Monday, January 30, 2023

The beach is calling and I must go!

White sand and a beautiful water color = a great mood booster!

Saturday Pat, Mike, Sally and myself set off for a hike. Now we've been hiking (I said it was more like walking) on several trails in forested areas, trees, but flat. Sally likes to hike/walk to get steps in and I like to get somewhere, treats and such, or to see unique or at least different things. We hiked 3 miles in and then back out on the 18.4 mile Econfina section of the Florida Trail. The trail had a few ups and downs (nothing major, but a change of pace from flat Florida), tree roots, low tree limbs--watch out Sally, and something to hike to. 

Scott Road Trailhead on the Florida Trail.

Someone left a cute little scene on a piece of wood.  

We appreciated the 10 or so volunteers working on the trail clearing brush, rebuilding bridges, and other maintenance.

Maybe a yellow moss or lichen??

The trail followed Econfina Creek. It was flowing pretty good. It is fed mostly by springs and had several smaller branches flowing into it. This section is prone to flooding and was greatly impacted by Hurricane Michael in 2018. Pat remarked it would be good canoeing if not for all of the downed trees. 

Some treasures were left near the Two Penny Bridge sign.

Most of the bridges we encountered up to Two Penney Bridge had been boards, and in some cases just one board.

It was pretty stable for being a swinging bridge. 

Maybe a quarter of a mile after crossing the bridge we came to the Econfina Waterfall, our turnaround point. Once again, it didn't seem impressive compared to other waterfalls we've seen, but considering how flat Florida is...

Interesting lichen.

Sunday night we shared with Pat's sister and brother-in-law another free cooking class from Gia's Italian Kitchen. Today's lesson: Ratatouille with Pork Chops and Fennel. 4 of us working in a small RV kitchen! Everyone got put to work and we kept up with Kelley.  

We were so busy I didn't get a picture of the finished product. These containers held what we had left, plus just a part of the dirty dishes. 

Dinner eaten and kitchen back to normal.

We have had some cooler, cold, and rainy weather. We were all feeling a little closed in. Sally had a hankerin' for some seafood. Monday seemed to hold the least chance of rain, at least for the first part of the week, so we headed to Panama City Beach for some seafood and beach time.

Beautiful view as we ate.

Our fish siting for the day. 

Where are the Pieper's now? Bonifay, FL

Friday, January 27, 2023

It's the hottest town in Florida in the summer and the coldest in winter.

The Crum Box Gastgarden in Tallahasse, FL.

Pat and I headed to Florida's capital, Tallahassee, Thursday. With the breeze it was a chilly day in the shade but wonderful in the sun. We spent the day touring the San Luis Mission, Railroad Square, and took a walk around the gardens at the Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park.

What a fun lunch at Crum Box Gastgarden. We enjoyed visiting with Pete who started the restaurant 9 years ago. He serves hot hoagies, beer and house-made sausages in a red caboose in Railroad Square.

There is a large outdoor seating area but we chose to eat in the cozy area inside.

You will have to zoom in but check out the title of the kid's books. 

Pat had the traditional sausage with sauerkraut and relish. The sausage of the day included jalapeƱos and onions. I had the pulled pork topped with coleslaw. Delicious! Don't ask for BBQ sauce, I did, but Pete said no BBQ sauce served here. He was right, none needed.

The historic Railroad Square area is a WWII industrial warehouse park turned urban-core art district. You can find shops, galleries, food, and at times, live music. Oh, and lots of murals! There was a pin-ball arcade but no time for that today. 

Another picture worth zooming in on. A mural depicting Alice in Wonderland, maybe in an adult way. 

 Community Theater for the Weird Community, or so the sign says. 

The Crum Box Gastgarden is on the left and Village Art, Upcycled Furniture and Reclaimed Furniture, on the right.

The San Luis Mission is an Apalachee-Spanish Living History Museum. There are Museum employees in period costumes around to answer questions. From 1656-1704 this was the main village of the Apalachees, and the Spaniards westernmost military, religious, and administrative capital. It is the only reconstructed Mission in Florida.

The Council House

Catholic Church 

Pat thought they were quite advanced having an illuminated exit sign, lol.

Blacksmith shop


Two replica cannons in working condition.

The Messer House

A few of the many artifacts found during excavation of the sight.

The Killearn Plantation and gardens (later Maclay Gardens) were designed by Alfred Maclay beginning in 1923. Killearn was a village in Scotland where Alfred's great-grandfather was born. Maclay died in 1944 and Mrs. Maclay made the gardens public and in 1953 she donated the estate to to the state of Florida. Most of the buildings dated back to 1907 or earlier when the property was a hunting plantation.

The Maclay house remodeled from a hunting cabin.

This is a cane and umbrella stand made by the Maclay's servants.

The walled garden entrance.

The reflecting pool just outside the walled garden.

Black Pond

We weren't sure if these were real. The one on the back had his foot up for several minutes before we saw a toe wiggle.

The cost to enter the park is $6. Between Jan. and April there is a $6 fee per person to visit the gardens. The gardens weren't in full bloom, but there were still a lot of flowering magnolias, azaleas, camelias, and other flowers. Alfred designed the gardens with plants that flowered during their stay in the winter. They spent their summers in New York.

Pat is camouflaged but he is standing to the right of this huge live oak. 

Cabbage palm

A few plants have suffered from the cold weather this year. 

John Hugh Law had a hunting plantation here prior to 1907. This is the sole remaining pillar from the entrance. The initials on the pillar were the first letters of the names of his 6 children.
Where are the Piepers now? Bonifay FL