Having driven across miles of Tropicana’s orange groves, one area in flower, scenting the air deliciously, we joined the local’s joke, “climbing Mount Dora”. Sitting 174 feet above the five lakes, it is one of the “high points” of Florida for many reasons. A one hundred year old village with well-maintained victorian homes and a host of artists, it is remarkably like Mendocino, CA, albeit with seaplanes taking off and landing on the lakefront.

Our favorite gallery: The Painter’s Daughter: Sumptuous! Fascinating! Gorgeous! Natalie Lovejoy, the owner of this gallery, should be staging for ‘Architectural Digest..With Flair’. Unique window styling pulled us in. Then we went from room to room, wanting to touch everything, and take photos of unique sculptures, home display, clothing art, all displayed with such verve; every surface was treated with a detailed eye.

No photos were allowed (that killed me….) other than her gorgeous hair (and self-portrait?) We encourage you to check out her blog coming soon, and visit her boutique: www.paintersdaughter.com. Throughout Florida, artists and merchants have told us that they make their annual income from the “High Season” residents, and then wait out the sleepy and hot, humid summers with reduced hours until the snowbirds arrive once again next winter, we hope in throngs to 331 Donnelly Street.


There was a large, well-respected, annual Art Festival here a week ago, but like many festivals we have ‘just missed’, we were happy to wander the village without the crowds. We spent a really nice day here eating and browsing, with lots of shady curbside parking, parks for Lety to run free, and time to chat with locals. Festivals make that pace impossible, and we are more often than not, happy to miss the crowds.

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About Sally

A Studio Artist and painter trained at Stanford university, Sally has since then graduated from a long career as an Attorney with the Public Defender, and returned to painting. Living in Mexico with her son for a year, they adopted a feral dog, Lety. Sally's son left for college and their dog adopted her new best friend, Steven.

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