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Sales in Solivita

Amazing. When the Coronavirus started we all braced for a slow-down in our housing market, but the reverse has occurred. Homes are selling briskly in Solivita. We did a highly unscientific survey of our current sales and find that many of our sales are being generated by folks moving down from the big cities. In the winter months it is typical for us to see sales spike as snow and ice storms ravage the northeast and mid-west, but this year we are seeing an exodus from the big cities, Indianapolis, NYC, Milwaukee, Boston, and Hartford to name a few. We are happy to welcome all our new neighbors to Solivita, a beautiful, safe community in Central Florida. We are here to respond to any questions or concerns you may have and as always happy to assist you with selling or buying a new home. We have nine licensed realtors, all living in Solivita, ready to assist you.

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Strawberries from Florida are Delicious!

Lee and I use them in everything from Salads to Chilled Soups to Drinks. Below is one of the latest drinks we are brewing up and enjoying. This is the easiest recipe we have ever published, leaving no excuse not to make this one.

Strawberry Liqueur Recipe

2 Pound Strawberries, cleaned and sliced

2 Cups Vodka, Your Favorite Brand

1 Cup Sugar

1 Cup Water

To make this Delicious Summer Liqueur or Strawberry Vodka follow the below instructions.

In a large jar that closes tightly add the sliced strawberries and cover with the vodka. Stir to combine. Place in a dark cupboard or closet for 20 days (or less if you can’t wait), remember to twirl the jar to mix every two days. Lee and I have whipped this up in as quickly as 10 days, but the longer the fruit infuses the more strawberry flavor will develop.

After 20 days has passed, make the syrup. In a medium pot add the sugar and water. Heat over medium heat until the mixture boils, stir often, and once boiling lower the heat and cook for 8 – 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely.

Strain the alcohol from the strawberries into a clean jar or bottle with a tightfitting lid. Dispose of the strawberries. Add the cooled syrup and stir to combine. Close the jar and refrigerate before serving. This can also be stored in the freezer.

The flavor profiles can be changed simply by reducing the sugar content. If you do not make the simple syrup, you will have Strawberry Vodka, Also Delicious. We add a squeeze of lime and enjoy the Strawberry Vodka over ice or mixed with some club soda. This makes a refreshing summer drink on a hot day.

We serve the liqueur at the end of a meal in the summer months. If you are into cream desert drinks, add a touch of milk or cream to a shaker, mix the Liqueur and pour into a glass and serve over ice. We Hope you Enjoy this simple summer taste from our table to yours. We are at the end Florida’s Strawberry Season, but Blueberries are tumbling into our markets now. It is Time to experiment, I will let you know how it all turns out. To be continued…….

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Looking for a Change, Try a New Color

It appears that after six years, Cool Gray is fading out and warmer tones including warmer grays are coming back. Our entire office is painted in a Cool Neutral Gray, with warmer gray tones on the floor. I love this look and see no paint change in our future, but if I were moving in today, I would be choosing one of the warmer, deeper shades that is being shown in all the designer magazines. Modern farmhouse design and home décor will continue to be on trend, but from what I have read, the experts predict overall design will lean a bit more modern. Black window trim mixed with white exterior home colors continue to be popular, but more saturated colors are moving in. Darker richer, grays with undertones of green, blue, brown and violet are hot and dark shades of blue is still trending.

As realtors we do many home tours, and are starting to see lots of walls, and kitchen cabinets (especially the lower cabinets) painted in deep shades of blue, and they are stunning. Last week, I toured a home that installed shiplap on their headboard wall. After installing shiplap the homeowner painted the shiplap black. The completed bedroom had a touch of smart sophistication and was a relaxing space. A daring design choice and not a color I would choose, but after seeing it done, it may be time to rethink my color choices.

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Check out Zoo Tampa!

Spring has sprung and it seems that all of Florida is in bloom. From the grasses to the flowering trees, life is bursting out all over Solivita and recently two manatees burst out of Zoo Tampa and are again swimming in their home waters. Lee and I are members of Zoo Tampa and recently spent a wonderful day enjoying all that Zoo Tampa offers.

For us Floridians, Zoo Tampa offers exhibits showcasing our local wildlife as well as wildlife from all over the world. In the Florida exhibit we especially love to visit the manatees and Florida panthers. Must admit, Lee and have a special affection for the Manatee Exhibit, which includes a Critical Care Center that rescues, heals, rehabilitates, and releases healthy manatees back into the wild. The Zoo has a public observation area where you can watch the rehabilitation process. Recently Zoo Tampa returned two rehabilitated manatee patients back to Florida waters. The duo, named Fern and her dependent calf, Wilber, came to Zoo Tampa’s David A. Straz Jr. Manatee Critical Care Center last May following a boat strike that caused severe injuries. When Fern arrived at the zoo, she was suffering from broken ribs and a pneumothorax (air in her chest cavity). Due to her injuries, Fern was buoyant on the water’s surface and unable to submerge to obtain food.

Zoo Tampa provided around the clock fluids and medications to keep Fern Stable and comfortable while Wilbur was able to eat greens that he required to stay close to mom. The team worked tirelessly for almost two months to get Fern to eat. By the end of summer 2019, Fern was finally showing signs of improvement and spent the next six months gaining her strength, eating over 100 lbs. of produce daily.

Today Fern and Wilbur are in their home waters in Charlotte County. Manatees face increasing dangers including boat strikes. Habitat degradation, entanglements, cold water stress and red tide blooms.

Zoo Tampa is a leader in wildlife conservation and only one of a total of four manatee critical care and rehab centers in the U.S. Zoo Tampa has cared for more than 430 injured, sick and orphaned manatees. During this time you must make a reservation to visit Zoo Tampa. Visit them on the website to see the current visiting rules at The Zoo is at 1101 W. Sligh Ave in Tampa. Parking is free and it is only 70 miles from Solivita.

If a trip to the zoo is not your “cup of tea” how about a trip to visit one of Florida’s beautiful gardens. McKee Botanical Gardens is on the East Coast of Florida. This month’s newsletter has you crossing the state, but since Solivita is in the center of everything, whatever coast you visit you can be on either the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic Ocean in 1.5 hours. In Florida, there is always something in bloom. Lee and I have spent many happy afternoons in one of Florida’s many gardens, and we both enjoy a visit to a garden whenever we find a few hours of free time to share. If you have not yet been to the McKee Botanical Gardens on Highway 1 in Vero Beach, it is a nice drive and a nice afternoon. The gardens are old and filled with orchids, dense tropical vegetation, rare trees, and ponds filled with aquatic plants. Bring the grandchildren to the children’s garden, you and the children will enjoy a wonderful adventure as you travel with them over the bridge, climb the ropes, and watch them play in the Karst Splash Garden. McKee Gardens are a wonderful adventure for the grandchildren, and a fun break for the grandparents, PLUS if you spent the morning on Vero Beach, a NICE BREAK from the hot sand and sun. Our suggestion; enjoy the beach in the morning and the cool of the afternoon in the Jungle Garden. If you would like to check out McKee Gardens their website is