Friday, January 11, 2013

Tourists Away And The Locals Play

Have you ever wondered what happens in a beach town when Winter comes and the locals are left to entertain themselves? It is well known that I am a fan of Vilano Beach, a quiet little town near the beach and just north of St. Augustine. And, I guess you could say that is part of the reason I like the place because it is low key and unhurried. As usual, click each photo for a better view.

Last Thanksgiving they began a local tradition called "The Decorating of the Palms", where the palms that line the so called "main street" of the town are dressed up to add a sense of fun and play during the Winter when going to the beach is not an option.

The picture above of the lonely beach pavilion provides a clue that despite the warm weather by northern standards, for locals the beach is less of a focus. But, as you can see, there were still a few brave souls. 

The decorating of the palms ran from the very simple, like this palm that has simple adornment...

to the more dramatic like this mermaid palm that has really gotten the treatment. Mermaids seemed to be a dominant theme throughout the decorating, but I particularly liked this one. 

Someone was really being creative when they came up with this one. I still don't know how they got the boat around the palm but it was a wonder!

And, I could not resist this photographic trick of a shot I took of a bow and a crystal hanging from a palm. I don't like to photo shop pictures (because I feel too much of our lives is artificial) but could not resist taking out the string to make the two seem like they are floating in air.

The local grocery store got into the act with their offering of a clerk helping take packages out to the car. The Publix store in the area should be proud because their entry was definitely creative.

But, strange as it seems, the construction of the new Publix store now means change, or development, is coming to the area. (a view of a really nice mural on the side of the store that helps it blend into the fun aspect of the area).

Development in Florida is hard to avoid, but I was pleased that the new people have adopted the whimsical attitude of the locals. Take for example the Magic Beach Motel (that we always called the "Bunny Motel"). It had fallen on hard times and looked like it might be condemned. The new owners came in and restored it to its kitschy former self, pink flamingos and all. They even dressed their palm as a snow man. 

There you have it folks, the locals at Vilano Beach really do a lot in the off season. And, the Tin Man and the SS Vilano will continue to sail on.

No comments:

Post a Comment