Florida in Fours

The trip to Florida was another test of our gluten free sleuthing. It’s so exhausting that sometimes I wonder why we bother traveling. But our hotel room was more like a time-share, so we had a kitchen. That helped a lot as we ate breakfast and occasionally lunch (when we ate lunch) in our room. There was one big surprise in Sarasota.


Look at the sign on that restaurant: GREAT GLUTEN FREE MENU. What was nice is that Beckham’s on the Trail has a dedicated fryer and makes fish and chips gluten free. Please tell me why a huge city like Phoenix (far bigger than Tampa/St. Petersburg) doesn’t have more dedicated fryers!!! If you’re not familiar with that type of fryer it simply means one which only fries gluten free food. It’s not contaminated by gluten.

Although I didn’t see a lot of art while we were in Florida, we were greeted in the Tampa airport by this beauty. I love this gigantic multi-colored net that hangs on the wall over the escalator. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time or free hands to stop and take a good shot.

When I went through my photos from the trip, I discovered a fascination with four items. Four is challenging. Anybody who “decorates” knows that it’s easier to work with groups of three than with four. But four has its own special meanings. It’s the four seasons and four functions in math (add, subtract, multiply, divide). Once you start to think about it, I bet you can think of more fours than I can.


These chairs were so pretty, I couldn’t take my eyes off them.

Someone had left these shells lying here for others to enjoy. The gardener kept bringing me little shells he found, but the ones left on the wall were larger and nobody had taken them, which was amazing in itself.

These guys fascinated me. One of them had been trying to pull a plastic bag of (presumably) abandoned food out of a trash can, and I shooed him away because I couldn’t bear the thought of him eating the plastic and styrofoam. But he didn’t fly far–just to the ledge of the walkway at our hotel to join his friends. These guys are trying to pull a poem out of me.

I keep wondering why I saw fours in Florida.

Try writing about fours. I’d love to see what you come up with. Fours in a poem, a blog post, a story. What comes in four? How does four make us feel? Is there anything intrinsic or essential about four?


Filed under #AmWriting, #amwriting, #writerlife, Art and Music, gluten free, gluten free restaurant, gluten free travel, groups of four, Inspiration, Nonfiction, Sightseeing & Travel, Tampa airport, travel, Writing, writing prompt

61 responses to “Florida in Fours

  1. There are so many Biblical references to the number four. Creation, seasons (as you noted), Commandment, corners of the earth, Gospels. Four – a number meaning completeness, as in your photographs.

    • Thanks, Carole! These are wonderful. When I saw the birds, I was thinking four horsemen, but I didn’t mention it because it seemed too heavy for those poor birds. Four does seem to imply completeness to me. I am sort of a five person, maybe that means I am greedy–four plus more :/.

  2. Making me think a lot… great share. Good photo / story elements. Thx for the share

  3. I’m partial to the number 3 for some reason. I’ve always thought of it as lucky and my “favorite” ages were always those that could be divided by 3. But 4 … hmmm … I am the youngest of 4. At one time we had 4 indoor cats. That’s all I’ve got … lol πŸ˜‰

    • Four cats is the best four! We had four cats for a long time: Mac, Pear, Felix, and Tiger. Now we no longer have Mac and have these upstarts Kana, Sloopy Anne, and Perry. I wonder what Pear thinks of that haha! I love your idea of preferring ages by being divisible by three! What makes our minds think these things? I wrote above maybe that five always reminded me of a house. You know, the five points that make a house. LOL I’m glad I am not the only one that has always had a preference for a number. But I will say that four in intriguing me a lot lately.

  4. Luanne-Fascinating foray into the world of fours! I’ll be thinking of the possibilities. About Florida – my very dear friends Marianne and George moved recently to Sarasota and apparently love it. In a week I fly to Amelia Island (the OTHER SIDE of the state) to visit my stepmother Margaret. Have a great week!

    • Elaine, your post I read today is gorgeous, but it made me so tearful! You so beautifully wrote about your father. It broke my heart to see him sitting there all dressed up for work.
      I am so glad your friends love Sarasota. I can’t imagine living there, but the beaches are all so beautiful. Is Amelia Island near Miami or is farther north?

  5. There were four eggs left in the carton this morning…it’s a sign! I love those chairs.

  6. All your (not) coincidental fours are so cool, Luanne!

  7. I think four is a neglected number, so I really enjoyed this post. I’ll be seeing four of everything now.

    • Now THAT is something to consider. Do I think it’s a neglected number? Maybe so! After all, it’s not three, which is a huge deal, and it’s not five, which is my personal number haha. It can be a little awkward, too. But these fours prove that there is a delicious near but not quite symmetry in four.

  8. I suspect if you find a good numerology site you would pick up a lot of meanings Luanne. ‘Four for the gospel makers’ features in ‘Green grow the rushes O’ which is an old English folk song if you don’t know it. I used to know a whole pile of fours when I taught math to nine year olds and we were looking at the content of numbers. Four seasons, four directions, four stars in the southern hemispheres pole star, the Southern Cross and therefore on the NZ flag……….. and that’s all I can recall right now though there are heaps of them. Like all artists I tend to see the world in terms of odd numbers – but now and again an even one works, as in your photos. Rules are only there to be broken………

    • Those are all great! So intriguing what you say about artists and odd numbers. Even odd numbers sometimes are even I discovered today. I have a long table leading up to the front door and have some cool stuff arranged on it. They are big items and they are in a fairly symmetrical though varied position on the table. One in the middle, then there are three items on each side. Varying heights, textures, etc. But there is a tray in front of the center object. So EIGHT, an even number, but it looks like an odd number. That tickled me for some reason hahahaha!

      • To me it sounds like your arrangement is 7+1 πŸ™‚ If the big objects are vertical and the tray is flatter that’s how the eye may perceive your arty arrangement πŸ™‚ And of course you are right because any two odd numbers are always an even total….. This is the fun part of playing with numbers…… I had a young student once who always jumped up and down with delight and clapped his hands when he really ‘got’ a number pattern and I just felt like doing that πŸ™‚

  9. Four seems a good number for a family tooβ€”four seats at a table, four seats in a roller coaster car, two queen beds in a hotel room to sleep for, etc.

    I’m sure Florida was gorgeous. Love the pic of the four birds!

    • I agree about 4 for a family since I was raised in a 4 person family and raised my kids in a 4 person family hah.
      In Florida the beach is absolutely breath-taking. Florida itself is flat and where we were there were not many flowers and no scent. That made me realize that Arizona has a sweet scent and is not flat.

  10. I love the photos. As for four, there are four cardinal points–east, west, north, south. The 4th house is associated with the astrological sign Cancer. There are four each of cardinal, fixed, and mutable signs. This brings to mind four times three is twelve, which is also a fun number, full of factors. Thirteen is relatively impenetrable, no friend of four.

  11. Statutory family composition?

  12. When I think of Fours, I automatically think of four dogs and for the life of me can’t remember how we took care of them all at once.
    Congrats on your basketball women making the Sweet Sixteen yesterday – quite shocking but I thought of you and was glad!!

    • Are you sure? I thought they lost to DePaul? Not that I understand the way this stuff works most often, but I thought they had lost their last two games? Was it OSU? or am I delusional?
      Four dogs is a good one! And a lot of dogs to care for. It takes a lot of physical stamina or insanity, take your pick haha. But anybody with six cats shouldn’t say anything.

      • Good news for you, Luanne – Central Michigan plays Oregon this weekend in Spokane in the Sweet Sixteen…your girls are still dancing!
        Nobody with six cats can say a word. πŸ™‚

        • Oh you were talking about hometown not Sooners. I need to take Michelle at Green Study’s advice and turn off my computer at 7PM. Western Michigan or Central?

  13. I love Sarasota. It’s a sweet place. Pretty and breezy, better than a lot of Florida.
    I like four, cause I have four kids πŸ™‚

    • That’s probably the best reason to like four! When I was young I used to always say I wanted four kids. That’s until I realized two was enough for me ;). Or maybe it’s these two hahaha. I can write stuff like this, and they’ll never see it.
      Sarasota was ok. I’m not up for moving to Florida.

  14. Enjoyed your photos. Want the chairs!

  15. Beautiful Florida. You looked for and found things I never notice. What we take for granted. Orlando has tons of vegan and gluten-free restaurants. I think we are in the top three in the nation. I am certain in my next life, and probably some past lives, I am vegetarian. We did gluten-free for a year and a half. It was tough, and we finally broke down, but I am certain there were some health benefits for us. And I know we place limits now, where we once had none.

    In my more estoteric studies I have read that four represents a doorway and often means transition. The door frame with three sides and the threshold.

    • Ooooooooooooh, I love that interpretation! Transition! It’s LIMINAL! Where did you hear that Orlando is one of the top 3? I would sure love to see that list and see what the best cities for us to visit would be. My husband did make it to Orlando one evening and ate at a fast foody Cuban place that had gluten free options. I did a little research for him, and that was all I found that was gluten free in that type of food. I didn’t research GF as a whole since he was craving Cuban food.

  16. I greatly admire your grit, travelling with your dietary restriction! Love the pix about fours, especially the birds, who look like they just came out of the Hitchcock movie!

  17. Luanne, I love these FOURS! I chuckled when I saw the crows. Possibly all females, getting the best of the males? And the shells were lovely. And the chairs were whimsical. Great eye, Luanne! Your shot of the airport textile was wonderful, I could just feel the drapiness and coziness of its texture. πŸ™‚

  18. To me, four leaf clovers come to mind. I think dogwood blossoms have four petals, there actually we’re 4 Musketeers!
    My parents had 3 kids, I had 3 kids. Then, I also realized my affinity for even numbers! I usually don’t set my alarm for 5:00 am, I would set it for 5:04 am.
    My grandparents lived in Clearwater and I love Clearwater Beach and Sarasota. The Gulf Coast is pretty from Long Beach, Mississippi too.
    Wishing you the best Spring full of happy moments in innumerable ways, Luanne. πŸ€ ~πŸ’πŸ’ ~ πŸ¦‹ = 4 winged butterflies.

    • I love your examples, especially the dogwood blossoms! I’ve never even heard of someone having an affinity for even numbers, but now that I think of it, it must be a “thing.” It probably feels neat. At least that’s how I imagine it. So funny about the 5:04 AM, and yet here I always set my blog posts to publish the next morning at 5:20AM. hahaha Five is my number, and what is better than 5 with 4 more 5s ;)! xoxo

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