If there was a way I could LIVE in Bok Tower Gardens, believe me I would! I’ve written a blog post plus photos a few years ago about Bok Tower Gardens. Bok is located in a semi small town in Florida called Lake Wales. To give you some perspective, Lake Wales is about 35 minutes south of the intersections of Interstate 4 and U.S. Highway 27. To further that, it’d be about 45 minutes to an hour (+/-) from Walt Disney World.
My Florida Backroads project is all about the natural beauty of Florida or history / heritage, hence, Bok Tower Gardens fits in because – – – it was built by Edward W. Bok – an immigrant from The Netherlands – back in 1929. Mr. Bok’s purpose in creating this beautiful place was to say thanks to the American people for welcoming he and his family when they came from their homeland and treated them so well. So ya’ see, there’s not only real history here that connects to Florida, Bok Tower Gardens is also a ‘Florida Backroad’ or escape from the stress and anxiety of day to day life. Bok Tower Gardens is a National Historic Landmark as well. Edward Bok also constructed a giant “Singing Tower” encasing a 60 bell Carillon. The Carillon still gets played daily giving visitors a free concert they can enjoy with a picnic lunch on provided benches or on a blanket spread on the lavish and extensive grounds.
The photos I’ve captured within the post are nice (if I do say so myself LOL). But …
…no mater how many times I’ve tried, the majesty and sheer size of the tower itself can’t do justice or compete to the standing or sitting in front of the real thing. So y’all just have to make a trip Bok Tower Gardens (and not, I’m not on commission to say or advertise the place <wink>).
Bok Tower Gardens, 1151 Tower Boulevard, Lake Wales, FL, 33853, ph – 863 676 1408.
For those that don’t know what or where Lake Eola is, it’s this beautiful lake with a park that surrounds it all. My guess is it’s about a mile walk around the lake. Pretty good size. I’ve photographed at the lake quite a few times but it’s been at least 2-3 years since I’ve done any night photography there. Earlier today, one of the local news stations here in Orlando announced that Lake Eola officials would turn the colored lights in and around the giant fountain in the center of the lake red, white and blue as a tribute and honor to France after the horrible tragedies that occurred during their Bastille Day celebration before. So I ventured downtown Orlando about 9:00 PM Friday night (July 15th, 2016) to see what I could capture in pictures. Here is one of the shots I was able to create.
I set out on a mission earlier today – to go photograph more of what I call Florida Backroads – or perhaps, the roads less travelled – anything BUT Them Parks and Attractions really. So about 30 minutes south of me is this little town called Dundee, FL. I’d driven through there many a time heading to various south Florida destinations. You basically travel south on U.S. Highway 27 heading south. Dundee is about 25 minutes south of the intersection of Interstate 4 and U.S. Highway 27.
As I said, I’d never really been IN the town itself. There’s a sign on Hwy 27 that says, “Historic Dundee Station” just after you cross the line into Dundee. Today, I finally decided to check it out. The town itself is truly old fashion, quaint and charming. They have a hardware store combined with a feed store. You actually pull your truck or car up to a wooden platform loading type dock to get your supplies. A few old style churches dot the horizon as well. There are a few ponds or lakes surrounded by houses that look they were built back in the 1950’s +/- but in good shape. And a beautiful park with a lighted walkway all around the blue inside the park.
One of the highlights in the historic area is an old railroad station, now turned into a museum. The museum itself wasn’t open today (off season don’t ya’ know – only open Tuesday and Saturday I believe it said). But it made a nice place to shoot a few pictures and give just a little feel for what the town is like.
If you have the time and you’re passing through someday, take 5 minutes off the main highway and check it out. Grab a pop or soda at the feed store (which I suspect was once also the General Store – just my opinion). Maybe get out & stretch the legs and walk around the beautiful park / lake in the middle of town.
Sorry for the cheesy headline. But I wanted any and all Bruce Springsteen fans to take a quick look. If you ARE a Springsteen fan of any degree and are around the Orlando / Walt Disney World area (Epcot in particular), you really oughta come out and catch one of the new tribute bands at Epcot’s, “Sounds Like Summer Concert Series’ shows. The band is called, “Bruce In The USA.” I base how good a tribute act is by closing my eyes and listening. If it sounds like as well assignees a little rush of excitement or a quick chill, then they’re GOOD! This band surpasses that. They are GREAT – in particular “Bruce” looks, acts, moves, sounds like Bruce Springsteen! No kidding here. I’ll go out on a limb and say these guys are one of thee best, if not THEE BEST tribute acts I’ve seen anywhere, not just at Disney.
I stayed beyond my ‘work time’ just to catch another show and to take some pictures for myself (hence where the pic within this post came from). I just watched and listened in amazement thankful for being ‘Born In The USA’, reliving some ‘Glory Days’ as I watched this ‘On Fire’ act. They were just ‘Born To Run’ on 12 cylinders down ‘Thunder Road’. From the time they hit the stage there was just ‘No Retreat, No Surrender’. And to think, I was fortunate enough to see them as they visited ‘My Hometown’! They left nothing to question – no “Brilliant Disguise’ or any kind and no one left with a ‘Hungry Heart’ for sure. I still have chills. Quick, somebody ‘Cover Me’.
OK, I’ll stop for now :). Go check `em out if you can. You won’t be disappointed!
I don’t know about any of you, but my head and heart needs anything to do with peace and tranquility right about now. And I wish it for you and anyone else in this (still) great country. I have lots of feelings, beliefs and if I let myself, lots to say about recent events in America. But I really don’t wanna do that here on this blog. No matter what, we all need a little escape now and then no matter what the circumstances. Part of my photographic pursuit and mission is to capture anything that will take us away and perhaps even derail us if only for a moment in time. This picture I made a few months back holds not only that peace but is also reminiscent of the list fee I left behind up in the mountains of New England. Clear skies, lots of stars, sometimes a bright beautiful moon, crickets and other nocturnal creatures singing their song. I’d love to say that streak in the sky (of this photo) is a shooting star. But alas, it’s just an airplane cruising through the picture I was creating. It’s about a 30 second exposure so it comes across as a streak of light across the sky.
More to come. But for now, I wish us all a peaceful day or night.
One of the four blogs I’ve Benn doing over the last 5-10 years was one all about the ‘magic and memories’ being created daily at The Walt Disney World Resort. And as a little ‘tongue-in-cheek’ side note, the title of my blog came into being several years before the (now renamed) projection show on Cinderella Castle called, “The Magic, The Memories, And You.” Just didn’t want anyone thinking I copied them . Anyhoo – the purpose of the Magic And Memories blog was nothing more than a pictorial journey and sometimes a lesson on the beauty, majesty and often times undiscovered beauty in and around WDW. So to welcome and make my Magic And Memories followers comfortable, just wanted to state that the blog hasn’t totally gone away. Here are a few photos from that blog as well as a few new ones. It’s my feeling that no explanation is really needed for any or all of these pictures. Enjoy – and please subscribe to or at least bookmark this site (see upper left of the page).
All photos are taken by yours truly. All were taken on my own time, henceforth I own all the rights to the photos themselves. Please DO NOT use these photos in any way without asking my permission.