When Wimsy and Art meet

Trip Start Apr 15, 2012
Trip End Apr 21, 2012

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Flag of United States  , Florida
Sunday, April 15, 2012

It is actually pretty dark at 5:00 in the morning, especially when the clouds are hiding the stars and it is drizzling. We drove to the airport with the world around us being bathed in an inky blackness that only the light of a few cars and streetlights managed to dispel. Parking was fast and easy and we were through security (one of those new body scanner machines. I felt like I was under arrest by having to raise my arms.) The plane was cramped--Keith's knees hit the seat in front of him--but since it was only a little over 2 hours, we endured.

We picked up our rental car and drove about 15 minutes to our resort, The Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort. Technically, it isn't on the beach, but it is a quick walk down the street. Our home away from home is nice, although we are right across from the elevator and have a nice view of a parking lot.

We walked a little way to a Gallery Mall, there are a bunch of restaurants and a Publix grocery store. We actually ate lunch at P.F. Chang's. We shared Won Ton Soup and Keith had Dynamite Shrimp while I munched on a couple of spring rolls. We then went to the grocery store and got some breakfast supplies, drinks and some snacks.

Right next to the resort is a place called the Bonnet House Museum and Gardens. We walked over and took the tour. The Bonnet House is named for the bonnet lily (lily pad lily) that grows there. It was built by Frederic Clay Barnett who was artist from Chicago, Rather than go into the profitable family wholesale hardware business (later known as Tru Value), he went to Europe to study painting. He married Helen Birch, whose father Hugh Taylor Birch, gave them the land as a wedding gift. Birch, who was a wealthy lawyer from Chicago, had heard about Florida and wanted to see about building a winter home there. He took a train to Titusville and then, while sailing down the coast, was forced to seek shelter during a storm. Over the next 40 years, He bought most of the land. Barnett started construction on the house in 1920 and continued building over the next 20 years. After Helen died of cancer 6 years later, he lost interest in it until he met and married Evelyn Fortune Lilly, ex-wife of Eli Lilly, the pharmaceutical giant. Together they created a unique house blending art and whimsy. Rather than a formal house, this was a casual estate where they could relax and pursue artistic endeavors.

The House is situated on a coastal barrier island, with the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Intercoastal Waterway to the west. Evelyn Barnett gave the land, house and entire contents to the Florida trust in her will to preserve the area and the natural environment.

Though definitely not my style, I loved the outdoors and natural setting. We weren't allowed to take pictures indoors, so the ones of the inside are from their website.

For dinner, we went to a small restaurant called Thai On the Beach. It had a lovely view of the beach. The food was good, but not great.

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WaHa on

Beautiful. Hope you have a great time.

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