Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Port Salerno Seafood Festival

I have two very important words to describe the Port Salerno Seafood Festival.

Go Early! 

The photo below was around 1:00 pm and it was already too crowded for me. It gets a lot more packed right up until closing at 8:00 pm.

I was expecting a sleepy, small town event with some nice fresh fish. This was the size of a county fair with three stages, great bands, tons of vendor booths, loads of happy nice people, and a massive amount of delicious seafood. I brought the whole family so we snacked on seared tuna, boiled shrimp, steamed clams, fresh oysters, smoked fish dip, she crab soup, on and on. There were also food trucks if fish is not your thing.

There were plenty of bands but I like my music a little louder and a little harder. I was not disappointed by Scar of the Tropics. They belted out rock tunes for over an hour non stop. I am going to guess this was not their regular crowd but you couldn't tell that by the way people were flocking to the stage.

Let's not forget my pirate friends who I have come to know well over the last few years. They have their own event coming up next weekend. The Treasure Coast Pirate Fest. It's in a brand new location this year. Hope to see you there.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Native Village - Hollywood

The  Native Village in Hollywood has a lot of hungry mouths to feed. I did not quite get a total on what these guys eat a week but there are hundreds of them in the Native Village. They range from carry around sized to the 10-12 foot, several hundred pound monster sized. They also have a variety of other rescued animals they care for on the property.

If you think this place is on the bare edge of the Everglades, well it was when I was a kid but civilization has pushed ever westward right into the heart of the wetlands these guys used to call home. The Native Village is located just down the street from the Seminole Hard Rock Casino. While not nearly as popular or famous, this is where the Gator Boys got their start. I was told they make an occasional appearance but not on the day I visited.

I did get to meet Will Nace who has been working with gators a while and has the scars to prove it. No matter how often you perform with gators, the only thing that is guaranteed is that they are unpredictable. Not only was this one hissing and snapping its jaws shut, at one point it swung its tail around so fast I could hardly believe it. For most of the day, the whole group of them did little more than open and close their eyes. Will explained they sweep food into their huge jaws that way. There were a few other useful tips mentioned about how not to be eaten by an alligator that I hope I never need to put into practice.

For more photos from my visit [Click Here]

The Native Village is a small venue but they do host parties and events to raise money. Most of the workers are volunteers I'm told. If you would like to contribute to help feed and care for these rescued creatures, you can contact Ian Tyson at the Native Village link above. Better yet, pay a visit.

And yes - they let me hold a baby gator. I was told that even one this tiny could remove my finger quite easily so don't try this at home.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Dont see this every day.... I hope

I am enjoying my new house very much. Especially the friendly looking kitty that greeted me one morning. 

Yes I know this is a Bobcat and none too friendly according to most people. I spotted him looking in my living room window and managed to shoot a cell phone pic before he bounced across the yard and glided over my six foot fence with room to spare.  

This occurred at 8:00 AM on a Tuesday I think. Don't be fooled into thinking I live in the woods. I live very much in town. I spotted this critter two days later around the same time prowling the neighbor's yard so it's not like he's lost. We have a bunny population explosion in the neighborhood so I'm pretty sure I know what he's up to. Still a little disconcerting as this window is three feet from the front door I was planning on using to exit my house.  


The little guy below was so tame I walked right up to him and took two flash photos before he scampered away. Not a great attitude with a hungry cat around.


New Kitchen

Wondering where I went? At least one of my blogger friends has inquired. Well I spent the holidays getting a new kitchen installed. As you can see from this shot I still need the counter tops. I bought this house 470 days ago. If I could have worked straight through and had unlimited budget I would have been done long ago. I needed a new roof, ceilings, walls and a floor not to mention every single appliance, cameras and a security system. The last two weeks in December were the first I have actually been able to spend the night in the place.

I think the greatest joy was coffee made by heating water on the new stove and pouring it into the French Press my daughter bought for me many years ago. I also lit the candles she bought over a decade ago and never used. I vowed I would only light them when I moved into a house again. I had no idea how long that was going to take at the time. It's not as bad as it seems. Living in a tiny apartment I hate has lead me to consider the entire world as my back yard and I have definitely enjoyed exploring it.