As the guide stopped to point out alligators, birds, and fauna, my daughter chatted it up with a nice gentleman who was likely in his 70’s. Not exactly the Spring Break that a single graduate student had in mind
Posts from the ‘Florida’ Category
The Kiwanis Club welcomes visitors from all over the world to Calle Ocho where visitors numbered 1-1.5 million. NBD. On the streets, there is music stages on every block, dancing, and conga lines, food, vendors, children's areas and more food.
I love his hard hitting truth. Some of my favorite quotes came from this contraption and here are a few.
It is hard to fathom that these designs were lost to time, and yet, this is exactly what happened. During the tour, we learned that the plans were found in the archives at Florida Southern College.
Either you are an architecture fan or you're not.
I Threw A Mullett Across State Lines And All I got Was A T-shirt, Flora-Bama Mullett Toss, Gulf Shores, Alabama
I thought a mullet was all about “business in the front-party in the back.” But, it is a fish with no hair. Apparently, someone got an idea at a big ole beach party to throw a fish across state lines.
I wonder how this idea was formed?
Think this party is not a family friendly place?
Not my bra and “I’m a little bit older and a lot yet bolder than I used to be.” Flora-Bama actually does accommodate all ages during this event. It is a beach party after all. I was there to witness my nephews in this epic event.
Seriously, each year over $20,000 is raised and contributed to local charities, and especially the Youth Organizations. So, it is about the kids, well done folks. There are rules, like no gloves.
Three older women in line, I mean the over 70 set, chatted me up. Apparently, these chicks have been throwing dead fish for many years. They were missing their fourth friend this year. They shamed me into throwing.
Don’t worry, they are dead (the fish, not the 70 yr olds.) You put the slimy thing back into the bucket after you are finished. I wonder if those over 70 year olds ever slipped weights into their mouth to get a leg up? Anyway, they are fed to fish once their carcasses have been used up.
This is now part of my legend. Yep, I chucked that that fish from Florida to Alabama. I got 17th place in my age bracket. Whatever.
Bonus*There was some pretty darn good food here.
YUM! MEGASTARS **** Although this bucket list did not culturally, enrich me, I am giving this shindig 4 stars. I am glad I went. I bonded with family and conquered. Met some inspiring women, ate some great food and enjoyed the beach. I got a T-shirt and wear it like a badge of honor. Not a bad day. MEGATIPS;
- People come from all over the world for this shindig. Get your hotel rooms booked early. If you are not going to party, you can drive from Pensacola or Pensacola Beach.
- Drive to a shuttle point. This year it was in Orange Beach. There is paid parking but it is really slim.
- Great Low Country Boil on the grounds when I visited. A lot of other food is offered here. You may wait in line.
- In this area? I also like Lulu’s for fun and food. See my Tuesday blog.
Not Beach-ing About It-Pensacola Beach, Florida, Fort Picken’s National Park and Margaritaville Hotel
Pensacola Beach, Fort Pickens National Park and a Margaritaville Visit.
I am lucky to live not too far from this area, and while I am a frequent visitor to Pensacola Beach, I wanted to check out Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Beach Hotel.
The beaches in this area are truly fantastic. In March and April, the water is a bit cooler but I happened to hit a warm week and swam in this beauty.
This photos above is from The Pier on Pensacola Beach. Margaritaville is that beauty in the background.
The color of the water is dreamy. This public beach, there are lifeguards. The sand is white and soft. Perfecto!
It is fun to watch people fish from a nearby beach and the pier. There are many geared-up fishing boats that pass the beach.
Margaritaville was really a great stay. I got a room by the ice machine, which was loud. Aside from that, it was near perfection. No detail is overlooked in this hotel.
Lobby, Gift Shop and restaurant called “Frank and Lola’s Lounge. ” A beautiful bar area that leads out to pool and Tiki Bar.
A warm welcome and rooms with a view! Quiet and beautiful beaches. Straight out the hotel door. Since I love my OWN beach, this area of Florida is quite megapproved. Next to Margaritaville, is the ever fun hangout called “The Landshark Lounge.” Live Music
Nearby, there is this….
However, in the other directions is Fort Pickens National Park. I LOVE this park. Great camping, biking, history, fishing, private beaches.
Private beaches, wildlife, clear blue water, white sand, biking, hiking, fishing..Megahit!
One of my favorite moments in Fort Pickens has to be watching the sunsets that are visible over the bay from atop the cannon wall.
I found this sign very funny in a 10 year old sort of way. Fun places to eat breakfast? Why not have breakfast “At The Weinery” ummm wiener? Hot Dog House.
1. If you visit this area, watch The Blue Angels. I have seen them but did not take any photos. You can catch them from a viewing platform at The Naval Aviation Museum OR check them out from the peninsula at Fort Pickens. Bring a brunch. They are magnificent to watch.
2. Love nature, quiet beaches, history? Visit Fort Pickens
3. Rent or bring your bike. there are bike lanes, bike trails and safe places to bike around Fort Pickens.
4. Catch a sunset on top of the cannon wall at Fort Pickens
5. Stay at Margaritaville and check out the happenings at The Landshark Lounge.
6. Fun to eat on the beach at Flounders. The Shrimp boat is loaded with shrimp eats. They have this seafood nacho dish that serves a table full of people. Get a table out near the volleyball courts and bay.
7. Breakfast at Native Cafe
8. Fine Dining at The Grand Marlin. Try to get a table at the bayside. This restaurant has many “best of’s.”
SoBe-South Beach, Miami -Travel Thursday
Part 2 of Miami 3; 1. Little Havana, 2.The Everglades 3. So Be
Warm weather, awesome beaches, food to die for and a chance to knock out one of my U.N.E.S.C.O. bucket list wishes. I found a four leaf clover. There is that association with; Ferrari’s, clubs, Kardashians, yachts, overall hectic frenzy, plastic and bro-filled streets. There is that, but with an open mind one can spend some time finding peace and beauty.
The beaches here are ridiculous. Warm water, soft sand, safe and sunshine. Away from the party.
Characters are plenty.
This photo shows a lemur, in a diaper, in a bike. No big deal. (Thanks to Macaira L for this photo)
Lots of wealth. A place where; Bentley,Porsche, Ferrari,Maserati’s are pretty much like Toyota and Chevrolet in the real world. Then, there are the fast and furious, so pretty much everyday I saw some type of crash where airbags were deployed. . The last photo was someone crashing into a bus stop. Fortunately, no one was in this bus stop.
Lots of food choices. Espanola way has a beautiful setting. I ate there a few times and had one good meal and one overpriced meal with meh service.
A side trip to deep sea fish with a hometown friend. Deep sea fishing was on my bucket list. Check!
Art and culture is abound. I really loved my visit to The Holocaust Memorial. In memory of six million martyrs. Fact, Miami has one of the largest Holocaust survivor populations in the world. Built with Jerusalem Stone and surrounded by a reflecting pool of still water.
This path was meant to give an illusion of the diminished self. The names of death camps are listed on the side walls and are meant to “stare out at you.”
A Memorial Wall filled with names of those lost. Many in groups of families and from different places in Europe.
Would have loved to take photos there with my good camera. Simply moving. I took a million photos so check out my instagram at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.-Desmond Tutu
Last of all, take in a sunset or two.
I really LOVED my time here. I give my whole experience on SoBe 5 MEGASTARS *****
1. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.
2. People watch, better yet bring a friend and share some laughs. this place can be a trip.
3. Due to traffic, it can be difficult to drive on and off SoBe. Either stay for the beaches and sightseeing or, plan your trips at non traffic peak times. I saw so many accidents and I was there for one week only.
4. If you are a walker and most humans should be, one can walk nearly anywhere or use public transportation quite easily. There are rental bike spots everywhere, just put in your credit card. I was going to bring my bike but changed my mind. After seeing so many car accidents, I would caution bikers to be very very careful
5. Have a big wallet? Go to Smith and Wollensky for a sunset dinner. Go a decent time before sunset and asked to be seated outside by the water.
6. Like quiet? Research quiet areas. I stayed SoFi or South of fifth and had excellent stay. Great location. Try to find a place with parking included. Towing of luxury cars is an entertainment best enjoyed watching. As usual, I did get one ticket.
7. Traveling to South Florida? DO buy a Sun Pass. You will save a LOT of time and traffic headaches.
Tasting food in Little Havana was on my Miami Bucket List. Before this trip, I found a great article on “11 Latin Dishes in Miami To Try Before You Die.” http://www.miamiandbeaches.com/featured-articles/native-latin
The Versailles Restaurant seemed to pop up on every article that I read. i really loved it! There is a bakery room where you can pick up the most amazing foods and that great coffee! I give Versailles 5 MEGASTARS *****
Yum Take your number and shop while you wait.
Sandwiches to die for! The Cuban Sandwich was on my list and in my belly. Cuban Coffee, Cuban pull, Cuban espresso, cuban shot.
Just what is cuban coffee? I learned it is a specific roast from Bustelo or Pilon brands, owned by Cuban exiles. It is an expresso like drink brewed with demera sugar in the beginning and it forms a syrup, topped with a head called espumita. I found it in many places and on the cheap. You can also buy these little cups, I mean tiny like smaller than a shot-glass. There are entire blogs written about the ways to order your Cuban Coffee. Me, I went for the double double Cortadito, which has a bit of milk. I had a second thanks to the two days and two red eye flights. The second cup, I ordered with sugar free sweetener. Of course it was best with the sugar, but a girls gotta be careful when chowing her way through Lil Havana.
On that note, I had breakfast one morning at Versailles and I was curious about the Cuban toast. I felt ashamed of myself for eating the entire piece slathered with butter, I got over it. So Good! Perfection.
Down the street from Versailles on Calle Ocho I ate at Exquisito. This restaurant was recommended by The Travel Channel website for traditional Cuban meals. I tried their suggestion of Vaca Frita with a side of Malanga, which is described as an edible ornamental, sub tropical plant. The portion of the root is fried and served with garlic sauce. What’s not to like about that? 5 MEGASTARS *****
Across the street is this super cool artisanal ice cream and sorbet “boutique” called Azucar. I was reading an article about Cuban Sandwiches, and this place was mentioned as a celebration if Miami’s diverse cultures. I learned the flavors rotate weekly. With flavors such as sweet plantain and rum cake with walnuts, it’s tough to be just passing through. 5 megastars for Azucar *****
1. Go straight to Versailles. It’s good and the prices are reasonable. Nice service and a fun menu.
2. Flying in and out of the Miami Airport on the red eye? Great Cuban coffee to be found there.
3. Azucar was pretty special-save room for this place.
4. Go with a purpose because there are so many wonderful choices!