B & B in Florida – Beaches and Books!

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As we made our way toward the east coast of Florida, we kicked off this part of our book-hunting journey with a stop at one of our favorite fun places, The Nav-A-Gator at 9700 SW Riverview Circle, Arcadia, Florida.   20150427_105955_resized

We love this place, with it's friendly, casual atmosphere, good food, and GREAT bloody marys!

Lexi, providing us with our go-go juice. We love this place, with it’s friendly, casual atmosphere, good food, and GREAT Bloody Marys!

Located at Old DeSoto Marina, with access to the beautiful Peace River, it has an extensive boat docking area, a nice indoor restaurant and a fun outdoor dining area with games and even a small museum.  The Peace River valley is famous for million year old fossils featuring mammoths and sharks, as well as Indian artifacts such as arrowheads, beads, and pottery.

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They were having a staff meeting.  If only all staff meetings looked like this!!

They were having a staff meeting. If only all staff meetings looked like this!!

River cruises are available on a large 40-passenger boat, or you can take an air boat ride.  We chose the air boat ride.

20150427_122342_resized_1It was a fun, 40-minute tour, and we caught some wonderful close-up views of wildlife…

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20150427_124240_resized_2The birds and alligators were definitely not

camera-shy!

After a little food and drink and a boat ride,

we were ready to commence book scouting.

Unfortunately, the first book store we came upon, Crackerhouse Books, was closed.  This happens, as used & rare book stores are often one man or woman operations, and open hours can be irregular.  Owners have to pop out once in awhile for a variety of reasons — often it’s to buy books to replenish stock.

Crackerhouse Books, 236 N. Brevard Ave., Arcadia, Florida

Crackerhouse Books, 236 N. Brevard Ave., Arcadia, Florida

We drove eastward, and reached Daytona Beach late in the day.

20150427_193416_resizedFrom here we motored north up the coast, stopping for the night at a delightful ocean-side hotel called Coral Sands.  We really just stumbled across this place, but it was a pleasant surprise, situated on a gorgeous stretch of coastline.

Coral Sands Hotel, Ormond Beach, Florida

Coral Sands Hotel, Ormond Beach, Florida

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The rates were extremely reasonable (we paid $109 for a clean and spacious ocean-view room –with a kitchen! ),  and there was a large ocean-view swimming pool.  We both took a refreshing dip in it that evening, in spite of a little rain that was starting to sprinkle down…

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We found a nice sand castle on the beach someone had worked really hard on — and claimed it…

Can you see our names in the sand?

Can you see our names in the sand?

Coral Sands on Ormond Beach – what a find!  I wish we could have stayed here for a week.  But after a walk on the beach in the morning, we drove up the coast to Flagler Beach, where we discovered Change Jar Books.

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Change Jar Books, 319 Moody Blvd. Flagler Beach, FL

Change Jar had a huge selection of books, both hardcover and paperbacks, reading quality and some collectible, as well as books by local authors.  Here is a collectible corner I liked, which was stocked by Steve Bolter of Sleuth Books in Palm Coast, Florida:

20150428_115938_resizedAnd there was more…

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After browsing in the

Change Jar, we hopped

back in the car and

drove on to St. Augustine

to stop in at Anastasia

Books…

Anastasia Books, 81 King St # C, St Augustine, FL

Anastasia Books, 81 King St # C, St Augustine, FL

only to find a note on the inside door that the store was unexpectedly closed all of Tuesday )-:

We have visited this book store in the past, and it is a lovely, well organized store with a good selection of books.  Sorry we missed it this trip!

All was not lost in St. Augustine.  While walking around, we struck up a conversation with a local gentleman, who asked us to come to his house to look at some books he wanted to sell.  Of course, we followed him (21 miles!).

Here is one of the books we purchased from him:

Godey's Lady's Book and Magazine, - Vol. LXXXII - from January to June, 1871

Godey’s Lady’s Book and Magazine, – Vol. LXXXII – from January to June, 1871

Godey's Lady's Books are beautifully illustrated and a great resource for fashion, architecture, music,  recipes, and more detailing life in the 19th Century.

Godey’s Lady’s Books are beautifully illustrated and a great resource for details on fashion, architecture, music, recipes, and more on  life in the 19th Century.

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Join us on our next stop:  Savannah, Georgia and Tybee Island!

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Old Tampa Book Company (and Ybor City!)

The Old Tampa Book Company was having a sale, and we weren’t about to miss it!

My husband Ron in front of Old Tampa Book Company

My husband Ron in front of Old Tampa Book Company

Located at 507 N. Tampa Street in the heart of downtown Tampa, it is a wonderful, classic used & rare book store, stocking around 40,000 volumes.

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We found a spot to park in a lot right across the street, and went inside.

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It was quickly evident that this was our kind of place!  Lots of beautiful vintage books in excellent condition…

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We were in heaven here while searching the shelves…they have so many interesting items, both fiction and non-fiction, and a wide variety of subject matter.

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Old Tampa Book Company was created by David Brown and has been loved, owned and run by him and his wife Ellen for over two decades. It has been a sanctuary for book lovers.  Recently, David and Ellen have decided to retire and have passed the torch to new owner Carrie Carnes.
Carrie Carnes, new owner of Old Tampa Book Company

Carrie Carnes, new owner of Old Tampa Book Company

  Carrie has worked in the book store for the Brown’s for the past five years, so she knows what makes this store special!  Read the delightful story of this ownership transition HERE.  Carrie and her husband, Matt Saxon, are already immersed in running their new business.  We found them both to be friendly, fun booksellers, so be sure to visit them if you get to Tampa!
Here are some of the beautiful books we purchased at Old Tampa Book Company:
African Camp Fires, by Stewart Edward White (Doubleday Page & Co., 1913, 1st Edition)  SOLD

African Camp Fires, by Stewart Edward White (Doubleday Page & Co., 1913, 1st Edition) SOLD

Evelyn Innes, by George Moore (D. Appleton, 1898, 1st Edition)

Evelyn Innes, by George Moore (D. Appleton, 1898, 1st Edition) signed binding – CboxC

In Old New York, by Thomas A. Janvier (Harper & Brothers, NY, 1894 - first edition)

In Old New York, by Thomas A. Janvier (Harper & Brothers, NY, 1894 – first edition)

The Farmer His Own Builder, by H. Armstrong Roberts (David McKay, 1918, First Edition)

The Farmer His Own Builder, by H. Armstrong Roberts (David McKay, 1918, First Edition)

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The Compleat Angler, by Izaak Walton (David McKay, 1931, illustrations by Arthur Rackham)

The Compleat Angler, by Izaak Walton (David McKay, 1931, illustrations by Arthur Rackham)

We had a splendid time there, and were impressed with the store’s inventory.

After hours of book shopping, we were hungry.  I’m so glad Carrie recommended that we go over to Ybor City, Tampa’s Latin Quarter and National Historic Landmark District.   We had a splendid time there!

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Entering Ybor City

20150425_165617_resizedLots of old world charm in Ybor City, and a great place to walk around, eat, shop, listen to music…and buy cigars!!

cigar rollers at work inside Hav-A-Taba (Ybor City, Florida)

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20150425_171305_resizedNow I was starving — so after walking several blocks and taking in the sights, we popped into Tequila’s Mexican Restaurant for a meal.

This was a fun place to relax – with a nice open courtyard, live music, and good food!
Food -- at last!

Food — at last!

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In Ybor City, even the chickens dance in the street…

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In my next post, we’ll do a little book scouting on the East coast of Florida.  I’ll be back soon…

 

Our Trip to the F.O.L. Sale – Gainesville, Florida

Friends of the Library Sales are not for the faint of heart!

Any bookseller will tell you…Friends of the Library Sales are not for the faint of heart!

Our next book scouting journey was to the Friends of the Library Sale in Gainesville, FL benefiting the Alachua County Library District and several literacy programs.  This is a biennial sale held at the Bookhouse at 430 N. Main Street in Gainesville, and boasts over500,000 books, records, games, CDs, DVDs, audio, video, paintings, posters, prints, puzzles and magazines.  We attended the Spring Sale (April 25-29, 2015) – their next sale will be Fall 2015 – October 24 – 28.

We drove from Port Charlotte to Dade City the night before the sale to be within an hour’s drive of Gainesville.  We wanted to get an early morning start for the event.  That evening, in Dade City we found a delightful restaurant called Kafe Kokopelli.

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Kafe Kokopelli – Dade City, Florida

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Ron at the entrance of Kafe Kokopelli

Ron at the entrance of Kafe Kokopelli

Housed in a 100 year old building originally designed for Model T sales by the Ford Motor Company, this place was loaded with charm.

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The atmosphere was enchanting,  everywhere you looked!

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We met some fun people here and had a lovely dinner!

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Would loved to have lingered into the night, but we had to get up early in the morning to make the drive from Dade City to Gainesville (where the sale started at 9am and we were in line by 8am).

Sunrise in Florida on our way to the Gainesville Book Sale

Line at the F.O.L. Book Sale in Gainesville

Long line at the F.O.L. Book Sale in Gainesville

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Wall-to-wall book buyers

Wall-to-wall book buyers

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This sale has a decent and large “collectible” quality book section in one corner of the building, with books individually priced.  VERY crowded, however, and one must be nimble and quick to get a look at the better books.

Here are a few of the books we found at the Gainesville sale:

 

Shakespeare and Company, by Sylvia Beach (Harcourt Brace, 1959, first edition)

Shakespeare and Company, by Sylvia Beach (Harcourt Brace, 1959, first edition)

 

Mrs. Bridge, by Evan S. Connell Jr. (Viking Press, 1959, 1st Printing)

Mrs. Bridge, by Evan S. Connell Jr. (Viking Press, 1959, 1st Printing)  SOLD

With the Night Mail, by Rudyard S. Kipling (Doubleday Page, 1909)

With the Night Mail, by Rudyard S. Kipling (Doubleday Page, 1909)023278_1

The Grandissimes, George W. Cable (Charles Scribner, 1899, First Illustrated Edition)

The Grandissimes, George W. Cable (Charles Scribner, 1899, First Illustrated Edition)023251_3

 

Quite Early One Morning, by Thomas Dylan (New Directions, 1954, 1st Edition)

Quite Early One Morning, by Thomas Dylan (New Directions, 1954, 1st Edition)

DUNE, by Frank Herbert (1st Putnam edition, 1984)

DUNE, by Frank Herbert (1st Putnam edition, 1984)DUNE, by Frank Herbert (1st Putnam edition, 1984)

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEXT UP:  Our visit to The Old Tampa Book Company in Tampa, Florida!

More Book Scouting – Florida Style

Okay, so this first photo isn’t book scouting.  Once in a while to have to cool your heels in the sand and water and look for shells!

That’s the beauty of Florida book scouting.

A little break on the Beach in Englewood

A little break on the Beach in Englewood, FL

Our book scouting took us to the lovely Cape Coral, Florida public library where they were holding a Friends of the Library Sale.

Cape Coral, Florida Public Library

Cape Coral, Florida Public Library

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We joined the line…

20150423_152255_resizedThere were about 10,000 books offered at the sale.  Many of the books were newer (not the vintage era books we seek), but we did find a few.  Here is a sampling of books we brought back from Cape Coral…

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An early printing of the first edition of “The Grapes of Wrath.”

20150526_202428_resized20150526_202549_resizedNot the best F.O.L. sale for us!  After combing through the books,  we drove over to the Cape Coral Yacht Club to drown our disappointment (Cape Coral has a public beach and yacht club — a fun one, not a snooty one!).

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We spotted this lovely old car parked nearby beneath the shade trees…a 1921 Model “T” — in close to original condition!

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It was the best old thing we’d seen all day (besides each other…haha).

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The Yacht Club  “Boat House Bar” had lovely views, outdoor seating and live music.

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All in all…not a bad day!

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Coming up… our trip to Gainesville for their library sale!

A Book Shop in Dunedin, Florida

In Dunedin, Florida (on the Gulf Coast, north of Tampa) we found a charming shop called Back in the Day Books.  We just missed meeting the owner, Boe Rushing, a lawyer-turned-bookstore-owner, who is a native of Clearwater, Florida.

Back In The Day Books, Dunedin, Florida

Back In The Day Books, 716 Broadway, Dunedin, Florida

In 2o13 he moved this bookstore from Tarpon Springs, FL to Dunedin.  Sadly, it is now closing, and a good sale was running to close out the inventory.   Here are some interior shots of the store.

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We found some very nice books at Back in the Day, including some of the scarcer Modern Library titles in fine condition.

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The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway (Modern Library Edition)

And there were also a few decorated American trade bindings…

My Lady Nobody, by Maarten Maartens (Harper & Brothers, 1895)

My Lady Nobody, by Maarten Maartens (Harper & Brothers, 1895)

The store was nicely laid out, well organized, and had interesting titles in wide range of genres.  We purchased a large box of books.  Here I am with Jim, who was running the store while we shopped…

20150420_144436_resizedI’m glad we had an opportunity to visit this book store before it closes its doors (last day open will be May 24, 2015).

We continued south to Venice, Florida to have dinner on the beach at Sharky’s on the Pier.   After a long and hard winter in upstate New York, we couldn’t wait to wiggle our toes in the sand!!

20150420_163403_resized_120150420_163335_resized20150420_163431_resizedGreat to see bright colors, blue sky and turquoise ocean after a monochrome winter!!

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Stay with us as we go next to book sales in both Cape Coral and Gainesville, both in upcoming posts (with many more book shops to come).

 

 

 

 

The Old Book Store – Madison, Florida

After spending time at the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair in St. Petersburg, we headed the car north toward New York State, stopping to visit open antiquarian, used & rare book stores along the way.

We like to visit used book stores in out-of-the way places, and so we found Lucille Cherry running The Old Book Store in the little town of Madison, Florida.  Madison has a population of about 3,000 people, is the county seat of Madison County, located in the Florida panhandle about 55 miles east of Tallahassee.  It is home to North Florida Community College.

Lucille Cherry, Proprietor of The Old Book Store, Madison, FL

Lucille Cherry, Proprietor of The Old Book Store, Madison, FL

Lucille and her husband opened The Old Book Store about twenty-five years ago.  Both had long careers as teachers, and shared a love of books.  After Mark passed away fifteen years ago, Lucille continued running the store on her own.

The Old Book Store, Madison, FL

The Old Book Store, Madison, FL

With an inventory of about 30,000 books, there is a lot of browsing to do here…

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The shop’s inventory includes nonfiction, Americana, Biography, Military, Fiction, mystery and natural science.  Although we didn’t find many collectible items here in our particular areas of interest, there is plenty of reading material.  And we did come away with three or four nice early Modern Library Editions in jackets.

It was obvious to us that the town loves Lucille and her book store.  A local librarian stopped in while we were there and she told us that The Old Book Store is THE favorite shop in town!  Here is a framed newspaper article about Lucille, her husband and the bookshop that we  spotted in the store:

20140318_164848_resizedAs you can see, Lucille has always been photogenic!  And she really knew her inventory, guiding us around the store to find every kind of book we named.  She is a charming woman, and it was a true pleasure to meet her.

Me and Lucille!

Me and Lucille!

I’m running a litle behind on my posts, as we have been spending our evenings enjoying the people we meet along the way!  But I promise to update you soon on our book scouting stops in Atlanta and Acworth, Georgia.

 

 

 

A Visit to Copperfish Books

Today we had the pleasure of meeting Cathy Graham of Copperfish Books in Punta Gorda, Florida at the lovely shop she runs with co-proprietor Serena Wyckoff.  As you can see, the sun is still shining in Florida, while we have had over a foot of snow during the past twenty-four hours at home in Stanley, New York!

Entrance to Copperfish Books, 1205 Elizabeth St., Suite A, Punta Gorda, Florida

Entrance to Copperfish Books, 1205 Elizabeth St., Suite A, Punta Gorda, Florida

The store carries a nice variety of new, used and antiquarian books, all on one floor.

Antiquarian section at Copperfish Books

Antiquarian section at Copperfish Books

Spacious interior at Copperfish Books

Spacious interior at Copperfish Books

Copperfish Books will be exhibiting books for sale at the Florida  Antiquarian Book Fair (March 14-15-16 in St. Petersburg, FL).  They carry Literature, Americana, Florida, History and general stock.

I saw some interesting Florida pieces here, and purchased a decorated binding and a book by James Whitcomb Riley in a beautiful early jacket, illustrated by Howard Chandler Christy and with page decorations by Virginia Keep.

Tannhauser - A dramatic poem by Richard Wagner, translaed in poetic narrative form by Oliver Huckel.  Published by Thomas Crowell & Co., NY, 1906

Tannhauser – A dramatic poem by Richard Wagner, translated in poetic narrative form by Oliver Huckel. Published by Thomas Crowell & Co., NY, 1906

An Old Sweetheart of Mine, by James Whitcomb Riley (Illustrations by Howard Chandler Christy)

An Old Sweetheart of Mine, by James Whitcomb Riley (Illustrations by Howard Chandler Christy)

A decorated page and a Christy illustration from "An Old Sweetheart of Mine"

A decorated page and a Christy illustration from “An Old Sweetheart of Mine”

And here are the two Cathys…meeting in person for the first time!

The two Cathys!  Cathy Graham of Copperfish Books and Cathy Petruccione of Old Scrolls Book Shop.

Cathy Graham of Copperfish Books and Cathy Petruccione of Old Scrolls Book Shop.

Cathy (me!) and Ron

Cathy (me!) and Ron inside Copperfish

We had a fun visit with Cathy Graham, enjoyed shopping in her book store, and look forward to seeing her again soon!

Book Shops in St. Petersburg

We said farewell to Gloria and Jerry this morning as we headed north to continue our book scouting adventure.

See you again soon!

Our heartfelt thanks to Ron’s parents for our delightful stay with them.  We had fun every minute, and really didn’t want to leave!

But leave we must, and so our book scouting adventure continues as we head north.  We carefully boxed up a lot of books and shipped them to New York from Port Charlotte, to be held by our post office until we get home.  This gives us more room in our vehicle for the books we turn up on the way home.

This is the beautiful suspension bridge we crossed on our way to St. Petersburg, Florida traveling on on Rte. 275 which loops out on the western edge of the Tampa/St. Pete area.

From a distance (approached from the south)

The bridge brought us into St. Petersburg and we found our way to Lighthouse Books, at 1735 First Avenue North.  Free parking (2 hour) in front of the store, and a parking lot behind the store.  And they were having a 25% off sale!

Lighthouse Books, St. Petersburg, FL

Owned by Michael and Cathie Slicker, Mike was at the helm when we entered the book shop.

Mike Slicker, Proprietor of Lighthouse Books

Lighthouse Books

Lighthouse Books is just the kind of book shop we love.  I can always tell when a book shop owner really has an appreciation for fine old books.  Lots of vintage editions, both fiction and non-fiction, many unusual and hard to find titles, quite a number of interesting signed books.   All jam packed into a fairly small shop, but well organized and arranged so that you can get at them all.   35,000 books, plus lots of ephemera.  We enjoyed our visit to this shop very much, and stayed a couple of hours, leaving with a pile of books and smiles on our faces.   Thanks Mike!

Just up the street is Haslam’s Book Store, Inc., billed as the largest used book store in Florida.  Located at 2025 Central Avenue, it’s a huge building containing some 400,000 books.  Plenty of free parking, and the parking lot was quite busy when we arrived.

Haslam's Book Store, St. Petersburg, FL

If you like paperbacks and hard cover books that are nearly new, this place will be your cup of tea.  If you are looking for vintage books, you will find a few, but it’s a discouraging hunt for a vintage book lover.  Staff was friendly and helpful, and gave us ideas on where to eat before we departed.

We had worked up quite a hunger so we drove on to find parking by the pier that stretches way out into Tampa Bay.  After parking the car in one of the pier lots, we walked way out to the multi-story building at the pier’s end which houses a bunch of shops and restaurants.

St. Pete Pier

There were many birds hanging out along the pier…pelicans, gulls, egrets.

We had lunch at Cha Cha Coconuts Restaurant at the top, which has outdoor eating and a superb view of the bay.

view from the top

There were some book shops we would have loved to visit in Tampa, but it was closing time for book shops by the time we got out of traffic and on up to that area.  So we pushed on to St. Augustine, crossing the state of Florida on Interstate #4, where we are staying tonight.  Tomorrow we will visit some book shops in this oldest city in America.  Can’t wait to see what we find!

Let me show you this other beach…

I actually have some book scouting to report, but let me tell you,  it’s awfully easy to get sucked into the Floridian way of life…which is a much slower version than the one we are used to.  Wake up, slide open the door to the lanai and sit down  to sip some coffee and watch the rising sun;  have a morning swim; pick a juicy orange, peel it and eat it.  Go the beach.  Poke around in antique shops, book shops…go to another beach.   Life is good.

Early morning...adrift in the pool. Feels like heaven.

After breakfast, Ron and I got back to business, gathered our maps and made our way north to Sarasota, where we visited Book Bazaar, Inc. (A. Parker’s Books) at 1488 Main Street in Sarasota, Florida.    When we arrived,  I whipped out my camera to snap some pictures of the store and staff and realized (after pressing buttons to no avail) that I left the camera’s battery back at the house on the charger (45 miles away).  Oops.  See what Florida is doing to me?

So take it from me, it’s a nice store with thousands of books,  a rare book room, and friendly, helpful staff.  Free two hour street parking (we had to move the car once, we stayed that long).  Here’s a photo of a few books we purchased there today:

The book on the right is a 1900 decorated binding with original jacket just above it.

I love this children's book about ants, with many nicely drawn detailed illustrations inside.

Yesterday we went searching for shells and shark’s teeth at Englewood Beach in the early evening — and yes, we found some shark’s teeth!  We’ve decided the sharks in this area must gum you death if they get hungry, there are so many shark’s teeth and shark tooth hunters.  But then I read that each shark sheds about 24,000 teeth in a lifetime.  That’s a lot of teeth.

It was windy and cool by the time the sun went down, as you can probably tell by this photo.

Ron (with the pink towel wrapped around him), Jerry, Cathy and Gloria

My Lord, we had fun!  And we snapped some sunset photos…

Englewood Beach at sunset

This evening after our trip to Sarasota, Gloria and Jerry drove to meet us in Venice, Florida, where we had dinner at Sharkey’s, a great little restaurant and tiki bar right on the beach. (And they brought my camera battery!!)

Walkway to Venice Beach

Walkway to Venice Beach

Dining at Sharkey's

Ron enjoying the waves at Venice Beach

Tomorrow we are leaving Port Charlotte and starting our book trek northward.  Our first planned stop will be Lighthouse Books in St. Petersburg, Florida.  We’ll be back on the road tomorrow with regular reporting from our book scouting adventures.

I leave you tonight with a picture of Ron, helping “Domingo” the neighborhood snapping turtle get safely across the road…

Combing the Beach for Shells and Shark’s Teeth

Who knew we would be searching for shells and shark’s teeth instead of books!?  Another day in paradise, visiting family and enjoying the beauty of Florida while we take a break from the book hunt.  Today we really enjoyed beach combing beneath blue skies on Boca Grande Beach.

Here I am on the beach at Boca Grande, with a "Florida snow shovel", used to sift shells from the sand.

I found a little friend on the beach, and learned he was a “ghost crab.”  They scuttle sideways, and hide in a little hole they make on the beach.  This one made friends with us, and came over to join us on our blanket.  He stayed with us a good part of the day in the shade of one of our chairs.  It was a good hiding place from the gulls flying overhead.

Our friendly little ghost crab

One of two light houses on Boca Grande, built around 1890.

Ron really got into the shell hunting...he even caught a fish in his basket. Sure beats shoveling snow! A sandpiper in the foreground.

Another light house on Boca Grande

A vintage gas pump on Boca

Here are the two beach bums soaking up as much sun as possible before getting back to the book trail in the next day or two.  We hear it is SNOWING at home in New York…maybe our next book stop should be Havana??

Published in: on 04/22/2012 at 11:28 pm  Leave a Comment  
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