Bucket list check | 44. Milk a cow | 62. See Brooksville sunflowers

I’m back! 🙂
There will be a special message to a few of you guys within the week.

Let’s just say we went farm-hopping throughout central Florida. It was the perfectly sunny springtime day to do so.

Our first stop was at Sweetfields Farm in Brooksville, Florida. I have been trying to get to this farm for quite some time because all I kept hearing about were the beautiful sunflowers. We spent an hour tracking and backtracking through fields of bright, golden flowers.

 

It was so hot but honestly I didn’t care because I couldn’t stop gazing in awe at the beauty of tiny bursts of sunshine throughout the journey. Mind you, the sunflower is my favorite, so imagine the smile I kept on my face throughout the entire maze. Once we left the maze, we meandered around the farm, looking at all the animals. We saw chicken run funny, a tiny fluffy chicken squeeze out of the smallest hole in its pen, and watched small pigs run in a race with little curly-q tails wagging all about.

Our second stop was at Green Meadows Farm in Kissimmee, Florida. Here is where we spent more time with the animals. When we got there, we boarded a train that goes around the property. It was really nice and the kids around us were having a blast. So we were though. We basically ended up at a large petting farm and it was amazing. We even milked a cow! We were able to pet goats and sheep in the pen with them, feed them afterward, and we even held baby chicks and ducks! I was honestly way too excited. I was even excited when I tried forcing my shoes and hair out of the goat’s mouth. It was hilarious watching this goat chow down on my hair and literally try to swallow it all because I bent down to pet it.

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Bucket List Check | 59. Name a star

source: weheartit.com picture links to source.

I don’t have much to say about it yet since we haven’t received our package from the Star Registry yet! This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while now and am glad to finally say we have named a star in our vast galaxy. It isn’t named in just any constellation either. It is carefully selected in the Ursa Minor constellation. Yes folks, there is a star representing my husband and I in the big dipper!

The name is  our initials and our anniversary.

I can’t wait to get the package. When I do, I will post it here along with some photos.

I think this is a really cool thing to be able to do. Of course there’s no way to physically buy a star since the star can’t really be owned but no star is named twice. The website basically puts it like you are adopting the star. All stars are added to the “Your Place in the Cosmos” database which is then filed away safely with the U.S. Copyright Office.

It is very sentimental because anytime you see that particular galaxy, you will be reminded of whatever significance you chose to twinkle in the sky. In my case, it is a star for our love. I remember walking around my backyard while we were still dating, looking up at the night sky while on the phone with him from four states away.

This truly is a great gift idea and it is among the most unique.

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Bucket List Check | 60. Swim in Hot Springs & 106. Eat something aired on Man VS. Food

 

 

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Maybe the springs weren’t “hot” but they were warm enough to make it to the list. The Warm Mineral Springs of North Port are the only warm springs in the state of Florida. The warm springs is a natural body of water formed by a sinkhole and fed by a spring. As any normal Florida spring is docked at an average 72-degrees, the Warm Mineral Springs are docked at a consistent 87-degrees.

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Prehistorically speaking, the springs are spoken of dating back to a dry cave. I find this very interesting. I especially find it interesting because it was said to have formed due to an earthquake.

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We took the GoPro out for its very first underwater adventure. I love this nifty camera. It takes really awesome action shots. The only con to this adventure was that the water wasn’t clear enough. Wait until a trip to Weeki Wachee or another clear spring happens and it is so on. It still managed to capture a few nice underwater shots up close. I definitely need to get a stick for mine so I can take farther shots.

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We didn’t swim for long but it was still a nice experience. It was nicknamed Ponce De Leon’s original Fountain of Youth because of healing properties in the warm water. It is actually used as a day spa and there were quite a few elderly folk floating about in the water.

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It was a pretty big area to swim in and in the center of the large circle is is said to be about 250-feet. I found this intensely fascinating. I can see how it would be a very soothing activity to do. Also, swimming builds great muscle and the water isn’t too cold obviously.

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I had no idea the water would be salt water though. It oxidized my wedding ring and it freaked me out, but I used cleaner, and it is back to normal now.

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The salinity was so high that floating was a definite occurrence. It was pretty hard to sink.

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We ended up leaving a little earlier than planned due to rain and starving. We were so hungry from not eating all day.

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We had dinner at the Old Salty Dog which was featured on the Travel channel’s Man Vs. Food. We were driving through Sarasota on the way home so we figured why not. We ended up at a different location than the one Adam Richman visited but both were in Sarasota. It was confusing and definitely not made clear.

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Anyway, we ended up ordering our drinks and calamari as appetizers. We never should have gotten appetizers because obviously, for a meal to be on Man Vs. Food, you know it had to be big.

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The restaurant was very beachy and tropical, but I loved that there was dog memorabilia everywhere. Even the condiments were stored in a dog bowl. How adorable is that?

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We then got our food and chowed down on the Salty Dog loaded just like Adam had. The world famous hot dog is 1-ft long and battered in beer.

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Then it is covered in mushrooms, sauerkraut, lots of cheese, onions, and full strips of bacon. It was really good but I was definitely not up for the challenge! I had maybe three bites and I was full. It was Man v. Food, and food won!

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In a few months, hubby and I are going to check out Munchies 420 in Sarasota. It is also a Man v. Food restaurant and there happens to be a bucket list adventure out there. Maybe soon!

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Bucket list check | Make a Daisychain

I’ve been eyeing these flowers for a while now during my daily runs at the park. While we took our pups for a stroll this evening, I finally decided to test the thickness of the stems to determine whether or not I could piece the flowers together properly. Turns out I could! I’ve been attempting to make a flower crown but could never figure out which flowers met the correct conditions for the job. Of course I’ve been wanting my own ever since I saw the opening scene of Alice in Wonderland as a small girl. So, I gathered a bouquet of them and took them home to tether and place against my golden blonde locks. I had some assistance of my fur babies. They enjoyed contributing by sampling petals! Rascals.

It’s really a quite simple task. All you have to do is make a small slit with your fingernails at the bottom of the stem. I started at the top of the stem so preference comes into play. I suggest the bottom to avoid complications in pattern and asymmetry. Then slip the end of a stem into the slit and repeat until there is enough flowers in length to match your head in diameter. So there you go.

 

Silly Dinah.

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Bucket List Check | Botanical Gardens

Every county website I browsed noted the Gardens and how beautiful they were. When I’d search for activities to enjoy in the area, the Gardens would always show up in feeds. We finally decided to go and I’m really glad I did. It isn’t like the only thing you do is stroll around and smelling flowers. I may be a bit biased toward natural blossoming treasures hence the name of my website but there was more to the day than just smelling our way through paths.

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Bucket List Check | Field full of flowers!

When we lived in north Florida, I did not have a camera I could take pictures with. I lost mine prior to moving. My dad let me borrow my grandmother’s film camera just to take some shots around the city. I took some of the flowers but because the lighting was awful that day, I was not able to get any good shots, and was fairly disappointed when they were developed.

I had dreamed of these fields of wild flowers since then and always imaged the pictures I could be taking of them being a great subject.

Those dreams came true on our way home from my dad’s wedding. Despite having a four hour drive ahead of us, my supportive husband pulled over and took about a hundred photos of me with the massive concentration of wild flowers. I twirled in the pinks and purples and I was in a very happy place in this moment. This is by far one of my favorite things about north Florida and all I have to say is — Sometimes you just have to stop to smell the flowers.

…these didn’t really smell like anything except dirt. They were just pretty to look at.

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Bucket List Check | Grow a Flower

 I love growing flowers. Usually 3/7 of the seeds I scatter will actually grow. It’s a learning process, I’m sure I’ll get the “garden level” one day. 😉

Apartment window sunflowers are on a whole new level of difficulty. I succeeded though. I want to think that the 2013 sunflower was a dwarf because it bloomed only after a foot of stalk shot up. I was so delighted when I saw the first peek of yellow in this little guy. It would’ve grown taller if my curious felines hadn’t enjoyed it just as much as I had.

I’m growing another sunflower that we’ll call the 2014 sunflower for less confusion purposes. Now that we moved into a house and have a yard to actually do so. I have a feeling this flower is going to be huge. It is as tall as me and still growing. It is about to bloom, so when it does I will add the photos to this gallery. I’m really excited; there are little things in life I assure you.

I’m starting to see yellow in the bud for my new sunflower. Soon, soon my pretty.

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