It is Halloween!

We will see many ghosts, goblins, and witches going house to house later today to gather and enjoy candy.  In our neighborhood, we have a terrific display of all things that can go bump in the night.  So… this year we made a video for you to enjoy this wonderful house that truly embraces the Halloween spirit.   BOO!!!

Indy Racing in St Petersburg

We enjoy the car races and try to go whenever we can.  There are always fun and exciting.  We have been to Phoenix, Daytona, Homestead, and St Petersburg.  Personally we like open wheel racing more than other types, but all racing is what really makes our day.

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When we go to St Petersburg we like to stay at The Vinoy Renaissance Hotel.  According to the locals the hotel is haunted.  However, we never saw any spirits but we do usually see famous racing car drivers around the hotel or in the elevator.

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Here are some pictures of some of our favorite drivers we have met.  Sadly some of them are no longer with us and they will be forever in our hearts.

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Racing is very exciting but also VERY LOUD you do need ear plugs while enjoying the race.


Showcase of Gardens

Today we highlight a wonderful botanical garden in the heart of St. Petersburg, FL.  Recently we went to visit some friends and while there we all decided to check out the Sunken Gardens.

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In the historic northeast district of St. Petersburg is where the 100 year old garden is located.  It is home to some of the oldest tropical plants in the area.

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In 1903 a plumber named Mr. George Turner, Sr. purchased the land just outside of St. Petersburg.  At the time St. Petersburg had a population of 1500.  However, the property was basically a 4 acre lake and George wanted to get to the fertile soil at the bottom of the lake.  So… George decided to drain the lake to get to that soil.  Imagine trying to do that today, the public outcry would have been deafening.

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Being a plumber George figured out a way to drain the lake and started his below sea level garden by planting a few fruit trees and a small vegetable garden.  He continued adding to the garden by building walkways and planting tropical plants.  Being sunken below ground level and the humidity levels encapsulated within this little bubble allowed for a tropical jungle to grow.

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Eventually, locals started coming by to buy his fruits and vegetables and by 1920 a quarter would get you into the gardens to stroll this unique tropical location.  In the 1950s the family added tropical birds to the garden.  In 1967, the family bought the property next door (a former supermarket) and opened the “Worlds Largest Gift Shop.”

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The family kept the gardens opened until the 1970s as a tourist attraction but soon after closed it and maintained the property as best they could.  In 1998, St Petersburg declared the gardens a local historic landmark and saved the property.

El Palacio de los Jugos

Anthony Bourdain had an old episode of the best places to eat in Miami that were good and inexpensive.  On one of our trips down there, we stopped at a few of the suggested places and we were very satisfied.

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One of those places he talked about was El Palacio de los Jugos.  It has an incredible variety of food stands that were all good and cheap.  I took us some time to decide what to eat as everything looked great.

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Ballynahinch Castle

This year we traveled to Ireland and one of the places we stayed at was Ballynahinch Castle.  A place steeped with history.  This castle has had three very famous residents.


The first and probably the most famous was Grace O’Malley, the pirate queen of Connaught.  The second was Richard Martin (Humanity Dick), the founder of The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.  The third was Shri Sir Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji, the Prince of Cricketers.

This area of Ireland is known for it’s great fishing.  So much so that Ballynahinch Castle is considered one of the best places in the world to go fishing.


There are many fishing stations located through out the property as well as walking trails to just enjoy the countryside.


Some say that the property is haunted.  However, when we were there we never encountered any ghostly sprits.  We did encounter another type of sprit.  We spent our evenings at the tap room which has been at the castle since it became a fishing lodge.  It was here that we were introduced to local craft Gins of Ireland and to adding an Orange wedge into our Gin and Tonics instead of a Lime.  As well as we tried a unique Tonic Water with Elderflower.  It certainly changes the flavor of a G&T.


So… we never encountered any ghost as when we went to bed after enjoying the G&T spirts we would sleep very soundly.

The Memory Train

Choo, Choo…  Today we travel to Greece to the magnificent Monasteries of Meteora.  A location were some scenes for the James Bond film “For Your Eyes Only” were filmed.

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No, you cannot take pictures inside.  However, you can take pictures while you are outside.

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“One thing I know, that I know nothing.  This is the source of my wisdom.” – Socrates

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Showcase of Gardens

In the heart of Madrid is one of the premier botanical gardens of the world.  It is called El Real Jardín Botánico de Madrid (The Royal Botanical Gardens of Madrid).

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In 1755, Fernando VI ordered the creation of these gardens.  In 1774, it was moved to its current location by Carlos III, where it was inaugurated in 1781.

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It is well known for its wild roses garden which are pictured above.

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Typical of garden designs from the period there are statues and fountains throughout.

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It is located directly across the street from the Prado museum and is a great place to take a break.

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“Earth laughs in flowers.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Pumpkins are Fall

At this time of year, pumpkins highlight the decorations and food in our homes.


We grow several different pumpkins in our garden.  We eat them in soups, pastas, breads, and even desserts.  The best part is that we can freeze the leftovers in portions to be used later during the year.


Oktoberfest in the Neighborhood

This weekend was our local brewery’s Oktoberfest.  Crooked Can Brewery is a fun place with plenty of choices for food, beer, and wine.


There was music, dancing, and even wiener dog races.  A typical song sung by the entertainment this weekend was…

And one member of the duo was even able to play a saw.

The weather was perfect this weekend, and everyone was out with their families, friends, and fur babies.  A perfect day to relax and just have fun.


Art Smith’s Homecomin’

Outside of the WDW theme parks there is a retail center called Disney Springs that is free and a great place to spend an afternoon.  It is reminiscent of an old Florida town.  Disney Springs has many restaurants, bars, and places to shop.  One of our favorite restaurants is Art Smith’s Homecomin’.  Homecomin’ has a bunch of different moonshines that are very tasty.  We usually get a flight of four different moonshines.  The drink pictured below is a Watermelon Moonshine.

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A great appetizer to start with is the Key West Shrimp Cocktail.

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Of course since the cuisine is Florida Southern one of the best entrees is the Grouper.  We got a Grouper Sandwich and a Grouper dinner with Collard Greens and Sweet Potato.

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“The comfort food is calling your name, or maybe it’s the moonshine.” – Art Smith’s Homecomin’