Tour a horse farm
Many of the horse farms offer tours, many at no charge. The availibity of the tours vary by seasons it is best to check with the chamber of commerace located in the downtown square. Also on the square you will find four examples of the famous Ocala painted horses. Searching for and finding the others will give one a pretty good tour of Ocala. Maps of the locations are also available at the C ofC . Western Wear located on W Silver Springs Blvd. is also a helpful resource, sometimes better than the C.of C. When I learn how to add photos I will come back and do so as the whole area is quite attractive. Buccaneer Bill.
Paso Fino Clinic
I had to go from Frisco TX to a clinic to retain my certification to judge Paso Finos. It was in Ocala.
What a huge ordeal. It was a series of unfortunate events. My flight out on Fri was at 10:20 am, but when I woke up there was snow on the ground. School was not canceled because the roads were not bad. There was a little ice in spots, but otherwise it was clear. So I dropped the kids off at school and Bill's parents came to watch the baby and the dog until Bill got home. They had a hard time getting to our house because the traffic was so bad and they mentioned to me that the traffic on the road I would take to the airport was really backed up.
Okay I decided that I would leave right away. Normally it takes 45 min to an hour to get to the airport from the house. I left at 8:15 and when I got to the road outside the subdivision I could only turn right - traffic was bumper to bumper going east which was fine with me because I needed to go west. But when I got to the first light it was jammed up - took me three cycles of the light (10 min) to turn left and then I was barely out of the intersection in bumper to bumper traffic waiting for the next light 1/2 mile ahead. Well after waiting another 10 min I had inched up to where I could turn left and go thru another neighborhood going back to try the eastbound route (which is longer, but clearly I wasn't going to get out to the west). So now I'm moving but by the time I really get going it's 9 am. I called the Delta (had to use them cause American doesn't fly into that area) and told them my problem and they informed me that my flight was on time and the all the other flights for the day to Gainesville where booked. So now I'm going as fast as I can, but this route is longer and there is still traffic, but I manage to get to the airport at 10:10. The ticket agent says that I can't make the flight and it's already closed. So now she starts trying to get me rerouted and of course there is nothing into Gainesville as I was told before. I can fly to Tampa and get there at midnight, to Orlando thru NY and get there by 10:50pm or I can fly to Tallahassee by 11:30 pm. So I called my fellow judge who lives in Tallahassee and is supposed to meet me at the clinic, to ask her to wait and drive me down to Ocala (where the clinic is and it's about 2- 3 hours from Tallahassee). So She said she would and I booked the change. So then I went to the mall to kill some time because my new flight didn't leave till 5:30 pm. I came back to the airport around 3:30 to check in and they told me that my flight to Atlanta was delayed and I wouldn't be able to make the connection to Tallahassee so they would put me on an American flight to Atlanta so I can make the Tallahassee flight. Whatever.
So I go to the American counter and they check my bag and give me a ticket (at that point I had a thought that my bag might get lost going from one carrier to another, but I had not really planned well enough to carry it on so I did check it). So I managed to get to Tallahassee and the flight actually landed 15 min early. So I called my friend to tell her I was on the ground and it shouldn't be long - she was circling the airport because they wouldn't let her stand still and wait.
After 10 min she called me and said how come you aren't off the plane - I said that they can't get the jetway to work. Finally 20 min later and a trip to get stairs they get the jetway to work and we get off the plane. I think well at least my bag will be waiting, but lo and behold it's not there. I have to wait in another line to get my claim handled and now it's past midnight. The baggage guy says you'll probably get your bag tomorrow night (I think he meant that night since now it was Sat) so I thought that sounded good and we left. We drove to Ocala and on the way stopped to get something to drink at a 24hr gas station. I got a couple of T shirts (one to sleep in and one that I thought was just funny -it said " I didn't say it was your fault, I said I would blame you.") and a toothbrush and toothpaste.
We got to the hotel at 3 am and went to bed. Got up at 7 since the clinic started at 8 am. I called about my lost bag before the clinic and there was no information. I called about it again at the lunch break and again no information. I called again after the clinic around 6 pm and still no info - now I am thinking I'm not going to get my bag tonight. So I called Bill to get him to call them (so I didn't have to use my cell phone battery up being on hold, also I knew he would yell at them which I don't like to do). So he called and yelled at them and talked to supervisors, but they still didn't know where the bag was, but they were hoping it would arrive in Tallahassee at 11:30 pm. So I called them again before I went to bed and they said that it would be in Tallahassee in the morning, but I said that they could just send it right back to Dallas because I was checking out of the hotel in the morning and going home. So they said they would forward it to DFW.
I called again in the morning before I left to hotel just to make sure they had the bag going to Dallas and again they asked me for the address for the hotel at which time I explained that I was checking out and to send it back to DFW. The guy said that oh yeah he did see forwarding information to that effect. So I left the hotel and went to the live presentation of the clinic at a local farm. During the clinic I get a call and my bag is in Tallahassee. The guys says I see you are leaving out of Gainesville at 3:30 and getting in to DFW at 10:20 and he wants to know if I want to pick my bag up in DFW or have it forwarded to my home. So I said I would get it when I got in and he said that it would be back in Dallas by 4 pm. So other than a short delay in Gainesville my flights back were uneventful and my bag was indeed waiting for me.