Sunday, February 18, 2018

The Great Outdoors Restaurant High Springs, Florida

On February 17, 2018 I had the opportunity to visit Mill Creek Farm the retirement home for horses in Alachua, Florida with my daughter and her hubby and friends from California who took a break from blitzing all the Disney parks to enjoy a leisurely day in the country.  After our visit to the farm we headed over to High Springs, Florida to have a late lunch at the Great Outdoors Restaurant. 

The drive from Mill Creek Farm to the Great Outdoors was a little over 7 miles.  Our group of six was seated in a booth that had two side chairs.  This was perfect for my wide body as most booths are two small to sit comfortable in.  We were given advanced warning about how good the food was because daughter Becky and her husband Nigel had eaten there two times before. 

Our appetizer was  an order of home made chips with blue cheese.  For our main courses we had the Portobello Burger, Shrimp Poor Boy, BLT, ToFu Salad, Fried Green Tomatoes with Grits and a Parmesan Encrusted Grilled Cheese Sandwich with 4 different cheeses.  Wow, our table was overflowing with food. Each of these dishes had its own unique flavor profile. For beverages we all had water with lemon.  Four of use had ale and cider.  I had a pint of hard cider and my wife had a Irish Red Ale along with our friends from California, Mike and Kelly.  

Diane was our server. When she came to ask about deserts I told her that restaurant guests needed to be warned about the size of the appetizers and main courses.  I said that if you wanted desert you needed to order it first. We were so full we passed on deserts.  All and all this was a great end to fun day in central Florida horse country.

Until next time, be safe in the sun and have a great day in the great outdoors.  

Mill Creek Farm - The Retirement Home for Horses

I had the opportunity to visit Mill Creek Farm the retirement home for horses in Alachua, Florida with my daughter and her hubby and friends from California who took a break from blitzing all the Disney parks to enjoy a leisurely day in the country. 

What a pleasant way to spend a Saturday afternoon.  The farm is just a short drive off US I-75 at exit 414 at highway 441.   It took us about 2 hours and 20 minuted to make the trip from Champions Gate just off I-4.  We arrived around 1:00 PM.  

The Mill Creek Farm is a 501-C-3 non-profit.  The farm is 100% funded by donations and volunteer help.  It was established in 1983 and was started with 140 acres.  Today the farm is composed of 335 acres and is the home for more than 135 horses.  There is no charge for admission but you can make a donations at the main entrance point when you arrive or leave.  All donations, no matter how small or large, are greatly appreciated.

The highlight  of our visit to the farm was to walk around the 335 acres along the well groomed paths to meet and feed the horses.  The horses can eat raw carrots, bananas and sliced apples.  If you do not being your own carrots, you can purchase a bag at the main entrance point stand where donations can be made.  If you walk the entire path to meet all the horses, you will need a big bunch of carrots.  I saw a family with children pulling a wagon with a huge bag of carrots.  Looked like 25 pound or more.  

Because you can easily spend more than the two hours we spent there, you need to get there when it opens at 11:00 AM.  The farm is only open on Saturday from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM.  They close the front gate at 2:45 PM and want you out of the farm by 3:00 PM.  In fact we were the last visitors on the path.  We were followed by a volunteer riding a golf cart the last stretch of the main path back to the main entrance point.  

We had a great day.  Check out my video of our visit  posted to Outdoor Recreation In Orlando.  Until next time, be safe in the sun  and  have a great day in the great outdoors. 

Mill Creek Farm The Retirement Home for Horses

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Made in America Surfing Lifestyle Apparel

Have you checked the label in your board shorts or any of your other surfing clothes to see where they are made?  Would you be surprised to learn that most of what you wear is not made in America but made in sweat shops all around the world.  According to the Textile Fashion Study, China, Hong Cong, Italy, and Bangladesh are the top four. There is a good bet that your surf shorts came from one of these countries.  But if you do your homework you might find great surfing apparel made in America.

At the 2018 Surf Expo, Birdwell Beach Britches and Katin were two exhibitors who make apparel in America.  Birdwell apparel, hats and bags all carry the "Made in the USA" tag.  The Katin brand has some "Made in the USA" label on some of their products.

The reason this caught my attention is that I watched a cable news documentary the other night about the fashion industry which surf lifestyle apparel is part of.  I learned a new term, Fast Fashion.  What is Fast Fashion you may ask.  Fast Fashion is when the fashion industry produces cheap disposable clothes with new fashion season / styles coming out instead of a few times a year to more than ten times a year.  Cheap clothing where styles change often has a big impact on the environment when all these disposal clothes are tossed in the trash or donated. 

Did you know that most of the clothes you donate never, never get worn again.  The internet is filled on articles on this subject.  The documentary I watched showed how much used clothing ended up in Haiti.  Used clothing is shipped out in 1,000 pound bails. Click HERE to read one of these articles from Fashionista.

With Surf Expo being a two times a year event, that appears to me to be perfect.  But Surf Expo is not the only apparel trade show where new styles are rolled out.  I am not sure with America's appetite for new clothing styles can anything be done to stem the tide of throw-a-way clothes. 

All that being said, I would hope that surfers all over the world would be more conscious about the surf lifestyle apparel purchases they make and do their part to reduce the amount of used clothing  piling up in warehouses and landfills around the globe.

Until next time, be safe in the sun and have a great day in the great outdoors.