Saturday, November 05, 2011

I have a fondness for small towns

and the charm of Punta Gorda, Fl had me from the instant I crossed the bridge spanning Charlotte Harbour and made my way along the palm tree lined streets that were already dressed out for the Christmas season with white lights and big snowflakes.  I wished I had taken a picture of them.  Before moving to Florida, I thought a palm tree was a palm tree, but I am now noticing the differences in them.  In Punta Gorda, I saw some that were definitely different in appearance. 
This coming December will be my third winter in Florida and I am still amused  by all the images one can find of snow  here in Florida and how anyone can possibly think of snow when you are running around in shorts and sandals is beyond me. 
My drive over to the west side of the state on Tuesday evening was a pleasant one.  Music of the 70 on Satalite radio keep me humming along with the songs and at times singing off key outloud.  After about 70 miles I turned off of I -4 onto I -75 and  had to put myself into the mindset that so many retired Floridians have acquire.    Mainly, "what's the rush?" The posted speed limit means nothing in certain places .  On I-75 there were enough drivers driving "slow" that I had to keep reminding myself that I was in no hurry.  That I wasn't on deadline.  That I could be there when I got there.  Even when the speed limit was posted at 70 they were driving 55 and in the left hand lane to boot.  The slow down and back up in spots was caused in part by the large number of RV's pulling small cars and the so so many moving vans.  After a few miles it dawned on me that I was traveling along the annual south bound  snowbird migration route.
Despite that it was a straight uncomplicated trip from my door to the hotel and I really didn't need my GPS, to get there, however, when I did need it, it told me the address I was looking for was on the right.  But in fact it was on the left and when it said I had arrived I was on the ramp heading across another bridge and on my way to Port Charlotte on the other side of the harbour. A quick turn around on the other side, or as the GPS says, at the next opportunity make a legal "U" turn. Which I did.  And after a series of left turns I was at the hotel.
 This is some shots of my painting on silk class.  We were using one of the rooms at the Charlotte Cultural Arts center which was buzzing with people taking a variety of classes.  There was a cafeteria that serves three meal on site as well as a resale store that my quilt class angel took advantage of; purchasing a "t" shirt for $0.75 after she had gotten paint and water on the one she began the day wearing.
There were lost of creativity zinging around the room as you can see.  I selected only a few of the flowers painted by the the 21 students in the class.
Sorry I did not take any pictures of the second day class and their projects. The second day class was held in the social hall of a local Luthern church in Punta Gorda as was the talk and truck show I did for the group on Friday morning.
 Here is a collage of images from Fisherman's village.
 This is Audrey, my class angel for both workshop day and she was truly that.  We are in line for lunch.  They reserved a room off the main dining area "the English tea room" for our group.  I guess they thought we would be a rowdy bunch, but in an English "tea" room one must be a little more reserved and we did the room proud.
That evening I was treated to dinner at Fisherman's Village which was built on the site of a former municipal pier, it was designed to replicate a traditional fishing village with boat slips, shops, restaurants and  above the shop residences .  Several ladies from the class came along with Audrey and me, making us a party of six.   The restaurant on the wharf had a view of the harbour and I being the guest got the best seat by the window.  The food, the company and the view were wonderful.
Without having an excuse to do so I would return to Punta Gorda and I would most certainly accept an invitation to teach for this group if asked to do so again.  My hat if I wore one would be off for Kathy the education chairperson and to every member of the Peace River Quilter Guild. 


Dorothy said...

I sure wish you were closer to Michigan! I would love to take your class! Your students look like they are doing a great job.
I have been enjoying your blog.
Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful couple of days. Can we go there, or is it to far? Non-artist