Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Early Release

Dylan got out of school at noon today, so we all piled into the car and drove up to Ft. Pierce to visit the St. Lucie County Historical Museum and the Marine Center. The Museum and Gardner House were the most enjoyable to me. We all really enjoyed the Florida Cowboy exhibit. Those men were called Crackers! I think that's surprising. It wasn't until after WWII that the open range was fenced in and cows were prevented from blocking traffic. The museum also has a very nice display of Seminole life and customs - the actual photographs are stunning to see.
Dylan had a chance to try his hand at printing.

Here's our own Florida Cracker boy!

Favorite fish from the Marine Center.
We had dinner at Norris's Famous for Ribs - It was wonderful!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

27 Dresses

Laurie and I went to the movies, and because we were feeling lighthearted we decided to see something fun. 27 Dresses is definitely fun! It was cute, enjoyable, lighthearted and worth it. We both liked it a lot.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Dick, Chip and Dylan got in some street time!

Today Dylan brought home a great report card and an award for being this month's Pillar of Patience (snort!)
We are all very proud of Mister D.

Sunday, January 27, 2008


There's a new development opening in Laurie's neighborhood, called Canopy Creek. She has always loved to look at model homes, so that was our quest for today! Here I am calling Laurie from Applebee's to set up our quest. These are remarkable, high-end homes. I really couldn't believe the backyard pools - very spectacular!
Dylan really enjoyed exploring the pools their associated rock formations!
We were in awe of this beautiful house and its great floorplan!
This house had 5 bedrooms and 5 1/2 bathrooms. The space where I'm standing is a playroom/gameroom - a huge space with every amenity you can thing of - big screen TV, lovely sitting area, game table, foosball, and on and on. One home had a kitchen with a double built-in refrigerator/freezer, and two dishwashers! I've led a very sheltered life!

Saturday, January 26, 2008


Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki means "a place of learning, a place to remember" in the Seminole language. The Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum is a wonderful place 13 miles north of Alligator Alley, which means it is literally out in the middle of nowhere! We drove down there today to learn something about Florida Native Americans. It's a terrific museum with lifesize mannikins displaying Seminole life.

My favorite parts were the very well done slide presentation, done in panorama style, and the beautiful and unique items of clothing which were displayed everywhere.
Dylan's favorites were the Legend storytelling and the mile and a half nature walk.

For some unknown reason we were unable to find the tribal we drove back out to Alligator Alley and got a surprisingly good BLT at the gas station there, and Dylan got two corn dogs - he said they were much better than the school corndogs!
Dick took this picture of Dylan and me unwrapping our ice cream - Dick thought it would be a nice contrast to the previous picture of TooJay's! I must repeat, however, that this little gas station had a really really good BLT sandwich!

We stopped at Quiet Waters Park on the way home so that Dick could put a travel bug in a cache. Dylan was delighted by these nesting birds - mostly ibis and egret:

Thursday, January 24, 2008

School Lunch

Laurie, Dick and I got sub sandwiches and went over to PCE to have lunch with Dylan! He was surprised! We also saw Kyle and Jessica over there. If you bring in food from outside, you eat at a picnic table in the courtyard. It was a lovely day, the sandwiches were yummy, Dylan was fun, and we were all glad that we did that!

After eating, we went to look at Dylan's classroom. I was so impressed - it was a big, square, light, airy, spacious room with lots of windows and only 18 desks (!!). Mrs. Oset has enrichment materials posted all around the room - I thought that it was very well done - a warm, inviting, enriching place for kids. Dylan is a lucky duck.

The rest of the day was spent running errands, watching TV, reading, eating at Too Jay's, working on my blog (which Dylan calls my blah blah blah), questing on WOW, and just generally hanging out. We stayed at Laurie's until 10 p.m.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

We also Love Lake Placid !

If you're ever in West Central Florida, you MUST visit the charming town of Lake Placid! It's a small town that has everything. It's full of parks and pleasantries and especially murals! These murals adorn 42 different downtown buildings, and they are spectacular. The murals are very well done - captivating and unbelievable. One of them, the cattle drive mural, has its own sounds effects - the sounds of a round-up. There are so many awesome murals you really should click on the site above and see some of them. Some are done in trompe l'oeil fashion - a truck with a real bumper and real license plate for example.

In addition to the wonderful murals, there are also various waste receptacle containers which you have never seen the likes of scattered around the parks. Our favorite was the car - when you push in the driver's side window to deposit your trash, the car lights go on, the horn honks, and the engine starts!

We had lunch at Jaxson's, just as Capt. Bud suggested, and we enjoyed every minute of it. Thanks Don!

This was a most successful overnighter. We found 16 caches yesterday, 21 today, and only received minor nicks and scratches, and 4 fire ant bites. Hooray! HomeAwayFromHomeward Bound.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

We Love Sebring!

On the advice of our friend Don (Capt. Bud), we decided to spend a couple of days west and north of Okeechobee caching, exploring and riding around. We had such a good time!
Sebring is a delightful small town with scenic lakes and nice shopping areas.
When this was built, it was a pier out over the water. Now, not so much.
On the way to Sebring, we stopped to do some caching at Lake Okeechobee. The Big Lake is down to about 10 feet deep over all due to the recent drought. Dick tried his delayed picture-taking on his new Nikon, and it worked well !
One of the caches that Dick found today was guarded by the biggest spider we ever want to see !
This was a magnificent tree by the Sebring Burger King. Could this possibly be a guava tree?
Cachers are So Clever! We got a kick out of the name of this one - "Get the F Out of Florida".

Unfortunately, Lake Jackson is drying up also, just like Lake Okeechobee. The pontoon boat is high and dry, and the No Mooring sign seems a bit redundant! OK, so it's obvious that we're not in Michigan anymore!
This sign fascinated me! Please notice that in the English version "Cresent" is spelled incorrectly, but in the Spanish version, "Crescent" is spelled correctly. What could possibly be the reason for that??

We found 16 caches today!

We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express - really nice. I love their new linens - great pillows, towels, sheets and such.

On our way out of town the next morning, here's what we saw in the parking lot at Mac Land - try that at Chum's Corner!

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Morning After...

Big Play-Off party last night at Laurie and Chip's. Rumor has it that the party broke up at 4 a.m. Dick and I came home after the Patriots game, so we are well-rested.

The partyers survived and revived enough to go caching in Palm City this afternoon. Kids and grownups together, there were about 10 of us. We had one DNF in a kind of a creepy place - the kind of a place where you really don't want to search!

Dick's logs:
1/21/2008 You couldn't find Back road spillway hide (Traditional Cache)
Stopped by this afternoon with two carloads of cachers. About a dozen pairs of eyes. This is not a kid friendly cache. Lots of trash, broken bottles etc. This would be a great place for a CITO event.

Found it 1/21/2008 You found C.B. Parking grab (Traditional Cache) [visit log]
We joined up with the Sharkie Crew, the Splatt Pirates. and Hyatt Seek for a joint late afternoon excursion. While most of us were using our high tech devises to no avail, Mrs. Basswood made good use of her low tech appliance and quickly found the prize. Thanks for showing us this unusual bridge.

Found it 1/21/2008 You found Gone Batty (Traditional Cache)
We have found a number of these containers on this trip and it seems that they all leak. This was the driest yet. The log is dry and safe in its ziplock. Thanks for the hunt.

Found it 1/21/2008 You found Out of the Ballpark (Traditional Cache)
A tough hide, we had two carloads looking in vain until Mrs. Pirate scored the find. Thanks for the fun.


Our front porch
Our back porch and grapefruit tree
Yellow hibiscus outside my bedroom window.
Pink hibiscus outside the computer room.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Sharkie Crew and Basswood Too

An excellent day. We set out with Laurie and Dylan and we had a full day scheduled. First, we found a location for the new puzzle cache that Dylan and Kyle have been working on. It's called Dylan and Kyle Go Shopping. It hasn't been approved yet, but Laurie will soon be submitting it. The cache container has been set out with all new contents, first finder prize, and log book. The cache is by Sharkie Crew (Laurie, Chip and Dylan) and HYATTSEEK, their friends the Hyatts. We are all anxiously awaiting its approval, and we're making bets on when it will be found first.

Lunch at Duffy's in downtown Stuart - very much fun. Stuart was crowded on this holiday Saturday. There's no school on Monday because of Martin Luther King Day, so it's a 3 day weekend. Ran into a couple of friends of Dylan's - it was fun meeting them - Alexandra and her mom.

The Environmental Center Open House was so interesting - many, many things to see. My favorite things were watching the feeding of the loggerhead turtle, learning about the comedy fish and its excellent camouflage, and watching the sea horses move around the tank - their manner of moving is fascinating! There was a photography contest associated with the open house, and Dylan had an entry. He didn't win a ribbon, but his beautiful picture of rocks by the ocean was displayed, and it was fun to see it there.

We had another cache to place, and we chose Halpatiokee Park. It's a brand new cache with all new cache items in a newly painted ammo box. It has been carefully placed along a nice asphalt trail. Dylan decided to name it Picnic With Grandma. I wanted it to be named A Walk With Grandma, but that came in second. We did walk, but we didn't have a picnic, although it's in an area with picnic pavilions. The cache description hasn't been written yet, and so it hasn't been submitted, but it's good to go! It's by Sharkie Crew and Basswood Bend.

Back at Laurie's, we had chocolate sundaes and just kind of chilled out for the rest of the evening. It was a sweet day.

Pioneer Trail

We spotted this osprey nest on the way to the cache.

This little cemetery is in memory of seven individuals who were the first settlers in Port St. Lucie. The original grave markers are all gone. This is a nice, quiet and peaceful cemetery.

Dick's log:
1/18/2008 You found Spruce Bluff Pioneer Trail (Traditional Cache)
Mrs Sharkie Crew brought us up here today to share the history. We enjoyed the area and the cache was a bonus. Took nothing but left a mosquito head net and a Dora TB. Thanks for the fun.

1/18/2008 You couldn't find Spruce Bluff Historic Trails (Traditional Cache)
After our find at the other end of the park, we hiked back to this cache. We enjoyed the shell mound with Ospreys at their nest and a Gopher Tortoise at his home. We spent quite a bit of time searching but weren't good enough to log a find on this one today but thanks for bringing us back here anyway.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Blustery Day

It was a beautiful day, but it was a little on the chilly side, and the wind was quite blustery! It was a great day to be out and about and geocaching in Florida with no fear of heat stroke!

Laurie was our chauffeur again. This time we wanted to explore northern Hutchinson Island. There are several parks along the beach there. Most of them have wooden walkways, stairs and platforms to get from the parking lot to the beach - and most of them have caches to search for. We found the caches to be in various states of maintenance. Some had been muggled, were missing, or had totally wet log books, and some were creative and fun.

At Pasley Park Dick took the above video - the surf was rough and loud - the wind was really roaring.
Altogether, we found six caches, with several Did Not Finds. It wasn't our best day - but for me it was totally enjoyable!

At Walton Rocks, we found a total of four caches. It's the only park on the Island that allows dogs - 3 dogs per person!! At the very end of the long park drive, there were several old rickety picnic tables - and on one of them there were 10 pennies lined up - for who know what reason!Quite the oddity! There was a penny on one of the other tables, and that was it.

We had lunch at Mangrove Matties - loaded with atmosphere and local color. There were great views of the Indian River and the many boats that went by while we sat by the window. One of them was a freighter which looked a lot like a Great Lakes freighter except it was shorter.

After lunch we went to Jetty Park in Ft. Pierce to walk it off! There was a very stiff breeze off the water - we're lucky we didn't get blown off the jetty! The first thing we noticed was that many of the riprap rocks had memorial plaques on them - memorializing people who had enjoyed fishing from the jetty during their lifetimes. It seemed odd, but somehow fitting. One was for a man called the Snook Master, and there was a bench dedicated to Big Al the Fisherman.Here we are trying to look warm and not windblown!
Another truly memorable day in Florida!!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Ocean, Turtles, Dunes, and Caches

January 10, 2008 - whatta day! In the morning, while Dick was scrubbing floors, I played WOW and completed a couple of really fun quests. One of the rewards was a new high quality fishing pole - I know that sounds silly, but in the game it's a Very Good Thing!

I wanted to go for a ride to see the ocean. Laurie came over and chauffeured us around all afternoon - and we had the Perfect Afternoon! We drove south to Jupiter, and along the beachfront there you can park and use boardwalks to get to the beach. It was another gorgeous day - the whitecaps were beautiful, the waves were crashing - some waves make a kind of a cracking sound!

We stopped in at the Loggerhead Marinelife Center - we just walked in as confident as you please, and were stopped at the door by folks saying "We're closed today - we're having a special event tonight." Laurie spoke to a really nice gal at the door, and lo and behold, the gal said "OK, you can come in and just take a quick look at the turtles!" So, feeling really privileged, we went to the turtle tanks and saw the loggerhead turtles, ranging in size from a dinner plate size to a coffee table size.

Dick's favorite was Jonah, who had been caught up in a fishing net - inside a fish! The fish coughed him up. He had been swallowed, hence the name Jonah! When he was brought to the center, he weighed .1 lbs. Now he's the size of a big lobster.

We were approached by a man who wanted to know if we were with the event people, and we explained that we were just visitors from Michigan who had finagled special treatment to get inside. Then for the next 10 minutes he wanted to talk about Gordie Howe, who used to live in Traverse City. This guy was a serious hockey fan - his name is Howe also, and when his son played hockey, he wore the number 9 - it was a fun conversation.

There was a cache next door at the Juno Dunes Natural Area, and another one across the street behind a shopping plaza. The last one was one of those that's back by the dumpsters, and you wish it was somewhere else! But we found both of them.

We toured Jupiter Island to see all of the big homes - it's an amazing place. The road is very narrow with no shoulders. Many of the homes have a second driveway with a "Service" sign by it - so no service people would actually come to the front door. The speed limit is 30 mph for most of the drive, and you share the road with golf carts.

We stopped at the Hobe Sound Beach, which is in the center of the island. It's a wonderful Martin County park - nice facilities, picnic pavilion, short walk to the beach, and great people-watching. It's a controversial park because the Jupiter Island residents don't like having the hoi poloi so close to their property. Dick and Laurie found a cache there, too.

Farther down the road at Blowing Rock, they found an interesting earth cache. The rocks were not blowing this day though.

Dick's logs:
Found it 1/10/2008 You found Sugar 'n Spice 'n Everything Nice (Traditional Cache)
We came down today to look at the ocean and to see the turtles. The recovery center was closed but the supervisor recognized Mrs Sharkie and let us in for a quick look. Afterwards we took a short walk to find the cache. Traded a TB for a coin and left a Geopatch and a star toy. Thanks for the fun.

Found it 1/10/2008 You found Faux's parking only! (Traditional Cache)
Came down with Mrs Sharkie Crew to enjoy the scenery and to look at the turtles. If it were not for Geocaching I know we would never have found this place. TNLNSLTFTC

Found it 1/10/2008 You found Ocean to Lake Trail #1: Hobe Sound Beach (Traditional Cache)
Out with part of the sharkie crew looking at the ocean. We think that this is one of the nicest beaches we've visited. Lots of folks enjoying the sun and sand today but we were here either to early or too late to witness any criminal activity. There were people fishing outside the park boundaries however. I guess they could spoil a homeowner's view. Found cache, signed log. Thanks for bringing us here.

Found it 1/10/2008 You found Blowing Rocks, The Anastasia Formation EarthCache (Earthcache)
We have been following the turf war over public beach access on the island and came down to see what the squabble is all about. We have visited and donated to many Conservancy areas in the past but I don't remember any others that had a fee. That was reflected by the fact that there were only 4 others enjoying the beach today.

Gee, I had a good time. And to cap off the perfect day, we all went out to dinner at Shell's, and I had great fish and chips. Dylan sat by me and did his homework - he's so cute!