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Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas to All...

Merry Christmas! I'll be back sometime next week for my (ir)regular postings. Enjoy the holiday!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

How Will Cheryl Dunlap's Murder Change Our Community?

According to area news outlets (including the "Tallahassee Democrat"), the Florida Department of Law Enforcement confirmed yesterday the body found in Apalachicola National Forest by hunters on Saturday is indeed that of Cheryl Dunlap, the Wakulla woman missing since Dec. 1.

When I first heard Ms. Dunlap went missing the first week of December, I didn't think much about it until I received a call while from a law enforcement official last week questioning me about what I saw and observed on Saturday, Dec. 1.

My class had a field trip in the area where Ms. Dunlap's car was found and I was the first one to the site. I told the official everything I remembered, which wasn't much and I don't think I was much help. Ever since, I've been racking my brain trying to remember something but have been unsuccessful.

I began following the case this week and reading the discussions posted by "Tallahassee Democrat" readers. I lurked the forums daily, getting myself easily sucked into the rumors and basically creeped out by the facts and the fiction.

There seem to be many unknowns about the case. For instance, Ms. Dunlap was last seen at home, is that where she was victimized? Or did she have a flat tire and stop on the roadside? How did the perp get her ATM pin number? Why do the police think her killer is still in our community? Is her murder related to two Georgia murders? (I don't know the details of those deaths other than dismemberment was involved, but were the victims' ATM cards used, too?)

I assume local law enforcement officials are wondering these questions, too and hopefully, they have the answers and haven't released those answers because it's vital information to solving the case.

One sad thing is for certain, Ms. Dunlap was murdered and her killer is out there. My prayers and condolences are with her family.

If you haven't seen it, take a look at this photo. Yes, it's creepy but do you recognize this person? Have you seen this person?

Anyone with information is asked to call the Leon County Sheriff's Office at (850) 922-3300, or Crime Stoppers at (850) 574-TIPS (8477) or 1-888-876-TIPS (8477).

So what does this mean for us and our community?

I find it strange I'm referring to this area as "our community." Ever since moving here two-and-a-half-years ago, I've felt like an outsider, like a transient gypsy making a pit stop along a journey to something better. Oddly, somewhere along the way I've developed a sense of community to this place, especially to Wakulla. Maybe I've found the same attractive vortex which kept drawing Ms. Dunlap back to the area (from what I've read, she used to live here, moved away then returned).

I'm a bit of a free-spirit, I enjoy solo adventures but now I think I'll be clipping my wings slightly until the case is solved. I'm not planning on being a shut-in but will be more cautious on the adventures and trips I take. I had thought about biking Wakulla State Park and Apalachicola National Forest by myself but think I'll nix that idea for a while.

I think about the potentially dangerous situations I've been in, but thankfully, someone's been looking out for me and it's time for me to lookout for me, too.

Ms. Dunlap's murder has shaken our open-door community and many people are frightened by what they don't know, I'm included. But let's look at the big picture.

We can't let the murderer alter our lives. Heck, that's what the terrorists try to do.

While I find them goofy, we need to do what the bumper stickers on the law enforcement vehicles say, "Don't be afraid, be alert."
I'm not going to let someone take away my liberties, will you? Are you going to be afraid or alert?

The Leon County Sheriff's Office is looking for the truck pictured. Have you seen it? It's sure hard to miss.

AGAIN: Anyone with information is asked to call the Leon County Sheriff's Office at (850) 922-3300, or Crime Stoppers at (850) 574-TIPS (8477) or 1-888-876-TIPS (8477).

Read print media coverage on the case at this blog.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Tallahassee Holiday Gift Guide

Is your holiday shopping done? If not, you may find my Tallahassee Holiday Gift Guide useful (in no particular order):

Give the gift of laughter with a gift certificate to the Tallahassee Comedy Zone. Laugh often and much in 2008.

My favorite Tallahassee gift to give family and friends who live out of the area is a little piece of Tallahassee sweetness from Barb's Brittles. The cute little shop is at Lake Ella and samples, for brittle and yummy ice cream, are happily given. You'll most likely see Barb herself there and if you're overwhelmed with the all the sweet treats, she'll help you. I took some with me to Italy last month for my friend Saverio who gave me an insider's guide to Rome. (By the way, it's okay to get a bag of Barb's Brittles for yourself.)

Bookworms will love a good read. There's Historic Photos of Tallahassee for the history buff, a must-have in the library of anyone who loves North Florida history (read my review about Historic Photos of Tallahassee here). Or, are you looking for books by Tallahassee and local authors? Tallahassee's Anne Holt will be signing books this weekend at the Book Shelf in Thomasville, Ga. on Friday, Dec. 14, 6:30 - 10 p.m. and on Saturday, Dec. 15, Holt will be at Word Traffic Books, 1 - 3 p.m. She'll be telling stories for children and signing her books at Word Traffic. Holt writes Western novels, you can check out her titles on her Web site.

Word Traffic is also a great resource for books by other Tallahassee and local authors along with gently used books and other goodies. They also have gift cards available, too. (Read my article about the grand opening of Word Traffic Books).

Can't forget the tree huggers on your Christmas list. Give 'em a good paddle with a kayaking trip with the Wilderness Way. They offer kayaking trips for beginners and experienced paddlers. I took a trip with them earlier this fall and had a fabulous time.

Or, give a gift that gives all year round, an Annual Pass for the Florida State Parks. There are many state parks in the Tallahassee area to make this pass worthwhile. Or, it may encourage the receiver to get out and explore other areas of the state. I already have mine for 2008!

Don't forget the Seven Days of Opening Nights in February. Tickets are still available for some events. I requested a ticket to Salman Rushdie's talk on Friday, February 22, 2008. Suppose I need to go read a book of his!

Finally, can't forget Tallahassee's Native Big Brother 8 Houseguest Zach. If you missed my interview with Zach about his new edgy surfwear line called Dolphin Crash, read the article called, "Big Brother 8's Zach Talks About Dolphin Crash" here. (Part 1 of the interview called, "Interview with Tallahassee's Big Brother 8 Houseguest Zach: Part 1.")

The guy's put his heart, soul, livelihood and all his money into making Dolphin Crash successful. The guy has determination and I really hope his venture succeeds. Grab a tank top, pair of shorts or some swim wear for your favorite water bunny. With global warming, everyone will need more of this type of clothing! :)

Suppose I could go on and on with the list of Christmas gift ideas here in Tallahassee, but I won't. I do want to remind you about December 15 being Buy Local Day. Head over to the Locally Owned Tallahassee site for a list of locally-owned businesses and do a bit of shopping with them on Saturday.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Cast Your Vote for Florida's New State Song

Yup, that's right. Floridians can say buh-bye to the current state song, “The Swanee River (Old Folks at Home)” by Stephen C. Foster because it's not politically correct, and cast their vote for their favorite Florida song to replace it.

Little bit of trivia I learned last year when visiting Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park, the only reason the composer wrote a song about the Swanee River is because it rhymed with the rest of the lyrics, not because he'd visited it before. In fact, he never visited Florida. I digress...

Hold your horses Florida voters. We're not able to randomly pick our favorite song about Florida or by a Florida artist. I'm actually disappointed not seeing tunes by Tom Petty or Jimmy Buffett in the line up, but so be it.

Over on Just Sing, Florida!, site visitors can listen to the three finalist songs and vote for their favorite. I don't mean to be harsh (but I'll write it anyway), but can't I write in my choice? Isn't this a democracy?

While I appreciate the efforts these songwriters have put into their songs, I'm just not feeling any of them. In fact, I had to close the computer window because I just couldn't take the off-key singing of one of the songs any longer. It's almost as if I'M THE ONE singing that particular song. And when I'm singing, that's just not a good thing.

Jimmy Buffett! Jimmy Buffett! In my little ol' opinion, Florida's State Song should be "Margaritaville," after all, the Key Lime Pie is now our official State Pie.

Kind of ironic Floridians are being asked to vote, at least it's all electronic so we won't have to worry about hanging chads.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Oh, the Places I've Been and Will Go in Tallahassee

I feel I've been neglecting this blog. My excuses are:

Well, I'm back, at least for a little while. Last weekend I tried to re-enter civilization by heading out to Tallahassee Museum's Market Days at the Fairgrounds. Like last year, the event was busy and packed. I only had two hours to get my shopping done and picked up a few nice things, including a pair of classy earrings by my favorite Tallahassee jeweler, Page Rozelle (I'm wearing them in this photo). She just doesn't craft jewelry, she creates art and I love her work. I really hope she'll be at the Tallahassee Downtown Art Festival Dec. 8.

Saturday is a busy day in the Tallahassee area, in addition to the 10th Annual 'Just One More' Invitational Arts Festival, these are other events on my radar:

The Havana Holiday Parade & Lawnmower Contest at 10 a.m.

Over at Word Traffic Books, Perry, Fla. native Pat Cook will be reading from her book Faux Elvis at 11 a.m. (I looked up the book and it definitely looks like a fun read, especially to those who believe Elvis didn't die on Aug. 16, 1977.)

Be sure to check out the Tallahassee CVB Web site for a list of other great Tallahassee area events happening this weekend.

The most important date coming up is December 15, Buy Local Day. This is a great time to finish up the holiday shopping and supporting locally-owned Tallahassee businesses. I love shopping at independently owned shops like the ones at Lake Ella or Railroad Square. It's as though the items were either made with our placed on display with care and love. I just get the warm fuzzies when I buy locally, how about you?

Don't know where to shop locally in Tallahassee? Check out the Locally Owned Tallahassee Web site and remember, "Keep it Sassy Tallahassee!"

Been there, done that in Tallahassee? Then check out things to do near Tallahassee.

Green Guide Class: Bitter Sweet

It's hard to believe this semester's Wakulla Ecotourism Institute is over. It's been a fabulous ride and I'm looking forward to finishing up next semester.

Last weekend was a field trip to explore some of the sink holes in Wakulla State Park and Apalachicola State Park with Cal Jameson. Cal's a self-proclaimed hippie from the 1970s who skinny dipped in many of the sinks he showed.

Oh, the tales he told!

It was a great day hearing a slice of Wakulla history with another resident who lived. He talked of how the hippies camped near these swim holes in the 1970s and how the sheriff would try to bust them up. He talked about the raising of a car found at the bottom of a sink (and explained how sink holes end up being dumping grounds for stolen items, like stolen cars).

Some of the sinks were crystal clear and very tempting to jump into. Some were covered in duck weed and some topped with fallen leaves. He gave us a map and pointed out which ones are still swimming holes and showed us where we can drive, park and ride a bike (or walk) to the cooling off spot.

The next day, the class graduated, all but me. I'm a part-timer, remember? It was bitter sweet. One after one each student gave their presentation. I was so proud of them. I got a little teary-eyed here and there.

A celebration followed at Melody's and Norm's place, bonfire and all. It was a great way to chill, meet some of the family members of students and end the semester.

I'm looking forward to the next set of classes which begin in January. It'll be interesting to see how the next group of future green guides are.

If anyone's interested, be sure to get in touch with Tallahassee Community College. Check out the video below, too.

Be sure to check out my latest article on Ecotourism Travel to Wakulla.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Is it Me or is Crime Up in Tallahassee?

This week, I've heard of three businesses being robbed plus a bank, all fairly close to where I live. Then last week, someone got shot in the parking lot of their apartment complex. Is it me or has Tallahassee always had daily crime? I also found it odd that last month my apartment complex distributed fliers asking residents to keep alert, be cautious when entering our apartments and if we know of a crime, report it. I need to check the police blotter to see if something happened here.

Is the perception of increased crime due to:

  • I have a heightened state of awareness and crime isn't up (it's a figment of my imagination).
  • It's the holiday time and people are becoming criminals to have a merry Christmas.
  • The economy is tanking and people are becoming criminals to make ends meet.
Things that make you go, "hmm."

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Book Signing Tonight: Historic Photos of Tallahassee

Andrew Edel, author of Historic Photos of Tallahassee, will be signing copies of the book tonight at Barnes & Noble on North Monroe (Tallahassee Mall) 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. The book is a wonderful journey through Tallahassee's early beginnings and makes the perfect gift for anyone who's called Tallahassee home. Check out my review of the book.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Two State Tourism Offices Have Tongues Waggging

A couple of state tourism offices are in this week's spotlight with their advertising campaigns.

First there's New Mexico and their alien tourism ad campaign. If you're not familiar with the buzz, some New Mexico tourism officials are upset with the ugly aliens pushing the great state. (In short, the aliens decide New Mexico is the best place in the Universe to visit). The people upset about the campaign claim the ads are geared towards Gen Xers while its the Baby Boomers who have the money and time to travel.

You can check out the video for yourself (see below). I have to admit, the aliens are ugly and the commercial doesn't even mention Roswell and Area 51, but I don't find it repulsive. But then again, I'm a Gen Xer. Is the commercial going to make me want to go to New Mexico? Yeah, a little bit. The spot tells me more about New Mexico and encourages me to think about the state differently from what my preconceived notion. One things' for sure, all this buzz has to be driving interest. Check out the accompanying Web site: The Best Place in the Universe. New Mexico, Earth.

Closer to home, have you read this article in today's Tallahassee Democrat? It's certainly sparked plenty of conversation around the office. The NAACP is upset with VISIT FLORIDA, the state's official tourism marketing corporation, upcoming campaign called "Shine." I've seen the campaign. It shows all sorts of happy people enjoying themselves in Florida. It's pleasant, calming and inspiring.

We live in the Sunshine State. Some of the definitions for "shine," according to Merriam-Webster include:
To emit rays of light.
To perform extremely well.
To have a bright glowing appearance.

These don't seem like negatives to me, but apparently, "shine" is a derogatory term against African Americans during the early 20th century. It's a term I've never heard of (and remember, I'm a Yankee) and asking various people in the office about the term, they don't find it offensive.

What I find more confusing is that the Tallahassee Democrat article uses the term "black" when I thought the politically correct term is "African American?" Or, is it uncool to be politically correct? Or, do the rules say it's okay to be politically correct only when it's convenient?

Saturday, November 17, 2007


I had some profound thoughts to share this week but getting ready for my trip to Italy has been top of mind. Check out my primary blog where I hope to be posting updates about the trip.


Monday, November 12, 2007

Is Anyone Going to Play with Me? Free Screening of the Kite Runner Movie

So"The Kite Runner" movie competition has been extended until Nov. 15. This is because there was some controversy over the child actors. But that's not what this post is about.

I'm BEGGING, Tallahassee. Join the Tallahassee Kite Runners club so we can receive a free, private screening of "The Kite Runner." It's not a scam, it's not too good to be true. We just need at least 100 people to register on the Paramount site for the online community.

You won't receive spam (just an occasional email from me) but will hopefully receive bragging rights for being part of a something cool (that would be the free, private screening of "The Kite Runner."

Click here to join.

Click here to read my previous plea.


Sunday, November 11, 2007

Green Guide Class: Creatures from the Black Lagoon

Sunday was another beautiful day in paradise, at least another beautiful day in Wakulla County. Green Guide Class was at Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park.

I arrived early to grab lunch at the Lodge's restaurant (mmm, fried chicken) then met up with the rest of the group and Jeff Hudd with the Florida State Park Service. First was a glass bottom boat trip (see the photo of the manatee tail, other classmates and me with the camera?) in which we had different tasks (I had to look for the secchi disk, no, not pronounced "sexy disk"), followed by sampling collecting - dipping our nets in native water plants and non-native (hydrilla) and comparing the number of species found, then a river cruise up the Wakulla River.

It was a fabulously, gorgeous day, not too hot, not windy, just perfect. Saw woolly mammoth bones at the bottom of the springs (from the glass bottom boat), the invasive impact of hydrilla (it's everywhere!), three manatees (including a calf - awwww!), a big ass alligator along with loads of birds, turtles and other gators.

I'm taking a break from classes over the next couple of weeks, I have too much going on this week to make it down south and Sunday I head to Italy for a week (yes, already).

Soon I'll have photos organized for everyone's viewing enjoyment. For now, enjoy snapshots from the day in Wakulla Springs State Park!

Oh, and for you movie buffs. Creature from the Black Lagoon was one of many flicks filmed here in the park.

Author Jeff Parker Spoke at Word Traffic Books Saturday

I went over to Word Traffic Books Saturday night for their grand opening. They actually opened in August and Saturday was the time to celebrate.

It's a great little place, they still have some work to do but it'll get there. I love the comfy sofas and wooden church pew reminds me of the ones my Dad would get from auctions in town and would either sit in the house or garage. Anyway...

Jeff Parker, Tallahassee native who now splits his time between Toronto and Michigan was there to read from Ovenman: A Novel (Tin House New Voice)

I debated whether going but after I read the reviews for Ovenman and looked at the Web site, I was hooked. It sounds like an edgy, dark, funny and uncomfortable read. You know a book's excellent if it makes you feel something. I'm looking forward to reading it.

Be sure to read my blurb about Saturday's event over at Word Traffic Books (I love the name, too).

As for this goofy photo? Well, Parker looks good, I look, well, pissed off. I was smiling and before the photog snapped the camera, Parker said, "look serious." I'm caught in a transition between happy and serious.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

What I Got to See from the Filming of "Recount" in Tallahassee...

Alright, so I wrote this post last week, about Kevin Spacey being in town to film the HBO flick, "Recount." Roberto over at Comunidad de argentinos en Tallahassee (my Spanish is poor, I'm assuming it means for the Argentina Community in Tallahassee?) asked that I post what I saw (BTW - thanks for dropping by!).


I didn't make it downtown to see any of the filming! Darn work got in the way and I was tied up with meetings the first half of the week. I did see a CNN truck and dark Secret Service type vehicles each morning on the drive to work. I assume they were being used for the filming.

However, my sources told me a scene shot at the Doubletree Hotel Tallahassee took four takes, something to do with Laura Dern and I think bag pipers playing the FSU fight song - does that sound right?

Another source told me the week prior to the shoot (maybe it was the weekend), a little bash was thrown over at downtown's Metro Deli and Mr. Spacey made a surprise appearance.

So sorry Roberto, I didn't get to see anything either.

Friday, November 09, 2007

What Is It?

Imagine my surprise this Thursday when I got up to find out the temperature was 28 degrees outside! Yes, this image shows ICE on the windshield.

Although being a Buffalo native, I did not have any type of ice scraper in the car. I thought about the things I could use to scrape off the ice (and things I shouldn't use, from past experience) but relied on the interior vents and friction from the windshield blades to melt the ice away.

Monday, November 05, 2007

I'm Off My Game: Kevin Spacey's in Town and I Find Out Now!

I know I've been wrapped up with work and other bits of life when I finally learn today about Kevin Spacey being in town, filming HBO's movie called "Recount." I really haven't been living under a rock, about a month ago I was meeting a friend at the Tallahassee Mall and saw casting signs for the HBO film. I peaked my head inside but didn't see where casting auditions were being held then decided since the signs were handmade they weren't legit.

Fast forward to yesterday, where I saw a blip in the Tallahassee Democrat about roads being closed and today, I found the Tallahassee filming schedule for "Recount" on a St. Petersburg Times blog called The Buzz: Florida Politics. The schedule's from mid-October so don't know how much it's changed.

A couple of gals from the office and I will head downtown tomorrow to see if we can catch a glimpse of the filming or see Mr. Spacey, Laura Dern or any of the other actors. They ship out of town at the end of the week and most of the film will be shot in Jacksonville.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Green Guide Class: Critters in the Air, Sea and Land

Despite a 6 a.m. wake up call, today was awesome. Finally, the temperature has cooled down and the humidity has dropped making being outside enjoyable.

My day began at Mashes Sands Park on Hwy. 98 past Panacea. We met up with George for some early morning bird watching. (Stupid me, I forgot my binoculars, but honestly, I have no idea where they are. Well, I know which room they're in, just not which box).

I also learned something new about horseshoe crabs - usually the shells found washed up on beaches is just that, a shell. The crab inside most likely shed it for a new one. Pretty cool!

Next was lunch at Posey's - grouper sandwich, yum!

Then, Jack Rudlow, founder of Gulf Specimen Marine Laboratories gave us a tour. I have to say, this place is pretty cool. There were several touch tanks to feel all sorts of sea critters, from starfish to scallops and sea urchins to seaweed. There are also non-touchable tanks to observe and watch the sea life, such as sea turtles, sharks and fiddler crabs.

While there, a fisherman had hooked a Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle and brought it in to have the hook removed. The Gulf Specimen Marine Lab is the only authorized turtle rehap center in the area. I've enclosed a photo of the turtle and circled the hook. Luckily, the hook was easily removed and the turtle will soon be released.

We were also at the lab during feeding time, which was fun to see the reactions of the sea critters. Enjoy the video below of the spider crabs feeding. They really are ugly creatures but fun to watch. Over on my QuirkyKitschGirl site, check out the video on the remora (suckerfish) feeding. These are the fish which attach themselves to the bottom of sharks, manatees and turtles.

Since I was already in Panacea, I decided to head over to the Florida Seafood Festival in Apalachicola. I love that town! Indulged in gumbo and oyster stew, saw a crab race and enjoyed great music. A band was even playing on a boat! (Not in the boat below, I just liked this boat.)

Got to tour the newest hotel in Apalachicola, Water Street Hotel & Marina. It only has 30 rooms but they're huge and very comfortable. It's not in the downtown area but an easy walk to the action. Nice property, I'd definitely stay there sometime.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Plumb Fun: Too Much Fun in a Photobooth

I've been M.I.A. because the conference/tradeshow me and the office team have been working on for the past year came to fruition and Internet access was spotty. Hopefully an article or two will be forthcoming from the trip (speaking of articles, here's my latest about Whigham Georgia's Rattlesnake Roundup).

One of the tradeshow vendors was Plumb Fun specializing in photobooth rentals in Georgia and Florida (I think for Alabama, too). The first day, people seemed a little hesitant to use it but after people got comfortable and realized it wasn't going to bite, they tried it out (plus I threw a plug in the nightly newsletter about it).

I have to admit the first time we tried this, five of us got in there and it didn't work. Well, it worked, only the center person was in all the shots and partials of the rest of us showed up.

GW from a Tallahassee travel agency (who's our travel agent for the event and whom we brought along) and I popped in and had too much fun in the photobooth! Wish we thought up more poses.

If you're a meeting planner planning an event or meeting in Florida or Georgia (maybe Alabama? Check with Plumb Fun for locations), this is a must-have item (I'd recommend having it during an evening function after the delegates have loosened up with a cocktail or two). Or, this would be really cool to have at a big family reunion, high school reunion, other social event or even at a wedding!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Kayaking the Wakulla River

I don't have much time to write tonight. Running around this week. Feels like I've been running around all month but took time to kayak the Wakulla River yesterday with The Wilderness Way.

It was FABULOUS!! Saw about a dozen manatees over the 2 to 3 hour trip. Best part, we dropped in and pulled out down river so there was no need to paddle against the flow. It was more of a float than a paddle but still loved it. The rain sprinkled slightly and it was refreshing (frizzing my hair, of course).

The Wilderness Way folks are great, too. Couple of them are graduates of the Wakulla Institute's Green Guide program I'm taking (which, by the way, I won't be able to take any classes until sometime in November).

The photos: Me, a self portrait; View from my kayak and some Wakulla River scenery.

Historic Photos of Tallahassee: Belongs in Every Tallahassean's Library

I had a chance to review Historic Photos of Tallahassee recently and loved it. It's a collection of 199 black and white photos gathered from the State of Florida Archives compiled by Tallahassee Historical Society president, Andrew N. Edel. Images range from the mid-1800s to 1970. The book's published by Turner Publishing Company.

With Christmas around the corner, it'd be a great gift for anyone who's called Tallahassee home or who's into Florida history. Better yet, Edel will be speaking at the Knott House this Thursday, Oct. 25 at 6:30 p.m. The topic is Catt Love or Knott, discussing the 1916 governor election when W.V. Knott was defeated by Sydney Catts.

Edel will sign Historic Photos of Tallahassee. Read my full review of the book at Suite101. The event is free.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Another Class in Paradise: Green Guide Certification

I was bummed I missed out on kayaking yesterday, part of the Wakulla Ecotourism Institutes's Green Guide Certification (part of TCC). Happily, I was back in the swing of things today and back to class - Web pages/Internet Marketing today. I'm such a tree hugging geek, of course I loved the class! (I admit, I haven't attended a class I didn't like, but I really found the two Web classes interesting and useful). Anyway...

Jay Westmark of has been the instructor and he's showed us some pretty neat stuff. Even though I've been a devout user, Jay's classes are pushing me more towards WordPress. (Uh, oh! Is Google going to knock my PageRank for admitting that?)

I love the WordPress templates and flexibility but I also like making money through my blog (honestly, I don't make money from this blog, but my primary blog I do). So, just need to get my plan together and go from there.

Jay showed us some groovy Web marketing tips, too. Things which are easy and inexpensive (I'll be reviewing my notes and seeing what I can do about these blogs later this week). While Jay and his wife run, he also does Web design and Internet marketing for businesses in and around Wakulla, Tallahassee and I imagine beyond the Big Bend Area.

I think tomorrow's class is geology (no, Jay Westmark won't be teaching that class, I don't think...)

Before I call it a night, could you pleeeeaaaze drop over to my "work" blog, VFg3, and complete the survey - it's on the right hand side. It's a two click survey, trying to evaluate people's attitudes towards the going green movement. Much appreciated!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A Conversation with Big Brother 8 Houseguest Zach - UPDATED

I had the chance to meet and chat with Big Brother 8 houseguest Zach Swerdzewski while he's been home in Tallahassee. You'll have to wait for the complete article but he's a terrific, energetic and genuine guy. He has a bright future ahead of him.

Big Brother Zach fans need to mark October 17 in their date book, that's when his Web site launches to sell his edgy surf gear and swimwear.

Stay tuned for the complete interview, which includes his thoughts about being on Big Brother 8 and what he's looking forward to.

Thanks for your time Zach!

Updated: Here's a link to the Part 1 of the interview, it focuses on Big Brother 8. Coming next week is the interview focusing on Dolphin Crash, which will now launch on Oct. 23.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

This Weekend's Packed with All Sorts of Groovy Things to Do in Tallahassee

Okay, so it's nearing the second weekend of October and there are some pretty groovy events happening this weekend. These are ones which have caught my eye:

Bark & Wine Oktoberfest-Style - Leon County Animal Services, Oct. 12
Greek Festival at Holy Mother of God Greek Orthodox Church,Oct. 12 & 13
Fire Arts Festival - Downtown at Woodward and Gaines, Oct. 13 (it's FREE!)
Historic Architecture Revealed - Knott House Museum, Oct. 13, 10 a.m. (and every Saturday in October)
CANpaign Recycling Rally (paying 40 cents per pound of aluminum cans) - Home Depot Parking Lot (3200 Capital Circle), Oct. 13, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Italian Cooking Classes - La Lanterna, Oct. 15 (visit La Lanterna's site for cost and additional class schedule)

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

I'm Lovin' Green Guide Classes - UPDATED with Photos

I've completed my first set of six classes/field trips in the Wakulla Ecotourism Institute (towards my Green Guide Certification) and am loving it! My fellow classmates are terrific, everyone is bringing their own special background and interests to the table (there's about a dozen of us). The instructors are incredible, too, and eagerly share their enthusiasm and expertise in their designated field. I'm enjoying learning about the geology and biology of this area.

Last Sunday was a field trip to Wakualla Springs State Park where Sandy Cook, Park Manager, spoke to the group followed by a tree identification walk in the park's hardwood forest. (I have photos but haven't had access to my home computer to upload them). This weekend the group's kayaking - I can always kayak!

I'm really glad I've enrolled in the program and am looking forward to learning more and eventually implementing what I've learned.
Photos added: Um, I really did pay attention, but can't think of the tree name! October is breast cancer awareness month and bikers supporting the cause were at Wakulla State Park. Saddleback Caterpillar - no molesting the wildlife, there's poison in those hairs!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Meet Tallahassee's Own Big Brother 8 Houseguest: Zach Tonight!

CBS's Big Brother is one of my vices. I saw it in the beginning and have seen it evolve over the years. This season, Tallahassee's Zach Swerdzewski made the final three - yeah! Tallahassee and yeah! Zach for putting up with Dick all that time.

If you're a Big Brother fan, come meet Zach at Barnacle Bill's tonight between 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. Unfortunately, I won't be able to stalk, err, meet Zach, I have class tonight.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Welcome to Small Town USA

I'm dog sitting/house sitting for another six days for a woman I barely know. I met her while taking care of a friend's dog in her neighborhood. Upon moving to Tallahassee, I figured out pretty quickly to be somebody in this town, it's all about who you know and what your background is. It's not like Sarasota where newcomers are embraced into the community and can easily become a big fish in a small town. I've learned tradition and heritage are important to Tallahassee residents. Outsiders are looked upon as a curiosity. Who a person is seems to be dependent on where they went to high school and who their parent's are rather than the individual.

I've had my thoughts on this reaffirmed over the past couple of weeks. Had a discussion with a gal who was born and raised her but her parents moved here in the 1970s. People constantly ask where she went to high school and are disappointed when she doesn't reply with Leon. (Apparently the Leon kids are the wealthier ones? I'm still learning all this). Back to house sitting...

Came home on Tuesday to find a note posted to the door, one of the neighbors asked that I please give her a call but not to call after 8:30 p.m. No number was on the note but the client had left a list of neighbor's numbers. My plan was to take the dog out then head to class but thought this note meant there was an urgent matter needing tending to. While rounding up the dog, I called the neighbor. She informed me she and her daughter were on their way over to meet me and bring some soup over for my client, which is sweet and hospitable.

She seemed disappointed when I told her I was heading out the door and wasn't sure when I'd be able to have some free time to sit down with her. I'm a cut-to-the-chase person and not the chitchatting-type with strangers, which is why I'm an oddball here in the South. I'm guessing the neighbor's curious what type of person I am (all she knows me as is the "house sitter") and wants to make sure I haven't trashed the house (the client's in the process of moving so there isn't much in the house; has a great wood floor, could be a great roller rink or dance floor!) I'm tickled at her curiosity.

Tonight it's Wine Tasting and Cigar Smoking at ABC Fine Wine & Spirits at 1930 Thomasville Road. Tomorrow I have GOT to get to the gym (haven't been since Saturday). Saturday night is Club 3 at Lake Ella, a one-night nightclub for only 7 bucks. Sunday it's out to Wakulla Springs State Park for a field trip (I'm like a kid taking these eco-tourism classes). Last Sunday was a trip to the Wilderness Way for the kayak sale. Didn't find one in my price range but signed up for the sunset paddle on Oct. 21. Lunch and wandering in Apalachicola followed for the rest of the afternoon. It was nice, just wish more businesses would be open on a Sunday afternoon, after all, isn't that when most people have the time off?

Oh! And only a couple of days are left to join the Tallahassee Kite Runner Group - remember, if 100 members join, Tallahassee will get a free, private screening of the Kite Runner.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Embrace Your Inner Tree Hugger This Weekend

Saturday, September 29, it's super cool to go hug a tree, it's National Public Lands Day. It's a day to give back to the public lands either by improving or enhancing a recreational area. There's plenty of opportunity for volunteers to get out this Saturday into Tallahassee's public lands. Visit the site to see what interests you.

And, want to score a deal on a kayak? Sunday is the Wilderness Way's Annual Used Kayak Sale, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (4901 Woodville Highway). Would be a good time to get paddled, err, get a paddle or probably score an excellent deal on a used kayak.

*Sigh* I'm pretty sure I'll be heading out that way to check out the kayaks but I really shouldn't buy anything. I have that darn trip to Italy coming up. Although, I picked up another dog sitting/house sitting client so the extra cash will be nice. But need to save, save, save and not spend, spend, spend. Yes, dog sitting/house sitting is among one of my many talents. It's quite amazing I'm still single...

Oktoberfest's 'Round the Corner: Check out Bark and Wine Art for the Animals

Touching base on a previous post about Oktoberfest Puppy (and Kitty) Style. The folks over at the Tallahassee-Leon Community Animal Service Center have shared with me the line up of fabulous artists exhibiting between Oct. 12 and Jan. 7, 2008. Come kick off the art exhibition on October 12 with one heck of a bash.

Participating artists displaying their artwork:

Kathleen J. Bell
Debra Brienen
Alice Cappa (be-ewe-tiful work)
Pamela Casey
Carla Deterding
Colleen Fahey
Judith P. Felder
Alfreda C. Green
Yoshiko Murdick (fluid, dreamy watercolors)
Rachel Sandler
Sarah Thompson
Mike Vanderberg

Remember, there'll be brews and wine to savor, delish nibbles and desserts along with music to unwind. See ya Oct. 12 at 1125 Easterwood Drive, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. For more info, call: (850) 891-2966 or visit the site.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Made in Tallahassee: My Brother's Keeper

Remember my April article about Spike Lee speaking in Tallahassee and how a filmmaker gave Lee his DVD of a show called "My Brother's Keeper?" Well good news, Tallahassee! My Brother's Keeper "The First Impression": An Introductory Short Film to the Hit New Drama Series is now available here in Tallahassee at:

Vinyl Fever
2256 West Pensacola Street
Tallahassee, FL

CD Warehouse (Next to FAMU)
803 Railroad Ave.
Tallahassee, FL

If you can't get out and shop locally, pop over to The DVD has the first two episodes of the six-episode season dealing with a gritty, realistic look at college life. Support the local talent and check it out! So, did Spike Lee help out? Dunno. But if/when I find out, will report back.

Embracing the Inner Tree Hugger

Today I took the steps to earn TCC's Green Guide Certification under the Wakulla Ecotourism Institute. I've enrolled in the Ecotourism Institute and my first class is tomorrow. My purpose in enrolling is to help make me an expert in ecotourism, especially Florida ecotourism, and hopefully give me the tools I need to someday open a green/ecotourism business. Will this happen soon? Probably not, but slowly, I'm figuring out what I'm suppose to do with my life.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

What a Wild and Crazy Week It's Been

Can't believe the weekend is already half over, where did it go? Last weekend was awesome, it began with the Talla Festa parade and festivities (pictured) then off to Madison to visit O'Toole's Herb Farm (pictured). Guess it would have been more productive if I purchased some herbs but was afraid I'd kill them. I enjoyed browsing the herbs and chilling out in the garden. A late lunch at One Eleven Grill at 307 SW Pinckney Street in Madison followed. Oh, and save the date: Feb. 2, 2008 is O'Toole's Herb Farm's popular Just Because Festival.

Over the weekend I did pick up my "Keep It Tallahassee Sassy" t-shirt at Lake Ella's Quarter Moon Imports. The shirts are "one size fits most" and although I can fit into it, I won't be wearing it in public, it's a bit more form fitting than I like but goes to a good cause, supporting locally owned businesses.

And the week? I house sat for most of it, which means I didn't sleep well (but did pick up another client) and the fire department visited the office twice - don't ask.

So it's Saturday. Tonight it's the Tallahassee Rollergirls at the Fairgrounds then tomorrow a visit to TCC's Wakulla Center for the Ecotourism Institute Open House and finally back to Monticello for the FREE open house at Monticello Vineyards & Winery.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

An Evening with Tallahassee's Newest Ghost Hunters: S.I.T.E.

Remember this post bragging about the cool evening I had with Anna and Mike with S.I.T.E., Tallahassee's newest group of ghost hunters? Well, I finally got the article written and published. Enjoy it here.

And, if anyone is interested in joining the group, they're recruiting members! And how cool would that be to be a Tallahassee ghost hunter???

BTW - the photo is my hand holding the "ghost detector" (read the article to understand).

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

What's on Tap for My Weekend?

I confess to planning my weekends as soon as the previous one is ending. So what's in store for me this week? Updated Sept. 13: Well, the Democrat and the Mary Brogan Web site have been promoting speed dating this Friday, but after calling the Brogan this afternoon to find out more about it, I was told "We're not having speed dating and we're not sure where the paper got that info." I informed the gal that it's posted on the Mary Brogan calendar. Good news, thought. Was was told it should come back sometime after the first of the year, so guys and gals, you have one shot at it...

Also happening is TallaFesta: Tallahassee's International Festival. Some gala is Thursday night with the Carnival Village open Friday and Saturday but bulk of the festivities taking place Saturday....moving to the rest of the weekend...Of course, there's the Friday Night Bounce downtown at Clydes and Costello's (a place to chill after the speed dating).

Saturday, I really want to head over to Madison to O'Toole's Herb Farm. I've heard it's a bit on the "granola" side, which means I'll love it! (Did you see this blog post? Feel free to share your comments!). Of course I'll let ya know how it is.

And if you haven't already joined, be sure to join the Tallahassee Area Kite Runners group so we can all receive a private, advanced screening of "The Kite Runner," based on the book. Check out my blog post about it here.

Private Screening of "The Kite Runner" in Tallahassee???

It could happen. I've taken on Paramount Vantage's challenge to set up an online community as part of the "The Kite Runner Loyalty Program and Competition." As the Kite Club Captain, I need to gather at least 100 members to the Tallahassee Area Kite Runners group and our handsome reward will be a private, pre-screening of "The Kite Runner" in Tallahassee. How cool would THAT be?

It's free to register and the screening would be sometime in October.

Why did I do this? I read the The Kite Runner because I was planning to join a book club. I found the book beautifully written yet ugly and dark, yet real. It sparked an interest in Afghanistan, which led to my March 2006 trip to Kabul. The book piqued my curiosity of what life is like for the Afghans so as crazy as it sounds, I made the journey. If you haven't found it yet, I kept a blog at:

I encourage anyone who's read the book, has an interest in good stories and films or just a curiosity about people to join the Tallahassee Area Kite Runners group. Hopefully, we can watch the film together and how cool would that be?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Message to Tallahassee Drivers: Breath and Slow Down!

Over the past week, I've seen three accidents HAPPEN, not just the aftermath, but actually happen. Driving to and from the new offices each day is exposing me more to Tallahassee drivers and frankly people, you need to simma down, breath and chill.

Yes, the traffic sucks, it takes me 30 minutes (used to take 15) to get home or the gym at night from work but cutting people off, speeding through "pink" lights (between yellow and mostly red) and my biggest pet peeve, "blocking the box" - you know, the INTERSECTION at a red light - isn't going to improve anything. And pay attention, people! Two of the three accidents I saw were caused by people on their cell phones, rear ending cars at red lights (the other was a motorcycle rear ending a car at a red light, hope the dude wasn't on a cell phone!).

Yesterday, I saw a pissed off driver follow a female driver into my gym parking lot so he could scream at her for stopping at a green light (she was making a right turn but couldn't because a pedestrian was in the crosswalk; the truck behind her slammed on the brakes and got pissed, guess he's a driver into obtaining points...). Road rage is pretty frightening.

Things you can do on the evening drive? Listen to NPR, either soothing music or commentary, turn on 87.7 and listen to the news on WCTV (for traffic reports), tune into Hank FM (my fave Tally radio station right now) and sing along with the classics or pop in a CD and learn a new language (which I should be doing for the Nov. trip to Italy). Alright, I'm a geek, but find something soothing during the drive time. Getting pissed off isn't going to change anything, it only makes things worse. Why can't we play nice on the road?

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Visiting Monticello Vineyards & Winery

The things to do in Tallahassee keep surprising me. Maybe you already know about this but I just discovered the Monticello Vineyards & Winery (in Monticello) and spent Saturday morning picking luscious, sweet certified organic grapes. (I bet you thought I was a lush, sipping wine before noon, ha!) The winery produces no sugar added muscadine wine (as explained to me, the grapes are sweet enough and "want to become wine."). Dr. Cynthia Connolly is owner of Ladybird Organics, which operates the vineyard and winery.

During August and September, visitors can pick the grapes ($4 per pound) when the organic vineyards are open, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (or by appointment).

I met Dr. Connolly, a lovely, smart, enthusiastic women who's been into organic farming before it was cool (the farm's been operating since 1989). She's quite proud of her operation, as she should be. She sells organic (chicken) eggs ($4 per dozen), too. More than a dozen varieties of muscadines are up for the picking and it doesn't take long to gather enough to do something with them (I've made muscadine jelly and muscadine grape butter, seasoned with cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, yum!).

Haven't been to the Monticello Vineyards & Winery? It's an easy 30 minute drive east of Tallahassee and guess what? Sunday, September 23, the winery is holding an open house between 2 and 5 p.m. See ya there!

It'll be a busy weekend, the day prior I'll be at the Tallahassee Rollergirls last home game of the season (and I see they're still recruiting, hmmm, I've considered it...)

Thursday, September 06, 2007

ABC Wine & Spirits Wine Tasting

When I left for the office this morning, I was planning on hitting the gym after work. Later in the day, I remembered seeing a listing by the Tallahassee Democrat's Calendar Girl about a wine tasting at ABC Wine & Spirits on W. Tennessee tonight.

My friend CJ joined me for an evening of sampling dozens of wines, liqueurs and spirits, all for $5 (there were more than a dozen wines to sample, I was just at my limit). Best of all, the $5 included an ABC wine glass (to add to the collection) and a $3 off coupon on any purchase. I ended up taking home a bottle of St. Brendan's Irish Creme Liqueur, tastes just as good as Bailey's but less expensive.

The crowd was a youthful one but the twenty-somethings didn't dominate the scene. There were patrons of all ages mixing and mingling.

This particular ABC store has about three and four tastings a year but among all of them in Tallahassee, there's one about every month.

I'm definitely going to keep my eyes open for the next tasting in town and will have to keep my eyes on the Calendar Girl's listings.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Pizza and Pirates - Yum!

I realize it's only Wednesday but I feel the week has gotten off to a slow start. Tried lunch today at Mellow Mushroom (1641 West Pensacola St.) - yummo! It's a chain with restaurants located throughout the country but O-M-G! My pizza (Magical Mystery Tour - pesto base, spinach with Mozzarella with Portobello and button mushrooms, feta and jalapenos; $11.55 for a 10" pie + $2 root beer) was awesome and plentiful. Best of all, it tastes great cold so the left overs were my dinner. The outside is fun, bordering on quirky and inside is a dab of mystic whimsy with Nole influence. Look for the Jerry Garcia painted in a corner. While the pizza was amazing and service friendly and well, mellow, food is cooked to order and takes a while, in comparison to other lunch spots. If not on a schedule, I highly recommend the Mellow Mushroom.

Arrrr! Don't forget tomorrow is WCTV's Double Dollar Deals and 100, $50 gift certificates, sold for $25, valid at Pirate's Tiki Hut on Timber Island (Carrabelle River) go on sale. Being a fan of pirates (because International Talk Like a Pirate Day is coming up on Sept. 19 - if you didn't click the link then, do so now to learn the five basics of pirate talk!), I may have to scoop me up a certificate.

Speaking of food, I just published an article about the 8 flavors of Buffalo - enjoy!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Message to Tallahassee Dudes: Big, Loud Trucks Don't Impress Me

Tallahassee has a healthy population of trucks and over sized cars. My peeve isn't necessarily with their gratuitous size but the loud base which vibrates my little economy car. I'm afraid the paint's going to shake off the poor thing!

Yesterday I was somewhere on Tennessee St. waiting for the light in my little silver Saturn Ion, easily recognizable by the Brillo pad scratches on the hood (no, I didn't really use a Brillo pad on my car, last Sept. I road tripped up to Savannah and Charleston during the peak of love bug season and got a little zealous in saying goodbye to the buggers. So happened some of the paint rubbed off with them...). My daze into the red stoplight was shaken by vibrating bass to my left AND right. On either side of me were large trucks decked out with loads of bling and gadgets and young men behind each wheel.

I wondered why guys do this, deck their vehicles out with bling and blare the stereo? I honestly can't recall seeing a woman doing this. Hey, I enjoy a good bass every once in a while but I'm a modest chica, I don't feel the need to share it with everyone. Plus, isn't there some state law against this, passed last year??? theory on the subject: big vehicles are an extension of the Animal kingdom (no, not Disney's). In the animal world, when a male wants to attract a female, he needs to show her he's got the goods and he's the loudest and proudest. In the bird world, it's the male birds with all the color and flash. And, come mating season, it's the males who make the noise, take elk bugling (okay, for you Floridians, the male alligators bellow).

Humans are the superior members of the Animal kingdom, yet, do we still rely on basic animal techniques for courting a mate?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Delta Must Love Tallahasse (But Doesn't Love Me)

I flew Delta twice this month, once for business and the other for pleasure. Flipping through the in flight magazine, Sky, Tallahassee has mentions not once but TWICE (good job Tallahassee CVB). The first snippet is about the semi-private SouthWood Golf Club, boasting about the rolling fairways and other important golf amenities (I'm not a golfer, if I'm on a golf course, I'm either on a cart or at the 19th hole).

The second Tallahassee mention is about Jack's BBQ (4176 Apalachee Parkway; 850-671-5300) and how it's the area's best kept secret. That little morsel was submitted to Sky by Tallahassee's Jon S. Baile. Since the new offices are out that way, perhaps I'll have to sample what Jack can do.

As for my relationship with Delta, I wanted to boast how the flight crew rocked on both legs from Buffalo to Tallahassee on Monday, but when I arrived at TLH, my luggage hadn't. And I'm a special person, granted not a Platinum member, but Silver. I almost burst into tears when the Delta lost luggage agent told me it was probably stolen. But, my luggage arrived the next day, all of it.

Now that I'm home for a while, I'll be getting caught up on my writing and blogging, I have the really cool story about my evening with the S.I.T.E. folks. Stay tuned, really!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Chilling in Buffalo

Just thought I'd rub it in that I'm sitting in Buffalo in a non-air conditioned house with the windows wide open. A slight breeze wafts in, the outdoor temperature is about 80 degrees and I'm not sweating. Burrr, think I need a sweater. To my Tallahassee friends, don't melt this weekend!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Bark & Wine Art for Animals: Celebrate Oktoberfest Puppy (and Kitty) Style!

In July, I attended the Bark & Wine event at the Animal Service Center. I sipped great wine by Killearn Liquors and noshed on excellent nibbles by the new, boutique catering company called Saucy.

Well animal and art lovers, save the date! The 2nd quarterly Bark & Wine - Art of the Animals is being celebrated Oktoberfest style on Friday, October 12, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. at the Animal Service Center (1125 Easterwood Drive). Art admission is FREE (and FREE is a beautiful thing). Select pieces will be on display Oct. 12 through Jan. 7, 2008.

While the details are still being firmed up, Saucy will once again provide tasty bites, Bob Smith will be baking up Bavarian desserts (yum!) and Killearn Liquors will be providing wine and brew tastings Oktoberfest-style. Award-winning musician Tina Larkin will top off the evening with elegant tunes to sway by in the (hopefully) cool(er) autumn air. (Stay tuned for fees for the beverages, advanced tickets will be available for purchase).

Remember, this just isn't about meeting new friends and sipping fine brew, the event's about the animals. Thirty percent of the gallery's art sales benefit the Animal Shelter Foundation. If you're an artist, why not answer the call for artists and gain some additional exposure? Just follow the link for additional information. Applications must be postmarked by Sept. 12, 2007.

As for Saucy, they're catering intimate events right now. While they're working on their Web site, drop them an email at if you need your event catered.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Are the Cool Things Planned When I'm Outta Town?

Obama's coming back to town and I won't be here! The Presidential hopeful is the Leon County Democratic Club's keynote speaker this Friday (Aug. 24) at the second annual Collins-Steele Dinner at the University Center Club. It's not that I can afford to attend but thought maybe I could stalk him a bit and get a glimpse of the man. Visit the Leon County Democratic Party site for more info.

Yesterday at the gym (Women's World) I saw a sign for the Tallahassee Boomers and Seniors Expo featuring Suzanne Somers and Oprah's man Stedman Graham this Saturday (Aug. 25). Okay, maybe I'm showing my age (I'm by far a Boomer or Senior - not that there's anything wrong with that), but I remember Somers as the ditsy Chrissy on "Three's Company" and purchased a Thigh Master when it first came out (my sister is getting some good use out of it).

Anyway, the expo looks really cool and I'm outta town for a family affair. I checked the site out today and looks like it's been postponed - not because I won't be here - but due to "unforeseen circumstances." Hope I'll be in town for the rescheduled date.

Where can I get one of those "Keep it Sassy Tallahassee" t's? At Lake Ella or the Downtown Saturday Market? I saw a gal wearing one on a flight last week. I need to look into that. I have way too many t-shirts but always have room for a groovy one. "Keep it Sassy Tallahassee" is the initiative to encourage shopping locally and if you haven't noticed, there are great boutiques, markets and shops here in town.

And, I finally got my butt into the Tallahassee Area Visitor Information Center (located at 106 East Jefferson Street, Downtown) last week (be warned, parking in front of the center sucks and but if you're not lucky to grab one of the sweet spots, ample parking is nearby). Great resource if friends and family are coming to visit and need some ideas on what to do. They also have a nice selection of Tallahassee souvenirs, but no "Keep it Sassy Tallahassee" t's.