scenic route

If you find yourself required to drive from central florida to Tallahassee or beyond, conisder this route. I’ve always just driven the no-brainer I-75/I-10 interstate route and it is deadly boring. But two different people in Alabama last week recommended the US 27 route through Cross City. We took it on our return drive home and it was great. Its a lightly travelled divided highway for almost the entire route, with the diversion of cutting through an occasional town. Its a little shorter than the interstate route, but our GPS made it out to be about 6 minutes longer. We didn’t time it, we just enjoyed the drive. We even saw buffalo.




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Slocum Tomato Festival

Ann and Jim’s wedding is tonight. This morning we struck out to visit the Tomato festival in Slocum (Alabama), about 15 miles away. Gina took the wheel and got some good manual clutch practice.

It was pretty low-key as festivals go. Lots of crafty-type vendors and some carnival food. But of course, we went for the tomato specials: a tomato sandwich on white bread, and fried green tomatoes.

There were several politicians stumping for the next election date in July and their t-shirts were everywhere. Linda took the opportunity to greet the lonely Obama representative and pick up a sticker for her shirt.

There was entertainment scheduled for the afternoon and we stuck around long enough to hear a bluegrass act warm up and do a sound check.

See the annotated photo set here.

equine resort

P1030122 OK, here’s the full story; Linda and I wanted to get away for a night, just by ourselves. We had some email conversations about possible destinations. Linda nominated this frou frou B&B, which just about made me gag. But I was intrigued by the nearby Orange Blossom Opry, so I said if she really really wanted, I’d accompany her. She replied and said she would find something somewhere, but wanted to surprise me.

So Saturday late morning we packed up the car and departed. Linda punched an address into the GPS and I saw that it was about 70 minutes away, and we were heading west.

We made our way leisurely, and eventually arrived at the Florida Carriage Museum and Resort in northern Lake county on the edge of Florida’s horse country, where Linda had reserved a cottage. This place is an equine “Bed and Barn”, featuring acres and acres of horse and carriage trails, and also offering carriage driving instruction. We were nearly the only guests on the entire property due to the season. That night, we did indeed visit the Orange Blossom Opry where we were conspicuously the youngest patrons in attendance. The musical selection reflected the audience demographics, but the band was competent and laid back, and it was all great fun. We will definitely return for one of the touring headliner acts next winter season.

Before departing Sunday, we stopped to observe a carriage lesson in the grassy arena in front of the museum. I’ve got some video, and will maybe share it when I get a chance.

I won’t mention the adventure of getting locked out of our cottage, or the difficulty we had finding our way back to the rented cottage in the pitch dark 400 acre property after the opry show.

Jump directly to the flickr photoset here.


As the youtube description says, the best skimboard video ever! These guys, they really carve up the beach breaks. There’s this one break they show a couple of times, and the guy starts out shooting a knee high wave down the beach and it gets bigger and bigger until it crashes overhead on the sand! I’ve never seen skills anything close to this in person.

(for Rick)