Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Eve - Palm City to Valdosta

Started the day with a trip to the Treasure Coast Urgent Care, where Dick had a lovely hour in the waiting room (not). They were very nice, thorough and efficient, and gave me a prescription for an antibiotic (Cipro) and told me that if I took it to Publix, it would be free!

We arranged to meet L, C & D at the Galaxy Diner for breakfast. I went in and got a table for 5 while Dick took the prescription to the Publix next door. It seems that they really do have a Free Antibiotics Program, so there was no charge for the Cipro.

We had a great breakfast, and a wonderful time until Chip got a phone call from his Mom saying that his Grandma (Nana) had passed away. She was 102 and seven months old, so her passing was not totally unexpected, but still a solemn event.

We hugged everybody goodbye, and headed to the Florida Turnpike north to Valdosta. Traffic was a little crazy, and the plazas were super-crowded, but generally an uneventful trip to Georgia. It was fun to see the Georgia cotton fields - that's how you know you're not in Michigan!

The woman at the Comfort Inn recommended the Texas Steakhouse for dinner, and said "Here's you a coupon for 10% off". See? We're not in Michigan for real.

At the restaurant, the couple at the next table over heard us saying Traverse City and came over to say that they were from Grayling! How coincidental is that? Then we ran into a man wearing an M hat - it turned out that he lives in Sarnia, but has been an M fan all of his life.

Gas price in Florida this morning was 3.11. and tonight in Valdosta it's 2.91.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Seminole Inn

One of my favorite things to do near Palm City is lunch at the Seminole Inn in Indiantown. It's an historic old inn - yummy food, lots of ambiance, and a museum-like second floor. Laurie took us all out there today, I think to humor her Mother! Thanks, Laur.

These Seminole garments are fascinating - they're all hand-stitched, just like quilt making. The colors are so vibrant and the fabrics are beautiful.

This is the Seminole Inn parrot, whose name is Cracker. They say he can pronounce several words, but all I could get him to say today was Hello.

We had all just seen the movie "The King's Speech". It's about the time when Prince Albert's brother King Edward VIII abdicated the throne of England to marry a divorced woman, Wallis Warfield Simpson, thereby making Prince Albert King George VI. Just by total coincidence of which we were unaware, we discovered a royal connection to the Seminole Inn! The Inn is located on Warfield Road, which was named after an Uncle of Wallis Warfield Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor. It seemed a cosmic coincidence to us. Who Knew?

Indiantown, originally established by the Seminole Indians as a trading post, was later settled in the 1890's by white settlers. With the arrival of Baltimore banker S. Davies Warfield in the 1920's Indiantown began its short and unsuccessful rise. Warfield planned to make Indiantown the southern headquarters of his seaboard airline railroad (now known as seaboard coastline), then stretching from central Florida to West Palm Beach. He planned a model city. He laid out streets, built a school, constructed houses, and a railroad station. He also built the Seminole Inn which is the only remaining feature of the 1920's boom. Warfield was the uncle of the Duchess of Windsor who visited the inn several times. Indiantown is a proud little town with the Inn as the only remnant of Warfield's dream. It is a must see for the reconstruction of the pre-depression era. You are allowed to wander around and look. Submitted by: Mike Woodfin

Monday, December 27, 2010

Cricket Court

Hanging out at Cricket Court. WoW and tenderloin - a nice combo.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Boxing Day

Walking around Halpatiokee Regional Park is a good way to start the day. Dick and Jana and I went over there for our constitutional. Dick got a kick out of this sign telling what's prohibited in the park - he especially loves that last item!

The best find of the morning was this gopher tortoise hiding in his home. They are really big! Dick said he didn't know what they go-fer.

Florida has some strange vegetation - especially strange to our white pine eyes.

For Christmas, Dylan got a Kinect system for his Xbox. Looks to me like it will be good exercise for the whole family!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas in Pictures


We had a perfect day - best yet. Hope you did too.

These pictures are in reverse order! Sorry about that.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Diva Duck

Palm Beach's Only Sightseeing Adventure over Land & Sea

Tour Details:

  • A 75-minute, lively, fully narrated, historical & musical tour
  • USCG inspected Amphibious Vessel
  • See the charming neighborhoods of old West Palm Beach
  • View the estates of Palm Beach's Rich & Famous as you cruise South Florida's waterways
We had such a good time! Laurie treated all of us to this tour and it was a blast. The Duck can go from land to water with no hesitation, so half of the time you're on a bus ride, and the other half is a boat ride.

The couple sitting behind us overheard Dick saying that we are from Traverse City. The woman got very excited - it seems she was an exchange student in T.C.H.S. in 1964. They live in Stockholm, Sweden, and also have a home in France. They were planning to spend Christmas in London with their grandchildren. It was a unique experience.

After the tour, we ate at the Cheesecake Factory, which was right across the street. Nobody had cheesecake!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Oxbow Eco Center

Fun Place:Oxbow Eco-Center


Address:5400 NE St James Drive
St. Lucie, FL 34983
Port Saint Lucie, FL 34983


Contact Name:None Specified

About:The Center situated on a 220-acre preserve on the North Fork of the St. Lucie River, the Oxbow Eco-Center offers a rare glimpse of "the real Florida" – a place where geologic history and the present time come alive in the canopy of the floodplain forest, in the sandy soils of the scrub and pine flatwoods, and in the primordial swamps and ephemeral wetlands.

At the Oxbow, you can join a naturalist on a guided walk through quiet gardens planted and nurtured by Mother Nature herself, or journey on your own through the verdant and wild sanctuary.

Tom's name in the game is Oxbow, and our telephone exchange in Belleville was Oxbow - so driving to the Oxbow Eco Center in Port Saint Lucie was a must-do. They have a nature center with some dedicated employees and volunteers who take care of the animals - turtles, snakes, etc. The animals all have names. One of the turtles was wounded when it arrived and was given physical therapy (no kidding) by a volunteer and is now almost back to normal.

They also have a trail system, and our hikers enjoyed the walk. I believe there was a geocache involved!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Halpatiokee, Sailor's Return, Wildcat Park, Halo Risk

The day began with a walk in the park (Halpatiokee) with Tom, Laurie, Dylan and Dick. Dick was doing cache maintenance. Dylan was able to find the one Dick couldn't find yesterday. It was a beautiful morning - cool and sunny - perfect for being out and about.

Out to lunch at a new place by the bridge in Stuart. It's a very nice place, and quite popular. It's right on the waterway, and next to a marina with big. beautiful boats. We enjoyed it.

After lunch Laurie drove over to Palm City Elementary, where they have a brand new play structure - Wildcat 2 Community Park. We explored and had a good time just fooling around.

Back at Laurie's house, Dylan set up the new Halo Risk game that he got for his birthday. The set-up takes a long, long time, and of course the game itself is even longer! Tom was such an obnoxious victor that Dylan suggested that he and I make an alliance, and only attack Uncle Tom . That worked like a charm! Tom was defeated after three hours (!). We left the game set up on the table, and tomorrow Tom will take over my armies, and he and Dylan will have it out! I'll be glad to be just an observer.