kv0925: (Gromit Reading)

I see some of you posting pics full of some white stuff I am not familiar with. This is what we do in February in Florida!

Saturday we wanted to go to an event that sounded neat on the Stetson University campus in Deland--there's a geological museum there that we've long wanted to check out, and it's usually closed on the weekends. But about once a month they open it up on a Saturday in conjunction with some special presentation for the young'uns. This time it was a lady sculptor of Cherokee ancestry, showing some of her work and then running a little pottery workshop for the kids. Naturally the girls enjoyed that, since they've always loved working with Play-Doh (and more recently, oven-bake polymer clay).

A Few More? )
And that's about it. I came (back) down with a cold or something Saturday and wasn't feeling good at all. Not a whole lot better Sunday either, but I was still game to head to Downtown Disney and the LEGO store. I got the new Detective's Office set, which is awesome. :) And we got to check out some of the work that's been completed on the conversion of DD to Disney Springs, including our first time parking in the new garage. Not bad, I like how it's coming along. Still a ways to go, though, and the traffic still crawls through there. And that was a Sunday morning in the off-season, it must have been a nightmare around the holidays.

Okay, I need to get a little more work done. I'm still feeling pretty crappy today, so I think after a 2pm conference call I'll head home and take a nap. Hope everyone's week is off to a good start!
kv0925: (Gromit Reading)

Not a bad 3-day weekend, though (as always) it was over far too quickly. I got some good photos, though, so I wanted to put together a photo post or two to share. I should note, the one thing missing from the weekend was kayaking! So no Paddling Diaries this week. Ah well, maybe next week! :)

Saturday was a pretty chilly day in these parts, so as I mentioned last time, my initial plan to get some paddling in on the way to the birthday party we were attending in the afternoon was a no-go. Instead we hung out around the house for most of the day, cleaning and tackling a few little projects, like running a network cable through the attic for the new/old home theater PC. Not terribly exciting, but part of being homeowners! In the afternoon we headed to the party, which was a good time. Then home, dinner, and our usual evening routine.

Sunday we concocted a plan to go to Leesburg. I'd mentioned my intention to visit the WWII aircraft making their way through the area, and instead of doing that in Winter Haven Monday we decided to do it in Leesburg Sunday, and maybe hit a couple parks in the area while we're at it. So that's what we did. We went to the airport first, which was fun, and I believe I'll cover that in a separate post so people who don't care about WWII aircraft aren't bored. :)

Onward, with photos! )
And that was the weekend--but stay tuned for airplane photos! :)
kv0925: (Gromit Reading)

Weekend update time! This weekend started out with a trip over to the so-called Nature Coast, to visit Weeki Wachi Springs. Like Silver Springs, it was one of the first theme parks in the state, opened in 1947 by an ex-Navy SEAL who thought it would be nifty to have people performing underwater with the aid of breathing hoses. That quickly morphed into all-mermaids-all-the-time. Like most of the other non-Orlando Florida theme parks, the arrival of Disney World spelled their slow decline, so in 2008 the state took Weeki Wachee over as a state park (as is happening this year with Silver Springs). In its heyday, though, it was apparently a happening place. Elvis visited, several movies were filmed there (one of which, Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid starred William Powell, who we adore from The Thin Man--I scored a copy of that one to check it out!). I'm sure the nonprofit state park version of the place is a mere shadow of its former glory, and we frankly weren't all that impressed. But maybe that was because a good part of the park was closed off (for maintenance/refurbishment, maybe), and we didn't want to wait for the boat cruise on the river. The mermaid show was pretty interesting, though!

More Pictures and Words! )
kv0925: (Gromit Reading)

Continuing our policy of exploring new places every weekend lately, Saturday we drove out to Eustis. A blog I follow mentioned a place there called the Trout Lake Nature Center, and it sounded right up our alley. It was pretty cool--a couple buildings with nature displays and whatnot, a couple nice woodsy hikes, and a boardwalk out to the lakefront. It was a chilly morning so the wildlife was mostly still hiding, I guess.

More! )
kv0925: (Gromit Reading)

I thought the vintage postcard look worked well here, don't you? Anyway, this was our destination this past weekend. It's kinda-sorta Florida's first theme park--the springs in the name have been an attraction since about the 1870s, and over time the area surrounding them has been developed into a nature park with some other stuff thrown in. Several sitting Presidents have visited, and a number of films and television shows have been filmed there, in whole or in part, including Creature From the Black Lagoon and a couple of classic James Bond flicks. We'd been tossing around the idea of visiting for some time, but this past week it was announced that as of October 1, Silver Springs will become a Florida state park--actually, it will become part of Silver River State Park, which adjoins it. It's actually already a part of that park, but it was leased to a private company to run it as a theme park until 2029. Those folks wanted out of the lease because they were losing money on the place, and the state agreed to let them out. So we thought we'd better visit now, before they start dismantling the place. And it's a good thing we did, because some things were already shut down, and a few employees said most of the animals will probably be gone within the next month or so as well. I figured they'd wait until after the summer tourist season, but clearly not!

Anyway, it was a gorgeous day and a really nice park to walk around. It wasn't busy at all, of course, and Heather said it felt like stepping back in time. I'd have to agree.

Clicky for pics! )
kv0925: (Gromit Reading)
I do love long weekends, though this one in particular means I don't get another one (well, unless I take time off myself, anyway) until Memorial Day. We stayed pretty busy, though!

Saturday was the National Day of Service, so I'd signed up for me and the two older girls to go on an air potato raid at an area park. In case you aren't familiar, air potato is a noxious, invasive vine that spreads rapidly and chokes trees out by blocking their sunlight. It gets its name from its means of reproduction, which is via potato-like masses that grow from the vine, drop the the ground and sprout new vines. Lots of parks have these raids to pick up as many of the potatoes as possible so the spread is contained. It wasn't bad, the girls and I collected almost 30 pounds of the things! They had enough after about a half an hour, but I was able to keep them going for about an hour and a half, until it was about time to head out for lunch. Mmm, Panda Express.

That afternoon we had a sudden impulse to go buy some plants for the front yard. We have a semicircular driveway out front, and between the driveway and sidewalk there's an island for landscaping. Since we moved in 5 years ago, we haven't done much to it--so the rose bushes that were there when we moved in have gotten straggly and overgrown with vines, and the rest was just pretty barren and unattractive. So since our winter is turning out to be more like an early spring, we figurd what the heck and took the chance to buy some azaleas to go in there. Hopefully those will grow into nice bushes, and we plan to fill in around them with some lower ground cover and flowers. I'm leaning towards things that are good for wildlife, like juniper, maybe winterberry or currant. Now that the butterfly garden is doing so well, I might like to turn to attracting more birds as well!

On long weekends we often like to take a trip on one day, either to visit my Mom over in Brevard, or to go exploring on out own. So Sunday we decided to strike out to the northeast and visit a few of the cluster of state parks over around Volusia and Flagler counties. And from here I'm going photographic with my weekend recap, so...

Clicky! )

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