bok tower gardens & pinewood estate

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Bridget went back to work and now we don't see each very often. She wanted to go shoot something and I was up for it. She suggested Bok Tower. It was on my list of places I wanted to go but haven't been. It is in Lake Wales, farther than Legoland. In fact, we passed Legoland on the drive there. 

We decided to do both the gardens and the Pinewood Estate. Tickets for both were $18 per person. 

We got there about 9:30 and found the place not crowded at all. We walked through the visitors center but skipped the movie. We walked up the hill to Bok Tower. As we approached, the clouds cleared up enough that we got some beautiful blue sky to serve as a backdrop for the limestone tower. We could not get too close to the tower as there was a moat. 

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We walked back down the hill to a pond with giant lily pads. They were probably 30" across. Someone was feeding the hidden fish. We saw a heron fly down and climb through the shrubs to get close to the fish. He managed to snatch one out of the water and gulp it down. We tried to get some photos but the plants obscured him. 

We ended back at the visitor center and there were many more people. We got a map and found that we had to climb the hill once more to get to the Pinewood Estate. We walked around the house and shot some of the landscape. The gardens were designed before the house why the Olmsted Brothers. Then we swatted at mosquitos while we waited for the tours to begin. 

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Thankfully the house was air conditioned. They referred to it as mansion but I do not think it was that large. It did have servant quarters over the three car garage. There were also five large bathrooms each with its own bath. There was a lot of beautiful tile and woodwork. The house was originally built in the 1930's as a winter retreat and only used 6-8 weeks per year. 

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Bok Tower has daily concerts but we were ready to go. We were hungry and we went to Tijuana Flats for lunch. 

You can see more photos at Flickr.