Sunday, November 29, 2015

Back to the Palm Coast We Go!

Off to my happy place. Well, really, it's one of my 3 favorite spots that include sand and water. The list is long but I would say Washington Oaks Garden State Park is easily in the top 3 along with Lover's Key and Blowing Rock.... and.... and...and... Okay, I'll stop there. The list of favorites is long.

But look at this! How could you not love it?!?!?

Doesn't even look like Florida, right?

Shadowy self-portrait.

Panoramic view of the rocks and the ocean.

 Nice little archway letting some light in.

 Rocky view.

I imagine the rocks in Sedona looking a bit like this.

Rocks as far as you can see.

Playing with the light.

I always seem to find my way into this little spot with this same view.

And if you go across the street to the gardens you'll see ponds, the rose garden and the beautiful view of the bay. 

I won't bore you with tons of details since I've reviewed this one before but pack a lunch. Check it out. Check the tides before you go. Seeing the tide in is just as cool as seeing it out. Getting to see BOTH is worth it!

Oh, and on the way back stop in and eat at The Funky Pelican in Flagler Beach. Yum!!! I had some delicious shrimp and grits. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Lights in St. Augustine

So we were just sitting around and trying to think of something to do. The kid says, "St. Augustine." I followed that up with, "Lights!" Moments later it was, "Let's Go!" So we did.

It actually was perfect timing since it was already the afternoon and well, you need it to be dark to see the lights. It is roughly a two hour drive for us to get up to St. Augustine and it was perfectly timed. The weather was beautiful and chilly making it feel even more like the holidays.

I mean, take a look....

I'm always on the search for a Geocache in the area and St. Aug doesn't disappoint. This one qualifies as the smallest one we have ever found. It feels a little like finding a hidden treasure. Good stuff. And the street musician playing for us as we searched was quite awesome as well. 

The buildings are beautiful and the architecture is superb everywhere you look. 

The statues and history around St. Augustine are fun to read up on as well. It's not the 4th grade field trip capital of Florida for nothing!

It's getting DARK!  Look at the lights... everywhere!!!

This display wins my vote for the best decorations in the city!

And last but not least we made a stop inside the oldest pharmacy. I was able to see it all before the wax museum purchased the building but the last time we went it was closed. I am glad to see that they have maintained the original shelves and items that were in some of the pharmacy. It's fun to just stand there and read the labels. I mean, there was even a suppository mold. Try explaining that one to the kids. Interesting.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Wednesday's Adventure to Rainbow Springs State Park

When you have a Wednesday off for Veterans Day in the middle of the week what else is there to do but have an adventure? For my gang, it was a no brainer. I needed to be outside and Florida State Parks are FREE on Veterans Day!

Say no more. Arm twisted. Let's go to Rainbow Springs State Park in Dunnellon.

The park was once privately owned but it fell into disrepair and the state park system decided to buy it and take it over to preserve some of natural Florida. I'm so glad when they do that. It's HUGE. I have visited quite a few parks in the area that have that same story to tell.

Now Rainbow River is really known for the pristine water and getting into 72 degree water wasn't in my plans for the day but man o' man, I would have loved to get out there in a kayak again. You can see straight to the bottom as it is crystal clear. There is a swimming area, plenty of picnic areas and you can Geocache as well. We found 4 today! Yahoo!

Because the park was once a tourist attraction there were some manmade waterfalls that were fed from the springs. The park still maintains these waterfalls and it's a beautiful walk through the park with the sounds of running water all around. 

The entire place is picturesque and really pops like a post card from the 1960's. Doesn't it? 

The State Park also has a butterfly garden and the remains of what once was a small zoo with a few animals. It just gives you more to walk around and look at throughout the park. And yes, I managed to find something to put on my nose. The frogs were there but uncooperative but the Monarch caterpillar was willing. 

There was a bugle, (yes, the snack food) that was balanced on the tip of the nose at one point of our picnic lunch as well but I'll spare you from that. Lots and lots of fun was had. Lots of acorns were whistled into annoying everyone. Pecans and other nut pieces were found and lobbed at each other in fun. A few games of Marco Polo were even played as we explored and lost each other. I'd say that was a successful AbJ day! Yes, Hailey, we need t-shirts. Still. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Blue Man Group VIP Event

It's not often that I get the chance to do something as cool as be a VIP at the Blue Man Group show at Universal Studios but thanks to Yelp that is exactly what happened. Even better, it happened for my sister too so we got to experience it together. Yeah!

Basically BMG is starting a VIP ticket experience with a before the show preview and after the show experience. Before the show you get to go back and see the hallways and learn some history of the BMG. You also get to see the theater empty and even stand on the stage for true perspective.

Right before the show we were led to some wonderful seats right in the center of the theater but safely outside of the splash zone. We had a great experience watching the interactive performance and we were all hooked and engaged the whole time, marshmallows and all!

After the show were some more perks for the VIPS. We got to go to the backside of the stage and see the instruments and even play with one. We heard more about the Blue Men and what makes them what they are. And then we got to take some pictures with one of the Blue Men and yes, I even got him on my nose. 2 points!

I don't want to give away too much about the show because it truly is about the experience. Telling yo u all the the fun nuances and secrets may just take that magic away... and well, I don't want to do that to you! Go. See the Blue Men. Enjoy it. Have a marshmallow.