Friday, December 1, 2017

Christmas at Pinewood Estate

Pinewood Estate Holiday Home Tour

Since Mama was in town for Thanksgiving weekend, we decided to take a drive out to Lake Wales to visit Bok Tower Gardens and take the Holiday Home Tour at Pinewood Estate. Each year the estate, a 1932 Mediterranean-style mansion built by Charles Austin Buck as a winter retreat, is beautifully decorated for Christmas. Mama had never been to the Pinewood Estate before and even though Ron and I were there a couple of years ago, I was excited to see it again. A historic home plus Christmas decorations – two of my favorite things put together. :-)

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Go Fly a Kite

Veterans Day Fall Fly Kite Festival

November - my favorite month of the year. The weather is cooler and drier, and there seems to be at least one festival or fair (sometimes three or four) every weekend. Ron had to work on Saturday but I took advantage of the sunny, breezy weather and drove down to Treasure Island Beach for the Veterans Day Fall Fly Kite Festival. It was a perfect day for kite-flying. I got to see a couple of the show kites being launched, which was very cool. Several spectators brought their own kites or purchased one from the small kite shop set up by the sponsors. The sweetest was a dad showing his little boy how to fly. What a glorious day to be at the beach!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Giraffes and More at Giraffe Ranch

Giraffe Ranch in Dade City

I thought giraffes were fascinating long before I spent two months waiting for April the giraffe to give birth. :-)  When I found out last year that Safari Wilderness had a sister property in Dade City that offered giraffe feedings, I knew we’d have to pay a visit. With the weather finally turning cooler, it seemed like the perfect time to go.

Giraffe Ranch is a family-owned exotic game farm that runs guided tours twice a day. We had signed up for the 11 o’clock Safari Vehicle Tour and were lucky enough to have both owners, Lex and his wife Elena, for our guides. Elena started off the tour with a 10-minute educational talk about the giraffes and other animals at the ranch. Did you know that a giraffe’s neck has seven vertebrae, the same number as a human? It’s just that each vertebra is much longer! Also, animals whose hooves are split into an even number of toes have no top front teeth while animals with an odd number, like zebras and horses, do. That was why we’d be feeding the giraffes but not the zebras. We were much less likely to lose a finger. :-)

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Live Aqua Cancun

Live Aqua Cancun

After having to cancel our vacation twice this year, I don’t think either of us believed we were really going to Cancun until we were on the plane. We landed in clouds and drizzling rain. What happened to the beautiful weather I’d been seeing on the webcam all week?? I hoped it would clear up soon. I really needed a few days in the sunshine.

Our transfer driver met us outside the airport terminal and whisked us off to Live Aqua, an adults-only all-inclusive resort in Cancun’s Hotel Zone. The building was large and U-shaped, with a tropical garden and restaurants tucked inside the “U”. Past the garden there were several pools, including an infinity pool and a swim-up bar pool, more restaurants, and a bar with swing chairs. And beyond that was the amazing, endless beach. When we checked in, I was disappointed with our room because we’d booked an ocean front room with a king bed and somehow we ended up with two double beds. But the room did have a lot of nice amenities – robes and slippers, mini-fridge, handmade soaps, a beach bag for use while at the resort. There was even an aromatherapy oil warmer with a menu of oils to choose from. The best part of the room, of course, was the view of the ocean. That's what keeps us coming back to Cancun.