Welcome to my "Florida" blog

Being a third generation Florida native, I'm completely enamored with the diverse beauty of this gorgeous peninsula. For most of the year the weather is divine which makes exploring its unlimited nooks and crannies fun and easy.

Wherever I go I appreciate nature and the world around me. Come along with me as I share the places I visit and perhaps a few other amusements I find interesting along the way.

(FYI: Every post prior to January 1, 2009 was previously published and imported from my garden blog)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Pumpkin Festival

If only we had been able to get away the weekend prior it would have been a perfect day. Just because it would have been a lot cooler. Nevertheless, we managed to stay in the shade as much as possible and the kiddos had a blast.

My daughter found out about a Pumpkin Festival down in Manatee County so she and I loaded up the kiddos and headed that way last weekend.

We don't have any thing like this here in Hillsborough County. It was more like being somewhere in the midwest ... but the humidity reminded us we weren't.

Hunsader Farms is a working farm all year round which alone is very impressive.

In October, for two consecutive weekends, they set up acres and acres of their land with a festival. It has all the usual food vendors and face painting, petting zoo, hay rides, pumpkin patches, pony rides, produce market, and doggie-trick shows. As well as some not so usual attractions like the pumpkin shooting canon and motocross tricksters the boys declared was THE best part of the day.
Side note: today they are hosting a Fall Fun On The Farm Day.
We don't display our little one's faces on the Internet but here they are following each other through the corn maze. We got some great photos of them in the pumpkin patch and getting their faces painted.

The booths and activities are set up by charity organizations and the proceeds go to non-profits.
The oldest grand-kiddo is used to scaling these rock walls. He got to the top like a true mountain climber in no time.
Very fun day! It is such a treat for us when all the kiddos are together. They get along so well and love being with each other. For me, it is like déjà vue. Boy, girl, boy. Just about the same exact age differences as my own three. We are richly blessed.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

October Beach Days

Florida's Gulf of Mexico beaches are simply beautiful in every season.
After an endless summer the relief of autumn's softer sun inspires us to take some time away from the ordinary and meander for a while at the shoreline.

October's beach is awash with blue skies and warm sunny afternoons. The water has turned a cooler temperature that makes splashing in the edges refreshing and invigorating.

So we packed up the cutest little 3 year old on the planet and spent a day lolly-gagging with our toes in the sand.

All the necessary shovels, rakes, trucks, and diggers came with us to be sure we had loads to do in all that sugary whiteness.

Turns out we could have left them at home. All of nature's finest offerings were enough for our little fellow. It was as if the whole world around him shut off and he was in his own wonderland of freedom.
The sand, the rocks, the buckets, the shells, the splashing waves, the sandcastles made for great imaginings and entertainment without end.
So much to discover. So many objects to see and feel and touch and collect and move and throw and build and talk about.

... and then we ate ice-cream. It was a perfect day.