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Friday, April 25, 2008

Sorry Tallahassee, I'm Breaking Up With You

It's bittersweet that I write this. All joking and sarcasm aside, the Tallahassee community has grown on me. But, it's time for me to move on professionally and personally. To that extent, I'm leaving the community in May to head back to southwest Florida.

As for this blog, I plan to maintain it and keep it updated when possible.

If you're looking for first-hand accounts of life in Tallahassee, be sure to bookmark some of my Tallahassee blogger friends:

Once I'm settled into my new community (Charlotte County), I hope to begin another blog. My primary blog ( will continue to be maintained regularly.

Thanks for the memories. It's been one wild ride!

[Photos: Office Halloween contest, 2005, I was the "Pez Princess;" Aladdin's Sheesha Cafe, summer 2007; Self portrait, kayaking the Wakulla River, fall 2007]

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Imagine Life Workshop Series: April 29 Look Sensational this Summer with a

In addition to being navigationally challenged, I'm fashionably challenged so this upcoming workshop is something I should probably attend. It's called "Say I DO to Sensational Summer Style," part of the Imagine Life Workshop Series.

It's happening at Cole Couture Boutique, 2086 Thomasville Rd # B on Tuesday, April 29, at 6:30 p.m.

What's it about? The workshop will:
Help women achieve the right summer style for this season.
Highlight this season's current trends in party wear.
Provide guidance in selecting the right clothing based on body type.
Show ladies how to shop for style on any budget.

Best of all, this fashionable shindig is FREE.

Want to learn more? Contact event planner extraoirdinaire Kenya Washington with Imagine at ( 850) 591-3010 or through her Web site.

I wonder if my shiny pink shoes are considered fashionable. Hmm...

Mockingbird Cafe Happenings: April 24 - 27, 2008

I'm back with what's happening at Havana's Mockingbird Cafe. As usual, entrees and entertainment sound yummy!

Thursday, April 24: Southern Fried Chicken with Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Biscuits & White Gravy, $11.

Entertainment: Thursday Night Jam Session - Check out the local talent and rock on!

Friday & Saturday, April 25 & 26: Candlelight dinners, 6 'til 9 p.m. Highlights include: Chicken, Shrimp and Crawfish Gumbo, $8 (having just returned from New Orleans, this sounds right up my alley), Grilled Gulf Grouper with Blue Crab Guacamole and Mango-Jalapeno Sauce, $23 and Barbecued Double Cut Pork Chop with Stewed Collards, Fried Green Tomatoes and Black Eyed Pea Timbale, $18. Reservations strongly recommended (850- 539-2212).

Friday entertainment: Larry Walker and Ric Edmiston (Acoustic Folk)

Saturday entertainment: Doug Jernigan (Acoustic Folk)

Sunday, April 27: Champagne Sunday Brunch, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Afternoon entertainment: Wreckin' So: Glen & Sandy Hopkins playing guitar and bass with Bo Lawrence on the fiddle (Acoustic Folk)

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

Elton John Rocks Tallahassee

Elton John rocked a near full house at the Leon County Civic Center tonight (or do I say last night?). For close to two and a half hours, Sir Elton performed number one hits like "I Guess That's Why They Call it the Blues," "Bennie and the Jets" and "Crocodile Rock."

Other tunes included "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," Candle in the Wind" and "Philadelphia Freedom." The man certainly has stamina and practically played continuously with short breaks to sip water and acknowledge the crowd.

Elton John is an excellent performer and appreciates his fans. Towards the end of the evening, after leaving the stage, Sir Elton returned to the stage and signed autographs for fans near the stage, including concert programs, a sequined silver jacket and a green purse. I saw a few fans hold up shoes for him to autograph but he quite didn't make it to sign the shoes.

He then performed a few other hits before calling it a night.

Acoustics at the Civic Center were fabulous and my seats were awesome, too. Seventeen rows back from the stage. Lucked out in securing those gems!

Elton John rocked Florida's Capital City. And who said there isn't anything to do in Tallahassee?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

May 8: One Night, Two Writers, Who to Choose?

Thursday, May 8 is going to be a tough decision for Tallahassee book-lovers. But, clever planners will probably find a way to attend both of these events:

Giddy up!

Tallahassee author Anne Haw Holt, who writes as A.H. Holt, will be giving writing and publishing tips at the Ft. Braden Branch Library at 6:30 p.m. Holt, who's president of the Tallahassee Writers Association (TWA), just released her fifth novel, a Western called "Blood Redemption." The library's address: 16327 Blountstown Hwy.

At 7 p.m. that same night (we're talking about May 8, remember?) over at Word Traffic Books, adventure travel writer Bucky McMahon will be reading from his collection of essays called "Night Diver," being released on May 1 (my birthday!). Word Traffic's address: 1227 E. Lafayette Street, between Lindy's Chicken and Wooly Bully and behind New Leaf Market.

Don't forget this week Abraham Bolden, the first African-American to serve in the Secret Service White House, will be in Tallahassee, April 24 at FAMU and April 25 at Border's.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

First African American on White House Secret Service Detail Coming to Tallahassee for Book Signing April 25, 2008

The "Jackie Robinson of the Secret Service" (according to JFK) will be in Tallahassee at Border's Bookstore on Friday, April 25, 7 p.m. for a book signing. Abraham Bolden was the first African American assigned to the U.S. Presidential Secret Service. Bolden overcame discrimination and a whole lot more.

Following JFK's assassination, Bolden found evidence about Kennedy's death being withheld from the Warren Commission. He took action but was sentenced to six years in prison for conspiracy to sell a secret government file. Another Kennedy assassination conspiracy?

Can't wait to hear what Bolden has to say about it. The book is called, The Echo from Dealey Plaza: The true story of the first African American on the White House Secret Service detail and his quest for justice after the assassination of JFK.

See you at Border's on Friday, April 27 at 7 p.m.
1302 Apalachee Parkway
Tel: (850) 402-9863

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Pretty Flowers and Partying Like a Green Rock Star

I'm heading out to New Orleans this weekend to participate in the Tourism Cares cleanup program at Louis Armstrong Park. Although Tallahassee temperatures will be dropping into the 30s this week, spring is in the air.

For all you those who love flowers but not quite sure what to do with them, check out the Mary Brogan Museum of Art and Science's "The Art of Flower Arranging" workshop this Thursday, April 17. Class begins at 6 p.m. and will run until about 8 p.m. Workshop fee is $10 for Brogan members, $15 for non-members, kids are free and the evening includes some tasty nibbles. Call (850) 513-0700, ext. 232 or email to reserve a spot.

Wear your best eco-party wear for a Saturday night party to benefit the Green Living Center. Let's face it, green is the new black and it's cool to practice sustainable living. The Green Living Center is Tallahassee's source for all things green, like education, green building guidance and products.

Head over to the Shed (457 Virginia Avenue) on April 19 to jam out to Tallahassee bands Lipona, Lucky Scars, Powder Blue and The Stalemates. Best of all, this little shindig is five bucks. Check out the this site to order tickets.

While I'm in a flowery, leafy mood, be sure to save the date for the 87th Annual Thomasville Rose Show & Festival April 24 -26, 2008. Wonder if the roses will be just as pretty as the ones I saw in Portland last year? (pictured)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Oh, My! Is that a Horseshoe Crab in My Eye?

I learned something new today. The horseshoe crab’s shell (called chitin) is used in the manufacturing of contact lenses. Huh. It’s also used in skin creams and hair sprays.

Why am I sharing this?

I received a request today from one of the Green Guide Instructors. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) biologists are seeking a lil’ bit o help from the beach going public.

If you’re out and about and see horseshoe crabs spawning on any of Florida’s fabulous beaches, report the following to the FWC:

  • Time of the sighting
  • Date
  • Location
  • Number of horseshoe crabs seen
  • If the horseshoe crabs are spawning (you can observe discretely so not to embarrass the crabs)
This can be reported via the agency’s Web site (just click here).

Or, email the findings to

For those who are old school (and if you’re reading this blog, I find it hard to believe you’re old school), call the FWC at 1-866-252-9326.

Horseshoe crabs are pretty cool. While living in the Everglades, I would see hundreds of them mating each year, something wild to see. Really. They’d pile on top of each other, storming the shore. My dog was always freaked out by them and couldn’t stand the horseshoe crab shells.

Be a good observer, report your crab findings!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Florida Black Bear Festival in Umatilla, Fla. April 12, 2008

When I lived in South Florida, I received notices about film festivals, wine festivals and arts festivals. Living up here in North Florida, I'm learning about the Worm Grunting Festival, Florida Hiking Festival and now the Florida Black Bear Festival in Umatilla, Fla. (I didn't know where it was either, but thanks to Google, it's in Lake County.) I love it!

Hope the Florida Black Bear Festival isn't like the Rattlesnake Roundup in Wingham, Ga. I mean, I like browsing all the vendors and learning but I don't want to taste a black bear, although, watching someone wrestle one would be entertaining and my bet is always on the bear.

What visitors can expect are educational sessions, field trips, music and fun for the whole family! For more info, visit the Web site or call: (352) 669-9600 Wish I were in town this weekend.

If anyone goes, tell me all about it!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Words, Whales, Worms and a Whole Lot More Happening in and around Tallahassee, April 2008

April is full of all sorts of activities in and around Tallahassee. Here’s what’s piqued my curiosity:

Wakulla Wildlife Festival, April 3 - 5: Tonight kicked off the annual event which seems to be growing each year. The main festivities happen at Wakulla Springs State Park with educational seminars from birds to reptiles and flowers and caves. Get a little culture during Art on the Terrace Friday and Saturday evenings.

Various field trips are being offered but chances are, they’re sold out. Still, it doesn’t hurt to check and see what’s open. Field trips travel to various parts of the Wakulla area and include an evening “Owl Prowl” at Wakulla Springs, a photography session at St. Marks Refuge and the Sinks of Wakulla. Tours run from sun up to sundown. Check out the event Web site for more info.

Whale of a Sale, April 4 & 5: Kick off the ultimate garage sale with food, music and fun at the North Florida Fairgrounds on Friday. The Junior League of Tallahassee presents the 33rd Annual Whale of a Sale. If you’re in the need of “stuff,” stuff you know you need and stuff you’re not sure you need yet, this is the place to be. I scored a box full of books last year for less than five bucks. Friday night, admission is $25 for the party and early bird shopping, Saturday it’s $1. Check out the site for more info.

2008 Florida Wine Festival, April 10 – 12: I have to admit, I was a bit disappointed in the turn out to last year’s Wine Festival but hey, it meant I didn’t have to wait in line to taste the Florida wines. The festival, with a Viva Las Vegas theme, is three days of food, wine and music at Kleman Plaza. What could be better? Sorry I’m going to miss this year’s event. The celebrity grape stomping is a must-see. Check out the site for more info.

Worm Gruntin’ Festival, April 12: This is an event I’ve missed for the past three year’s I’ve lived here. One day, even if I move away, I will get down on my knees in Sopchoppy to summon the worms with a bit of worm gruntin’. As it’s been explained to me, worm gruntin’ has something to do with a wood stake, some metal and rubbing the two together so the earth vibrates which causes the worms to rise out of the earth. I liken it to a snake charmer.

Plantation Ball, April 19: Are saddle shoes and poodle skirts appropriate for this ball at the Pebble Hill Plantation? The theme is “Relive those Maltshop Memories” and Charlie Brown’s Coasters (You know, “Yakity Yak (Don't Talk Back)” ) are the featured performers with Nightfire opening. Tickets are $85 each and includes buffet dinner, valet parking and open bar (cheaper than the prom, right? Plus, I know several folks who could drink $85 worth). Wish I was in town to rock around this clock! Check out Pebble Hill Plantation’s site for more info.

Word Traffic Books always has something going on each month. Here’s a highlight for April:

High School Writers' Guild Saturday, April 12 2-4p.m. This is an opportunity for young writers to share their work and support each other.

Local Author Norma Sundberg will read from her children’s book An Odd Fable on Saturday, April 12 at 4:00 p.m.

Carabelle, Fla. author R.G. Hilton will read from and discuss her new book, The Legacy of Gale Ann Ralston on Saturday, April 26 at 5 p.m. Hot beans and cold beer will be provided (I’m not sure what hot beans are and if they’re tied to the story or if it’s a Tallahassee thing).

Word Traffic Books is located at 1227 E. Lafayette Street, Tallahassee between Lindy's Chicken and Wooly Bully and behind New Leaf Market.

And who says there isn’t anything to do in Tallahassee?

Mockingbird Cafe Happenings: April 4 - 6, 2008

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

Friday & Saturday, April 4 & 5: Candlelight dinners, 6 'til 9 p.m. Highlights include: Chilled Cucumber Soup with Avocado and Tomatoes (sounds refreshing!), $7, Crispy Blue Crab Cakes with Dill-Fennel Slaw and Spicy Tartar Sauce, $21 and Penne Pasta with Grilled Chicken, Ricotta, Button Mushrooms, Baby Spinach and Oven Roasted Tomato Sauce, $16. Reservations strongly recommended (850- 539-2212).

Sunday, April 6: Champagne Sunday Brunch, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Friday entertainment: Ric Edmiston (Acoustic Folk)
Saturday entertainment: Bill McGuire (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.