I feel like a million bucks this morning. My nutritional focus and rest yesterday must have paid off. I ran around the local lake, Lake Hollingsworth, this morning. I found the 3 mile route on the amazing website of The Lakeland Runners Club. On Tuesday mornings, they have a group workout, but it’s at 5:30 AM, and I missed it because I was at the local Starbucks having my morning cup.
The most exciting thing that I’ve personally noticed so far about Lakeland is they have a 24 hour Starbucks! I can’t believe it. I was so excited to see it. If I have insomnia this week, it’ll be a great thing to do. My barista this morning said 3 of the 5 stores here are 24 hours. She’s not sure why they have chosen to be open 24 hours, but it’s a regular thing. Lakeland people have no idea how lucky they are. I met three of them who kidded each other as they came in about NOT running this morning.
I asked them what was special about Lakeland, and they said that the local college, Florida Southern, was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Apparently, Wright was disappointed in the architectural design of most colleges and made his desire known that he’d like to design one from scratch. The local president of Florida Southern, Ludd Spivey, took advantage of Wright’s desire and his own vision to build a futuristic college campus. In 1938, the building began. The entire campus is on the National Register of Historic Places. I had a taste of his architecture in the Lake Michigan area. I actually got a brief view of Florida Southern College on my run this morning, but my camera’s battery had run down, so I have no pictures to share.
Across the street from the college was a lovely park, the Thomas B. Mack Park. It featured beautiful Live Oak trees dripping with Spanish Moss and the tiniest miniature Cypress trees I’ve ever seen. It was like a scene from Louisiana only in miniature. From the running path, I watched a slalom water skier get his morning exercise. Yes, there was a water skier on December 2- no wetsuit. The cormorants were out, and I saw White Ibis, scoters, and plenty of ducks and geese. In fact, I was greeted by a gaggle of geese pretty immediately but they ran away as soon as they figured out I was just taking pictures.
According to my coffeemates, Publix supermarkets has its home office in Lakeland FL. I shopped at Publix when I lived in Jacksonville in the early 1980s. I bought my fabulous spinach salad there last night. There is also a big phosphate industry just south of here. Apparently, they dig up soil and extract phosphates.
Unfortunately, I’m going to miss the First Friday celebration here in Downtown Lakeland since I’m leaving on Thursday. The guys here said it’s a lot of fun with street vendors of all kinds and an old Southern-read Mark Twain-theme. I checked out the website, and I am sorry I’m going to miss it. But, I’ll be home in Memphis enjoying my own kind of celebration.