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US: Florence, SC – Go Nuts for Pecans in Florence and Snag some Free Swag

April is National Pecan month so why not celebrate by following a culinary trail dedicated to the pecan.

Julie Belle's - White Russian Pecan PieFlorence is home to the South Carolina Pecan Trail, showcasing 17 local restaurants and specialty shops offering pecan dishes or products, putting pecans in the spotlight. From pecan-encrusted grouper to pecan pie martinis, those venturing on the trail will experience a variety of originality.Rebel Pie - Danish Pizza

Pick up a passport at the visitors center, 3290 W. Radio Drive, or any of the participating restaurants to start the journey. Earn a stamp in the passport by feasting on the featured pecan item at each establishment.

Pecan Pie Martini - Victors

Return your passport to the Visitors Center in person or by mail for some sweet Pecan Trail swag. Show up with four stamps, and receive a charming metal nutcracker. Eight stamps will get you a drawstring bag and the nutcracker. Present a fully stamped passport and  walk away with a T-shirt, drawstring bag and the nutcracker. SC Pecan Trail

 

Get your stamps and enjoy tasty pecan offerings at these restaurants and specialty shops:

Block and Vino: Seasonal praline pecan cheesecake; candied pecan brie-stuffed chicken

Clay Pot Coffee Shop: Signature BIG cookie: Southern Maple Pecan Oatmeal Cookie

Dolce Vita: Double chocolate chip pecan muffin

Freeman’s Bakery: Assortment of baked goods, including cakes, Danish pastries

Julian Belle’s: White Russian pecan pie

The Library: Bourbon pecan pie

Rebel Pie Wood-fired Pizza: Danish pizza

Red Bone Alley: Chicken salad with pecans; apple crisp; chocolate chip cookie pie

Seminar Brewing: Pecans Gone Wild smoked brown ale

Struttin’ Turkey: Turkey salad with cranberries and pecans

Top Hat Special-Teas: Top Hat Pecan Scones

Town Hall: Braised oxtail ravioli, local sweet potato puree, espelette-spiced pecans and sage oil

Tubb’s Shrimp and Fish Co.: Sweet potato cheesecake

Venus Restaurant and Catering: Pecan (Belgian) waffle, Southern pecan pancakes

Victors: Pecan pie martini

Wholly Smokin’: Goat cheese salad, features warm goat cheese patty encrusted with local pecans

Young Plantations: Variety of flavored pecans

Location: Visitor Information Center, 3290 W. Radio Drive, Florence Center Upper Level, Florence, SC 29501
Time: Daily 9am – 5pm
Tel: 800-325-9005
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: Manassas, VA – Runners Shake Tail Feathers at Prince William 5k Turkey Trot

The Prince William 5k Turkey Trot and 1 Mile Fun Run is a family friendly and festive celebration of Thanksgiving Day.  The race theme  being: “Trot, Eat, Sleep!” These high energy amusing races highlight Prince William County as a healthy, fun, and active community.prince-william-turkey-trot

Participants are encouraged to wear their best Thanksgiving themed gear: Pilgrim, Pocahontas, Turkey, Pie, Native American and Colonial. This event will be full of festivities and most importantly tons of fun including music, best costume awards, and a chance to win a Golden Ticket: All runners receive a FRR finish line envelope, the random Golden Ticket awards – “Willy Wonka” style–  featuring a mystery gift.
Top 5 men and women receive Running Store Gift Cards – $100/$75/$50/$25/$25.
100 pumpkin pie Duck Donuts are randomly given to 100 lucky race finishers.

1 Mile Fun Run/Walk: The one mile fun run-walk is a low key non-timed event. The 1 mile race is geared toward the youth, however, runners of all ages and abilities are welcome and beginners are encourage to attend.prince-william-turkey-run2

Stay Warm! The Freedom Aquatic & Fitness Center has graciously opened its facility so participants and spectators can stay ‘warm’ both pre and post-race. A DJ will play music from 8:00-10:30.

Location: Freedom Aquatics & Fitness Center, 9100 Freedom Center Blvd., Manassas, VA 20110
Date: Sat,  Nov 26, 2016
Time: 8:30 a.m. Prince William Turkey Trot 5K , 9:30 a.m. 1 Mile Run/Walk
funrunracing.com/the-pw-5k-turkey-trot
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: discoverpwm.com

US: Columbia, MD – Stop for a Broadway Show in Columbia

Wow. Instead of a night with the boob tube while you travel, why not get energized by a  live musical production. Located in the heart of Columbia, Toby’s Dinner Theatre offers award-winning Broadway and original musicals with a tasty buffet-style dinner.

The featured production is Sister Act: A woman hiding in a convent helps her fellow sisters find their voices as she rediscovers her own. Sister Act is the feel-amazing musical comedy based on the smash hit 1992 film that has audiences jumping to their feet. Featuring original music by TONY and 8-time Oscar winner Alan Menken (Newsies, Beauty and the Beast, Little Shop of Horrors), this uplifting musical was nominated for 5 TONY Awards including Best Musical. A sparkling tribute to the universal power of friendship, Sister Act is a reason to REJOICE! sister-act-tobys-dinner-theatre

The quality of the performance would make New York proud.  The dinner buffet offers: turkey, ham, baked fish, chicken, roast beef, onion/pepper mashies, spinach phunque, fresh salad bar and “Make-your-own” ice cream Sundae bar for dessert. Keep an eye on your servers, for they become the performers.

Location: Toby’s Dinner Theatre,5900 Symphony Woods Rd, Columbia, MD 21044
Dates:  running until Nov 13, 2016 (Tues – Sun)
Hours: Tues – Sat Evening – Doors open 6pm, Buffet Served 6:15-7:30, show starts 8pm, Sunday Evening – Doors open 5pm, Buffet Served 5:15-6:30, show starts 7pm
Wed & Sun Matinee Brunch Doors open 10:30am, Buffet 10:30-11:50,  Matinee 12:30
Tel: 1-800-888-6297
tobysdinnertheatre.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visithowardcounty.com

US: St Marys, GA – Wild Horses Graze on Georgia’s Cumberland Island

A short ferry ride transports you to the treasured, pristine Cumberland Island National Seashore, the largest and southernmost barrier island in Georgia, offering visitors over 17 miles of secluded, white, sandy beaches.

Preserved and protected for future generations, Cumberland Island National Seashore includes a designated wilderness area, undeveloped beaches, historic sites, cultural ruins, critical habitat and nesting areas. Walk on the footsteps of early natives, explorers, and wealthy industrialists.wild-horses-cumberland-island

You can’t explain Cumberland, you experience it. Time moves to the rhythm of nature. On this National Seashore, it is the animals that are the inhabitants and people are only visitors. The majestic sweep of deserted sandy beach is dotted with shells and usually deserted, except for the wild horses roaming at will. The dramatic slope of the dunes is a constant work in progress, sculptured by the wind and sea. The inland’s, majestic live oak and palmetto forests provide shelter for the horses, deer, turkey, alligator, armadillo, mink and a tremendous variety of coastal birds.

You’ll find campsites, hiking trails and first-come-first-serve bike rentals on the island. There are no amenities on the island beyond the restrooms and water fountains. You should bring lunch and water bottles to refill.

The visitor’s center in St. Mary’s, Georgia is the gateway to Cumberland Island. Here you can get tickets for the ferry over to the Island, as well as information about camping permits on the Island.

Location:Mainland Visitor Center, 113 Saint Marys St, GA 31558
Hours: Visitor Center  8 – 4 pm
Tel: 912-882-4335
nps.gov/cuis/index.htm
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions:
visitkingsland.com

US: St. Marys, GA – Wild Horses Graze on Georgia’s Cumberland Island

A short ferry ride (passengers only) transports you to the treasured, pristine Cumberland Island National Seashore, the largest and southernmost barrier island in Georgia, offering visitors over 17 miles of secluded, white, sandy beaches.

Preserved and protected for future generations, Cumberland Island National Seashore includes a designated wilderness area, undeveloped beaches, historic sites, cultural ruins, critical habitat and nesting areas. Walk on the footsteps of early natives, explorers, and wealthy industrialists.

You can’t explain Cumberland, you experience it. Time moves to the rhythm of nature. On this National Seashore, it is the animals that are the inhabitants and people are only visitors. The majestic sweep of deserted sandy beach is dotted with shells and usually deserted, except for the wild horses roaming at will. The dramatic slope of the dunes is a constant work in progress, sculptured by the wind and sea. The inland’s, majestic live oak and palmetto forests provide shelter for the horses, deer, turkey, alligator, armadillo, mink and a tremendous variety of coastal birds.

You’ll find campsites, hiking trails and first-come-first-serve bike rentals on the island. There are no amenities on the island beyond the restrooms and water fountains. You should bring lunch and water bottles to refill.

The visitor’s center in St. Mary’s, Georgia is the gateway to Cumberland Island. Here you can get tickets for the ferry over to the Island, as well as information about camping permits on the Island. Wild Horses - Cumberland Island

Location:Mainland Visitor Center, 113 Saint Marys St, GA 31558
Hours: Visitor Center  8 – 4 pm
Tel: 912-882-4335
nps.gov/cuis/index.htm
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions:
visitkingsland.com

FL: Frog’s Leg Festival

In Fellsmere FL the annual town fair has the usual hotdogs, fried dough, turkey legs and candy apples  but here the main feature is the frog leg and gator tail dinners.  There’s rides, games, and stage entertainment: rock, country and blues bands. For those that enjoy browsing and shopping they also have about 100 booths of crafts. There is a free shuttle bus that will take you from Mesa Park to the festival.kissfrogcropped lifesafrog

 

 

 
Location: Exit 156, go west about 3 miles until you see the traffic and signage
Hours: Jan 19: 10-11, Jan 20: 11-6
Frog Leg & Gator Tail Dinner Hours: Sat 11-9, Sun 11-6

fellesmeremap
(click to enlarge)