Courthouse Oyster Tour
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2006 Vespa GT (Rocket): 2005 Vespa GT (Razzo): 2006 Vespa GT (Crash): 2007 Vespa GT (Vanessa): 2009 Yamaha Zuma 125 (Zoom): 2018 Yamaha Xmax (Max),
Joined: 26 Sep 2006
Posts: 4337
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
Sat Jun 29, 2019 1:54 pm quote
I had been thinking that it would be a fun way to see the entire state of Florida by visiting the county seats of all 67 counties. And the best building in most of these towns is the county courthouse.

So Ken and I begin with five counties near Lake Okeechobee.

The idea would be to park our scooters in front of each of them as we ride the state.

It was an especially good idea for me as I am an architect practicing occasionally in the field of architectural preservation. I always admire the courthouses when riding past. It was time to see them close

This weekend kicked it off.

We started at the Jacaranda Hotel in Avon Park.

The first courthouse heading south is the Highlands County Courthouse in Sebring.

We stopped there and as we were taking photos, a dapper attorney was passing by. Ken asked if he would pose for a few shots and he obliged nicely.

We stayed outside but between that and the next one, Ken decided that we should go inside each.

Next was the Okeechobee County Courthouse in Okeechobee. This is one where the old, historic courthouse became too small for the bustling community, so they built a new, totally architecturally inferior building as a replacement. Disappointed, we took a few photos of this mess, but as we were riding out, I noticed a fine building that had to have been the County Courthouse that was replaced. So we stopped there and found that it was. An attorney leaving the building, and a plaque let us know that we were right. We went inside, admired the detailing and design and headed to the next one.

That was the Glades County Courthouse in Moore Haven. It is a historic courthouse with the classic Greek Temple front with a yellow brick body.

We went inside and were given a tour by a police officer who had worked there for 18 years. He offered the history and a bit about himself. These interactions are what makes these trips so enriching.

Stop number four was to the Hendry County Courthouse in LaBelle. This one was designed in a more Romanesque style, using a buff brick with spiral limestone columns at the entry. It was wet and we parked the scooters on the sidewalk. While standing there, a police officer rode up with here lights flashing, just to ask if we were OK. I missed the photo, but it was typical of our encounters with law enforcement during the day.

Our last stop was in Arcadia at the Desoto County Courthouse. This one was my favorite of the day. It had a beautifully proportioned and detailed Greek Temple front with brick and stone detailing on the remainder of the exterior. Stone pilasters were spaced around the exterior, making for a perfect courthouse design.

We got a tour of this one too, with a police officer who had been there for four years. He started his law enforcement career in the Florida Highway Patrol but quit when they wanted to send him to Jacksonville. He worked in several police departments over the years before settling in Desoto County.

The interior was as nice as the exterior, beautifully maintained for a 107 year old building.

Five down, 62 to go. Looking forward to seeing more over the next year or so.


Highlands County Courthouse with a dapper attorney posing with the scooters.

Okeechobee County

Hiding from the rain on the way to Moore Haven.

Glades County Courthouse in Moore Haven.

Hendry County Courthouse in LaBelle

My favorite of the day, Desoto County Courthouse in Arcadia.

Day two, skirting storms heading to Streamsong resort for a brief visit.

Riding up to the Lodge at Streamsong, a well designed modern hotel in the middle of nowhere. I felt like it could belong in a James Bond movie.

Heading to Arcadia for the night. We arrived at the hotel just minutes before the bottom dropped oiut.

Vespa LX150 GTS250ie GTS300x2
Joined: 11 Dec 2009
Posts: 2073
Location: St. Pete, Fla
Sun Jun 30, 2019 1:35 pm quote
It was a great ride. We had booked into our favorite the Jacaranda in Avon Park for three nights. We knew that it was closing to be tented on Monday but we, nor the staff, knew they were cutting off the gas on Friday. Since they like us they said we could stay but no hot water. We spent two night in the hotel as the only guests, but chose to move on down the road for the third night.

In Arcadia there was a nice old inn called the Oak Park. It closed several years ago after it was damaged in a hurricane and the owner had no insurance. A new owner took over the property and spent 18 months repairing and upgrading it. It had just reopened and we decided to head there for the night. It is a excellent place to stay with a happy hour of wine and beer. The husband and wife owner try to give every guest personal attention.

With skillful navigation and a lot of luck we missed the major rain showers.

bil and singer.jpg
Bill being serenaded on the front of the Jacarands

Empty street in front of the Jac


We did not get it.

I had always wanted to visit Bok Tower so we checked that one off twoo

Lots of pregnant women with professional photographers

bob tower.jpg

Last edited by lostboater on Sun Jun 30, 2019 4:01 pm; edited 1 time in total
Vespa LX150 GTS250ie GTS300x2
Joined: 11 Dec 2009
Posts: 2073
Location: St. Pete, Fla
Sun Jun 30, 2019 1:43 pm quote
continuing with the pictures

following bill down the dirt road

The Boat Room in the Oak Park Inn

Vespa LX150 GTS250ie GTS300x2
Joined: 11 Dec 2009
Posts: 2073
Location: St. Pete, Fla
Sun Jun 30, 2019 1:46 pm quote

The pregnant photographer

Happy hour with the owner of the Oak Park Inn

The local auction. Selling such valuable pound packages of "real cheese" and small 8oz containers of pastrami.

Food for thought
Vespa LX150 GTS250ie GTS300x2
Joined: 11 Dec 2009
Posts: 2073
Location: St. Pete, Fla
Sun Jun 30, 2019 2:20 pm quote
The ride home

Helped this guy across the road

A lovely day to cross the Skyway bridge

Veni, Vidi, Posti
2007 LX150 2015 GTS 2013 BV 350
Joined: 13 Sep 2012
Posts: 9195
Location: Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
Sun Jun 30, 2019 4:38 pm quote
Great report. Sounds like a good ride!

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