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Take a Ride on the Chain of Lakes in Winter Haven

Recently we broke the Chain of Lakes with the Living Water Boat Cruises.  It was fun, interesting, and a great couple of hours out on the water.  We travelled through a few of the lakes in the chain, saw alligators, turtles, eagles, herons, anhinga, Ibis, and even a few pelicans.  We docked in the water near Lego Land and watched the waterski show from the boat.  Our Captain was fun and very interesting. After the show he took us on a waterside tour of “Old Cypress Gardens”.  When I was young my mom and dad took us to Cypress Gardens to enjoy the quiet beauty of the gardens, see the Southern Belles, and best of all enjoy an ice cream while sitting on the shores watching the water ski show. This tour brought back some sweet family memories.  Living Water Boat Cruises took us past the historic Florida Shaped Swimming Pool where Esther Williams swam, and pointed out the film sets where TV Specials, Gilligan’s Island, Movie Stars, and movies were filmed back in the day. After taking this boat ride we watched Easy To Love, an Esther Williams Move from 1953.  Lee and I Enjoyed the spectacular scenes filmed at Cypress Gardens with over 30 water skiers towed in an arrowhead formation. Amazing and Dangerous, but beautiful to watch.  The lake was cool and calm with a light chop the day we were out, but after experiencing the lake, I am certain filming this scene could not have been an easy feat.   Today this spot is Lego Land, and a popular destination with the kids.  A great place to take the grandkids and enjoy a day of fun.  If you take the boat tour, you may want to visit YouTube first to view some of the footage filmed at Cypress Gardens in its heyday, after all Cypress Gardens is Florida’s first tourist attraction.

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Looking for a new restaurant. Why not go Mediterranean and give Mediterranean Fresh Grill in Winter Haven a try.

The cuisine is Lebanese and Mediterranean and is served in a modern, spotless, restaurant that you might just drive past, as it is in a strip mall.  Please don’t let the location stop you from giving this eatery a chance.  Lee and I drove past this location many times and never gave the restaurant a second look, but while we were shopping in Winter Haven we met a group of folks that were raving about this spot.  On our next date night, we found ourselves in Winter Haven and decided to go Mediterranean.  We were both delighted by the service and the quality of the food.   The food is fresh and delicious making this stop a local gem and a place we plan to enjoy again. We recently had family with small children in town and we recommended they visit the Fresh Grill after spending the day in Legoland.  They too came back with amazing reviews.  If you are looking for a new, fresh flavor and a new restaurant add this one to your list.  If you go, let me know what you think, and we may meet you there.

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A Local Adventure to Winter Haven

Recently Lee and I enjoyed a late lunch at Tempo 1930 in Winter Haven. We were in Winter Haven shopping for vinegar at the Treasured Olive Store on 4th Street when we noticed this small, but enticing, restaurant with a curious name. After tasting and buying an interesting assortment of delicious Extra Virgin Olive Oils and Vinegars we decided to try Tempo 1930.

The décor of the restaurant was inviting, attractive, and reminiscent of many public houses we have enjoyed. As for the name, Tempo references the sounds of Jazz and Blues that inspired the décor and 1930 pays homage to George Jenkins, the late founder of Publix. George honed his skills as a manager at the Winter Haven Piggly Wiggly Grocery Store and in 1930 George resigned from Piggly Wiggly and founded Publix Markets in the exact location of Tempo 1930, therefore the name. 

The menu at Tempo 1930 is Eclectic with a nice assortment of appetizers, including vegetarian options. We tried Fire Roasted Ahi Lettuce Wraps, a Grilled Romaine Caesar Salad, and an Amazing Cauliflower Burger. All were tasty. Tempo 1930 has a full bar and a decent wine list. Our server was friendly and helpful and told us that on Saturday and Sunday, Tempo 1930 serves brunch, the menu looked good and will be a brunch stop Lee and I will make in the future. 

Back to the Vinegar, we purchased four different flavors, but our favorite from Treasured Olive was raspberry. Yum. We drizzled a bit on our Florida Fresh Strawberries and enjoyed it with Vanilla Ice cream for dessert.