Monday, March 15, 2010

A Short Visit with Laura in Vero Beach

Yesterday I drove to Vero Beach (about 2 hour drive) to see my Owyhee friend, Laura. Originally Bob was going to go too but he was stricken down with stomach problems again so didn't sleep all night. He stayed home to rest up. It was a beautiful Sunday and the drive was great. Absolutely no truck traffic on State Road 70! (during the week this two lane highway is a nightmare loaded with truckers) and I-95 was not congested either!

Laura met me at a mall and did the driving in Vero Beach so I didn't have to deal with maps and tourist and downtown traffic. There was an Art in the Park kind of event going on in the civic park area near the shore. It truly was Art mostly (not a craft show-type thing). It also was the first beautiful weekend of the year (so everyone around was saying!). The fair was packed, but we did manage to see what we wanted to, along with everyone else. They had all kinds of art, hand-made jewelry, pottery, sculpture, (large and small), blown glass, wooden objects (bowls, figures, etc.) and more. Some quite exotic things, of course. It was fun and we visited as we wandered through the 100 plus booths. Prices were high but there were some prettys that were going for cut rates. However, we did not buy anything. Carla wanted me to take pictures of some of the jewelry to give her ideas but it was so crowded and I'm not sure the artists would want someone to copy their original work so I didn't . I did ask and get permission to take a picture of a Florida Highwayman painting a picture. I am not sure if he is a true Florida Highway man (I now wish I had taken his card so I would know for sure) but he did have a big sign saying Florida Highwayman Art so he may be one. Wikipedia says some of them are still painting and selling their art. Here is a short summary of who they are.

The Highwaymen
, also referred to as the Florida Highwaymen, are a loose association of twenty-six African American artists from Fort Pierce, Florida, USA. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s they painted approximately 200,000 paintings and then sold them out their cars. At the end of the 1960s, the artists ceased painting and slipped into obscurity. They were re-discovered in the mid-1990s by Jim Fitch. Since then they have become renowned for their idyllic landscapes of rural Florida. The Highwaymen were inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame in 2004.

You can read more about them and who they are at:

My Picture of the Florida Highwayman. He is painting a Poinciana Tree in full bloom (Not done yet) "to show tourists how they look when blooming in summer" . Lynn says there is a lovely pink one on Main Street in Lake Placid but all the ones he painted were red.

As we wound our way through the booths we built up an appetite for lunch so, being down near the beach and me craving some good seafood, we headed for somewhere to eat! We found a seafood grill with eating on the terrace overlooking the water. We had a lovely small meal of 2 appetizer plates which we shared. They were(for all you foodies) Coconut Shrimp with an excellent mango chutney dip and Crab Cakes with a Remoulade Sauce. I couldn't resist their dessert special and ordered their Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie, very delicious! The weather was great although the breeze was still a touch chilly but a sweater was perfect to ward off the chill.

Then on to do some shopping at the outlet mall out on I-95. This is a huge mall and has some good stores in it. Unlike the Loveland outlet mall in which many of the stores are closed, all stores are open for business and look to be thriving. The huge parking lot was jammed with cars and RV vehicles. I even think it might be kind of like the Bellingham (WA) Mall used to be when Canadians used to come down and spend the weekend in their RVs while they shopped. (not so the way the dollar is now!) , but these would be "snow bunnies" from the North.

Because this was the first day of Daylight Savings I had an extra hour to shop with. How fun was that!!! Laura and I parted after a great day of visiting and I drove back, getting there long before dark.

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