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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Springtime Was Fabulous...How Was it for You?

I moseyed downtown this afternoon to get a taste of Springtime Tallahassee. This meant I missed the parade and weaved my way in and around the other festivities until I found a place to park. First matter of business was to find some fried food.

Ended up at the Crab Trap for a giant crab fritter thing and fried grouper (for $14, which I think is a bit pricey, but whatever). Chatted with some ladies who just moved up from Tampa. They seem to be feeling the Tallahassee love as much as I have. (Yes, that's sarcasm.)

The next matter of business was to browse through all the vendors and do a little shopping. Found some great jewelry for myself and as gifts.

Was happy to see all the recycling bins at the event. Go Green, Tallahassee!

It was an absolutely gorgeous day. Although a bit warm, it felt good and I got a bit of color. Springtime is definitely here.

And the rest of my day?

Did a little shopping. I felt like Julia Roberts in "Pretty Woman," well, I'm not a prostitute, but had money to spend but no one to help.


Oh well. Suppose I'll just have to read fashion mags to help me get over my disability of being fashionably-challenged.

At the Tallahassee Mall, saw a sign in Barnes & Noble stating Florida author Randy Wayne White will be signing books tomorrow (Sunday, March 30) at 2 p.m. Pretty cool. Too bad I won't be in town, heading to the North Carolina mountains of Asheville.

Have an o'dark-thirty wake up call so I'm calling it a night. But tell me, did you enjoy Springtime?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Pollen's In the Air, Which Means it's Springtime in Tallahassee!

Don't know about you but there's about an inch of yellow pollen on my car and my allergies are killin' me, which means it's springtime!

Although I'm heading out of town on Sunday and should really stay home to get ready for my trip, I'm heading downtown for the Springtime Tallahassee festivities. The parade's OK but I like the seafood festival and walking around to see all the different arts and crafts vendors. I'm especially excited my favorite Tallahassee jewelry artist, Page Rozelle, will be downtown Saturday, March 29 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Check out the Springtime Tallahassee Web site for the schedule of festivities and see ya there!

Mockingbird Cafe Happenings: March 28 - 30, 2008

Here's the can't miss menu for this weekend at Lori's Mockingbird Cafe in Havana:

Friday & Saturday, March 27& 28: Candlelight dinners, 6 'til 9 p.m. Highlights include: Tempura Fried Oysters (sounds heavenly!), $8, Sesame Crusted Mahi-mahi with Ginger Soy Butter Sauce and Shiitake Snow Pea Stir-fry, $22 and Crab Meat Stuffed Chicken Supreme with Mushroom Risotto and Garlic-Thyme Sauce, $18. Reservations strongly recommended (850- 539-2212).

Sunday, March 29: Champagne Sunday Brunch, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Friday entertainment: Charlie Kirbo (Acoustic Folk)
Saturday entertainment: Bill McGuire & Mark Leadon (Acoustic Folk)
Sunday afternoon entertainment: Pat Jones and David Bowlin (Eclectic Acoustic)

Mockingbird Cafe, 211 NW 1st Street, Havana, Fla.

Read my other posts about things to do in Tallahassee.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Nothing Profound to Say

Just checking in to say although my life flipped upside down six weeks ago, things have strangely worked out. Suppose I need to put more faith in the universe. I want to, I'm just a control freak and want to make things happen.

Last night was the final night I'll be attending the Wakulla Ecotourism Institute/Green Guide Class until next semester (yes, I'm on the three-semester plan). I haven't spent much time with the class but was excited to learn some of the businesses these folks want to start. I'm not going to spill the beans on their plans, you'll just have to stay tuned.

[Note: The above image is from the weekend's road trip to South Florida.]

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Mockingbird Cafe Happenings: March 20 - 23, 2008

Yum! Lori's Mockingbird Cafe in Havana is serving up some fab food and music this weekend, sorry I'm not going to be in town:

Thursday, March 20: Featuring Roasted Garlic and Basil Lasagna with Marinara Sauce (OK, this sounds tastier than last week's BBQ Shrimp & Cheese Grits), $10.95 Seating is 6 'til 8 p.m.

Friday & Saturday, March 21 & 22: Candlelight dinners, 6 'til 9 p.m. Highlights include Orecchiette Pasta with Broccoli Rabe, Oven Roasted Tomatoes, Caramelized Onions and Andouille Sausage, $16 and Seared Ribeye of Organic Angus Beef Au Poivre with Rosemary Beurre Rouge and Duchess Potatoes, $21. Reservations strongly recommended (850- 539-2212).

Easter Sunday, March 23: Champagne Sunday Brunch, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Friday entertainment: Wreckin' So (Acoustic Folk)
Saturday entertainment: Doug Jernigan (Acoustic Folk)
Sunday afternoon entertainment: Charlie Kirbo (Acoustic Folk)

Mockingbird Cafe, 211 NW 1st Street, Havana, Fla.

Read my other posts about things to do in Tallahassee.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Saturday Afternoon with a Prince

Can't believe it's taken me this long to do this but it's one more thing I can tick off the Tallahassee things to do list. I finally went to see the final resting place of Prince Achille Murat (nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte) and his wife Catherine (great-grandniece to George Washington) at the St. John's Episcopal Cemetery at Call Street and Martin Luther King Avenue.

That's right. Tallahassee's Prince Murat Motel is named after true royalty.

Before heading out for my little adventure, I put on the kitsch and groovy new jewelry I received this week from Sunshine City Lassie (See! I'm wearing it off to the left). You can read the full description about the goodies on my primary blog and if you love it as much as I do, buy something from her!

OK, back to my Saturday afternoon jaunt to the cemetery.

I headed downtown and drove down Call Street. I admit to being navigationally challenged and found my self at the Old City Cemetery, established in 1829 and is the city's oldest public cemetery.

Even better, there was a big map with walking guides available, compliments of the Historic Tallahassee Preservation Board and the City of Tallahassee. I grabbed one and wandered through half the cemetery, walking through years of Tallahassee history.

There are even sections where Confederate and Union soldiers are buried. The Union soldiers are believed to be killed at the Battle of Natural Bridge. The Confederate soldiers were killed at the Battle of Natural Bridge and the Battle of Olustee. Some died at nearby hospitals and camps. Interestingly, the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Sons of Confederate Veterans hold services here on Confederate Memorial Day, which is April 26. I may have to check that out. I had no idea there was a Confederate Memorial Day. They just don't teach that up North.

Next stop was the St. John's Episcopal Cemetery, which is basically right across the street, still on MLK.

This cemetery is much smaller and it was fairly easy to find the Murat headstones (pictured on the right). But, I was taken in by the blooming flowers and all the photo opportunities. It was also very peaceful and not creepy at all.

The Murat headstones are worn from the weather and they seem like simple markers for royalty. Maybe that's why there's a motel named after the prince.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Mind Your Table Manners: Imagine Life Workshop Series

Love entertaining? Planning a big event and need a creative kick-start? Then mark March 18 in your calendar and plan on attending the Imagine Life Workshop called "Say I DO to Flawless Entertaining."

Hosted by Blossoms Flowers, this FREE event focuses on setting the perfect table with the hottest trends in centerpieces and table setting (yes, there are trends). The folks from Blossoms Flowers and Silver Lining Linens will be on hand to answer questions.

What a perfect event to attend and get ready for the spring and summer entertainment season.

What: "Say I DO to Flawless Entertaining"
When: Tuesday, March 18, 2008, 6:30 p.m.
Where: Blossoms Flowers, 1200 N. Monroe, Tallahassee

(Don't forget, the event is FREE)

I'm sure Blossoms Flowers and Silver Lining Linens will share design tips to create something as groovy as the design above. That was a table setting for an event I attended last year in Atlanta.

Imagine is a Tallahassee-based wedding planning and design firm.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Mockingbird Cafe Happenings: March 13 - 15, 2008

Lori's Mockingbird Cafe in Havana is serving up some great eats and tunes this weekend:

Thursday, March 13: BBQ Shrimp & Cheese Grits, $14 (can you think of anything more divine?). Acoustic folk artists Double Shot with Rick Neal & Bob Tannehill will perform. Seating is 6 'til 8 p.m.

Friday & Saturday, March 14 & 15: Candlelight dinners, 6 'til 9 p.m. Highlights include Grilled Gulf Pompano with Shrimp Gumbo Sauce, Scallion Butter and Steamed Rice, $22 and Paella Valencia with Smoked Chicken, Chorizo and Local Shellfish, $19. Reservations strongly recommended (850- 539-2212).

Sunday, March 16: Champagne Sunday Brunch, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Friday entertainment: The Slackers (Acoustic Folk)
Saturday entertainment: The Bothy Gals (Celtic Acoustic)
Sunday afternoon entertainment: Quanta (Smooth Jazz)

Mockingbird Cafe, 211 NW 1st Street, Havana, Fla.

Read my other posts about things to do in Tallahassee.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Teas Around the World and Travel Show Coming Up at Relaxations Health and Wellness Spa

I'm marking March 20 down in my calendar to head over to Relaxations Health & Wellness at 2790 West Tennessee, Tallahassee. Why? They have an event called Teas from Around the World & Travel Show beginning at 6 p.m. that day. The evening will include samplings of tea, chair massage demos, Relaxation class demos and a speaker from the YTB Travel Network to talk about summer travel options. It's never to early to plan for a vacation!

And what else is happening at Relaxations?

March - 50-minute Swedish massages for $49 AND the Healthy Body Healthy Weight program will begin. This is an interactive program to get ya feeling good on the inside and slimming down on the outside.
Publish Post
April - Classes will be added and MAY include aerobics, exercise ball, weights, ballet workout (that sounds like fun) or Jazzercise. Drop the folks at Relaxations a line to let 'em know what you're interested in. (Relxations already offer yoga and Pilate's and a menu of spa services.)

Wouldn't a gift card to this spa make a nice addition to an Easter basket? Or, it's not too early to start thinking about Mom for Mother's Day.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Are Tallahassee Panhandlers Becoming More Aggressive?

Are Tallahassee panhandlers becoming more aggressive? Are there more of them around town?

I went to WalMart today and was asked for a donation for a softball team. At first I was really excited when the little girl approached me. I thought she was a Girl Scout and I wanted to stock up on more Thin Mints but it's probably best she was a softball player. I dropped a buck in her pink helmet.

Heading to the car, two young kids, probably 12 or 13 approached me saying they were collecting money for their church. Granted it was light out but I felt a little threatened and cornered but gave them a dollar. I'd like to think they were really collecting for their church but who knows. It was almost like the kids in Afghanistan begging for money. Not only were the kids begging but they were aggressive about it.

Anyway... I saw someone else come my way, not sure if they were heading to their car or to panhandle me but I quickly got in and left. Pulling out, I passed another panhandler at the usual stop sign. It was a different beggar from what I've seen before but I've noticed beggars tend to change locations.

Heading back home, I noticed a what appeared to be a homeless man tidying up his camp by Mission San Luis and the closer I drove to Monroe from Tennessee, the more homeless people I noticed. I was even panhandled when I went to FedEx-Kinkos on Tennessee earlier this month.

Is this a reflection of the times or have I just not noticed as many people begging in Tallahassee?

So, It Was a Little Windy Friday

My work day begins at 7:45 a.m. so when driving into the office on Friday morning, things seemed a little strange. The sky had a hint of green and there wasn't much traffic. As I turned down Apalachee Parkway, things seemed a bit more odd.

As I got closer to the office, the more tree debris littered the road. Business signs were ripped off and the traffic light at Apalachee and Paul Russel Road was out (BTW - people, when a traffic light is out, treat it as a four-way stop). A palm tree by Staples had the top snapped off, piece of the Village Inn's front awning was on the ground and tree in the office parking lot was down.

If I didn't know any better, I would have thought a tropical storm ripped through the area.

Once in the office, it was as if I missed the memo about the office being closed. Slowly, my co-workers trickled in and at about 8:30 a.m., the power on our floor went out for two hours. Generators kept the bottom floor business going and we had electricity in our multi-purpose room.
At lunch, I snapped a couple of photos of some local businesses. At top is the McDonald's on Apalachee Parkway near Capital Circle, above is the LaQuinta on Apalachee Parkway.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

What's Shaking in Tallahassee this Weekend? March 7 - 9, 2008

I just have to say I'm truly enjoying these cooler Tallahassee temps. The mornings have been a bit chilly but evenings are crisp and light, perfect walking weather.

Pop some popcorn! Here's a follow up to the Tallahassee visit from the FreshBooks folks, complete with video.

And what cool stuff is on tap for the weekend? As usual, lots of things happening in and around Tallahassee. These events piqued my curiosity:

For a low-key dinner, head north to Havana for Candlelight Dining at the Mockingbird Cafe on Friday & Saturday, March 7 & 8, 6 - 9 p.m. (hope the weather holds!). Dine by twinkling candlelight while enjoying acoustic folk music. Sounds peaceful.

Military buffs will want to head over to Carrabelle for Camp Gordon Johnston Days, March 7 - 9. This is an opportunity to learn about Franklin County during WWII and meet veterans from past wars and modern-day heroes. The weekend includes swing dancing, a parade and lots of eating. Call the Camp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum at (850) 697-8575 or

Over at Word Traffic Books Saturday is the High School Writers' Guild 2 - 4 p.m. This is an opportunity for high schoolers to share their work. At 4 p.m. it's a launch PARTY for the book of poetry called The Moving Waters by author Mary Jane Ryals. The local award-winning author will read her poetry and sign copies of the book.

For more cool Tallahassee events, be sure to check out

Remember to save the date for:
Springtime Tallahassee, March 28 - 30, 2008
The Wakulla Wildlife Festival, April 3 - 5, 2008
87th Annual Thomasville Rose Festival & Show, April 24 - 26, 2008
Tallahassee Film Festival, May 15 - 17, 2008

Oh! And before I forget, be sure to check out TallyCast. The site includes podcasts and is a nice potpourri of what's happening in and around Tallahassee and Florida. Enjoy!

Monday, March 03, 2008

FreshBooks RoadBurn 2008 Stops in Tallahassee

The guys from FreshBooks stopped in Tallahassee today on their way from Miami to Austin for SXSW. The Toronto-based company is an online invoicing and time tracking service. Basically, they can handle the back end of your business so you can be more involved in the front end.

Anyway, this post isn't about what they do, you can find that on the FreshBooks site to learn more. This is about RoadBurn 2008, their wondrous road trip (follow the blog) and their stop to see ME!

Their office had contacted me about two weeks ago asking if I'd be available to spend 20 minutes with the crew. Timing was right, I needed a distraction with everything else going on and with limited time, decided on a bit of geocaching at Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park.

Long story short, they arrived, I showed and explained a bit about geocaching, had some fun and went on our way. I'm thankful it was a gorgeous day. The guys are heading to New Orleans tonight.

I gotta thrill seeing Saul and Sunir opening the cache. There was a really creepy (and dirty) baby in there. No, not a real baby, a little plastic one. I really think the baby should be sitting on the crew's RV dashboard making the rest of the road trip, but someone who shall remain nameless was not comfortable with the baby. The FreshBooks crew left some groovy swag in the box and if you're a lucky geocacher, maybe you'll find it.

Stay tuned to RoadBurn 2008 blog for updates and get their side of the story :)

Pictured in the group photo are: Sunir, Mike, Eamonn (did I get that right?), Saul and Me.

Happy travels and thanks for stopping in Tally!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Road Trip: Travel to Stephen King's Sarasota

Stephen King has a new book out, it's called Duma Key: A Novel. While Duma Key is a fictional island, the plot takes place in and around Sarasota, Fla. This is King's first Florida-based novel and reading Duma Key, one has to wonder, are all the Sarasota-based businesses King mentions some of his favorite hang outs? Maybe.

I really enjoyed writing this article, "Travel to Stephen King's Sarasota" and hope you enjoy exploring Sarasota through the eyes of the book's protagonist, Edgar Freemantle.