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This year one of our adventures in the world was a trip to Costa Rica. We stayed at an all-inclusive resort called Riu Palace Guanacaste. It was a fabulous hotel with great service, excellent food, and wonderful entertainment. We can honestly say that this hotel was probably one of the best all-inclusive hotels we have ever stayed at.
The views from the hotel are beautiful and nature is only a few steps away. There are monkeys, iguanas, and all sorts of birds just a short walk down the beach.
In addition, there are wonders to be seen just a few hours away,
The best thing over all is the residents of Costa Rica are the most caring and hospitable individuals we have ever met in any country. As they always say and we say to you until our next post, “Pura Vida.”
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Here in Central Florida it is time for Blueberries. The best thing about that is going out and picking them yourself. We do this every year and come home with several pounds of blueberries. This year was no exception.
This is a lot of fun for the whole family.
As you can see we picked just a few pounds of blueberries. Now the real fun begins at home. We make jam, pies, muffins, and the best blueberry buckle. To make the jam you have to soak the blueberries in sugar overnight in the refrigerator. Then you cook them in a pot until they set. But you have to keep stirring the blueberries the whole time they are cooking.
Once the jam is ready we pour them into mason jars and seal them. We seal them in a hot boiling water bath.
Now the jam is ready to be stored for the rest of the year so we have homemade jam all year round.
Here are some nice deserts we made with the blueberries we picked.
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This past Saturday we drove out to Reiter Park in Longwood, Florida for the Pirate Seafood Festival. There were Pirates everywhere, even a Mermaid!
The food was excellent! Oysters, Shrimp, Flounder, Conch Fritters, Po Boys, a seafood lovers dream. We enjoyed the food so much that we forgot to take pictures before we ate what we bought. There were vendors of every type. From jewelry to pirate flags.
The Kid Zone had face painting, a pirate ship, and a few bounce houses.
The festival also had two things for the kids I have never seen at a fair before. One was a mechanical shark (instead of a bull) and the other was some kind of walking on water experience.
The entertainment was also something unique. A Pirate playing a Sitar with an Assassin playing a Didgeridoo. The music was different but nice.
As we were leaving we even found a Pirate Truck.
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This past Sunday was St. Patrick’s Day and like many we decided to go out and enjoy a festival nearby to celebrate. The festival we attended was held at Crooked Can Brewery in Winter Garden, FL. Just down the road from where we live.
The brewery is located inside the Plant Street Market a wonderful place filled with all sorts of food vendors, a butcher, a coffee shop, and some merchandise vendors.
Being a festival there was music, children performing Irish dancing, and even a bagpipe marching band. (See YouTube video at the end of the post.)
Of course there were a lot of people in green and we especially enjoyed some of the special attire some individuals worn.
We have made a video for you to enjoy some of the music and the bagpipe marching band.
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Being avid gardeners we look forward to this annual plant sale. There are vendors from all over the state selling their wares. There are tropical plants, flowers, and all the things that a gardener could need to tend their garden available. In addition, there are groups that are at the plant sale to give gardeners information. Such as this little guy who is a native species and the group was asking gardeners to plant native specie plants.
Every year there is a private hour for members of the botanical gardens to get in an hour before the general public. Luckly, we are members of the botanical garden. Even getting there early for the private hour, the crowd starts to get big. The below picture is just one entrance to the garden and you can see it was starting to get busy.
All who are knowledgeable of this plant sale always bring a wagon of some sort. Because those who buy do buy a lot. The following slideshow is just a small portion of the plants we saw for sale.
It is a great time for all who attend. We came away with our wagon full of plants as you can see.
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A tradition in Florida is the long-held Plant City Strawberry Festival. The festival started in 1930 when the members of the Plant City Lions Club came up with the idea for an event to celebrate the harvest of strawberries which is the major crop for the area.
The festival was a way to bring the community together, a piece of ol’ time Americana. The festival today still upholds the traditions of a typical farming community festival with exhibits of agriculture, commerce, industry, livestock, fine arts, horticulture, and crafts. The following set of pictures are examples of these exhibits.
Of course we cannot forget the reason for the festival. STRAWBERRIES!!
Over the years the festival has also become a place to eat, and play, and be happy.
So we will see you at the fair as you are sure to have a great time!