Celebrating the Old, New and Beloved
Authentic Florida has a lot to celebrate: the founding of our country, old friends, a new website, the 200th newsletter and beloved readers, family and supporters
Pasco County Stilt House
Happy Birthday America! I wish you an enjoyable and safe holiday while celebrating the freedoms and blessings we enjoy here in the U.S.A!
Today also marks a banner day as I release this 200th Authentic Florida E-NEWs. Few words can describe the joy this weekly column gives me while I explore and share amazing Florida discoveries with you.
My favorite walkway to the beach
More than five years ago, Authentic Florida was born of passion, and with every step along this epic journey it has been a privilege and delight. Thank you for following my travels and recipes.
Authentic Florida's new website goes live August 1, artist, Brendan Coudal
And I am excited to report that Authentic Florida’s website is going through an update and facelift. Expect to see the new site August 1. You’ll find that the new Authentic Florida website has an improved user-friendly interface with more navigable resources for your travel and living needs. Among the new features, it will have a Florida map providing easier access for places to go, things to do and what to eat – all of which will be mobile friendly.
So, let me take this opportunity to thank the many who have helped make Authentic Florida a reality:
You, the Authentic Florida Reader
It’s all for you. You are the reason I do what I do. Your enthusiasm, comments and input guide me each and every day. Your steady support inspires me through my authentic Florida travels. I rely on Authentic Florida reader recommendations and as a result of your direction and input, I have visited and personally experienced many adventures now followed by thousands of subscribers and social media fans.
Ready for the Zip Line at Treehoppers, Dade City
Authentic Florida Partners
I am so honored to be working with businesses and media outlets that are the ideal partners for Authentic Florida. They include Authentic Florida destinations, magazines, newspapers, charming bed & breakfast inns, Florida gardens, booksellers and gift sellers. I am proud to report that every partner enthusiastically supports the mission of Authentic Florida enabling me to share topics that fit the “authentic” mission.
My husband, Mike
Family & Friends
Let’s face it, family and friends make all the difference between a good life and a terrific one. Without unyielding family support, Authentic Florida would not be possible. Major kudos and love go to my husband Mike who has been on almost every Authentic Florida trek: kayaking mangrove tunnels, hiking pine forests, zip lining through oak trees, visiting honey farmers, picking strawberries, blueberries and tomatoes, hiking through the Everglades, fishing our way through the Florida Keys. He has tried every recipe I have posted and has suffered through every “tested” key lime pie! Also, my son James, who is off in college, is a big supporter of his mom’s adventures and travels and I am grateful for his support. And then there’s my own mom, brother and extended family - all have cheered me on.
My niece, mother and brother enjoying an Authentic Florida meal
And special thanks to my friend and“ bestie” Nancy who has read every post I have written; I am so grateful for her loyal support – always cheering me on – from the very day I launched. I also want to thank many others who have supported me, readers I haven’t met (but feel like I know them well), fellow bloggers, photographers and like-minded Florida fanatics. I want to also add my thanks to Authentic Florida guest bloggers Laura Albritton (MiamiforFamilies), Joyce Sparrow (Florida Library Association), Rick Kilby (Old Florida) and Ann Burch (writer), Tamara Armstrong (TamaraScharf) for their contributions.
Authentic Florida editor, Jay Davis
Not many know that Authentic Florida’s true “secret sauce” is my editor, Jay Davis. Jay possesses many amazing virtues as an astute researcher, mind reader, intuitive writer and Florida-phile - like me - and we have enjoyed a wonderful friendship. Anyone who writes and doesn’t have an editor, has my sympathy, because an editor is essential – one that supports and understands your mission and true passion! And the day I met Jay was a blessed day as he is a native Floridian, former PR executive, passionate “techie” and photographer who takes my draft writing and fashions it into a much more interesting story every week. Thank you Jay!
Artist Brendan Coudal working on an Authentic Florida painting (unfinished)
Collaborative Art With A Friend: Artist Brendan Coudal
Thanks also to my artist friend Brendan Coudal. This talented local Florida artist and I have formed a collaborative effort. In addition to creating the artwork on the new website (above), he is creating an Authentic Florida painting and I get to share my ideas with him. It’s a “retro” painting that will resemble a vintage postcard. The state will be illustrated with beautiful icons (pelicans, key lime pies, pine forests) representing the Florida we love. I plan to promote the painting - it will be for sale - and then give readers the opportunity later to purchase posters, postcards and other items that illustrate the work.
If you don’t know Brendan’s work, head to his website and check out his art with retro gals, marine life work, and even his cats, Max & Phoebe. He is an avid fisherman and his work reflects the best of coastal living. His wife Nicole Coudal happens to be one of the finest Florida chefs I know, and her "coastal inspired" recipes and work can be found on her site, My Delicious Blog.
New Website Features
When the new website launches on August 1, expect to see not only the new look, but also a resource that will help you explore authentic Florida’s back roads. Much thanks goes to Lee Gaines and Matt Anderson of Milestone Marketing for their talented direction and design of the website’s look, feel and updated functionality.
Wow! I have a lot to celebrate this holiday. And I hope you do too. Thank you for being part of my many blessings! Happy 4th of July!
Bradley's Country Store, Tallahassee
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