Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day at the Team Room, Cauley Square

It's Mother's Day and I wondered what my mother would choose for her brunch or destination. Yes on this day and her birthday, mom gets to choose any activity of her liking.  And boy does she keep it varied and interesting.

Once it was an airboat tour of alligators. The following year it was brunch outdoors surrounded by gardens--that's heaven for a greenthumb like my mother. Then the next year it was brunch in the Art Deco interior of the National Hotel followed by privileges to their pool and beach access.  This year it was Florida history and brunch at the Tea Room at Cauley Square--a historic railroad village in Homestead, Florida. The first time I visited Cauley Square in March, I was so excited. It was like discovering a slice of history quietly tucked away.



Red Caboose at entrance of Cauley Square

The Tea Room is nestled among a  handful of pioneer built houses. I'm reminded of ladies in petticoat or high collar dresses that gathered for afternoon tea. Sure enough the painting on the house exterior, says it all.  Oh fiddle-dee-dee, I didn't wear a dress.



Inside we scanned the three dining rooms. Originally we reserved the "butterfly room" but our two seater table  jammed in a corner was a tight squeeze. No worries. There were other themed rooms. So we opted for the "antique room" to the left of main entrance.


"Butterfly Room"

At this point we were room -and -table hopping.
Thankfully it was not crowded
 Today's menu was a special three course pre-planned menu instead of the typical soup, salad or sandwiches. Sure enough it tasted like grandmother's homemade cookin' which we enjoyed while scanning the antiques throughout the room. Upon leaving, we popped into the "white lace room" surrounded by windows. We made a note to return for sandwiches and tea next time.


I call this the "White Lace Room"
 

After lunch, the garden paths invite you to casually stroll under the shade of decades old towering trees.



Garden figurine sculptures outside the Tea Room restaurant
  Among the gardens you will find quaint little cottages that offer you some of the most intriguing items to delight the discerning shopper. These shops offer collectible treasures each with its own flair from antiques to country crafts, fine art, home decor, vintage clothing, hand-crafted items, jewelry and specialty paper store for invitations and more.

But one highlight for me were the outdoor cats (around 20) and family of racoons that lived around the antique shop run by a little old lady. I soon learned she's a fellow member of the Cat Network. All cats are rescues and are spayed/neutered and vaccinated. She also cares for a family of racoons.  I happened to see the mother and babies waddling around.  Some cats were lazily napping outside and didn't blink as you walked by or stopped to say "hello kitty". I even spotted an older raccoon at the neighboring courtyard.



As we continued meandering the grounds, our trail lead us to the Village Chalet restuarant. This shows the quaintness of the one -block village. This video shows us looking for the restaurant. 


Just one more place to visit to sample the food and ambience.

Cauley Square also hosts different events throughout the year such as fashion shows, the Renaissance Festival and many other unique events.

It was so peaceful, a nice escape from the city life.  As we drove home, past all the crops fields and beautiful homes, I thought about buying a small house as a weekend getaway. Bet you didn't know there's a little country in me.

So I wonder what mom will choose for her 70th birthday in August. She did mention skydiving! In this case, I will dutifully serve as cheerleader.

For more photos and additional stories, visit my website My Fabulous Florida by clicking here.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Patty Cake Cats

For your Friday laugh to start the weekend...Check out this video of two cats playing Patty Cake! The originally video (without voiceover) reached 1 million hits, but since these guys added voices to the cats, it has over 13 million hits. Cats are just amazing. Be sure to leave a comment !