Winter in Bushnell Florida (Part Two)

Back in January one of my first day trips to explore the area was to a little town on the Gulf Coast. Maxine and I headed over to Tarpon Springs a little Greek community that is famous for it the sponge divers that settled here in the early 1900s. 20200109_114855Even though the sponge industry is not what it once was they still dive for them here and there’s all kinds of shops to purchase all kinds of sponges and handmade soaps. 20200109_11315220200109_11300320200109_112929

It’s a fun little tourist community with lots of great restaurants and other interesting things to see and do. I stopped at a little restaurant and got an authentic Greek Gyro sandwich to go, that Maxine and I enjoyed the park. 20200109_124837After spending some enjoyable time just visiting the town, we headed to one of the off-leash dog beaches down near the Tampa area. On this day we headed to a place called Picnic Island Park on Tampa Bay. We found three off leash parks in the area but they’re all an hour to an hour and a half drive from where we are staying. We had gone to them several times over the last couple months. The first day we were at this park it was quiet and not many people, but other times it was fairly busy. Here’s a few photos of Maxine enjoying the water and company of some other four-legged friends. 20200109_15133620200109_15133720200109_152101

One of the other, of many events held the last couple months at Dade Battlefield Historical State Park. “A Road Back in Time” It was an event what was put on for school-aged children (for public, private and homeschooled students of all ages). This was held on Thursday, February 6th check it on the Facebook page. We had over 240 children attend. The idea behind the program was to introduce children to the way things were back in the late 1800s and the way children played and learned. All of the resident volunteers and a bunch of local volunteers dressed up to help educate the children. Here I am dressed as Seminole Indian and my good friend Patty on my right as a pioneer woman, and another local lady dressed up as an Indian woman. 20200206_080938

There was a number of different spots set up throughout the park demonstrating and explaining what life was like in the 1800s. Patty the Pioneer lady sat on her porch and explained how she took care of her family as a pioneering woman. 20200206_102713There was another gentleman dressed as a soldier of the time explaining his uniform and his duties. 20200206_102739And a lady explaining how the “General Store” would provide goods for the people as needed. 20200206_102839There was the opportunity for the children to play games like walking on stilts. 20200206_102732And having sack races. And a lot of other games. 20200206_10280120200206_102802They had the opportunity to make popcorn over an open fire. 20200206_103030They even brought in a cow and calf; John taught them how to milk the cow. 20200206_10374620200206_103823

Barb showed them how to churn cream into butter. 20200206_103735

Another lady explained how they made baskets and weave cloth to make scarfs and whatnot. 20200206_102856They had another gentleman with a hand grinder grinding corn into meal. 20200206_103653

In a few chickens to explain how beneficial they were to the lifestyle providing eggs, meat and feathers. 20200206_103102This program was a huge success enjoyed by grade school and a bunch of high school children too. I was surprised at how well the older children behaved and how much they enjoyed the program. A good time was had by everyone that attended and helped with the program. Another one of the activities that Maxine and I enjoy here at the park. Is our daily walks around the back 40. On many occasions we get to see the local Gopher Tortoises that are quite abundant here in the park. One afternoon we came across three different ones on our walk. 20200118_15550820200118_16003320200118_155455

Whenever she sees one, Maxine’s not quite sure what to make of them. 20200216_15061520200211_141751

As I’m sure you’re figuring out we been keeping quite busy here in Florida this winter. One thing we sure missed the last couple weeks is being able to go to the beach. But this too shall pass, and I’m sure once again will be able to enjoy the beaches before we go north this summer. More about our time in the “Sunshine State” in my upcoming posts that’s it for this one. Once again stay “Healthy and Best Wishes” to all, Rick

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