Florida Part II — The Bowling Ball House

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Such is life’s journey, on the way to one destination you discover something else entirely.

Old college roommate Trina Meyer knew that Karen and I were ripe for new adventures and so recommended an artist and studio called The Coral Reef in New Port Richey that she had long heard about but never had the opportunity to visit. Googlemaps guided us there, and a good thing too.

Much to our disappointment the owner (former deep sea diver) was out of town so we rambled about the small, decrepit, but utterly charming, community where we got to see an eagle’s nest, chat with fishermen and, of course, take pictures of yet more Real Estate for sale/rent.

This bird posed for us alight the shop.

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We made our way to Tarpon Springs, shopped, bought goat milk soap and ate a most delicious lunch at Mama’s. Can’t help but see our old friend Ivi Diacou — god bless her — in the face of the shop owner who delighted us stories of goats, sponges and exotic aromas.

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Back on the highway my sister spots the exit for Safety Harbor.

T U R N    O F F     H E R E

ZOOM – made the turn!

Years ago Karen had tripped upon the home and art studio of a group of three artists who have created

????

Well, I’m not so sure what to call it.

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Locally known as the “bowling ball house” for the hundreds – thousands? – of painted bowling balls that adorn the premises.

Along with . . .

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Old Bicycle Wheels

Bottles

LOTS AND LOTS of bottles

All manner of re-purposed refuse from a modern world.

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Todd was generous to allow us to wander around in utter amazement, with every turn we saw something to make us laugh

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or stare in puzzlement

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Since my sister last visited 15 years ago, Todd, Kiaralinda and Heather have expanded into a house across the street which they lease to visiting artists. Todd rattled off names – Jeff Daniels, Black Taxi – along with the songs that were written in residence.

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While Todd and Kiaralinda worked on this new sculpture – made from recycled steel drums – Karen and I toured through the house. Not an inch of space was spared from being “adorned” – jello molds on the ceiling. I had to remember to look up.

P1130310P1130323P1130328P1130339So . . .

Wanna get high?

P1130334P1130329Eventually we made our way over to an adjacent garage and workshop.

P1130305A second Y2K bug had been auctioned off as a fundraiser for a local charity.

P1130304P1130315These pieces use old candy dishes garnered from thrift shops.

Bought one!

And, yes, they ship.

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Todd recommended Green Springs Bistro for lunch where I ordered Roasted Portobello Mushroom Caps with roasted red peppers, fresh basil, kalamata olives and goat cheese.

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My mouth was agape at the massive limbs of an ancient live oak that grew across the street.

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And another that graced the town square.

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Todd proudly told us that they secured a $50,000 grant from Pepsi to build an Art and Music Center, located across from City Hall. An anonymous donor has more than matched that amount and construction is underway.

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Do not miss this gem – Safety Harbor Art and Music Center

P1130318Next . . .

St. Augustine, meeting old college pal Trina,

AND

Sea shells!

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