Monday, March 30, 2009

Windsurfing, and other things dogs don't like

So I got to thinking after my last post about things that people think dogs will love to do . . .but they won't. Like windsurfing. Below is a list of the top 5 things dogs absolutely  do not like to do. So please, if you've got a dog, don't:

(5) Take your dog to the mall to have his photo taken with Santa (or the Easter Bunny). Have you ever noticed that no one really wants to see those pictures of your kid with Santa, much less your dog?

(4) Dress your dog in clothes. Really? What do you think that fur coat is for? The only exception is halloween, when dogs can wear costumes, but only if you let them trick or treat, too.

(3) Wear shoes or boots. Unless it's snowing or the pavement is 150 degrees . . .no wait. I take that back. Never. Put shoes. On your dog.

(2) Race around a dirt track chasing an electric rabbit while fat, old, drunken white people yell at you. 

(1) Push your dog in a wacked-out stroller. Dogs like to walk. And sniff. Riding in a stroller is humiliating, especially in front of other dogs.

I would promise to post a list of the top 5 things dogs love to do. But, if you have a dog, you know. That list is endless!!!

Cedar Key update

So I didn't get a chance to let everyone know what a fantastic time we had in Cedar Key. This is a quaint little fishing village with a serious art problem. You might also refer to it as Clamalot, since the clamming industry, or aquaculture, is thriving there. The clam farmers lease underwater tracts of land from the state to produce their hard clams. I'm not sure where else you can lease ground that's underwater, maybe Fargo right now?

We ate at Nick's (thanks Floridacracker for the recommendation) and had some stellar clams and clam chowder. I'm a Minorcan Clam Chowder lover myself, but "when in Rome."

Just about everything about Cedar Key is truly lovely - from the people, to the historic homes and downtown area, to the restaurants and merchants, to the artists, to the abundant wildlife. Unfortunately, those pesky no-see-ums (or flying teeth) were abundant as well. Tip from me to you, bring bug spray, sunscreen and an agenda for lounging with you to Cedar Key.

Another tip for you windsurfers out there. Dogs don't enjoy windsurfing. At least, that’s the impression I got as we watched a windsurfer struggle on a breezeless day. On the board with him was a nondescript black dog wearing a lifejacket. He didn’t look happy. I mused that the dog was probably thinking “When we get back to shore, I’m pissing all over this board and you. Why couldn’t I have been adopted by a nice, little old lady? I’d be home sitting on someone’s lap right about now.”

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Am I A Twi-Mom?

First my generation ruins Facebook. Now we've ruined Twilight. At least that's what I've been told. Luckily, my Twilight obsession has paid dividends in the mother-daughter department. MiniMe went to see the movie with me when it came to theaters and we scrambled over to the store this week to pick up the DVD. I read the books (all of them) on my Kindle. Now MiniMe wants to read it and so I picked up a copy of the first book for her along with the DVD. Since she's only 9, sharing an infatuation with Twilight with her old mom is a good thing. Gives us something to talk about that the rest of the family (who are not Twilight obsessed, even the teens) can't share in. Like a not-so-secret club.

Now if MiniMe was 12, this would not be cool. Liking the same thing as her mom would just be so humiliating. But right now, I'm not embarrassing her too much. In fact, she has actually used my Twilight obsession to embarrass me. She tells my friends, family, complete strangers that "My Mom thinks Edward Cullen is hot."

Well, I would think he was hot . . . if I was a 14-year-old girl. But for me to think he's hot at my age is just icky, right? However, I did get completely "sucked in" by the books. Read every one back to back in only 2 months. Yes, it was a TwiMom experience.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Florida Tea Party Plan

Wondertwin is much better than I at public affairs, politics and campaigns. After reading in the news that protesters in Pittsburgh dumped beer and liquor into the river to protest a 10% tax on bar drinks, and protesters in Kentucky poured bourbon on the capital steps to oppose a 6% sales tax on all alcohol, she proactively developed a plan. Should our Flegislators attempt to increase sales tax on alcohol here in Florida,  our strategy is to head to Wondertwin's house, consume all the gin and wine we can find -- then call each of our elected officials personally.  And repeatedly. 

I call this the Florida drink-and-dial-anti-tax campaign. Personally, I will be a real asset in this campaign as my drinking and dialing skills are superb (and well tested). 

What's Wrong and What's Right in Florida

A very good example of what's right and what's wrong in Florida. Compare and contrast, Florida CFO Alex Sink and Fl Rep. Pat Patterson (R) DeLand

Alex Sink, you'll remember I mentioned her in a previous blog post. She's the plain speaking voice of reason in Tallahassee who said "Hell No" (her actual words) when Rep. Evelyn Lynne and Rep. Jim King were thinking about getting their grubby politician hands on my daughter's pre-paid college fund. Yesterday she focused the Alex Sink laser-beam on Rep. Pat Patterson, the best living example of good-old-boy, pompous arrogant, "what's in it for me" politician we have in Florida right now (well if you don't count Jim King). 

She called out Patterson, who chairs the House's Insurance Business and Financial Affairs Policy Committee, for refusing to even hear a bill that would protect Floridians, mostly seniors, from unscrupulous insurance agents. First of all, putting Patterson in charge of that committee is like putting the inmates in charge of the asylum. The bill would make it a third-degree felony to cheat seniors out of their assets. My theory, maybe Patterson would be one of the state's first convicted felons if this bill were to be made into law. 

Alex Sink's word for Patterson and his failure to do his job at the very least, "Appalling." I think she showed great restraint. 

Maybe we need to communicate to Patterson in a language he understands. Money. 

Patterson doesn't happen to be my insurance agent (thank god!), but there are plenty of people out there (and a lot of them seniors) who do have policies with Patterson. I suggest you good people pull your Allstate insurance policies from Patterson until he decides to do some work in Tallahassee, instead of play ball (or have lunch with, wine & dine with) the big insurance giants currently making money unscrupulously on the backs of Floridians. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What is Social Security?

For your amusement (and education), the following is a transcript of my conversation with MiniMe today as we sat outside Dairy Queen in the local strip mall, enjoying an ice cream treat.

MiniMe: There sure are a lot of old ladies shopping here today.

NativeMom: Yes there are and one day I hope to be one of them.

MiniMe: You want to be old?

NativeMom: I hope I make it to "old," besides, I'm looking forward to retiring one day. See those ladies (as I point to two very well dressed mature ladies carrying their shopping bags, walking along, laughing and talking)? One day I want that to be me. I'll spend a lovely sunny afternoon out shopping with my girlfriend when I'm retired.

MiniMe: But Mom, how can they shop if they don't work anymore? Where do they get the money to buy stuff?

NativeMom: Well, they work hard all their lives and at a certain age, they've saved money and invested and they have enough to live on so they don't have to work anymore. Also, there's social security, not that I'll ever get social security, but some retired people these days get social security each month.

MiniMe: What's social security?

NativeMom: You've never heard of social security? Well, it's (MiniMe interrupts)

MiniMe: Wait, wait, don't tell me!! I think I  know what social security is. It's when you don't work anymore but you still get money anyway. You get paid for doing nothing.

NativeMom: Well, not exactly . . . 

I Heart FPL

I love Florida Power and Light. I know I'm gonna get some comments from people who disagree with me, and that's fine. But just hear me out first.

An item in the newspaper caught my eye this morning. At a time when details of corporate greed and corruption are at a nauseating high, Florida Power & Light gives back. To our public schools. Even to manatees.

FP&L wants to install an electric heating system when it coverts its 43-year-old Port St. John plant into a $1 billion natural gas plant, due online in 2013. The heating system will pump warm water and keep the manatees who flock to the area toasty. Otherwise, water temperatures near the plant along the Indian River could drop into the 50s in the winter, which will weaken the manatees' immune system.

Wait, there's more. FP&L also is helping our public schools. The company is set to install photovoltaic panels at a Daytona Beach middle school this spring. The panels will convert solar energy into electricity, which will save the school money in utility costs. Not only that, but FP&L (actually its foundation) is paying for the installation, worker training and maintenance, and has developed a curriculum component that it will pay to train teachers at the school to use in the classroom. The school is one of 6 in Florida FP&L is working with on the program. 

In addition, FP&L sponsors just about every community event, non-profit organization, children's program and cultural program we come trotting their way with. They also employ a heck of a lot of people with good salaries in our state. 

Thanks FP&L!!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

B.D. Cedar Key

Before Disney (B.D.), Cedar Key is one of those unique Florida small towns that can trace its claim to fame in Florida to the time before Disney. Pencils, brooms, clams. An unusual combination to be sure. But this is what Cedar Key's history is made of.  Cedar tress were harvested and turned into Faber pencils on the island in the 1800's at the first major US pencil manufacturing company.  The city was also the location of fiber broom and brush manufacturing. A state-wide ban in 1995 on large scale net fishing turned lemons to lemonade on the island. A government retraining program helped fishermen, now out of work because of net bans, learn to harvest clams in the shallow warm waters of Cedar Key. Today, the aquaculture clam industry brings in millions to the tiny, historic fishing village economy. Cedar Key is the largest supplier of hard shell clams in the U.S. 

Beloved and I are visiting Cedar Key this weekend. It's been a while. I'm looking forward to returning to this part of Florida. Small towns along the west coast are much more rural and authentic than many other areas of Florida. I plan to stop by the bookstore in Cedar Key that's famous for its large selection of books about Florida, by Floridians, etc. It's called Curmudgeonalia.  

A post about Cedar Key just wouldn't be complete without a retelling of my favorite Cedar Key memory. Longtime NativeMom acquaintances will have heard this story, probably more than once. The last time Beloved and I visited Cedar Key, we took a ride on the motorcycle out into the wooded surround. It was hot, muggy and after riding for more than an hour in the middle of what seemed to 
be nowhere, we were looking for someplace to stop and cool off. That's when we spotted a homemade sign on the side of the road for a fish camp. Oh well, it would probably have a bottle of water or an ice cold Coke to sell. We turned down the dirt road and discovered a beautiful piece of property on the river. A little shack, with what seemed to be a large deck that led to a dock on the river, seemed to be the fish camp the sign indicated. As we pulled to a stop under a gigantic old moss covered oak tree, we could hear music. 

"Cool, there's a band playing," said Beloved as we entered the small, ramshackle fish camp bait shack. We ordered two beers, which the bartender charged us a dollar each for and slid over a bowl of peanuts. We grabbed up the beverages and nuts and headed out to the deck to enjoy the band. Only to discover there was no band. It was just a redneck family singing karaoke
It was a blast. Until, after a few beers, I asked the mom of the singing family if I could request a song for their daughter to sing. She was a teen with a beautiful voice.  Her momma slid the song book my way and I quickly picked a favorite. Travelin' Soldier by the Dixie Chicks.

"Oh, she sings that song so purty," sighed her momma. "Only her daddy don't let her sing Dixie Chicks songs no more. On account of the politics and all."

That was it. We were done. It made for a great story though. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

He must have a twin

My friend and blogger extraordinaire at Pure Florida posted a great blog about building an ephemeral pond yesterday. He's always building or creating something (fireplace, chicken roosts, catering a wedding cracker-style) or he's out on his kayak snapping fantastic Florida shots to share with us, the city-bound masses (how does he paddle and point/click at the same time?).  I've decided he must have a twin. No one can do this much in his "free time." 

The most I manage to accomplish in my "spare time" is a nap or maybe bathing one of the dogs. In fact, you happen to be reading the most creative use of my free time - this blog. And let's face it, I don't really blog in my spare time. I steal time from the workday for it.

I want a twin. Someone who can install a bird feeder to attract more of the little redbirds that have started flitting around my back porch. A twin would have the time and energy (which is key) to organize all my family photos and even frame a few. A twin would have the time to shop for new cushions for the patio furniture, get the antique rocker recovered, organize my accessories so I can actually find two earrings that match. 

Hmmm. . . I wonder what WonderTwin is doing with her free time? 

Monday, March 16, 2009

The St. Augustine Affect

"Everywhere we go when we come to this town, you know somebody. Usually more than one someone. It's uncanny," said Beloved on Saturday when we ran across the first of many old friends in St. Augustine this weekend. We had gone back to my hometown (born and raised in St Aug dontcha know) to pick up MiniMe. She was the lucky duck who got to spend the night with her Mimi and Pappaw on Friday. 
But before we picked her up, we stopped by a little festival and took a walk through the historic downtown area. Ran into several people I knew from my childhood/high school days at the festival. No big surprise with a crowd that big in one place. But it was when we stopped for a drink at A1A Ale Works that that my native girl karma really kicked in. 

I saw several friends from high school including one I had not seen since we graduated. He was only in town for a quick visit. I wouldn't have recognized him, nor did he recognize me, except that I had already taken a seat next to his older sister, who I see frequently. Shane and I last saw each other more than 20 years ago. While enthralled in coversation with him, I happened to glance over my shoulder and who do I see? My best friend from college, Gene, who I've recently chatted with over Facebook. Haven't seen Gene in 10 years, and yet the stars somehow aligned that we ended up sitting practically next to each other on a Saturday afternoon in a crowded bar & restaurant in St. Augustine.

Funny the things you remember. Gene mentioned that he had just come from the MillTop bar on St. George Street. I asked him if he had requested the song "Rawhide," since once, many moons ago, Gene and I spent an evening in St. Augustine and he drove the poor guitar player at the Milltop that night crazy requesting "Rawhide" over and over again. 

When I introduced Gene to Beloved, Gene quickly told him that I once broke the windshield of his car, a 1964 VW bug. 

"Well now I have heard that she used to overheat the car by driving too fast when you would drive back from college on weekends," said Beloved, "but I hadn't heard that she cost you a windshield." 

Honestly, Gene. You gotta stop telling people that was me. It wasn't. It was you. I was the designated driver who had to drive your car home for you one weekend because you and your buddy had overbeveraged. You accidently broke the windshield swatting at an imaginary bug and then decided to tell your dad that I broke it so that you wouldn't get in trouble. It was a harebrained plan then and I can't believe you are still blaming that on me!

"We've got to move you back to St. Augustine," Beloved finally said to my not-so-long-lost friends that night. "You just light up when you're here. It's your place."

Wasn't that sweet?!?

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Grandparent Factor

"I was thinking of Mimi." 

That's what MiniMe said when I woke her up for school this morning. She can't wait! She's so excited because Mimi is picking her up from school today so she can spend the weekend with her. (That's SuperMimi, MiniMe and Pappaw disguised as Spongebob in the photo above) I'm not sure who is more excited, MiniMe, SuperMimi or me, NativeMom, who gets a Friday night to herself. Let's just put it this way, we're all happy it is Friday.

Grandparents are wonderful. Unfortunately, in today's transient society, too few kids grow up with their grandparents in their life. My friend Maria and I were talking about the priceless value of having your children grow up with caring, involved grandparents in their life. Maria and her husband moved from Tallahassee years ago to start their own business. They moved to this area to open a business for one simple reason - the grandparents lived here. Now Maria's business is thriving and her boys see both sets of grandparents every week as one or the other picks them up from school each afternoon. Maria said something that I could really appreciate this week. She said "Even if my business failed, I would get a job doing anything here, serving fast food even, just to make sure my kids got to stay here and grow up with their grandparents as such a big part of their lives."

I totally agree! Would you like fries with that?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Gin Night

Tonight is Gin Night!!! One of my favorite nights of the week. Most Wednesdays, Wondertwin hosts all us girls for a game of gin at her place after work. Only we don't play cards, we drink gin. And sometimes wine. But mostly we talk and laugh. Good medicine.

It's only a happy hour thing. Everyone brings a snack or a bottle of wine to share. After about an hour, we all return to our regular lives, but for that hour, we're a happy, girly bunch! 

MiniMe experienced a little Florida girl version of Gin Night herself this week. Since it's the dreaded FCAT week (I know, I won't mention FCAT in my blogs anymore, it's getting tiresome), she and the other neighborhood kids haven't had homework. So Monday night, she and the little girl who lives next door were playing together while I cooked dinner. We refer to MiniMe and Neighbor Girl as the Sparkle Sisters, because they're just like sisters and leave sparkles (and other messes) where ever they go. 

In come the Sparkle Sisters and ask if they can sit in the hot tub after dinner. We're having some very pleasant spring like weather right now, and so I agreed to let them take a dip in the hot tub if they ate all their dinner. So after dinner, they hop into their bathing suits and pester Beloved until he stops what he's doing to get the hot tub bubbling for them. A half hour later, I find them sitting in the hot tub wearing snorkle masks and eating fudgesicles. 

A March evening in the hot tub eating fundgesicles with your best friend. That's what Florida Girl childhoods are made of. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


As MiniMe trotted off to school this morning on the first of two days of FCAT testing, something occurred to me. What if parents, like myself, who have had it with our state shortchanging education, did something to protest. Something that would really send a message. Not just a rally. Not just letter writing. Something that would muck things up in a way that would put flegislators in a pickle. I say next year, parents keep their kids home during FCAT testing to let the flegislators know we're serious. I mean if they're not going to fund education properly and start making good on their constitutional responsibility to provide a quality public education, why should our kids take their stupid test.

Last week I got two notes sent home from school with MiniMe that I was asked to initial and send back to school with her. Both were reminders about the FCAT testing and were letters urging me to make sure she got a good night's sleep, a nutritious breakfast, etc.  Beloved jokingly said last night as I ushered her to bed a half hour earlier than usual, "Maybe we should keep her up til midnight and feed her cookies for breakfast with the way education's going. What would it matter?"

Which got me thinking, yea, why should we keep doing our part? Why keep taking this FCAT thing seriously when flegislators aren't taking my kid's education very seriously and haven't been for years.

I know, I'm a rebel. And this idea falls under the category of "cutting off your nose to spite your face," but what if . . . 

Monday, March 9, 2009

Now they're plotting to raid my kid's savings account?!?!

I got a question for our Florida legislators - yea that means you Evelyn Lynn and Jim King. WTF?! You've mismanaged Florida's budget and tax structure for years now (and both of you have had plenty of time to do it since you've served multiple terms), so now you're considering stealing money from MiniMe's college fund? 

Every parent, hell, every citizen, in Florida should be alarmed that our flegislators are looking at ways to raid the monies in the Florida Prepaid College fund. Don't believe me. Read here

Parents, like myself, sacrificed, planned and put forth no small sum of money (sometimes in monthly payments for 18 years) to ensure their child got at least a public university education. 

Who let Evelyn Lynn be the chair of the Higher Education Appropriations Committee? When she says things like this, I have to wonder if she passed Finance 101.

"We talked about the possibility if there was such money there, perhaps we could borrow that," said Sen. Evelyn Lynn, R-Ormond Beach, chair of the Senate higher education appropriations committee. 

Does the saying "Robbing Peter to pay Paul" mean anything to you? Keep your fingers off MiniMe's college fund!!!!

Update: 3/10/11: Me likee Alex Sink, Florida CFO. See why

Do I really have to do this?

Facebook. I joined under immense peer pressure. But I don't like it. No, I take that back. I hate it. Especially when I saw this morning that my stepson had posted new photos on his facebook page. He's enjoying spring break. Need I say more?

This is stuff that parents were just not meant to see. Why in the world do you "friend" your parents anyway? I mean I didn't "friend" him! Why did he have to "friend" me? 

Boundaries. We need boundaries people! Boundaries are good. 

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Honor System

With the economy in the dumps, it's nice to know that the honor system is still alive and well in Florida.  You may not be able to get credit, but for a few dollars you can get firewood, produce, honey, jam, books, and much more along Florida's roadways and small towns. 

On my route to MiniMe's school there's a farmer who sells neat stacks of firewood on the honor system. Just pull up, drop your money in the coffee can and load your wood. Near Umatilla, there's a farmer whose stand has become rather famous. Pull off the two-lane road under the shade of a giant oak tree and choose a jar of fresh honey or homemade orange blossom jelly then leave your money in the can. In DeLand, the Muse Book Shop keeps a bookshelf full of books just outside the door. Choose one and leave a dollar, all on the honor system. 

We could use a little more honor system in this country if you ask me (which no one did). I'm sure you, my stalkers, oops I mean readers, know of even more examples of the honor system still in practice in the Sunshine State and elsewhere. I'd love to hear about it. Leave a comment and tell me about your favorite roadside retailer. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Florida Fans Rejoice

No I'm not talking about Gator Fans, I'm talking to true state-of-Florida-in-all-her-natural-beauty-and-quirky-strangeness fans. Here's an event you'll love!

The tiny town of Lake Helen has been hosting a book fair every year that features real-live Florida authors. The Florida Authors Book Fair benefits The Lake Helen Friends of the Library and this will be the 16th year of the event. Whether or not you are a book enthusiast, this is a free, fun and fascinating event and it's happening this weekend. 

Make plans now to stop by on Saturday, March 7 at Historic Hopkins Hall in Lake Helen, Florida from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. Thirty authors from across Florida will be signing, selling and discussing their books while donating a portion of their proceeds to the Lake Helen Public Library. Free parking and admission.

The preservation of Florida's people, places and history is a common
theme among many authors this year. They include my friend and fellow blogger Mark Lane, Nancy Barber and Jane Bolding, Muncy and Herb Chapman, Ray Cunningham, Roger Fulton, Herb Hiller, Fred Hitt, Alice and Ron Howell, Bob Kealing, Jeffery Lamb,Tom Levine, Edgar J. L'Heureux, Robert Macomber, Helen Parramore, Lowell Teal, and Ron Williamson.

Directions: I-4, Exit 116, east on 4116 for .8 mile to left on Euclid Ave., north 2
blocks to Hopkins Hall at 192 W. Connecticut Avenue.

Painting Memories

Charming Cousin and I were hanging out recently. I call him Charming Cousin because everyone loves him. He's charming. Anyway, we were reminiscing about childhood moments when a funny one came up that I hadn't thought about in years. 

My great-grandparents lived in Jacksonville in this tiny, two-bedroom wood-frame house. The house was small, but the yard was big and in it, my great grandparents grew vegetables year-round. (Now Florida is full of zero-lot line neighborhoods where you're lucky to have room for an azalea bush). They were hard-working people. 

My great-grandfather had an old Ford truck. I asked Charming Cousin if he remembered the time granddaddy gave the truck a new coat of paint - with a paintbrush. 

Charming Cousin reminded me that granddaddy had painted that truck several times. 

"The last weekend I spent with great-grandma before she died, she told me 'We're gonna need your help this summer. We've got to paint the truck and white-wash the house,'" recalls Charming Cousin. "I don't even know what white-washing is. But I do remember grandma and granddaddy painting that truck with a paint roller. They used Benjamin Moore house paint. If that truck was still around today, there wouldn't be a speck of rust on it. Nothing was getting through the 8 layers of house paint on that truck."

Monday, March 2, 2009

Strike One for Education

What has 271 lanes,  team spirit and a lot of rented shoes? That would be the Bowl-A-Thon for public education that was recently held by FUTURES, the Volusia County Schools education foundation. Think people aren't supportive of public education in Florida? Don't tell that to the 72 teams of bowlers who came out recently to raise money for our local schools by bowling. I don't bowl, but I gave it a shot for this event. (that's my team in the photo, aren't we cute?) And I was inspired. I mean if people who haven't been in a bowling alley for years can come out on a weekend, put on someone else's shoes, and humiliate themselves by throwing gutter balls to raise money (oh, that was just me, oops), then surely our legislators can find the "balls" to raise taxes on cigarettes and charge tax on internet sales to help fund education. Otherwise I say "spare" them no mercy at election time. 

DeLand gets into the act

Went to DeLand's version of a bike week event this weekend. This event is fantastic. Why? Because the people who live in DeLand actually come out to the event and are nice to all the bikers in town. They don't call it "small-town hospitality" for nothing. 

The event is held in DeLand's Mainstreet-award-winning historic downtown. The restaurants and stores downtown were packed. There was a kid's zone and lots of vendors that weren't just selling motorcycle-related items. The DeLand Fire Department was there selling t-shirts (I don't know what the t-shirts said, but they were being hawked by cute, young firefighters. Enough said). There was the booth for the Journey's End animal rescue, where visiting bikers were practically lined up to drop a dollar in their donation basket. The local belly-dancing club was enjoying a lot of attention (can you say MILF?). I watched as big, burly biker guys gleefully filled bags with candy at the home-made candy shop. 

Locals really turn out for the DeLand bike event. I took the kids along and we had lunch at Bellini's (best pizza in the world, you rock Scott!). I ran into my daughter's 2nd grade teacher, a school board member I know, several of Beloved's co-workers and a few friends. Thankfully, I did not see the Wicked Witch of Bike Week. Unless those were her feet sticking out from under the historic home on the busy corner of New York Ave. (One can dream).

If you've never visited DeLand, it is a must-see. Great people, beautiful city, small-town hospitality, a vibrant arts community, lots of mom-and-pop stores and restaurants. Bike week or not, it's fun year-round.