Tag Archives: Venice Beach

Out of Florida

Thursday, February 21, 2019 3:14 PM

Aboard Allegiant Flight 1600 from Punta Gorda to Grand Rapids

By Emma Palova

In Air- I am leaving Florida eight days later, just like I have arrived, with the rain. In between, the sun and the full moon graced the clear skies.

On the horizon, the turquoise sea touched the blue sky in a magnificent union.

But before the full moon on Feb. 18, a strong morning tide hit the Venice Beach washing ashore shells galore and wracks wrapped in seaweed.

The perfect morning cup inside a cockle shell was hiding the jewels from the sea; small olive and bubble shells, sturdy jewel boxes and translucent jingle shells.

I spent a magnificent week in “Paradise” where the hibiscus bloomed in shades of orange, the banana trees in white and the palms rendered orange ripe figs.

The front yards were tropical gardens with “Birds of Paradise” just opening up their orange beaks.

The sunsets were a splash from an artist’s palate of yellows, reds, oranges and browns.

It’s February- Soak it up, stir an argument

Yoga instructor Elin reminded us this morning to soak up the beach life in February.

“You walked here, laid in the sand, listened to the waves,” she said. “Soak it up. It’s February.”

On Wednesday, Elin held up a large red leaf and said something about mailing it as a postcard. Since, the wind carried Elin’s words into the sea, I missed the details. For some odd reason, I thought it had to be a mangrove leaf.

I picked up some reddish leaves yesterday thinking they were mangrove leaves on the dune banks by Sharky’s. Yellow veins branched into the ripe red leaf. It resembled large grape leaves.

My hosts in Venice were my parents Ella and Vaclav Konecny of Michigan. They made fun of me because I believed in the USPS red leaf postcard program. I asked my dad to take me to the post office, so I could mail the red leaf. My mom Ella was convinced my prized leaf wasn’t a mangrove, and that I shouldn’t pursue mailing it.

“Ask Siri,” my dad said.

When I asked Siri, and she knew nothing about the mangrove leaf USPS mailing program, doubts also entered my mind.

My dad came to the conclusion that it was an April Fool’s joke. In our homeland we used the following prank:

“It’s like going to the store to get mosquito fat,” he laughed. “I am not going inside the post office with you.”

“But, it’s not April Fool’s,” I refused to give up.

I found myself in the midst of an argument over the validity of the USPS leaf postcard mailing program.

“Leave your dad alone, he needs to get some rest,” mom snapped.

“Well, maybe we can wrap up some meat inside the leaf and make rolls,” I defended my grounds sarcastically.

My dad who never gives up suggested that I ask Elin. After my last morning yoga session on the beach on Thursday, I made my way through Elin’s fans to hear it from the horse’s mouth.

“You pick up some sea grape leaves,” Elin said pointing to the banks by the beach house and take it to the post office. The postal workers get a kick out of it. A lady from my class sent out five of them the other day. The postage is under a dollar. Send it out within five days or they dry out and crumble.”

According to Elin, the post office can even put a dried out leaf in a cellophane.

“I told you, it wasn’t a mangrove leaf,” my mom persisted.

“You know they wrap up meat in grape leaves in Greece, right?” I snapped back.

Back home at the writing studio Feb. 22, 2019

Lowell, MI -That was it. I was running out of time to go to the post office, since I was flying out of Florida in the afternoon.

I wrote my address on the sea grape leaf, mom provided the stamps, and dad disguised the leaf in a sac and took it to the mailbox. Dad was convinced that I made a fool out of him.

It remains unknown whether he put the sac with the sea grape leaf in the mail, or in the trash can.

In a bizarre way, we were all right; mom with her contention that it is not a mangrove leaf, me with the sea grape meat rolls and dad with the April Fool’s prank, that he had probably created by dropping the leaf in the trash.

I’ll find out soon.

Copyright © 2019 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

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50 Shades of Orchids

Writer’s encounters: 50 Shades of Orchids

By Emma Palova

Venice, FL- During my annual writer’s retreats in Florida, I always come across a gem; it may be an artist, a breeze, scuba divers or sand castle builders, students of architecture on their spring break. This is my seventh year on the Gulf Coast exploring treasures washed on sea, and not just seashells.

This year, it was the “50 Shades of Orchids” show organized by the Venice Area Orchid Society, (VAOS) an affiliate of the American Orchid Society.

50 Shades of Orchids in Venice
50 Shades of Orchids in Venice

The VAOS is celebrating 50 years of existence. The show is put on at the height of the tourist season and it attracts 3,500 visitors annually and premier growers.

Perhaps, the most striking upon entering the exhibit hall at the Venice Community Center was the unexpected fragrance filtering in from all corners. I am a lifelong lover and collector of these enigmatic flowers. To see the orchids displayed in all colors, shades, hybrids and varieties was stunning.

The orchid stems and spikes were bending under the weight of the magnificent blooms.

Some of the blooms looked more like the faces of animals, birds or butterflies. Others resembled spiders. The large tricolor blooms resembled the Iris or more common flowers home to northern climate zones.

Each display consisted of 50 different orchids, hybrids and species wrapped in palm greens.

VAOS exhibit at the show.
VAOS exhibit at the show.

The participating growers offered most orchids for sale including the ones adaptable to various climates like the cattleya, Phalaenopsis, oncidium and vanda hybrids.

My favorite is the ornate Phal that comes in many different shades. I have a nice collection of these that has grown over the years on my windowsills facing the soft northern light.

Years of experimenting have rendered valuable experience. Unlike popular belief the flower doesn’t like a lot of water, only two ounces per week, less in winter. The orchid does not like to have her feet wet. The pots with orchids should be emptied.

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Catleya orchid.

There are more than 25,000 orchid species in existence. However, many are being destroyed by poaching and deforestation.

The orchid society promotes conservation and educational projects. It has grown into one of the largest and most active orchid societies in Florida.

The magical orchid can also be found at the Marie Selby gardens in Sarasota, Fl.

 

For more info go to: www.vaos.org

Or www.aos.org

 

Marie Selby gardens www.selby.org

 

 

Copyright © 2016 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Last day in paradise

Floridian in me

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Venice, FL– As of yesterday I started feeling like a true Floridian with salt, sand & sun in my hair and skin. I celebrated two major name days St. Pat’s & St. Jo’s in Venice. I experienced the sunset and the full moon at the same time on the beach, beautiful weather and a tropical storm. I spotted young dolphins jumping high in the air as I was swimming along their side in the Gulf, and a stingray flopping by my feet.  I went shelling and found precious concha shells and amazing beach formations.

Sand formations on the Venice Beach
Sand formations on the Venice Beach

 

Downtown Venice by my favorite coffee shop
Downtown Venice by my favorite coffee shop

I found my favorite spot on the beach by the two tall pines. I have my Venetian favorites: seafood dish Gulf Mix at Sharky’s, seaside drink and dessert, blue Bait Bucket Margarita and Key Lime Pie, my favorite yoga instructor Elin, downtown coffee shop Coffee & Wine, downtown shops boutique Seaside Chic and Fifi’s, bookstore Goodwill on Tamiami Trail, print publications magazine Venice Gulf Coast Living and newspaper Venice Gondolier.
I have one last thing left to do. That is finding a shark’s tooth today.
Today is my last full day in paradise.

If it was your last day in paradise what would you do?

Copyright (c) 2014 story and photos by Emma Palova

Participate in the survey on Your last day in paradise. What would you do?

Florida 2014

Let the adventure begin

I am heading out to Venice on the Gulf in Florida. The plane southwest.com had a three-hour delay so I got a $100 voucher. Not bad considering I got additional time to work while still at home. But, now I am ready to have some fun in the tropics.

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