Wednesday, December 30, 2009

One Last Christmas Photo

One of the more unusual, but tropical, holiday displays at the Venice Arboretum was my pick for last Christmas photo of the season.  Nothing about this display is typical Christmas, except ornaments and tinsel, but it has a very Florida beach feel. 

I've enjoyed sharing a bit of Christmas in Venice Florida and hope you enjoyed it too.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Florida Ice

In the six years I've lived in Florida I have never seen ice cycles.  So to get that shimmering look here we have to hang fake ice. I'm sure there are a lot of people up north that would rather have that then the real thing!

Monday, December 28, 2009

So Long Santa

Rumor around here has it that after his Christmas rounds Santa stopped by Venice for a good meal and a bit of a break before heading back to the North Pole.  Like a lot of people up north he will very likely head south again ASAP for a well deserved vacation.  So long for now Santa, we’ll see you next year.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Ribbons and Shells

One of many decorated tropical plants at the Venice arboretum decorated by different groups.  I thought this one did a great job of giving the holidays a more tropical feel.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas from

This wonderful display is at one of the most beautiful historic homes on the island.  About three blocks east of the beach on Venice Ave.  See the daytime photo below as well. 

The candles have words on them such as peace, joy, love, health, prosperity, this got me thinking about the most important things in live.  The things in life that make it a gift and a joy.  I received this from a friend and wanted to pass it on today.

In the Christian tradition, Christmas
is a time for families and friends to
gather together.

So today I'd like to invite you, no
matter what your tradition is, to
stop and consider the people in
your life.

See what they have brought you,
think about how they have supported
you, realize how different your life
would be without them.

Then tell them. Appreciation that
is not expressed is wasted.

The people that you care about,
and that care about you, are the
greatest treasure in your life!

So, go ahead, make someone's
day brighter. You'll be grateful
that you did, and so will they.

One of the greatest gifts in life is our relationships with others.  Tell those you love how much you appreciate them.

I wish you all a year filled with peace, joy, love, health, and prosperity in all your relationships.



Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Tree On Miami Ave

Just one block south of Venice Ave., Miami Ave. is a destination for antique shops, restaurants, and more. I found this nice Christmas display in a shopping arcade there.  Merry Christmas, just one more day to go!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Santa Afloat

You know in some places a sleigh just isn't very practical, and to get everything delivered on time Santa would have to use the most appropriate transport.  I've heard in some places he swaps the sleigh for a boat.  I got lucky and captured photo evidence of that right here in Venice!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Chrismas on Venice Ave.

Venice Ave through the heart of downtown is a wonderful divided street with with palms and landscaping down the center.  Closer to the beach it becomes an even wider, full fledged, delightful park.  During the holidays the three blocks of palms in shopping district are bedecked with lights. 

I was able to get this shot of one block after the lights had come on and there was still just enough background light to see the outlines of the palms.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Flamingo's like Christmas too

 Not your traditional snowy themed Christmas display!  Not very typical of Venice either.  This display brings a bit of Christmas glitter with more of a funky Key West feel.  This is one of the many unique displays at the Venice Arboretum.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Pink Poinsettias

These look rather red to me here but they are actually very pink.  A little darker perhaps than pink flamingos but I thought the color was a little more "Florida"!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Venice Mall Tree

The Venice Mall has a very nice tree and other Christmas decorations among it's shops.  This is not one of those big suburban malls. This delightful mall is in the old historic KMI building in the heart of downtown next to Centennial Park.  It is a delightful place with some great shops, but sadly most people seem to miss it.  It just doesn't get the foot traffic that Venice Ave. on the other side of the park does.  If you are downtown I encourage you to walk across the park and see what you've been missing.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Under the Sea Christmas

Sirene Coastal Interiors holiday window on Venice Ave. downtown is a wonderful display of aqua blue and white with an under the sea feel.  Very beautiful and appropriate for this area.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Sharks

As much as possible I am trying to share images of the season that are unique to this area rather than something you could see most anyplace.  While the light prevented me from capturing the beach and Gulf of Mexico beyond (just imagine them in the blinding white area), I still thought Christmas trees with sharks hanging from the ceiling was pretty unique!

This photo was taken at Sharky's on the Pier, the only beach front restaurant I know of not just in Venice but in this central gulf coast area.  It's decked out for Christmas, including the beach side decks, and is a fun place to enjoy a good meal and some holiday cheer.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ornamental Palms

While driving around Venice the other day I came across a wonderful group of palms.  I think it’s a great example of holiday decor with a Florida flair! I like this close up, but the extra large ornaments worked very well on the whole group.  I also noticed that I wasn’t the only one taking photos.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Holidays Afloat

 When there are as many boats around a community as there are in Venice you just know that at some of them will be decked out in holiday style.  Well if you get down around the yacht club you'll find that Christmas cheer seems to be very contagious.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas at the Historic Triangle Inn

Originally built as an inn today this beautiful building is residence to the Venice Archives with changing exhibits on the history of Venice Florida.  Through the holidays it is featuring "Yes, Venice, there is a Santa" A delightful fun exhibit if Santa's donated over the years.  See photo below.

The Inn is officially open Mon - Wed 10 am to 4 pm in season, however someone is usually there every weekday and will always open to the public if someone would like to stop by.  It is located at 351 S. Nassau St. behind the library and community center.  It is also right across from the Venice Arboretum.  With a park full of tropical trees decked out for the season, this makes for a wonderful holiday destination in Venice.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Park Tree Lighting Festivities

 Last night there was a very nice holiday celebration at West Blalock Park, this is the location of the Venice Arboretum and the trees here are lit up for Christmas.  The festivities included a choir, Santa Claus, hot chocolate, hammered dulcimers (pictured here), and lot's of lights.

 Different groups decorated trees in the park and are quite interesting day or night.  Many of them are palms giving it a distinctly Florida feel.  I will be sharing other photos from this park as well.

The park is located right behind the library, art center, and community center, if you'd like to see it for yourself.  There is also a nice Santa Display across the street at the history center in the Historic Triangle Inn

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Holiday Farmers Market

The Farmers Market is a fixture in Centennial Park on Saturday's year around.  This time of year it's a bit bigger and takes on festiveness of the season with candy cains attatched to several palm trees.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Florida Snowmen

As I mentioned yesterday snow at Christmas is a very popular theme even in Florida and further South.  Yet I think about the only kind of snow you will see this far south in paradise is the fake kind such as these inflatable snowmen.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Oh Christmas Tree

Yes Virginia, there are more traditional Christmas trees in Florida, most of them in fact.  But I just had to share a tree with a distinctive Florida flair.  One of the things that surprised me here in FL where we typically enjoy Christmas in warm weather is how much people seem to long for a white Christmas.  It's on the radio in song, and it's big time in Christmas decorations.

While it surprised me in Florida, it surprised me even more further south.  An image search of Christmas in places like Australia and Brazil where Christmass is in their Summer still shows that snow themes still make popular Christmass decor.

So far I've only heard one song (in the Venice Christmas Parade) about Christmas in Paradise, and I'm still trying to track it down.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tasty Treat

One of the homes in Venice's historic area looks like a pretty tasty treat for the holidays.  One of the things I really like here is that this is an attractive holiday display both day and night.  Many homes Christmas decorations look great at night but not so tasty during the day, some even look awful in daylight with deflated inflatables.  This one looks just as delightful in daylight if not more so.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Santa Whale

Stuck at home recovering from surgery I missed the Venice Christmas Boat Parade this year, so I thought I'd share a photo from years past.  I'm sure everyone who went had a whale of a good time. I will try to get some current Christmas boat photos around the yacht club.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Red Christmas Window

This elegantly simple arrangement of red ornaments is in the window of The Tabletop a wonderful store on Venice Island for fine china, glassware, cutlery, and more.

I have to admit though that the reason I chose this photo today is the white string background reminds me of the heavy rain we are having today.  A bit unusual for this time of year.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Penguin Paradise

The other night I was driving down Shamrock Blvd near 41 and came across this home that I had to stop at, I call it Penguin Paradise.  They have a huge structure shaped like an igloo that is filled with inflatable lighted penguins, as well as more around the yard.  Really cool.

Today I’m including two photos, a  cute close up I like and one showing the larger context.

If anyone reading this knows of other great holiday displays in yards around Venice FL I’d sure appreciate a tip so that I can share it with others.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Jacaranda Library Tree

This stunning holiday tree was gifted to the Jacaranda Library by Target over ten years ago when the library first opened.  Volunteers wheeled it over on dollies from the nearby store fully decorated.  A lot has changed at the library in the last ten years, including a major expansion.  One thing that has not changed is long time volunteer Chuck faithfully putting up and decorating the tree every year.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Waiting to Start

This months theme in the City Daily Photo community is "waiting".  The other night at the Venice Christmas Parade I walked through much of the staging area where units wait their turn to start down the parade route.  That is where I got this shot of people waiting on their float, I thought it fit both the theme day and the holiday season perfectly.

Click here to view thumbnails for all City Daily Photo Theme Day participants

Monday, November 30, 2009

Dreamy December Evening

How about a dreamy December evening at the Dream Cafe in Venice?  I haven't eaten there myself yet, but it does look good, and always seems to be busy, a very good sign.  These folks look like they are enjoying a good meal before the Christmas Parade.  Folks up north would be jealous to see they are in short sleeves!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Art Center Trees

During the holiday season the Venice Art Center features an extravagant display of artfully decorated trees.  This year the central tree is decked out in gold and white with splashes of red among it's flowers, sea shells, cherubs and baubles. 

An abundance of smaller trees are also bedecked in a verity of colors and themes.  There is also an abundance of local art to enjoy here, including several Christmas themed paintings, I particularly enjoyed a very close up portrait of Santa with his hat hanging on the corner.

The center is open all year long Monday through Saturday 9-5 except major holidays.  It features the work of many local artists, traveling exhibitions, and many classes for artists to enhance their skill.  The Art Center is at 390 Nokomis Ave. Right across from the public library and adjacent to the community center.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Christmas Parade

The largest Christmas Parade in Florida is right here in Venice.  As you can till it's after dark with lots of light, rather difficult to shoot with my camera but I got some worthwhile images that I will share over the next few weeks.  I highly recommend the parade if you are in the Venice area on Thanksgiving weekend in the future.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Lolly pop, Lolly pop

These two lolly pops are part of the Christmas Decore that you can buy at Holiday Tresures right on Venice Ave downtown, a wonderful shop bursting with the hilidays all year long.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

A photo of city workers decorating for Christmas on Thanksgiving? Yes, I took this a bit over a week ago (not too early these days) posting it today is a rather nostalgic trip down memory lane when such decorating in stores malls and cites actually did happen on this day.  When Thanksgiving really marked the start of the Christmas season with this seemingly magical transformation over the Thanksgiving holiday.

It does mark it here as I hope to have some element of Christmas in my photos here from today through Christmas. 

I wish all who enjoy this blog a very Happy Thanksgiving today, I hope you are able to enjoy it with family and friends.  May you have a wonderful and blessed holiday season.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Inviting Entry

Walking around one of the Islands historic districs I came across this older home with a very inviting entry.  The landscaping, fountian, and arched porch give a real sense of welcoming people in.

Monday, November 23, 2009


Part of the charm of Luna Cafe downtown is the outside patio area with plant filled urns, wine barrels, and more.  Additionally there are a couple very nice water fountains, it makes for a wonderful setting to enjoy a good meal.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Another Angle

Clearly I couldn't resist taking another angle on the fishing pier, or using a pun on fishing.  It looks like there is someone else that fishing from another angle here as well.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Venice FL Fishing Pier

While browsing through old posts I realized that I wasn't showing the Fishing Pier yet on this blog.  Not sure how it escaped as it is one of my (and many other folks) favorite places  around these parts.  It is in fact the only fishing pier located directly on a gulf beach in Sarasota county.

This photo is taken from Sharky's On The Pier, one of very few beach front resturants in the Venice/Sarasota area.  All in all this is a great beach to enjoy for many activities and facilities.

Friday, November 20, 2009

On the Trail

One of many nature trails in Shamrock Park, it's a great place to get close to nature, close to the city.  The park also features a nature center with educational programs as well as a great play area, picnic area, tennis courts and more.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Morning Sun

Beautiful morning sun, hours before Luna Cafe opens.  Always nice, I thought this was a very serene view of this popular Venice spot downtown.  Especially with the Venice theater across the street there are many times this place is very busy.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Decking the Streets

In remembrance of my childhood when malls, towns, and cities seemed to magically transform into Christmas wonderlands over Thanksgiving I wasn't going to start with Christmas photos till the day after.  However I was downtown today just as city employees where working to bring some Christmas cheer to sunny and warm Venice FL.

So here is a little sneak peak of Venice at Christmas.  But no more until at least Thanksgiving day.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Art Festival

The 22nd annual Art Fest is happening this weekend.  It covers three blocks of Venice Ave. downtown and is well worth a visit.  I saw several new artists this year.  There is art in the form of jewelry, music, paintings, photography, sculpture and more.  Styles range from the sublime to the whimsical such as these fanciful creatures.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Garden Bird Feeder

I'm essentially going to allow this photo speak for itself.  Let the tranqulity of the garden bring you peace this day.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Bird on Fence

I have to admit that I don't know birds that well, so I can't identify this little one.  The reason I'm sharing it is that I really like the lines and composition of this photo. 

What may look like snow in the background is actually foam on the surf.  This photo was taken on the Venice fishing pier and the bird is most likely looking for scraps from those on the pier fishing.

Monday, November 2, 2009

November in the 80's

Unusual even for central Florida but in right now in November while most of the nation is in the 50's and lower we are still having temperatures in the 80's!  I'm sure it can't last much longer so we should get out to the beach and enjoy it while we can.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


The 1st of the month is always my favorite time in the City Daily Photo Community as it's Theme Day.  Here is my entry for this months theme of Doorways.  Entry, Doorways, cute play with words huh?  Oh well, this Doorway is on the old KMI building downtown.

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Welcome, Foolish Mortals, to Halloween!

When hinges creak, in doorless chambers. And strange and frightening sounds echo through the halls. Whenever candlelights flicker, where the air is deathly still, that is the time when ghosts are present. Practicing their terror, with ghoulish delight!  Welcome, Foolish Mortals, to Halloween!

The above words may be from the Ghost Host at Disney's Haunted Mansion, but on Halloween night they apply everywhere including Venice FL.  So keep your wits about you this night or you may end up as some ghouls delight!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween Flag

Halloween for so many is associated with the Fall, leaves that are turning shades of yellow, red, and orange and falling from the trees, if most aren't already gone.  It is also strongly associated with New England and stories of witches in Salem Massachusetts and the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow.  So lush green palm tress in Florida makes for a contrasting setting for this jack-o-lantern flag.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

100th Post

Today celebrates my 100th Venice FL Daily Photo posting.  Well it hasn't quite been daily but pretty close.  I thought that an overall view of town from above was a good way to mark the occasion.  Most of what we see here is trees though which I really like, I think that's exactly the way it should be.  Cities, towns, suburbs should always be filled with an abundance of trees.

This view is from one of the beach side condo towers looking straight towards downtown.  The three towers in the center are just past downtown along the bank of the inland waterway on the other side of the island.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Laid Back Sunday

Life these days can be so stressfull that I thought I'd share a relaxing image from the beach today.  Our beaches here can indeed be very quite, calm, and relaxing.  A perfect place to just relax and let stress melt away.  If you can't make it here in person focus in on this photo for a while.  Hear the seagulls, hear the surf, feel the cool breeze and relax, you deserve it.