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US: Jekyll Island, GA – Treasure Hunt on Jekyll Island

Every winter, throughout the months of January and February, the Jekyll Island Authority hosts a beach treasure hunt known as Island Treasures.island-treasures-2000x600

The origin of the event dates back to the early 1900s, when fishermen used glass floats as markers on their nets. Occasionally, the floats would break loose and wash ashore for lucky beachcombers to find and keep. Collecting the rare, highly sought-after glass floats became a hobby in the 1950s.

On Jekyll Island, the tradition continues with the annual Island Treasures event. Artists from across the country are selected to create one-of-a-kind glass floats. Colorful hand-crafted glass floats or globes, similar to the ones once used on fishing nets, are created by glass artisans from across the country.  New for this year, treasure hunters will now hunt for clear, plastic globes that can be exchanged for a handmade glass float at the Jekyll Island Guest Information Center.

Island Treasures are hidden daily, always  in plain view and public spaces. The treasures will never be placed in the dunes, marshes, animal habitats or private property. And, each weekend, double the number of globes hidden around the island.

Inside each plastic globe,  lucky treasure hunters will find a card with instructions to take the globe to the Jekyll Island Guest Information Center. Each card will have a number that corresponds to a real, handcrafted Island Treasure. Hunters will be limited to one glass float per household per year, increasing everyone’s chance to find a glass float. Hunters will also receive a certificate of authenticity and artist biography for their one-of-a-kind float. The Guest Information Center will be open daily, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

This Island Treasures event is FREE and lots of fun for all ages and as a bonus you get to explore this beautiful island.

Location: Jekyll Island Guest Information Center, 901 Downing Musgrove Causeway
Jekyll Island, GA 31527
Date: until Feb 28, 2018
Time: Open daily, 9 -6pm
Tel: 912- 635-3636 or 1-877-4-Jekyll
jekyllisland.com/signatureevents/island-treasures
For Regional accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: jekyllisland.com, goldenisles.com

US: St. Marys, GA – Checkout Beautiful St Marys Waterfront through a Type-8 Periscope

Imagine an attic full of personal memorabilia of many submariners, and you get the feel of this homey museum.

The St. Marys Submarine Museum gives visitors a real feel for life aboard a submarine. The museum’s 5,000 square feet of exhibition and displays feature real and working shipboard equipment. A ship’s control panel, ballast control panel, periscope, and working sonar panels give exciting visuals of the interior of a submarine.St Marys Sub Museum submus1

At St. Marys Submarine Museum a wide variety of Submarine artifacts, memorabilia and information are available for viewing. You can see early submarine designs (pig boats) right up to nuclear ones, consoles, a working Type-8 periscope, listings of boats built and lost in WW II and tons of command plaques.

For the truly addicted, submarine movies play all day, and you are invited
to read actual files of each U.S. submarine or support commands. More than 99% of all WWII Patrol Reports and their command history files are here (even previously classified documents); these are not usually seen by the average person or submarine veteran. St Marys Sub Museum - inside

Location: St. Marys Submarine Museum, 102 W. St. Marys St., St. Marys, GA 31558
Hours: Tues-Sat 10am – 5pm, Sun 12pm – 5pm
Tel: 912-882-2782
stmaryssubmuseum.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitkingsland.com

US: Wilmington, DE – Lush Brandywine Valley Cycling Grand Prix and Street Fair

Named among the Top 10 criterium bike races in the country by USA Cycling, the Wilmington Grand Prix will celebrate its 11th anniversary May 19-21, 2017. Grand Prix - Closeup-Men's Pro WGP 2014-9577

This international cycling event includes a free six-block street festival, a parade, a bucket-list recreational ride through a dozen world-class cultural attractions, sidewalk cafes, live music, demonstrations and a variety of free family rides and attractions.

The action starts Friday night (May 19) with the Monkey Hill Time Trial, a 3.2-mile race against the clock through Wilmington’s Brandywine Park. Saturday (May 20) will feature two amateur races in the morning, culminating with the Women’s Pro and Men’s Pro races in the afternoon. Sunday (May 21) will see the return of the Seventh Annual Governor’s Ride and the Sixth Annual Delaware Gran Fondo. Last year’s Gran Fondo attracted cyclists from 15 states and three countries by offering them a scenic tour through the Brandywine Valley and some of Delaware’s most-prized cultural attractions. Grand Prix -Men's Pro WGP 2014-9556

You do not have to be a cycling fan to enjoy Downtown Wilmington’s largest outdoor event. Visit website for more information and schedule. Enjoy lunch and watch the races with a table right on the course. This event is held rain or shine.

Location: Downtown Wilmington, 818 Market Street, Wilmington, DE 19801
Dates: May 19-21, 2017
Hours: May 19 – 5 pm—8 pm, May 20 – 11 am —5 pm, May 21 – 8 am —5 pm
Tel: 302-655-6483
wilmgrandprix.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitwilmingtonde.com

US: Skippers, VA – Good Earth Peanuts are Virginia Peanuts at their Best

Virginia grows the largest variety of peanuts in the world. The Good Earth Peanut Company ships Virginia peanuts fresh in a variety of forms: raw and cooked, in and out of the shell. Sitting right on a 1650’s Tuscarora Indian trail which is now a railroad junction, in an old time (circa 1854) general store, this family business roasts and sells peanuts.IMG_3539

Lindsey and Scott Vincent go beyond the ordinary nut to sell cashew brittle, wasabi flavored peas, nut berry thrill, diet trail mix, cracked pepper and sea salt peanuts, chocolate covered peanut brittle (Sandra’s favorite) and maple covered nuts, as well as pecans like key lime ones (we’re addicted to the butter toasted pecans in our salads).

There are FREE tastes of the 36 or so salty and sweet treats. We’ll take the dark chocolate
covered cherries. Some groceries still line the walls, like McCutcheon’s preserves and Virginia hams.IMG_3538

You’ve gotta stop here, you won’t be disappointed, the quality and the assortment are amazing. You can even order them on-line and have them shipped to you. They will  include information about the history of peanuts, also known as goobers and groundnuts, and how peanuts are grown.  WARNING: These products are addictive!

Location: The Good Earth Peanut Company,  5334 Skippers Road, Skippers, Va 23879
Hours: Mon – Fri 8-6pm, Sat 9-4pm
Tel: 1-800-643-1695
goodearthpeanuts.com

Canada – Winter Break Idea: See Wildlife Up Close in Canadian Safari at Parc Omega

If  you’re in the Montreal or Ottawa area,  you are only 1 1/2 hours away from an exciting safari adventure. Parc Omega is the perfect day outing for kids (and folks) of all ages. It’s an 800 hectare park where the animals roam free and you are “caged” in your car. It’s such an easy drive to be able to come face to face with Canadian wildlife: reindeer, elk, arctic wolf and fox, bison, musk ox, turkey, boar, coyote, black bear, and many kinds of deer.IMG_0362

Along a 12-kilometere safari nature route which takes you past lakes, meadows, small valleys, forests and rocky hills, you meander at your own pace. You can pick up bag of carrots at the visitor center (or bring your own), and as you slowly make your way through, you are allowed to open the windows to feed the wildlife. Kids are thrilled that they do not have to be in their car seats here and can flit from side to side of the vehicle to say hello to the animals.

You tune your radio to a station which fills you in on all sorts of information about the species you will be seeing.

  • We learned which males are good daddies and stay around to raise the youngsters and which ones only show up for mating season.
  • I never knew that the musk oxen’s heads are strong as hammers and they butt and knock everything down. Their quarters are specially built to withstand their strength.IMG_5699
  •  You pass by low slung “condos” for boars designed to keep the big predators out.
  • Coming here in winter gives you the opportunity to see how the arctic fox blends into the snowscape.

About 2/3 through, there’s a place to stop,  get out to stretch legs and visit some wooden buildings for bathrooms, gifts, food and hot cocoa. Friendly deer are in the parking area to get a snack too – those carrots – buy lots.

This is one experience that all Canadian families should take advantage of. It’s not only educational and fun, but will bring lasting memories for the whole family.IMG_0369

Location: Parc Omega is a safari park in Notre-Dame-de-Bonsecours, Quebec, Canada
Address: 399 Route 323 North, Montebello, QC J0V 1L0 Click for map Google Map

Phone: (819) 423-5487
www.parcomega.ca

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US: Portland, ME – Take in the Beauty of Autumn With a Ride Aboard the Pumpkin Train

Autumn is a beautiful time of year on the coast of Maine. Enjoy the season with a visit to the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum and a ride aboard the Pumpkin Train.

Children can explore the museum , which offers a children’s play area with train tables, coloring activities, dress-up like a conductor, and child-size train station and train to climb in and the featured activity where you can paint a miniature pumpkin to bring home as a souvenir to commemorate the day.

All visitors are treated to complimentary hot cider and cookies as they travel along Portland’s waterfront. The train ride lasts approximately 40 minutes and travels 1.5 miles (3 miles round trip).  Train crew and/or museum docents are  aboard with historical and site information and providing a narrative throughout the ride. Both open air cars and enclosed cars are available.pumpkin-train-ride

Celebrate the beauty of autumn with a ride aboard the Pumpkin Train. It’s fun for the whole family and even family-friendly pets on a leash are welcome to this leisurely way to enjoy the scenic Eastern Promenade of Casco Bay. Trains operates rain or shine.

Location: Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. & Museum,
58 Fore Street, Portland, ME 04101
Dates: Oct 22nd & 23rd, Oct 29th & 30th
Time: 9:30 am – 4:00 pm, Trains on the hour 10am-3pm
Tel: 207-828-0814
mainenarrowgauge.org/pumpkin-train
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitportland.com