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

Pioneer Florida Museum & Village

February 20, 2016

I am trying to catch up.  It has been a while since I updated this blog, so I apologize.20160220_104527On February 20, 2016 we went to the Pioneer Florida Museum & Village.  We really enjoyed it.  It was a very pleasant day and it was not crowded.

In 1960, Rudolph Rhode and his sister, Miss Annie Rhode, the children of a prominent farmer in San Antonio, Florida, gave 37 antique farm implements and tools to the Pasco County Fair Association.  On April 28, 1961 the museum was chartered by the State of Florida as “The Pioneer Florida Museum Association, Inc.”, with 87 charter members.

There are 12 buildings in the Village. The first one is the Lacoochee School House. The one room school house was built in 1926. It was rescued from demolition in 1976 and moved to the museum’s grounds.20160220_110031There also have old Fire Trucks, which I really liked.20160220_110103

The John Overstreet House was a farm house built in the 1860s.  It is one of the oldest wood frame structures still standing in Pasco County.20160220_112907

There is also a history lesson on Outhouses.  The crescent moon and star cutouts on the door of many outhouses goes back to Colonial times when many people could not read. The moon was the symbol for women and the star for men.  It is thought that men, in general, let their outhouses fall into such bad shape that more women’s outhouses survived over time and the moon became universal.  20160220_110815

The Mabel Jordan Barn houses the collection of horse-drawn carriages, farm equipment and tools.20160220_11123320160220_11105420160220_11135720160220_11144820160220_11095820160220_111051Even a Surrey with fringe on top.20160220_111021

Check this out.  They used their dogs to churn butter.20160220_11130720160220_111258

The Blanton Packing House opened in 1910. They packed and shipped citrus fruit throughout the country until 1989. In 1946, they were advertising for female workers.  I hope you can read this ad.  I thought it was very interesting for 194620160220_11454520160220_11460920160220_114616

The Trilby Depot was originally built in 1887 by the H.B. Plant Railroad System.  It was built to accommodate the many passengers and the large amount of freight which passed through Trilby, once the third largest rail yard in the state of Florida.20160220_11542220160220_11554520160220_11555620160220_11562920160220_115356

It was worth the trip to Dade City to see this.

Day Tripping

Tuesday February 16, 2016

The morning started off with the Manager’s Coffee, which is a get together with the Manager of Blueberry Hill and he brings you up to date on all of the things going on in the Resort.  New cable channels, Bushnell news, etc.

Then off to play shuffleboard.  Neither one of us won, but at least Cliff got his quarter back.  I have yet to get my quarter back, which means I am one of the lowest 5 scorers. Oh well, it is all fun.

The day is so pretty, we decided to try River Ratz for lunch. An outdoor cafe on the Withlacoochee River in Nobleton, FL.  They are not open on Monday and Tuesday.

Plan B – Drive through the Florida National Cemetery. Over 120,000 interments.  It is within the Withlacoochee State Forest in Bushnell, Florida.2016-02-16 11.45.212016-02-16 11.37.022016-02-16 11.37.06It is absolutely beautiful. There are committal shelters throughout the cemetery.2016-02-16 11.39.43It is a very large National Cemetery.  Wonderful place.2016-02-16 11.38.57 Continue reading

Florida State Parks

Sunday February 14, 2016

Day tripping – Beautiful day and no Resort activities, so we decided to explore a couple of state parks close by.

We headed east to Lake Griffin State Park in Fruitland Park, Florida.20160214_124019

They have the 2nd largest Live Oak tree in the State of Florida and it is believed to be 300-500 years old.  It was big.20160214_12292820160214_12283720160214_122720

The live oaks are beautiful.

20160214_121505A lot of fishing going on at the head of the 1,000 foot canal leading to Dead River, which empties into Lake Griffin.  Only 40 campsites available in this State Park.

Then we headed west to Rainbow Springs State Park in Dunnellon, Florida.  This was 42 miles from Lake Griffin.20160214_144611This is a beautiful park. Flowers blooming everywhere.20160214_14374820160214_14221820160214_143142

The water is crystal clear. Rainbow Springs is the 4th largest spring in Florida.  People were swimming, kayaking and canoeing.20160214_14214920160214_143055

Then we had to get back home to get ready for the Valentine’s Day Dance at Blueberry Hill.

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And there was a lot of line dancing going on. 20160214_184752Pure Country Gold was the band for the dance.  The band was pretty good and everyone had a great time.  We met a couple from Savannah, TN and another couple from northern Mississippi.

What a great day.

 

Cliff and Laura’s New Beginnings

 

Mark LeAnn Me

It has been a while since our going away party in Nashville, but we got the pictures.  You should be able to see them from the link below.  If not, send me a message and I will forward you the link in an email.

Thank you so much to Karen Jones for taking all the photos and sharing them.  You are the best.

https://picasaweb.google.com/CYC.Pictures/CliffLauraNewBeginnings?authkey=Gv1sRgCJmwhs6EhufL4wE&feat=email

You might have to copy the link above and paste in your browser box.

Glad it is not Snowing!

If you are reading this on Facebook, please click on the link to the blog to be able to see all of the pictures.

We are so glad we are not in Nashville with a foot of snow.  We miss all of our friends and family, but we do not miss the snow.20160122_151637If the temperature is below 65 degrees, they close the pool and put the thermal blanket on it.  It is 63 this afternoon.20160122_151706And it is too windy to play Pickle Ball.20160122_151556This is our activities board.  We check it everyday.  Bunco on Sunday night, Yeah!20160122_150740This is Lexie, a Dachshund.  She is so sweet. She is one of my favorites. One day I would love to do a montage on all of the dogs in this Resort.  99% of the people here have a dog.

Stay safe and warm wherever you are.