Friday, August 8, 2008

SPOOK HILL AND BOK TOWER - Lake Wales, FL

RV and I have both talked about going to Bok Tower several times and this seemed just about as good a day as any - so we waited until after lunch and decided to drive the thirty something miles from Seffner and enjoy the scenery on US 60 to Lake Wales. We had a bad rainstorm this morning and the wind ripped the awnings off several coaches around us. Ours was in, thank goodness. The wind appeared out of nowhere. Definitely teaches you a lesson.

If you've ever gone to Bok Tower, then you've probably heard of Spook Hill. It has appeared in Time Magazine several times. When you go down this hill, you pull up to a white line that has been painted in the road. Then you put your car in neutral, and your car starts moving backwards - seemingly defying the law of gravity. We had such a good time doing that, we went back again. This is such a well known place that it is right by the Spook Hill Elementary School. (pix)

Bok Tower exceeded our expectations. It was built in 1927-28 and stands on the highest point in the State of Florida, called Iron Mountain. Dutch immigrant and humanitarian Edward W. Bok commissioned world-renowned masters to create a stunning garden, a majestic tower with a 60-bell carillon as well as a haven for birds, plants and wildlife. President Calvin Coolidge dedicated the Sanctuary in 1929 as a gift for visitation by the American people. We were lucky enough to be there at 3 pm for a 30 minute concert. There was a light misty rain - on and off - and we just enjoyed seeing the native flowers, even an area where extinct flowers are being reintroduced to nature. All the flowers are labeled with their botanical names, and there are so many you can't imagine. To go there in the spring when so many varieties are in bloom would be wonderful. You just walk in silence and listen to this beautiful carillon concert. You're at the top of this mountain looking down at fruit groves and the areas surrounding Lake Wales.

We had been told about another restaurant in the area we didn't want to miss. Manny's - in Lake Wales. We had already been to the other in Haines City and enjoyed it immensely. It was delicious; however, since I wrote our favorites, we have chosen another order: Understand these are chosen on the basis of local restaurants with home cooked food. (not gourmet and not particularly showy, just good local food establishments). #1 - Fred's Market, Lakeland; #2 Holt's Bakery, Douglas, Georgia; #3 Speckled Butterbean, Webster, FL; #4 Suwannee River Diner - White Springs, FL; and #5 Jessie's Restaurant - Monticello, GA. More to follow or we'll rearrange if we change our minds. Manny's didn't make the top five, but it's up there - where else would you have had another Elvis sighting.

We made our way back to Seffner on I-4 (not the scenic route). We need one of those clocks that says what the day is. We don't pay attention to days in the rv lifestyle.

Post a Comment