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