Red Hills Horse Trials, Olympic Equestrian Event
Each year, approximately on the second weekend in March, Tallahassee hosts the "Red Hills Horse Trials". Started as a smaller local event, the RHHT has grown, in little more than a decade, to be a premier pre-Olympic event, attracting Olympians and Olympic hopefuls from all over the world.
The trials are held in one of Tallahassee's many large park areas, the Elinor Klapp Phipps park at Red Hills. The course was designed by and with the active participation of Capt. Mark Phillips, former husband of Britains Princess Anne. As many of you know, Capt. Phillips was a member of the 1976 British Olympic Equestrian team.
The trials run for three days, with the first day (Friday) being dedicated to dressage, the second and best (Saturday) to cross-country trails, and the final Sunday reserved for stadium jumping. As you can see from my attached photo, access is quite close, and you can get an excellent look at these beautiful animals and their dedicated riders.
Admission for any day's activity is US$10, or you can buy an entire weekend pass for US$20. Needless to say, good weather is always appreciated. 2004 brought a spectacular set of days for the trials. See you next year???? All you really need is an interest in horses and Olympic Equestrian activity.
The Lewis Park May Oak, RIP 1986
Lewis Park is one of a string a parks that run throughout the center of Tallahassee. Approximately two blocks east of our main thoroughfare, Monroe Street, Lewis Park has a long history in Tallahassee celebration. For almost 80 years, the annual "May Celebration" including a May Pole dance for young women, was held in Lewis Park, under one of the most stately oak trees in the city. Known of as the "May Oak", this grand old tree was a fine example of the mighty oak at its grandest. Back when I was only 13, our junior high school marching band (Elizabeth Cobb Junior High School, home of the "Cobb Cubs") held a spring concert underneath the branches of this oak in May of 1970. I still have a cassette recording of the event. We weren't very good. I remember that we played the "Colonel Bogey March", which some of you may know as the "whistle song" from the classic 1957 film, BRIDGE OVER THE RIVER KWAI. Anyway, the Lewis Park May Oak played a big part in Tallahassee's spring celebrations for many years. The May Dance ended in 1974, and was shortly replaced by a larger Springtime Tallahassee festival. (See photos on my Tallahassee travelogues). The old oak continued to shade folks as they enjoyed picnics, or maybe a little early evening quite kiss-kiss session with their sweethearts.
Sadly, on August 9, 1986, the May Oak finally just collapsed, its massive bulk no longer able to be properly supported by its trunk. The city maintenance crews sadly sawed up and removed the grand old tree. Today, a marker, denoting the tree's history in Tallahassee remains in Lewis Park, along with the massive stump.
There are other fine old oak trees in Tallahassee and Leon County. But in 1986, we lost one of our most special ones.
This is MY morning place
Bagel Bagel's slogan is "so nice, we named it twice". And, what B-squared is this... a simple and friendly bagel, sandwich and coffee shop. They used to have a downtown location, and that's where I first became a customer. The downtown shop closed and they've now moved out a bit south and east, on Apalachee Parkway. But quite honestly, it's MY morning place. At least three times a week, you'll find pchamlis sitting in the shop sipping coffee, and sometimes having my trademark oatmeal cookies or maybe an egg/bacon/cheese on sourdough sandwich.
I come to Bagel Bagel for two reasons...
First, I like the people. The manager, Nicole (see photo), and I have become morning pals, and it's nice to be recognized when you walk in the door.
Second, B-squared has a wonderful free WiFi, which I use to get early business taken care of. Sometimes, I even update my VT pages. :)
Friendly staff, the sort of place where (with a nod to "Cheers") that "everybody knows your name. They have a wide assortment of folks in their clientele. Back when they had the downtown store, I'd see both homeless bums and state senators in line at Bagel Bagel. If you hadn't heard people saying "y'all" and there had been more customers ordering tofu sprout eggwhite omelets on 23 grain bagels, you'd have sworn you were in the Mission District of San Francisco.
But, out here on the Parkway, it's a little more homogenous. And, since MY time at B-squared is early, I'm often one of only a couple of sitting customers. Nicole says it gets busier bigtime later in the day.
By the way, Bagel-Bagel DOES offer delivery. Love the coffee as always. However, their "daily specialities" seem to go heavy on the "nut" coffee flavors....hazelnut, southern pecan. I'm not so into those. I generally stick with the house blend, although their French vanilla is good.
BTW, this is NOT a foo-foo latte house. Starbucks it ain't. If you shots of flavors and stuff, go TO Starbucks, or Bada-Bean, or even "Bad-Ass" Coffee, here in Tallahassee. Bagel Bagel is more geared to sandwiches, bagels and such.
But, as a guide, here are a couple of items from the lunch menu...
"Spinach and Posado Bagel" a blend of spinach and cream cheese on a bagel, covered with provolone and baked, topped with tomato slices
"Lahvosh bagel" your choice of bagel, topped with a trio of cheeses, marinara sauce, fresh basil and tomatoes
"Wayvair" genoa salami, provoline, black olives, mayo, mustard, oil and vinegar, salt and pepper, lettuce and tomatoes, piled onto a baguette.
"Shanghai salad" fresh tossed salad, sliced grilled chicken, cucumbers, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, oriental noodles and sesame dressing
AND for breakfast, don't forget the pchamlis special: Bacon, mozarella and egg on sourdough toast, buttered and hot. :)
ST. MARK NATIONAL WILFLIFE
ST. MARK NATIONAL WILFLIFE REFUGE
Established in 1931. Encompasses 68.000 acres along the Gulf Coast, home to more than 250 species of birds, waterfowl and diverse habitants including coastel marshes, islands, tidal cracks and estuaries of 7 rivers. Home to historic St. Marks Lighthouse built in 1832. Features boat ramps, nature trails, fresh - and saltwater fishing, hunting, hiking, special events, educational programs and Visitors Center. Here I also saw real alligators!