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10 Weird & Wonderful Museums July 27, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Humor, Travel & Leisure.
38 comments

If you’re taking a road trip this summer and need to get out and stretch your legs or rid yourself of pesky “numb butt” . . . here’s a list of wild and wacky sites to see:

10 Weird Museums Worth Stopping For (Allstate)

So, what’s on the list?

Everything from Bad Art (Boston) to Bananas (Mecca, CA)

From Dummies (Kentucky) to Einstein’s Brain (Philadelphia)

From Superman capes (Illinois) to Toy & Action Figures (Oklahoma)

From Funeral History (Houston) to Matchstick Marvels (Iowa)

From Aprons (Mississippi) to Potatoes (Idaho)

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Do you enjoy the weird and the wonderful?  The wild and the wacky?  Are any of these ten sites calling YOUR name?

A Summer Bucket List July 5, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Humor, Life Balance, Travel & Leisure.
48 comments

Watch Fireworks * Stay up late * Look up at the Stars * Ride a roller coaster * Hike Mt. Everest * Visit the Farmer’s Market * Picnic on the Beach * Buy a Watermelon * Host a Seed Spitting Contest * Cannonball into the pool *

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Bake Bread * Swap Books * Dance under the stars * Plan a Date Night * Make Friendship Bracelets * Whip up a big batch of Margaritas * Do Tequila Shots * Grill Pizza * Camp out in the backyard * Toast marshmallows * Make S’mores *

Sail paper boats * Fly a Kite * Go to the Drive In * Eat corn on the cob * Go hiking or biking * Write love letters to your favorite Pen Pals * Play miniature golf * Clear clutter * Visit a museum . . . and let it all hang out *

Go on a nature walk * Plan a scavenger hunt * Play hopscotch * Eat breakfast for dinner * Run a marathon * Make popsicles or ice cream sandwiches * Plan a sleep-over and movie marathon * Paint a picture *

Aah . . . that’s better!

What’s on YOUR summer bucket list?

A “Catwalk” Through A Cypress Swamp May 23, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Nature, Travel & Leisure.
38 comments

When we lived in NC, we spent many wonderful weekends camping and hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains and Great Smokies.

Blue hills

We loved to pack a picnic and hike to a waterfall where we could park our butts on a big boulder mid-river to enjoy the rushing water (and an adult beverage, or two).  Here, there is plenty of water but waterfalls are few and far between.

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BFF misses our mountain meanders ~ not enough to hike the Appalachian Trail, but enough to wander in the woods and set a spell.  We came close earlier this month.

Wanting to fit in another road trip before Florida temps rose from warm to steamy, we headed to Sebring for a short visit.

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Emphasis on short.

We enjoyed a quick peek at Lake Jackson . . .

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And strolled around the Circle Shops, stopping to visit a pottery studio, before bidding adieu to Sebring.

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With Sebring in our rear view mirror, we headed to nearby Highland Hammock State Park to do some hiking in the woods.

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Our first hike started out as an easy flat walk along an elevated boardwalk.

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High above the muck and mire.  Just the way I like it!

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Without warning, our easy hike turned into a balancing act along a narrow “catwalk” suspended over the murky Cypress Swamp.

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The catwalk had a handrail on one side and NOTHING between us and the swamp on the other.

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The people who built it must have had a good laugh at the one-sided structure they left in their wake.

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To make matters worse, stuff kept falling out of the tall tall trees because a big storm had blown through the  night before.

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Every time a big limb dropped with a CRACK, we jumped.

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Especially after seeing the creature from the black lagoon rising from the swampy soup.

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To claim the boardwalk for lunch.

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We didn’t see any gators or snakes.

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We were OK with that.

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We did see some interesting hoo doos.

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And pixies hiding among the primordial ferns.

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Eventually the canopy gave way to blue sky and we climbed down from the catwalk to terra firma.

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Happy we lived to tell the tale, we readied ourselves to hike another trail.

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Which turned out to be a very gnarly one.

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After meeting up with this wise old oak . . .

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We continued along the trail until we heard “a bear” crashing through the forest in our direction.

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Deciding we’d had enough nature for one day, we fled the trail.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

 

Bagels On The Beach May 19, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Nature, Travel & Leisure.
32 comments

In early May, we went to Einstein Bagels, bought a big bag of bagels and had bagels on the beach at Siesta Key.

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We loved the beach improvements made since our last visit ~ this walkway leads up to the second-story snack bar and concession stand with an amazing view and a diverse menu.

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Siesta Key is proud of its beach . . .

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For good reason.

In addition to miles of powder white sand, it’s “user friendly” . . . with rest rooms, changing rooms, and 800 FREE parking spots (which fill up quickly on sunny days).

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And it boasts a fun and shady playground for tiny tots tired of too much sand, sun, and surf.

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After beaching it for a couple hours, we walked around Siesta Key Village and grooved to fun live music at the SKOB ~ good tunes from the 70’s.  Including Pure Prairie League!

After getting the “munchies” from the college tunes and Woodstock sounds, we chowed down on some mini donuts ~ still warm from the fryer, baby!

No.  I didn’t take a photo of them.  We were too busy eating.

We stopped in Southside Village at Morton’s Gourmet Market.  After sampling some delicious blue cheese from Wisconsin, we bought a chunk of cheese and a bunch of bananas and headed home.

Relaxed and happy.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

What’s your favorite music from the 70’s?

Shakespeare In The Park May 15, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Music & Dance, Nature, Poetry, Travel & Leisure.
22 comments

On a day that threatened rain, we headed to Bay Preserve in Osprey for an Asolo Repertory Theatre performance of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night . . . with a modern twist.

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The setting for this “in the park” production balanced well with the play’s set design of a summer camp.

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The cast worked magic with Shakespeare’s timeless comedy of unrequited love, pride, pranks, and self-discovery.

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And the rain held off until after the play and reception ended.

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“If music be the food of love, play on.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

What’s your favorite Shakespeare play?

¿Cómo se dice? . . .  May 5, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Humor, Travel & Leisure.
39 comments

fotostockchameleonAt the library book sale, I picked up some colorful books on Mexico.

As I flipped through the warm and vibrant photos, I wondered what life might be like in Mexico.

Here, it is easy to fill my days.  I have more than enough to do without juggling languages.

I enjoy being near a supermarket that speaks English (even if I can’t always pronounce all the ingredients).  Shopping for groceries that are yakking at me in French, Spanish, Chinese, or Russian would be a challenge, to say the least.

Food is far too important to our health and well-being to take any chances on mixing up essential ingredients.  Imagine requesting a bar of chocolate and getting stuck with a head of cauliflower.

Quelle Horreur!

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Just in case I get caught on the other side of the looking glass . . .

¿Cómo se dice? . . . chocolate cake?

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¿Cómo se dice? . . . bagels?

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¿Cómo se dice? . . . quesadilla con salsa?

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Oh, right.  Quesadilla con salsa.

Well . . . one out of three ain’t bad.  Good to know I won’t starve, but what about intellectual stimulation?

I enjoy lectures at the library, but if speakers spoke any language other than English, their thoughts would fly right over my head.  I would miss all the lovely nuances.

And, speaking of talking, I enjoy chatting with people I meet on the street, in stores, and around town without peppering every other sentence with ¿Cómo se dice? . . .

IMGP3167bI expect I would feel cut off and disconnected from reality if every conversation around me took place in a language foreign to my ears.

¿Cómo se dice? . . . mad as a hatter?

Even flipping through channels to find something to watch on TV would be far different.

Of course, watching TV is one way to learn a foreign language.

A contestant on Jeopardy this season moved to the U.S. from Russia as a child.  He learned impeccable English watching MacGyver.

He also learned how to make a bomb out of vinegar, baking soda, and duct tape.

Aah . . . that’s better!

 

Are You Smarter Than A Librarian? March 3, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Mindfulness, People, Travel & Leisure.
51 comments

Tiggers-R-UsA few weeks ago, we played a trivia game, Are You Smarter Than A Librarian?, at the Central Library in Bradenton.

Seven teams competed, responding to 31 questions:

Three teams got 20-22 correct.
The top three teams scored 25, 24, and 23.

BFF and I came in last!
We got 17/31 correct.

3D-ApeOur last place finish didn’t bother us since the other teams had 4 or 5 members searching their collective gray matter for answers.  We were the only 2 person team competing.

Plus, the questions we missed addressed things we never knew, not stuff we knew but couldn’t recall.

For example:

# What does the “VSOP” on Cognac bottles mean?  We got as far as “Very Special Old” . . . but the “P” stumped us.

# We didn’t know the month & year Osama bin Laden bit the dust, but the fact that we lacked that fact doesn’t bother me a bit ~> what matters to me is that he, like Jacob Marley, is “deader than a doornail.”

# We missed questions about the TV series “Scandal” and other TV shows we’ve never watched.

Donald-Duck-Baseball# We were way off base when asked how many singles the Beatles released in 1964.

We guessed “6” ~> not even close!

None of the groups landed in the right ball park on this question.

The correct answer: 29!

Mickey-OKDespite our last place finish, we had a blast.

And lots of laughs.

So, even if we are NOT smarter than a librarian, we’d play again!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Plan A Staycation November 25, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Sustainable Living, Travel & Leisure.
48 comments

AirplaneInstead of taking out a second mortgage to travel halfway round the world on a gas guzzling jumbo jet (AFTER a heated argument with TSA agents about what constitutes unreasonable search and seizure), consider playing tourist in your own town.  Staycations can be a fun and budget-friendly way to explore the beauty of your own backyard.

Plus, you don’t have to pack, unpack, or endure TSA pat downs by Frisky McFrisk.

Not sure what to do?  You could . . .

* Seek out local tourist attractions, walking ghost tours, or cultural events.
* Catch up on reading or take a class.
* Try a local ethnic restaurant.

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* Hold a family talent show . . . with prizes!
* Pursue an old hobby or a new interest.
* Plant a backyard garden (or hang out in a hammock).

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* Take tap-dancing or limbo lessons.
* Dust off your accordion and perform at an “open mike” night.
* Snap shots on a nature walk.

Reflections
* Take a picnic to the park to explore scenic vistas.
* Take your bike for a spin around a lake.
* Play Scram Scrabble or charades.

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* Volunteer for a favorite cause or help with a friend’s project.
* Watch movies. Pop popcorn.
* Build a snowman.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Have you ever “spent your vacation” at home?  Did it feel like summer break as a kid . . . with late nights and lazy mornings?

Does the idea of a Staycation hold any appeal?

Old Goats September 26, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke, Travel & Leisure.
53 comments

A group of Americans were traveling by tour bus through Switzerland.  At a cheese farm, a young guide led them through the process of cheese making, explaining that goat’s milk was used.

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She showed the group a lovely hillside where many goats were grazing.

“These,” she explained, “are the older goats put out to pasture when they no longer produce.”

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She then asked, “What do you do in America with your old goats?”

A spry old gentleman answered, “They send us on bus tours!”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Source:  e-mail from unknown author (sent by Joe M.)

Quick Quiz: Retirement July 25, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke, Travel & Leisure.
58 comments

grumpy_thinkingHere’s a Quick Quiz about Retirement.  See how many you get right:

1. When is a retiree’s bedtime?
A. Three hours after he falls asleep on the couch.

2. How many retirees does it take to change a light bulb?
A. Only one, but it might take all day.

3. Why does a retiree often say he doesn’t miss work, but misses the people he used to work with?
A. He is too polite to tell the whole truth.

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4. What do retirees call a long lunch?
A. Normal.

5. Why don’t retirees clean out the basement, attic or garage?
A. If they do, their adult kids will want to store stuff there.

6. What do retirees call someone who refuses to retire?
A. NUTS!

7. What do retirees consider formal attire?
A. Tied shoes.

8. What do retirees do all week?
A. Monday to Friday, nothing. Saturday & Sunday, they rest.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Source:  E-mail from unknown author (sent by Joe M.)

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