Rainy weekend ahead

So a previously lovely and normal weekend forecast has taken a turn for the soggy as a massive system is rolling in from the Gulf of Mexico with intentions of drowning half the state with 3 to 6 inches of rain. What to do??

storm map
Actual weather map for Friday @ 5pm

Well, there’s the movies (plan to drop some serious money to sit in a super crowded theater). You could go to the mall (gag). The popular museums will be PACKED with bored families that can’t think of anything else to do (yaay). IKEA should be nice and congested on a rainy Saturday. There’s Walmart…(ummm…nope…). What to do? What to do??

If you have a creative bug, there are several events going on for folks that enjoy making art!

First off, this weekend is the Florida Watercolor Society’s annual convention which is being held this year at the Hilton Garden in off I-95 in Deerfield Beach.

http://www.floridawatercolor.org/

Then there’s the grand opening of Blick Art supplies in Fort Lauderdale. Should be LOTS of freebies, promotional deals, AND…FREE classes and demonstrations by professional artists ALL WEEK LONG!

http://www.dickblick.com/stores/florida/fortlauderdale/

If your still in the mood for some nature, I recently tried something really interesting that embraced the rain. I was driving through the Everglades and pulled off down a side road, and pulled up to a small shelter. I got out and stood under the shelter and just listened to the rain. The longer I listened the more I heard. Most people “see” the Everglades, but don’t really “hear” them. The birds, frogs, grasses, raindrops, and occasional thunder sound like a wild symphony. So I decided to record a little bit of the magic using my phone’s voice recorder app. After the fact I listen to the sound clip whenever I need to unwind a little and it takes me to a special place where all there is to think about is the rain.

Heavy afternoon storm rolling in over the Everglades
Heavy afternoon storm rolling in over the Everglades
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Finding horses a forever home

I was inspired to post this today by a conversation with colleague of mine who was asking me about stuff to do in the Gainesville area while visiting some of the springs. Knowing that she is an animal lover I recommended one of our favorite places to visit animals; the retirement home for horses in Alachua Florida.

Curious retirees at the Mill Creek Farm
Curious retirees at the Mill Creek Farm

If you have never been to or seen or heard of the retirement home for horses, you are really in for something special. Also known as The Mill Creek Farm, the retirement home for horses accepts animals from all over the country from mounted police horses to performing circus horses to rescues from the Humane Society etc. The horses that come here stay here for the rest of their lives. When their time is up, they’re buried in a special “memorial” field and a tree is planted in their name.

I was hesitant at first because I thought I was going to see some very sad creatures, but in fact it was quite the opposite. I’ve never seen happier creatures before my life. The horses were very appreciative of the spacious paddocks in green pastures and once we even got to see a horse touch grass for the first time (he had lived in confined stalls his whole life).

rescued horse feeling grass for the first time in his life! (everyone was in tears)
rescued horse feeling grass for the first time in his life! (everyone was in tears)
New rescue being accepted into his new family, with lots of galloping
New rescue being accepted into his new family, with lots of galloping

The Mill Creek Farm is open to the public on Saturdays at 10 a.m. , the price of amission is two carrots, though I recommend bringing two bags… very big bags (they go pretty quickly). Also, you might want to bring a few milk bones because there are a couple retired dogs there that like a treat too. So much so that we’ve even seen them eat some of the carrots brought for the horses so that they wouldn’t feel left out. For more information about the retirement home for horses, their upcoming events or visiting information you can check them out at their website http://millcreekfarm.org

retired dogs still love to go!
retired dogs still love to go!

Happy adventures!

Wrapping up summer

sunset over the gulf dunes
sunset over the gulf dunes

Now that we’re half way through September it’s safe to say we’ve cleared summer…or have we? Temperatures are still balmy and the afternoon rains continue to fall, but that’s the beauty of being in South Florida; we don’t truly experience seasons like everyone else. Other parts of Florida (north of Orlando) will experience more of the fall and winter seasons than us thin blooded brats, but they can keep their achy bones and chapped lips on those wet cold February days. In the meantime there’s still lots to do and lots going on before the influx of snow birds make their way down from Canada. In some sense there will be more outdoor opportunities to explore that may have been more challenging between the heat and the rain. A good example would be paddle sports (such as kayaking or canoeing). September/October are great times to get out on the water without being intimidated by surprise thunderstorms or braving humid days with high heat indexes. So get out on the water!

Welcome to Floridafunstuff!

Hi and thanks for visiting the Floridafunstuff site!

As a thrill seeking 4th generation Florida native, there’s so many cool adventures in my head that when I tell people about them they always say “you need to put this in a book or website or something”, so here we are! In addition, almost everything I do in Florida costs under $20. So many people shy away from visiting because of the sticker shock that comes with the popular theme parks. Don’t get me wrong, they’re a ton of fun too…but a family of four should anticipate spending around $500 per DAY!!

I’ll be here to guide you and your family through many places and activities┬áthat won’t break the bank.

Stay tuned and get ready for year round adventures and family memories!

Family Friendly Florida for Under $20