California Here I Come?

Photo by Kelsey Johnson on Pexels.com

Applied through the recommended on line process for a California nursing license via endorsement. After paying $350 I thought, “Wow, this was easy why does everyone complain?,” Well, a month later a deficiency letter arrived from their outsource company, BrEZze, stating 4 components were missing. At the time of application all 3 were accepted and the 4th was not listed as a requirement. What did they do with those three? Did it go to the cloud??

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

After searching again I found a phone number to call. Having been told I had an hour wait I waited, however after 2 1/2 hours called it a day. At least they had pleasant music and a soothing gals voice telling you how important your call is to them.

Back to the website and after printing 30 pieces of paper and reviewing 5 additional web sites I found the error of my ways. The additional requirements forwarded I wait with bated breath.

Will keep you posted.

Photo by Tae Fuller on Pexels.com

St. Augustine Wild Reserve

And wild it was walking through caged lions, tigers, bears, coyotes, and the like. Our wonderful guide gave a 2 hour tour expounding on the intricacies of each creature viewed and how this valuable rescue center worked with and housed these animals.

Pictures were not allowed however they sell a thumb drive for those interested. I forgot to pick one up post tour as the Florida rains persisted. Bring a raincoat just in case, and if not they sell ponchos.

All folks except the founder are volunteers and what a dedicated group they are. Many develop alliances to the animals for years. Animals can arrive because of 3 different circumstances:

  • Over breeding
  • Seizures from animal rescue
  • Retirement from such venues as movies, several were failed actors.

There is no breeding at the preserve and animals stay till their final hours. Every tour is done as a feeding tour and the animals are fed according to their body weight and health needs. And they receive vitamins to boot!

No wonder it is the most popular place in St. Augustine to tour, but call for times and reservations. I found out about the place while exploring Groupon for things to do in St. Augustine and was glad I did. Children on the tour were fascinated. What a great family event.

And.. if you are so inclined they always need the following:

  • Bird seed
  • Bleach, dish liquid
  • Bubble Bath
  • Extra large trash bags
  • Rain ponchos
  • Bread
  • Blueberry muffins, unsalted nuts

Deborah Warrick – hat’s off to you. Reserve foundress and biologist.

The St. Augustine Wild Reserve

PO Box 3546 St. Augustine, Fl 32085

904-940-0664

Dolphin Odyssey

Went with Red Boat Water Tours of Vilano Beach, (a stones throw from St. Augustine, Florida), on this Odyssey. St. Augustine is home to 240 dolphins who live here year round. No snow birds in this species…

These 240 natives were out in force today and while I was unable to get a picture due to their fast moves they certainly were looking at us. Dolphins are enormously curious and live in a pod which is a family unit. As they rose to the surface they “eye’ed,” us. Many babies were out in force traveling in two’s as they rose to the surface. Great fun for all on the trip, especially the children who had much knowledge of these creatures.

Photo by Jonas Von Werne on Pexels.com

This is just what they looked like.

Dolphins have an 11 month gestation and are mammals so they need to rise to the surface to get air. This is a learned behavior from mom and when she tires from the babe not catching on other dolphins in the pod help with the training . Nice touch.

Which brings us to the next question, how do dolphins sleep? They don’t because they have a right and left brain and can operate on either. When they get tired the other brain switches on. If only us humans could do that..

So, when visiting St. Augustine consider the Red Boat Water Tour. The Captain and First Mate Jennifer have a fascinating tour and the main attraction give quite a show.

Red Boat Water Tours operates from Vilano Beach Fishing Pier and run a variety of boat cruises. They are on Groupon but also can be reached at redboatwatertours.com or (904) 436-3566.

Views of St. Augustine from the boat- the town, the Bridge of Lions, and the Fort Castillo de San Marcos

RV and Greek Fest: St. A.

Interesting combination wouldn’t you say?

We’ll start with the Recreation Vehicle Fair at the Clay County Fair Grounds then move on to some yummy food made by the St. Augustine Greek folks. It’s a bit of a tie for delicious food between the Raleigh, N.C. Greeks and the St. Augustine Greeks, however the Florida Greeks win out with pricing. Keep reading.

Recreational Vehicles came in all shapes and sizes at the show with monsters such as this one which you drive ranging from $130 to $260,000.

Then there were the small trailers which can be pulled or minivans with studio apartments inside. Amazing all the housing variations available in these vehicles.

The interiors hid many ways to add sleeping space with bunks over the drivers seat, under bedding, over closets, and all furniture reclined to accommodate even more sleeping space.

While most of the furniture was dark leather to entice the female population kitchen cabinets were available in cherry, gray, and white with lighting fixtures attractive and unique.

Add-ons included a pull out deck, space for outside televisions, and awnings. The third shot is a spacious storage hull.

So much has changed with this industry. Many of the folks viewing were considering purchase as a home and signs with monthly pricing were attached to most every vehicle. With Florida hurricanes it certainly isn’t a bad idea to take your home with you when the winds start or have a second spot when your home is destroyed. Now, onto the Greeks…

What a perfect weather day for this festival. With tasty gyros, delicious baked goods, and great music, God must have been smiling on the Greeks!

Then there was the wine.. If only it was sold closer to St. Augustine.

And the vendors..

What a nice day to return to. Can’t wait till the 2020 Festival.

Garden Challenge

Woke the following day to explore what was left of the garden. In conversations with a neighbor while away I heard the Florida heat and drought was severe so I anticipated much demise. Shocked to see how much did survive I eagerly pulled out my shears and trimmed the dead to allow regrowth of the remaining plants.

Since the shearing the garden is showing life and a semblance of order. The hibiscus bushes which I never planted are now three bushes strong and the oleander is 4 foot tall. Where those hibiscus came from I will never know, but glad they selected my garden as I welcome them. Perhaps the garden is good to see me back.

Having bought many bulbs at an Aldi’s while away I began research to ensure their survival with hungry squirrels. There are many bare spots in the garden next to the porch so ample space for the bulbs. After their 6 week refrigerator incubation they will be planted in cayenne pepper soil with chicken wire placed over the ground then forks placed upright in the chicken wire, and another layer of soil with globs of Tree Tanglefoot applied to the new soil. Almost sounds like lasagne wouldn’t you say?

And last but not least the final additions…

I’ve recently hung out a for rent sign and looking for occupants.

Landing: St. Augustine

Arrived in Florida at 9:30 p.m. to a double locked condo door. Since I didn’t have the second key I knew I would have to break in. This occurred last year as well so I was familiar with breaking in, however there was a caveat as this year I alarmed the windows. As I broke in the alarms began but thankfully no police arrived.

Lumbering through the window I realized my jump was not precise and besides scraping my thigh I was caught on the window ledge. Remembering a classical stretch move I shifted lifting my toes and in I went. Thanks, Miranda.

Once in I was grateful to find the water on, both hot and cold, and the a.c. functional. As I unpacked the car my neighbor arrived home at 11 pm and said hello. This explained why the police did not arrive when I broke in.

By 11:15 p.m. the car was unpacked and by 4 a.m. all belongings put away. I settled in and was asleep by 4:05 a.m. I have landed.

Break Time: Tuskegee Airmen Monument, etc..

Seeing documentaries and reading of the Tuskegee Airmen my interest was piqued when I saw a sign off I 95 for their monument. The Tuskegee Airmen were the first United States Army Air Corps, (AAC), black military aviators. The AAC was the precursor to the Air Force.

Here is a picture of a few of the 932 Tuskegee Airmen.

These individuals flew more than 15,000 sorties during World War II and were known for their bravery and astute abilities. Besides being pioneers their contributions lead to the end of racial divide in the American Armed Forces. Training in Tuskegee, Alabama, their name was coined from the airfield in which they trained.

ETC…

Never one to let a break go without several adventures I also stopped at a roadside fish stand purchasing $20 worth of cod. Thanks, gals for your recipes. The fish and the seasonings you recommended were sublime.


ONE MORE VISIT..

While in North Carolina most folks spoke of this store, sadly, I never found it. Well, low and behold I did on my route to Florida. What a fun place to shop and the bargains amazing. Wish I had more room in the car. Have to put this place on the radar for next trip.

Time to get serious and back to the drive.. Playtime over, oh shucks!

Road Trip Music

As the trip endured I decided to turn on the radio. Actually the car did this by itself as I hit a button on the wheel in error. This jolted me since I still am not familiar with how to turn on the radio with the buttons on the wheel. Soon I moved to the radio’s dash button and was traversing stations. Not a music connoisseur I sought out NPR and classical music stations. This was one of my first encounter using the thing and it was surprisingly easy to do. I madly began flipping through channels as stations weakened hitting button till a new channel appeared.

So many radio stations having all different types of names. In checking further I wondered why United States radio stations all start with a W, K, N, or A. Apparently, in 1912 there was a conference of radiotelegraphs and the United States was assigned these letters. Interesting..

Now, if I could only figure out the window and door buttons work.

Five rest areas to go?. But, who is counting…..

Games for the Road

To thwart the, “Are we there yet?” saga here are a few game ideas for the road:

  • Track the exits in each state and number of miles between each exit. For older kids, have them average the distance between each exit.
  • Find the lowest price gas station in each state. Calculate miles per gallon without using the car’s electronic method.
  • How many words can be made out of the letters for each state or city?
  • Tally the number of a certain fast food restaurant signs between exits and in each state.
  • Have a check off of things to find on each truck – one with a certain length, one that has a certain cargo, one with a certain color, or cab. How many Walmart trucks or UPS Trucks are on the journey from start to destination. Yes, mom and dad you may need to play..
  • Develop a check list for a U Haul truck and/or trailer. Have them find one with a car or motorcycle attached or something unique.
  • What state are the cars from? Have them make a listing of each different state license plate cars or trucks are from. Tally the numbers and talk about what the state license plate says and means.
  • How many South of the Border, Burger King, or McDonald’s signs are there from start to destination.
  • Have the kids create their own signs. Have them develop their own gas station, restaurant, farm stand, or lawyer office sign for the road.
  • Have them calculate the cost of the trip, gas mileage, hotel accommodations, food pricing. Let them do a budget. Life skills and how to manage money is the biggest item lacking in education. It is crucial for kids to learn this stuff.
  • Calculate the mileage from start to destination.
  • Different types of signs – which child can come up with the most in their list. Also, which sign is the most original, largest, most colorful. May have to take pictures for this one and have a judging contest at the rest area or in the motel, hotel, air bnb, or at grandma’s that night.
  • Restaurants – how many pizza, steak, fish, restaurants have signs. Keep a listing and tally.

Link the games to money, as that will give incentive and kids their own money to spend on vacation. Give it a try.

I’m up to rest area sign #5 and still thinking.

Trip Back: Rest Area Countdown

Starting back to Florida at the Kenly, North Carolina exit on I-95 South a rest area sign struck my fancy. What a good way to calculate the trip back with 500 plus miles to destination and rest areas at about every 50 miles. Kenly’s sign became #10 with 9 to follow.

As the journey progressed signs of all varieties graced the road. There were religious phrases, sexy lingerie, divorce lawyers, vasectomy doctors, and of course the run of the mill food and hotel signs. These announcements also came in duplex and high rise. I wondered who could look that high, wouldn’t it give neck strain? And with all these food signs, no wonder Americans are so fat?!

Traffic moved according to speed limit driving through the state with much of I 95 under construction. Cars seemed to top off at 75 mph though the speed limit is 65, however better than Florida where they drive 95 mph in the Orlando area. But then again you have to get to Disney quick..

As I pondered my sign fetish more closely and risked my life taking these pictures, I thought what a great game for kids to get them away from their phones and God forbid, talking to their folks..

Next blog some games I’ve developed.. We’re at rest area #7.