Thursday, January 7, 2016

Back to Gainesville

It's New Years Day and the nest tradition I have is to spend it outside! Off to Gainesville we go to look for shark teeth in the water of the Hogstown Creek accessible through Loblolly Woods. A word of warning... this time we went there were signs posted that it was high in fecal bacteria. It didn't stop all of us... maybe it should have. Yuck!

Some of the cool teeth we found.


We tried to get in a visit to Lake Alice and to see the bats come out but the rain and temperature drop ended that possibility. We headed to The Swamp to have some dinner and ended the holiday with some friends. Good stuff. Next in Gainesville: more locations to explore on Hogstown Creek. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

NOLA Bound

Yes, yes, yes. I know most of my adventures are Florida based but every now and then a girl has to go home, see the family and get back to her roots. It was that time. After a loooooong drive in (plan for about 10 hours from Central Florida) we had a nice visit with friends and family! I never get to everything but it is sure fun to try!

A girl has to eat! Yum!!! Crawfish, mushrooms and potatoes. Yes, please. 

And nothing wrong with some beignets and cafe au lait from Cafe Du Monde. 

There has to be a trip to the French Quarter to soak in the city and view the cathedral.

Finally was able to see the George Rodrigue gallery full of Blue Dogs. 

Another Finally!!! Celebration in the Oaks at City Park with Mr. Bingle. 


Because one view of the Cathedral is never enough. 

Catching some live music in Jackson Square. 


Even the cemeteries are beautiful. 


Yep, more food. Just look at that gumbo.


More lights. This time in Lafreniere Park.



Always room for more beignets!

Finally got in to Storyland to see some of the spots I played when I was a child. This was my favorite. 

More lights. This unicorn was actually in a fountain I played in as a kid. 

Ahhhh, the beautiful carousel in City Park. Always beautiful. 

Well, those are just a few of my memories from going home for the holidays. If you're ever in need of NOLA suggestions just let me know. Best city ever. 

As Chris Rose once said, 

“Dear America,
I suppose we should introduce ourselves: We're South Louisiana...You probably already know that we talk funny and listen to strange music and eat things you'd probably hire an exterminator to get out of your yard. 
We dance even if there's no radio. We drink at funerals. We talk too much and laugh too loud and live too large and, frankly,we're suspicious of others who don't.” 

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Caves in Florida. What?!?!

Yep! You heard me. Caves in Florida.

Florida Caverns State Park is located up in the panhandle near where the time changes on I-10 in Marianna. It's just a short drive off the interstate and we timed it perfectly on our trip to Louisiana to take a tour. Be sure to call ahead and see what times they offer the tours when you visit. And so you know, it was $5 for the car to get in and then $8 each for the tour. Worth it.

We were there a bit early so we explored and did a few geocaches while we waited. This led us to the entrance before anyone else so that was a nice opportunity to check out the stairs with no one else around.

Time for the tour. We must have gotten the most "interesting" tour guide ever. And by interesting, I actually mean a bit of an odd duck. Just the way he phrased everything and stared intensely at us through the whole tour. Everything was on his top 3 list and his favorite. But hey, he enjoyed his job I guess. We enjoyed the tour and exploring though. Very cool stop.

There are lots of limestone formations and stalactites and stalagmites all around and some were dripping and forming.

It's hard to tell scale here but some rooms were very tall and some lower to the ground. You do need to be physically able to walk bent over and on uneven ground to make it through the caves. If you get short of breath easily and don't bend easily, skip it. Also, wear tennis shoes. It can be pretty slick in there. You will also be remind several thousand times to duck and not knock your head on the cave.

The rooms are illuminated as you go in to them and the lights get turned off as you go through. No need for a flashlight. They've done a nice job making sure you can see everything.

So go, enjoy! See the caves that Florida has to offer. It's a great stop on a road trip.