LIVE WHILE WE ARE LIVING WITH THE CORONA CHAOS…..HORSEBACK RIDING ROAD TRIP ON HUTCHINSON ISLAND

A beach on Hutchinson Island, St. Lucie County, FL

My daughter “Teen Traveler” and I decided to get out of the house today while we are all coping with the Corona Chaos here in Florida. Luckily we don’t have any symptoms, nor does anyone we know. Here in Florida, it is recommended not to be among crowds of more than ten people at a time, and we decided we can still LIVE while we are living with the Corona Chaos. We began thinking of all the things we can do on a road trip here in Florida and decided we wanted to go horseback riding on a beach with beautiful blue water, so we came up with Tours On Horseback in Fort Pierce. We called them, and they said they could meet us in Frederick Douglass Memorial Park on South Hutchinson Island in St. Lucie County. Their website said, “Horseback riding is the perfect way to relax and take your mind off the stress and tension of everyday life, ” and that sounded just PERFECT for us while we take a break from travel due to the US travel recommendations and restrictions during this Covid-19 outbreak. We made the reservation today and for $45.00 per person, we rode along the seashore while a gentle breeze blew in our hair. The temperature on the beach today was only about 81 degrees Fahrenheit, and it was just what we needed to avoid any cabin fever we might feel in the coming days…………

“Teen Traveler” on her horse

The ride lasted about an hour, which was just the perfect amount of time for “Teen Traveler”, who has never been on a horse that long. The horses walked along the edge of the beach with their hooves in the water but did not go into the water, which would have been fun.

We saw unexpected bursts of color along the trail to the beach

After our beach ride, while we were driving home, we noticed LOTS and LOTS of electric scooters scattered about the island, all for rent. What an unexpected surprise. You can use an app to pay for the scooters with your cell phone.

Electric scooters all lined up in multiple spots along South Hutchinson Island and ready to rent.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.superpedestrian.link&hl=en_US

Use the Link Scooter Sharing App to rent your scooter through your cell phone

Along the way home, we enjoyed our day at the beach with its breathtaking blue waters………

Sand here on South Hutchinson Island is a bit more dark than the white sands of Vero Beach, north of St. Lucie County in Indian River Count
Lighter sand on Vero Beach

What a wonderful day spent together with “Teen Traveler”, soaking up the sun with laughter and reminding ourselves that we will overcome this virus situation eventually….

“Instead of worrying about what you cannot control, shift your energy to what you can create.”

― Roy Bennett

We CAN create a day full of joy, full of love, full of exploration, full of adventure, full of hope…………

Life is good; carpe diem, friends………………

http://www.beachtoursonhorseback.com/

COPING WITH CORONA, PART 2 (LIFE THROUGH A LENS)

With Covid-19 positive cases cropping up here in Florida, combined with the CDC recommendations not to visit places with greater than fifty people, I am strolling down memory lane to visit Silver Springs State Park, which was extremely popular within Florida’s tourist industry, until the early 1970’s when some of the large theme parks opened in Orlando. This park was so popular that a tour boat operator released rhesus monkeys there in an effort to make a Tarzan-like attraction. Now, visitors can spot an occasional wild monkey roaming about the park. If you see a monkey, though, don’t get too close. Many are infected with herpes B virus, which can be transmitted to humans through contact with the monkeys if they bite. Sometimes the monkeys are aggressive, so it is better to stay away from them and live life through your lens with photographs.

Sign at Silver Springs State Park, describing the wild monkeys and advising you to stay away from them
Turquoise blue spring waters from ancient limestone formations

I spent the day, with my daughter, “Traveling Teen” hiking through the trails, enjoying the moments as they unfolded before our eyes……..

Temperature is 72 degrees Fahrenheit year round, but swimming is not permitted

Although swimming is not permitted at Silver Springs State Park, you can take a glass bottom boat ride for only $12.oo for a half hour. You can even see some statues from one of the underwater scenes from a James Bond movie filmed there.

Like Alice at the looking glass, you can see a whole new world through the glass bottom boat floor at Silver Springs

Many movies were filmed at Silver Springs:

The Seven Swans

Never Say Never Again

Thunderball

Legend

Moon Over Miami

The Yearling

Distant Drums

Underwater!

Creature From The Black Lagoon

Don’t Give Up The Ship

Blindfold

Tarzan And His Mate

Tarzan The Ape Man

Smokey And The Bandit, Part 3

Rebel Without A Cause

The Frogmen

SeaHunt (Series)

Spanish Moss hanging from trees everywhere

While coping with Covid-19, you can always take a road trip to Silver Springs to create a memory with someone you love as you get some fresh air. If you want to avoid a crowded boat, you can rent kayaks, stand up paddleboards, and canoes there, too.

Life is good; get out to enjoy it whenever you can. Silver Springs is located in Marion County, Florida, north central Florida, just east of Ocala. The blue waters and this park is “old Florida” at its best. Enjoy today; carpe diem……….

“The best way to explain it is to do it.” 

-Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Alice: “How Long is Forever?”

White Rabbit: “Sometimes, just one second.”

-Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

https://www.floridastateparks.org/silversprings

VACATIONING AS A VEGETARIAN (In Rhode Island)

Vacationing as a vegetarian certainly comes with some challenges. Finding something good to eat, beyond a basic salad, can be much like a scavenger hunt……In Rhode Island you can find some mouthwatering and flavorful options below:

THE GARDEN GRILL (Pawtucket)

In Rhode Island, there is a great vegetarian restaurant called “The Garden Grill” in Pawtucket. I especially love the roasted butternut squash quesadilla, because I eat cheese. For folks that prefer not to eat cheese or are vegan, they offer menu items such as black-eyed pea falafels and chipotle seitan. They even offer gluten free items, such as mushroom pad thai, gluten free mac and cheese, and other wonderful things. Their menu changes frequently, usually with the seasons, so check the website often. They are also kosher-certified by a local Rabbi since 2013.

http://www.gardengrilleri.com/

CAV (Providence)

In the heart of the former jewelry district in Providence at the site of the former Imperial Knife factory, you can find a charming, eclectic restaurant that is not vegetarian but is vegetarian friendly with vegan and gluten free options. I have never had a meal here that I did not just love. The decor is intimate, romantic, and chic with funky chandeliers. This place has been featured in “The New York Times” and “BonAppetit”. Definitely worth visiting for great food beautifully presented, great ambiance, and great service. On Wednesday nights they sometimes feature live jazz. Great for a different date night.

http://cavrestaurant.com/

KING’S GARDEN (Cranston)

Rhode Island style Cantonese chow mein is delicious here, although this is a very simple spot THAT SOMETIMES smells a little funny. Served in hot stainless steel containers with lids, the meatless fried rice and meatless chow mein are winners. Chow mein is served usually accompanied with a side order of white rice. The chow mein is served piping hot over crispy fried chow mein noodles from a distributor in Fall River, Massachusetts. Chow mein , Rhode Island style, consists of usually celery, onions, and bean sprouts with a corn-starch based gravy. King’s Garden also served meat-based entrees, such as chicken chow mein, pork lo mein, and General Tso’ chicken for the ominvores in your party. Simply delicious. The restaurant was updated a bit a few years back and has a bar as well.

https://www.kingsgardencranston.com/

UNCLE TONY’S PIZZA AND PASTA (Cranston, East Providence, and Johnston)

This simple place, first opened in Cranston in 1969, with red and white checkered vinyl tablecloths is home of the famous “Plumpy” spinach pie, which is delicious! The plumpy contains cheese, olives, seasoned spinach, and pepperoni, but you can order it without the cheese and pepperoni if you are a vegetarian. This very large and tasty Rhode Island style “spinach pie” is a variation of what everyone else in the country calls a “calzone.” However, in Rhode Island calzones usually don’t have ricotta cheese in them. This restaurant is adjacent to a shopping plaza and is a no-frills place with green and white walls and a red rug. Not much atmosphere, but you will always find great Italian bread, served with all meals, and great food. Lots for ominivores here, too, like the Italian chicken escarole soup, the hot meat entrees, and sandwiches. Pizza is great, too, and can be ordered without any meat and still is fantastic.

uncletonys.com

CRAZY BURGER (Narragansett)

This small, charming eatery near “The Wall” at Narragansett Beach serves great, unassuming food. Here, strings of paper lanterns hand from a wooden ceiling in this local favorite since 1995. They serve four types of vegetarian burgers as well as meat burgers and entrees for the omnivores that visit. The sweet potato fries are to die for! They serve breakfast, too.

http://www.crazyburger.com/home.html

VEGGIE FUN (Providence)

While I have never been to this restaurant, it serves vegan & kosher pan-Asian eats in a casual ambiance with dark wood in downtown Providence near the Providence Performing Arts Center and is only a nine minute walk to Trinity Repertory Company (theater).

http://www.veggiefunri.com/

LUCIA ITALIAN RESTAURANT (Newport)

Location, location, location! This restaurant is directly across the street from Brick Market Place on Thames Street in the heart of the Newport waterfront tourist area, where America’s Cup race is held. They specialize in Northern Italian food and have something for vegetarians as well as omnivores. In fact, they feature a whole separate vegetarian menu with items such as seitan and vegetarian pastas.

http://www.luciarestaurant.com/

EAST SIDE POCKETS (Providence)

This busy eatery is open late night and is right in the heart of Providence’s East Side on Thayer Street. They serve delicious Mediterranean food, such as stuffed grape leaves, falafel, baba ganoush, spanikopita, and vegetarian lentil soup as well as omnivore favorites such as lahamajeen meat pie and gyros. This place is a quick walk to just about anywhere on the Brown University campus and is all about good food in a simple atmosphere. They also serve gluten free options.

https://www.ediningexpress.com/live20/617/1130/

This list is by no means all-inclusive, but in Rhode Island there are many options for places to eat if you are a vegetarian. Vegetarian in Rhode Island can mean no more boring salads while you are traveling. Anyone care to add to this list? Life is good. “Carpe Diem”, friends………….

Musings about the journey of life…………

I started this blog to share some of the thoughts I have along the journey of life. I love to travel and spend time with my family and friends. A good meal, breaking bread with those I love, gives my life meaning. So does travel. I adore dreaming of sites to visit, not just to check them off on a list. Rather, I consider myself a student of life, traveling as an explorer, to open my mind to all the possibilities the world holds in store for me and for others. I love to travel to discover how different the world is in terms of climate, cultures, politics, terrain, economy, etc. but also to discover how SIMILAR the people are. Despite language barriers, much can be communicated with a smile or gestures. Language is simply a means to communicate, yet there are so very many other ways to communicate. Once when I was in French-speaking Canada, I realized that my 7th grade French class didn’t teach me the word for “straw”. However, when I thought about it, I was able to communicate to the very French-speaking waiter in a very French-speaking restaurant about my need for a “cylinder through which to drink” in my limited French vocabulary. Travel challenges the mind and soul, stretching us to problem solve and form conclusions about all that we experience. THAT is the type of travel I enjoy best.

“All’s well that ends well”, as they say………….”Life is Good” as well.