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)

healthier food and drink

healthy chips best beer?

Great resource. I’ve browsed through a little bit and I’m proud to say, I’m working on a bag of this exact product during lunches at my desk this week. http://www.menshealth.com/eatthis/Best-Grocery-Foods/best_tortilla_chip.php

Thanks to http://lifehacker.com/395854/eat-better-with-the-125-healthiest-supermarket-foods

Surprise: Guinness is the lowest calorie full bodied beer! Also, cosmos and bloody marys are recommended at http://www.menshealth.com/eatthis/Drink-This-Not-That/index.php

Beverages not advisable for weekday lunching.

New driver


The day has come. I accompanied daughter Gina to the DMV for her road test this morning and she passed. It was a little nerve racking for parents and child. The facility had several 16 year olds coming through and everyone was expressing at least a little emotion.

Afterward, while we drove the short distance to drop me off at work, Gina asked me how I felt. I replied “I feel a little older”. Gina said “me too”.

She’s off now to take the grandparents on their weekly trip to Publix. My next call will be to our insurance agent to let him know there is a new driver in the family.

new tent FAIL

I purchased a new tent called a quick pitch specifically for short trips where I didn’t want to spend a lot of time messing with camping gear and packing up. I found this on closeout at Sierra Trading Post, and when it arrived, I set it up to test it out and it seemed to work just as advertised.

So last weekend I slipped away for a couple of nights down at Long Point park and took the new tent. I didn’t do the math ahead of time, because when I pitched it, I immediately discovered a problem.

And this is advertised as a SIX PERSON TENT!!! HAHAHAHAHA  For CLOWNS maybe.

I ended up getting an air mattress from nearby publix and slept on the ground with my 6’2′ frame stretched diagonally across the tent floor. oh well. It was a great couple of days, and while down there I scouted some locations for the forthcoming family reunion. Pictured below are a mangrove snapper on the hook and in the pan, a grouper, and sunset after a storm.

0602080740.jpg 0602082019.jpg 0603080708.jpg 0603081010.jpg