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US: Pooler, GA – Get Ready to Get Dirty: Mud, Obstacles and Fun

This is more than just a mud run it’s the biggest, baddest, muddiest party in town. This year’s  MudFest race will be 5 miles or 5 kilometers of mud and obstacles, each year is bigger and better, runners will face some new challenges, more surprises, twists, turns and of course more MUD than ever.Mud Fest SlideLO RES

The JCB MudFest is designed for and geared toward having fun, getting muddy, and getting your heartbeat up. There will be some serious mud pits to slosh through, some other man-made, and natural obstacles to conquer. Parts of the lake may be over 6 feet deep. There will be ropes and other tricky ways to get across and there’s always ways to go around any obstacle including the lake.

The Mud Run race starts in waves. Approximately 25 teams go at a time, with a 3 minute lag between each wave. Parking is free so come out and support the participants and the cause. When you’re running with an extra 10 pounds of mud on your shoes it’s appreciated to have people cheering you on from the sidelines. Mudfest WaterJCB 7 Lo

The Post Race Party begins as soon as the first teams finish in the Party Pit, where you can watch the finish and enjoy food and drinks that are included for race participants as part of the registration fee. If you’re planning on just watching all of the action, you can partake in the frosty beverages and delectable food for a $10 donation to The Lady Bamford Center.

Highlights include: Each participant receives a custom t-shirt, Over 30+ epic obstacles, access into the Party Pit, professional race photos, live chip timed results, Free Beer for those 21+, overall & age division awards, live music following the event, Free post-race food and drink.Mudfest MudJCB 9 lo re

Schedule:  (Subject to Change)
6:30AM: Packet Pickup & Late Registration Opens
7:15AM: Costume Contest @ JCB Events Trailer
7:50AM: Kiddie Muddobbers Mud Run @ Finish line (FREE)
8:00AM-8:20AM: Mudfest 5k & 5 Mile Competitive Waves #1-#5 Start (5 minute increments)
8:25AM-9:30AM: Mudfest 5k & 5 Mile Recreational Waves #6-#19 Start (5 minute increments)
8:05AM: Party Pit Music Starts
8:30AM: Food and Beverage Vendors Open
12:00PM: Awards Ceremony

Location: JCB North American Headquarters, 2000 Bamford Blvd, Pooler, GA 31322
Date: Sat, June 17, 2017
Hours: 7:15am – 12:30pm
Tel: 912-447-2000
jcbmudfest.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitsavannah.com

US: Folkston, GA – Canoe, Kayak, or Boat the Black Waters of the Okefenokee Swamp

Nature enthusiasts will relish the natural unspoiled and virtually unmarked by man Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge that was established in 1937 to preserve the Okefenokee Swamp. The refuge encompasses over 400,000 acres of canals, moss draped cypress trees and lily pads which provide sanctuaries for hundreds of species of birds and wildlife.Kayakers on canal

Okefenokee has the great distinction of not only being a part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, but also the National Wilderness Preservation System. Swamp habitats comprise open wet “prairies,” cypress forests, scrub-shrub vegetation, upland islands, and open lakes. Wildlife species include wading birds, ducks, alligators and other reptiles, a variety of amphibians, bobcats, raptors, white-tailed deer, black bears, and songbirds.

To assist you on your exploration, Okefenokee Adventures offers a full range of tour options and is located inside the refuge on the historic Suwannee Canal.  Canoe, kayak, or boat the mirrored black waters of the Okefenokee Swamp: You can join a regularly scheduled 90 minute guided boat tours, or reserve a 2 hour sunset tour or arrange a half or full day private excursion with an expert, professional guide. Their staff includes well-known authorities on alligator biology, wetland ecology, and Okefenokee cultural history. gator on log

Experience canoe camping in the back-country wilderness of the Swamp interior, or head out on your own in a canoe or kayak. You can bike or drive the Swamp Island Drive, visit an authentic Swamp homestead or walk the nature trails and boardwalk and  get bird’s eye views of the swamp from atop the observation tower.

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Location: Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, 2700 Suwanee Canal Rd, Folkston, GA 31537 , Tel: 912-496-7836 or 877-860-6787

Location: Okefenokee Adventures, 4159 Suwannee Canal Rd., Folkston, GA 31537
Hours: Open: ½-hour before sunrise every day,
Closed: 7:30pm – March 1 through Oct 31, Closed: 5:30pm – Nov 1 through end of Feb
Tel: 912-496-7156, 866-843-7926
okefenokeeadventures.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitkingsland.com

US: Florence, SC – Play Me, I’m Yours – Brings Pianos and Music to Florence Streets

Florence - Play Me I'm Yours

Florence, SC Exit 160: No, you’re not seeing things, those randomly placed pianos throughout Florence are part of Play Me, I’m Yours, an initiative of a worldwide street piano project, geared to interconnect people in the community by “expressing themselves”  by bringing pianos to the people and music to the streets.Play Me, I'm Yours -Man

Dozens of Pianos will be located all over Florence and Lake City, and will remain available until May 7, positioned for everyone to play and enjoy on streets, in parks, squares, markets and other public places. Play Me, I’m Yours invites the public to engage with, participate and take ownership of their urban environment. Decorated and personalized by local artists and community groups, the street pianos create a place of exchange and an opportunity for people to connect.Play Me, I'm Yours - Woman

Touring internationally since 2008, Play Me, I’m Yours was created by British artist Luke Jerram. More than 1500 pianos have now been installed in over 50 cities across the globe, from London to Lima, bearing the simple invitation Play Me, I’m Yours. The project has already reached more than ten million people worldwide.

An opening-night festival will be held April 21 in the Willcox Plaza on West Evans Street. The event will include a dueling pianist team and a “Paint a Piano” tent for young artists. Don’t miss the featured noon concerts on various instruments by local pianists.Play Me, I'm Yours -Crowd

Location: Florence, SC
Date: Fri, April 21 – Sun, May 7, 2017
Tel: 843-260-6210
streetpianos.com/florence2017
For Regional accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitflo.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: Fort Lauderdale, FL – It’s 12 Miles of the “Greatest Show on H20”

Christmas is that special time of year when winterfest-parade-fireworkslights illuminate the night sky. In South Florida, they have an annual tradition of the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel Winterfest Boat Parade where privately owned boats and yachts take over the intracoastal waterway and display all of their Christmas glory.

The Boat Parade sets sail for 12 miles starting in downtown Fort Lauderdale heading North to Lake Santa Barbara in Pompano Beach. Approximately one million spectators view the parade, along with millions more via television and the internet, bringing national and international recognition to South Florida. The event is the Top 20th Parade in the World and considered the Greatest Show on H2O.

Private boats to the giant showboats and corporate mega yachts will be adorned winterfest-parade-boatswith hundreds of thousands of lights, music, entertainment, decorations, celebrities, musical groups, beauty queens and many other exciting entries. Parade highlights: Grand Marshal Showboat, Galleria Mall Reindeer Barge and the Santa Showboat.

Fun, Family entertainment. Free admission along the Rwinterfest-boat-parade-logo2iverwalk.

Parade Route: Downtown Fort Lauderdale on the New River, heading East to the Intracoastal then North to Pompano Beach
Date: Saturday, December 10, 2016
Time: 6:30PM to 11:00PM
Tel: 954-7670-0686
WinterfestParade.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: sunny.org

Canada: Doggie Off Leash Vacation in Quebec

At Domaine Summum in Quebec, they believe that your furry best friends should be free, to be able to enjoy life with you. So they can  run, bark, romp and roll throughout their hiking trails, and jump, splash and swim in their private lake.Molly

Besides the pristine  lake. there’s 200 acres of forest, with trails everywhere. Chalets are spotlessly clean and are well-equipped with a complete kitchen, grill, and a fire pit. You can order delicious frozen ready homemade meals prepared by their “Top Chef”.

The chalets are near Mont Tremblant Village and St-Jovite so that adds options for dining, hiking, golf, mountain biking and any number of other activities.

The owners love dogs (they are breeders of Bernese Mountain dogs) and understand what you need to have a great vacation with your pet running and barking, leash-free!

– No size restriction
– No breed restriction
– No extra fee for 2 dogs
– Pets can be left alone in the room ( without having to be in a crate )
– On site SPAWS (B&B for dogs)
– Special A La Bark menu for your pet
– On site Tail Waggin’ Day Camp

www.domainesummum.com

US: 19th Century Seaport in Connecticut

CT: Exit 90 on I-95: Mystic Seaport – Step back in time in this 19th century maritime village offering you everything from tall ships to boarding the very last wooden whaling ship.

See a scale model of the area in 1870, figureheads from the bows of ships, a planetarium, a visitors’ gallery overlooking  restoration when in progress and the world’s largest collection of nautical photography.

The permanent seafaring exhibit covers immigrants, traders, explorers, fishermen, artists and vacationers on oceans, lakes and rivers. Try to catch the “man overboard” or “dead horse ceremony” aboard a sailing ship, and leave time for the large museum and fabulous gift shop. Your second day is FREE

Location: 75 Greenmanville Ave, Mystic, CT
Hours:  Apr-Oct 9-5, Nov-Jan 2 & Feb 16-Mar 30 Th-Sun 10-4
Tel: 888-9seaport  (888-973-2767) or 860-572-0711
www.mysticseaport.org