End of the Season

It is the end of the winter season here in Florida and everyone is starting to leave to go home.  It is kind of sad.  You don’t think that you can develop much of a friendship in 3 months, but we sure have.IMG950857Teresa, Wanda and I learned to line dance. These were our next door neighbors this winter.20160322_095313(0)20160306_131643We have cook outs together.20160306_131640Learned how to cook new things.  Invited Roger to eat too.20160306_131635IMG_0402Our neighbors loved jello shots.20160306_152121They even made some with Fire Ball, apple juice and orange jello.  My favorite.20160306_142530This is Rosco. I said “Rosco, look this way”, as soon as I did, he wiped his face and stared right at me.20160326_090412We all have 5th wheels and black trucks.  All the trucks are a different brand though.20160326_090214View from the front.20160326_115745Mr. & Mrs. Crane with a new baby.20160316_17092520160316_170933We even stole each others electricity.  Funny story: We were comparing electric bills for the month of February.  Our bill was 57.00, but Justin and Wanda’s bill was about 125.00.  We could not figure out why theirs was so high.  So Cliff and I came home one night from playing cards and found Justin’s extension cord plugged into our camper.  They were all outside and laughing their A__ off.

So when Sandy came for a visit, Justin and Wanda picked her up at the airport and were not to arrive home until almost dusk.  So Cliff and I decided to plug out lights into their camper while they were gone.  Justin got a big kick out of that when he got home.

20160328_081754And today they left.  Heading back to Michigan.  We hope to see them in May and we are all planning on coming back here for the winter again next year.

Wild Bill’s Airboat Ride and Hamburgers

March 22, 2016

http://www.wildbillsairboattour.com/

20160322_095313(0)Air Boat ride with Wanda, Justin, Larry, Cliff, Teresa and Sandy

20160322_11362020160322_100036They let you hold baby alligators. 20160322_10012320160322_10181620160322_102654This is our crew.  Front row: Cliff, me, Sandy (Wanda’s sister), Wanda, Justin.  Back Row: Alan (Teresa’s brother who lived in Pulaski, TN at one time), Butch, MaryBell (Teresa’s stepfather and her mother who live 7 miles from Blueberry Hill), Teresa and Larry.  The young lady taking the picture kept saying to lean it, so Cliff did.20160322_104555Withlacoochee River.20160322_113249This is Big Bubba behind 2 fences.

20160322_125324Then it was lunch at Pudgee’s just outside Floral City.  My manicurist recommended this place. She claims they have the best hamburger in Central Florida.20160322_120801Some of our group of 10 were a little nervous at first, but we talked them into it.  And Marie was right.  The hamburgers were off the chain.20160322_125308They also claim to have good hot dogs too.20160322_125313

If you are ever in Floral City, check it out. Get the cheese burger (it is with Amish made white american) and share an order of french fries.

Tampa Bay Downs

March 11, 2016

20160311_130728We had a great time at the race track.  Blueberry Hill RV Resort organized the trip with a chartered bus and a very nice buffet lunch.  We did not win any money, but had a great time. And, I did not coordinate my outfit with my hat.  I was not going to wear, but Rose insisted on it.4M4A7428On the right is Eleanor and Tom, behind them is Kathy and Edwin.  Cliff and I are in the very back on the right, across from Gene and Rose.  Judy and Sy are in there too.

20160311_133736I bet on Wildcat Kitten in the 6th race for my friend Sheila, but it did not win.

20160311_130615Blueberry Hill RV Resort sponsored the 7th race.4M4A7592The 7th horse won in the 7th race.20160311_1433524M4A7631Since Blueberry Hill sponsored the race, all the ladies in hats got to have our picture taken with the Jockey and the Trainer.4M4A7636They kept telling us to hold onto our hats, so that we would spook the horses.4M4A762720160311_140205It was a beautiful day and we had a wonderful time.

Florida Strawberry Festival

Thursday March 3, 2016

The Florida Strawberry Festival is a large event in Plant City, Florida.  We went on the first day and got the senior citizen discount.  Yeah!20160303_093240They plant onions on the outside of the strawberry fields to protect the strawberries. The onions are very sweet and large.20160303_09353120160303_09362620160303_093634

They had pig races.20160303_095507You have to look closely to the first turn.20160303_100611This is a pig in training.20160303_100708

Then we learned about how they plant and grow strawberries.  This equipment was amazing. The Super Bedder forms the mounds for the plants.20160303_102556Then they put a black mulch cover over the mound.20160303_10261220160303_102646This machine punches the holes for the plants and then they are still hand picked. Amazing.20160303_102816

We saw some cloggers.  This was a lot like a county fair in Tennessee.  We saw live stock and they had pig showings and live stock demonstrations20160303_11014320160303_122547

And then we went to the pioneer village and met this woman.  I wish we had gotten her name.  She was Awesome and showed Cliff had to make a strong enough rope to lead a cow20160303_13182220160303_13171020160303_13183120160303_131833She took the 3 strains of twine and made one large rope. The paddle is what she used to braid them together.20160303_131911

And as we left, we saw people picking the strawberries by hand.20160303_134444

What a great day in Plant City, Florida.

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Budweiser Clydesdale’s

Friday February 26, 2016

The Clydesdale horses travel to different shows and events throughout the year and around the country. There are 4 sets of hitches that travel the country.  We happened to see a notice where they were going to be in the Ocala Square on Friday evening.  We decided to go up and see them, up close and personal.20160226_153140Downtown Ocala, in the Square.  They have several of these around the city.

The traveling hitches arrive in (3) 50-foot tractor-trailers.  There are 2 trailers of horses, which hold 10 horses each and one trailer for the famous red, white and gold beer wagon. Cameras mounted in the trailers are connected to monitors in the cabs that enable the drivers to keep a watchful eye on their precious cargo during transport. The team stops each night at local stables so the “gentle giants” can rest. Air-cushioned suspension and thick rubber flooring in the trailers ease the rigors of traveling. These are called traveling hitches.20160226_155331

Feed: Each hitch horse will consume as much as 20 to 25 quarts of whole grains, minerals and vitamins, 50 to 60 pounds of hay, and 30 gallons of water per day.20160226_160034

And Clyde, the Dalmatian, travels in the tractor-trailer with the horses.  Dalmatians have been traveling with the Clydesdale horses since the 1950s.  He was very popular.20160226_16215920160226_162749

Hitch Requirements: To qualify for one of the traveling hitches, a Budweiser Clydesdale must be a gelding at least four years of age, stand 72 inches at the shoulder when fully mature, weigh between 1,800 and 2,300 pounds, have a bay coat,four white legs,a white blaze, and a black mane and tail.20160226_16305820160226_163117(0)

Wagon: Turn-of-the-century beer wagons have been meticulously restored and are kept in excellent repair. The wagons are equipped with two braking systems: a hydraulic pedal device that slows the vehicle for turns and downhill descents, and a hand-brake that locks the rear wheels when the wagon is at a halt.20160226_160420

Harness: Each harness and collar weighs approximately 130 pounds. The harness is handcrafted with solid brass, patent leather, and stitched with pure linen thread. The harness is made to fit any Clydesdale; however, collars come in various sizes and must be individually fitted to the Clydesdale like a finely tailored suit.20160226_163321

We were right there and it was awesome.

Our friends on facebook have already seen these, but we have several friends who only follow us on the blog, so we wanted to update them and keep this blog as a good journal of our experiences.

River Ratz

A small seafood restaurant in Nobleton, FL called River Ratz Cafe.  It does not say it on the sign, but they are open Saturday and Sunday too.  I had grilled shrimp and it was wonderful.20160220_142011

This is something I have never seen.  Parking for your horse, cars not allowed.  I wonder if you can get a DUI while riding your horse home from River Ratz?20160220_13144020160220_131448

It is mostly outdoor seating with very little seating inside, which is great on a beautiful day.20160220_131728

They also have kayak and canoe rentals.  The locals have their airboats.20160220_131718