younger.

  4. You took so nice pictures

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