Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Way Back Machine

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The time: 1975
The place: The Kapok Tree - Clearwater, Florida


Here I am with my dad during one of my many visits to Florida during his semi-retirement years. I would always try to plan my vacation in June because his birthday and Father's Day would fall within a week of each other.

The fun thing about being his guest was that he'd plan special outings, concentrating on finding special places to eat. The Kapok Tree definitely qualified in that category.

I'm sure there's one of these landmark restaurant spots all across the country. Whether the food was good or not (it was at this place) the surroundings, the architecture or something would make it the place to be.

There was a large kapok tree on the property and the entire complex was built on the premise that people would come to see the tree. They created a fantasy of buildings, walkways, exotic birds and some of the most beautiful conservatory type interiors. Outdoors there was a promenade flanked by Roman fountains.

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People strolled along the promenade, having arrived early to enjoy the beauty before dinner.

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I found these photos last week when searched through images for the Way Back Machine. Imagine my surprise when I came upon this souvenir glass this week during my thrifting adventures. Seredipity. That's my dad in the photo in the background.

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The sad thing is that when I did a search for information on the Kapok Tree I discovered that it was shuttered a number of years back. That seems to be a case with alot of these landmark restaurants. I don't know why they failed to survive, but they did.

Here's a >Kapok Tree Site which will give you more information and some photos of the spectacular interiors.

Is there a place near you that is a landmark restaurant?

3 comments:

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Well no wonder the Kapok Tree was such a great place to be...it must've been a fabulous experience.

I love the photo of you with your dad and I also love the fact taht your outfits complement, especially the shirts.

No restaurants that have gone on forever and a day that I can think of around here. Certainly nothing as spectacular as The Kapok Tree.

Lil_Birdie said...

Great photos and link :) There was another Kapok tree restaurant near Ft.Laurderdale (City of Davie ). The city buldozed that beautiful building and gardens and it's now a nature center.

Anonymous said...

My grandparents loved going there, I used to go along occasionally as a child. It's now a Sam Ash Music Store, the gardens have become a bit sad looking.