Best Way to Enjoy New Year’s Day: Kayak The Loxahatchee

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On New Year’s Day last year, we planned a group adventure to kayak the Loxahatchee River. The Loxahatchee is one of the most scenic of south Florida waterways.

Kayak the Loxahatchee at Jonathan Dickinson State Park

Jonathan Dickinson State Park, located in Hobe Sound, Florida on the Loxahatchee River, offers a variety of outdoor activities. Our group rented kayaks and canoes, while other park visitors filled the seats of a sunset river cruise. 

The winter months are the best time to kayak in south Florida. It was cool and comfy out on the river; I think these creatures would agree.

One of the reason’s we like to kayak the Loxahatchee is to get up close to the wildlife. You never know what you’re going to see.

Our group chose two person or tandem kayaks, but honestly, I think a single kayak is easier to handle. If only one person is doing the heavy work, then a tandem is great.

The general store handles all rentals and boat tickets as well as hosts a concession stand and umbrella tables to eat riverside. A pavilion with picnic tables stands nearby with extra seating and also convenient restrooms. 

Can’t think of a better way to spend a day than with family and friends.

Mapping your trip down the river

You might be wondering how to navigate your kayak on the Loxahatchee if you’re a visitor to the area. It was pretty easy.

The waterways are wide and easy to paddle. We received a map with the kayak rentals and made sure to agree to an easy path. I then stuck the map in a ziploc bag to keep dry along the way.

There were other people on the water, as well as a regularly traveling tour boat. Seeing other boaters gave us confidence we would be able to contact help if needed. We had no problems.

Happy New Year! Day 1 – A Day Well Spent.

Food Truck Invasion

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Food Truck Invasion in Tradition Square, Port Saint Lucie will switch to 1st and 3rd Fridays starting in September 2014. Bring a few lawn chairs and your dog if you like.  Event runs from 5 – 9 p.m. and trucks take credit/debit cards. Watch the sunset over the church steeple or the lake, visit with neighbors and friends from town, enjoy a large buffet of dinner choices. It’s a local favorite, and a great way to start your weekend.

Savannas Preserve State Park

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We decided to step out a few times a week and go on some day hikes instead of just around the block on our daily walks.

This past sunny Saturday morning, Penny and I took a look around the trails at the Savannas Preserve State Park on Walton Road in Port Saint Lucie.

You can pick up a map at the entrance and get an overview of the trails at the park. It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the markings for the trails you choose to follow.

Savannas are an endangered natural system of freshwater marshes. This preserve is the largest and most intact remnant of Florida east coast savannas. The park stretches 10 miles from Fort Pierce to Jensen and hosts 8 miles of trails and is open from 8 a.m. to sundown.

Guided walks as well as canoe and kayak tours are available on weekends with reservations required. The park also hosts an environmental center, but I didn’t think I could bring Penny inside for a tour. ; )

You can find more detailed information about navigating the Savannas Preserve online at Florida Hikes.  Happy hiking!

 

 

 

 

The Wonder of Cupcakes

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I love pouring over beautiful images on glossy screens, don’t get me wrong, but rolling out colorful fondant, calmly pinching up sanding sugar and dusting it keenly atop my own confectionary creation was a much needed escape from my keyboards. I traveled away from my ordinary day just down the road to this magical place, the county fair, and I met wonder there.

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Snorkeling Cruise Excursion in Cozumel

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Cozumel is a favorite retreat for our family. A relaxing, friendly, and captivating escape.We prefer the more quiet Playa San Juan (San Juan Beach) on the west side of the island. Here you receive the royal treatment.Cozumel beaches are a combination of limestone and sand. The dining is open air, with the atlantic framed purposefully beyond limestone archways.

Umbrella tables greet you poolside.Beach chairs await you oceanside and down beneath the rocky shore, the waters teem with treasure.

Our days spent in Cozumel are always days well spent.

Where I Ride

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I am a Florida leisure cyclist. I love my blue Sun Beach Cruiser and long lazy rides through Tradition, Fl. When I reach this lake on my regular route, I can feel my soul settle down and unwind a bit.


Out here I ride with the cranes.

I ride with the cows.I ride with a helmet and a smile.

Where do you ride? 

How to Ditch Cable TV

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It has been almost a year now since we ditched cable and started watching TV a new and much less expensive way. We haven’t looked back a day since.

Our family decided it was worth the try to explore other ways to watch TV and it seems we are not alone. Our local garbage man says he sees more and more cable dishes at the side of the road every week.

Here’s what we did.

Before we cancelled our cable, we invested in an Apple TV box and a Roku box and thought we’d try this thing out before officially making the switch. 

They each cost under $100 and we purchased them from Amazon. (We have Amazon Prime, so we get free two day shipping too.)

When they arrived, I was expecting some complicated set up that I would need my husband, the computer guy, to handle. Wrong! I set them both up by myself in a snap.

They only require connecting one cord from the box to the TV. That’s my kind of set up! We set up the Apple TV in the living room and the Roku in our bedroom. Each TV will need a box, just like cable, but you only pay for them once, there is no monthly fee. You own them outright and no contracts are involved.

Next step was to find the input button on your TV remote and click through to find the auxiliary setting for your Apple TV or Roku. It took about 10 seconds. Voila!

Then we had to register our Apple TV with our iTunes, Netflix, and Hulu accounts and our Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon accounts on the Roku box. (Apple TV doesn’t have Amazon access.)

Each box directed us to enter our log in information for each account with the click of a button. Easy!

Whats the difference between Apple TV and Roku?

The difference between Apple TV and Roku is that Roku features Amazon, which allows us to watch thousands of shows and movies from our Amazon Prime account. We like that.

Our Apple TV allows us to “airplay” anything we are viewing on our iPads and MacBooks, and we think that’s pretty cool. We can airplay our vacation photos, or play tv shows from anywhere on the internet.

Duck Dynasty for example has full episodes on A&E’s website, so we would sometimes stream them from there. But, since it’s one of my favorite shows, I went ahead and bought the season on Amazon Prime, so I get all the new shows the next day.

How can you get local news without cable?

To get local news, we bought a digital TV antenna for under $20 at Target and just plugged it into the back of our TV. We get crystal clear local news. I can watch the morning local weather report or 5pm or 11pm local update with no problem.

We officially cancelled our cable within the first month of using our new system. The cost benefits clearly won the contest. The cost for the equipment has already paid for itself and I have not regretted changing the way we watch TV for even one minute. It was a great decision for our family.

Total cost for equipment was $200 (equal to 2 months cable bill, and NO contract by the way). We spend $23 per month on Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime combined.We have purchased a few seasons of our favorite shows that aren’t available for free until next season.

Big Bang Theory, for example, cost us $20 for the year. Still much less than cable. We don’t have access to the shows until the next day some times, but, If it costs $80 more per month to watch a show on the night it airs instead of the next night, then, we can wait the extra day.

If you’re interested in getting rid of cable tv costs and trying out this new way to watch TV, I hope you’ll give this strategy a try.