Chasing the Sun

I enjoy a bike ride in the “country” at the end of the day. Now that September has arrived though, the days are getting a bit shorter and I often find myself chasing the sun.

I ride just south of town as do many other cyclists. Here you can see the cattle endlessly snacking on tall grass and hear gators call out from the canals at dusk every night.

There are other critters out there too…as I was taking this picture I spotted a strange tail poking over the tips of the grass in the distance. I didn’t wait around to see what it was! Perhaps a Florida Panther? Bobcat? Fox? Wild Hog? (Ok, maybe a dog, but that doesn’t sound as exciting.) You never know what will appear out here…

A beautiful Florida sunset bike ride with wild critters is, for me, a day well spent.

Loggerhead Marinelife Center

We have been to the Loggerhead Marine Center in Juno Beach numerous times and have enjoyed every trip. Who isn’t enamored by a sea turtle? Most recently we signed up for a summer sea turtle walk at a cost of $17 per person. They do not promise a sighting however, but you will see an informative but looong 2 hour powerpoint slide show while you wait to see if a sea turtle comes ashore and begins to lay eggs.

We experienced a few “false crawls” where the turtles come ashore and then retreat. The center has spotters on the beach in “walkie talkie” contact with the presenter in the center where the group waits. So be prepared to wait until midnight at a slide show for a sighting. We were falling asleep come 11:30pm and still had a 40 minute drive home, so we left early. We learned a lot about turtles though! We brought my 8 year old niece and the age limit is 8 and up with good reason – much late-at-night patience needed and no guarantees. Kids can get disappointed with all the build up and no turtles : (

On day trips you are guaranteed to see the turtles in the tanks and they are an awesome sight to see. The tanks are set up so all ages can peer in and observe the rescued sea turtles, most of them injured in some way and recouperating. On days they release the turtles out to sea, crowds of over 1000 can gather on the beach to watch, so go early if you choose to view a release.

Mostly we just tour the small edu-info center and then visit with the turtles in the tanks outside. They added a fun hands-on “turtle hospital” exhibit that the kids loved. They put on lab coats and, with measuring tapes and calipers in hand, they tend to plastic sea turtles. The little ones lingered there a while day-dreaming about becoming turtle doctors. The entrance fee is a $5 donation per person.

Out back is a park, covered picnic table, and across the street just behind the center is the beach.

You don’t see sea turtles every day, so when you do – it will be a day well spent.

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Loggerhead Marinelife Center

We have been to the Loggerhead Marine Center in Juno Beach numerous times and have enjoyed every trip. Who isn’t enamored by a sea turtle? Most recently we signed up for a summer sea turtle walk at a cost of $17 per person. They do not promise a sighting however, but you will see an informative but looong 2 hour powerpoint slide show while you wait to see if a sea turtle comes ashore and begins to lay eggs.

We experienced a few “false crawls” where the turtles come ashore and then retreat. The center has spotters on the beach in “walkie talkie” contact with the presenter in the center where the group waits. So be prepared to wait until midnight at a slide show for a sighting. We were falling asleep come 11:30pm and still had a 40 minute drive home, so we left early. We learned a lot about turtles though! We brought my 8 year old niece and the age limit is 8 and up with good reason – much late-at-night patience needed and no guarantees. Kids can get disappointed with all the build up and no turtles : (

On day trips you are guaranteed to see the turtles in the tanks and they are an awesome sight to see. The tanks are set up so all ages can peer in and observe the rescued sea turtles, most of them injured in some way and recouperating. On days they release the turtles out to sea, crowds of over 1000 can gather on the beach to watch, so go early if you choose to view a release.

Mostly we just tour the small edu-info center and then visit with the turtles in the tanks outside. They added a fun hands-on “turtle hospital” exhibit that the kids loved. They put on lab coats and, with measuring tapes and calipers in hand, they tend to plastic sea turtles. The little ones lingered there a while day-dreaming about becoming turtle doctors. The entrance fee is a $5 donation per person.

Out back is a park, covered picnic table, and across the street just behind the center is the beach.

You don’t see sea turtles every day, so when you do – it will be a day well spent.

Palm Beach Zoo at Dreher Park

Winter is best for zoo trips in South Florida. So off we went over winter break and…so did lots of other people! Very crowded, had to kind of wait to see some animals and wait for a table to eat at concession stand, but we still had a fun day. Was glad to have my college daughter and friend home to spend some time with us!

A day well spent at Palm Beach Zoo

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Orlando Science Center

Go ahead and plan a visit to Orlando Science Center if you’re in the area. It gets a “good” rating for the value of around $15 ticket for 4 floors of fun. Having been here years ago, I noticed some of the exhibits were now well worn in by lots of little hands-on friends, but still in working order. The teenagers loved the “hurricane booth” and liked the Cinedome experience which was included in the cost of entrance, but other than that it was a trip mostly geared for preschool and elementary ages.

If you’re short on time, take the preschoolers to the Nature Works exhibit and Kidstown area first. Older kids can go straight to areas that interest them most.

The touring exhibits are often their best draw. I still remember the touring BodyWorks exhibit from years ago and a Star Wars exhibit is coming soon. Not a great trip for all ages, but hey, any day we get to spent together is a day well spent.

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Orlando Science Center

Go ahead and plan a visit to Orlando Science Center if you’re in the area. It gets a “good” rating for the value of around $15 ticket for 4 floors of fun. Having been here years ago, I noticed some of the exhibits were now well worn in by lots of little hands-on friends, but still in working order. The teenagers loved the “hurricane booth” and liked the Cinedome experience which was included in the cost of entrance, but other than that it was a trip mostly geared for preschool and elementary ages.

If you’re short on time, take the preschoolers to the Nature Works exhibit and Kidstown area first. Older kids can go straight to areas that interest them most.

The touring exhibits are often their best draw. I still remember the touring BodyWorks exhibit from years ago and a Star Wars exhibit is coming soon. Not a great trip for all ages, but hey, any day we get to spent together is a day well spent.

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Sugar Sand Science Park

Sugar Sand Science Park is the coolest public park I have ever been to. Where else can you climb a strand of DNA, excavate some dino bones, then go play in a splash area? Nevermind peering through the eyeballs of a giant wooden head or romping around a tri-level wooden fort…FUN STUFF!

But that’s not all. Adjacent to the park is The Children’s Science Explorium, a hands-on interactive science center for kids. Cost is $5 donation to enter.

Wait, it gets even better! The park also has a CAROUSEL! Each ride only $1.

We love this place…day well spent in Boca Raton!

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Sugar Sand Science Park

Sugar Sand Science Park is the coolest public park I have ever been to. Where else can you climb a strand of DNA, excavate some dino bones, then go play in a splash area? Nevermind peering through the eyeballs of a giant wooden head or romping around a tri-level wooden fort…FUN STUFF!

But that’s not all. Adjacent to the park is The Children’s Science Explorium, a hands-on interactive science center for kids. Cost is $5 donation to enter.

Wait, it gets even better! The park also has a CAROUSEL! Each ride only $1.

We love this place…day well spent in Boca Raton!

Kayaking the Loxahatchee

Spend the day paddling the Loxhatchee at Jonathan Dickinson State Park
big sky
What a majestic day and only $15 per kayak rental and 2 hour self guided tour of the Loxahatchee, one of Florida’s most scenic rivers.
dock
We chose our kayaks, strapped on our life jackets, studied the map and off we went! I highly suggest you bring a ziploc to put the map they give you in to keep dry.

There aren’t many turns to get lost on, but you can get turned around a bit, there are no street signs : ) You are on your own for this trip and that’s part of the excitement as are the gators snorting at you a few feet away from your boat and the Osprey diving for fish around you.

After our paddle we had a picnic lunch under the covered pavilion with picnic tables and a bathroom nearby. We then drove out to the entrance and parked the car and hiked up the Hobe Mountain Tower, the highest natural peak in south Florida (not that high, lol but still scenic.)
jonathan dickinson state park
The park has a lot to offer with boat tours, bike paths, and full camping facilities, but paddling the Loxahatchee was what made it a day well spent.
tara black and white

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