Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cypress Gardens.........Page 2

Todays visit is along the water front. We will start at the botanical gardens where we left off and work our way to the waterski show.
Not a great shot, but I borrowed this from some photos on the web. Years ago, they had a boat ride through canals in the botanical gardens. This is one thing I hope they bring back. You just leisurely rode a boat through the gardens and the driver would talk about the different plants and you would see Southern Belles throughout the ride.
These are Cypress trees. They are all over the lake fronts here. Hence the name "Cypress" Gardens.

Shots of the Cypress Belle. She is an actual paddleboat. I remember when she came to the gardens, she was on a HUGE flatbed trailer and she wasn't able to be put in the lake by a boat ramp. They actually had to get a crane and pick her up off the flatbed and lower her into the lake. She has survived 2 Cypress Gardens closings. She cruises around Lake Eloise when the water level is up. She has been the location for weddings and receptions. I was fortunate enough to take a dinner cruise on her around Christmas of 2006. It was beautiful. Cypress Gardens and the houses on the lake were all decked out in holiday lights....and me with no camera. We had a bad drought here the past year and 1/2 and she actually sat on the bottom of the lake it was so shallow.
Here are the world famous Cypress Gardens water skiers.
Here we have a wakeboarder, a triple jump and barefooting. These photos were taken from the Cypress Gardens website also.Not so great shot of the World Famous Aquamaids.
This is the Cypress Gardens kite. Dragged behind a speedboat until there is enough speed to lift him, this person rises through the air until he is high enough, then lets the tow rope go. He then controls the kite and does a slow circle over the lake and the park and makes a perfect landing right back at the water ski stadium. A friend of the family, Mark Voissard, has been doing this for close to 40 years.

This is a shot across the Ski stadium to the Snively Mansion. This is a beautiful Southern Mansion that sits on a hill overlooking Lake Eloise. It is part of Cypress Gardens. It has been renovated after sitting vacant for 4 years. It suffered horrible damage from the hurricanes of 2004. It was and is now again (or will be again) used for many weddings. The inside has a beautiful spiral staircase that is perfect for a bride to descend. Hopefully I can find some pics of that from the old days. That concludes todays tour. Tomorrow let's plan on a leisurely stroll through the Topiary Gardens and hopefully we'll see some Southern Belles.


Anonymous said...

Now those trees look more like home in Louisiana. Nice tour..wonder where the gator was =)

*Jilly* said...

I love your new banner!
Thanks for sharing all the photos from Cypress Gardens..the trees remind me of Louisiana also:)

Gary ("Old Dude") said...

PHEEnomenal pictures of Cypress Gardens, the paddleboat I'm afraid is beginning to look its age, needs to be refurbished no doubt. I look forward to those Southern Belles you keep teasing us about.and yeah, where are the gators,its florida, their should be gators?? if no gators, how about them famous meat eating frogs?

Bonnie said...

I guess it was too cold for the gators that day. I know there is a resident gator that stays down near the paddle boat that we named "George". George also likes to sunbathe on the ramp by the seats in the ski stadium. I wish he had been out that day, I sure would have gotten a picture of him. And Gary, I don't think we have meat eating frogs in Florida and if we do, I sure don't want to meet one.

Missy's Blog said...

I enjoyed the tour of Cypress Gardens. I haven't been there in years. I really hope they do reopen and have all of the traditional Florida exhibits again.

Susie Q said...

I LOVED being at Cypress Gardens while we lived in Florida!

Beautiful photos!