Alaska Bucket List Trip

Day 3 – September 3 (Seward)

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View from Resurrection Roadhouse at Windsong Lodge

Awoke to the wonderful sounds of nature. I have to take a moment here to express that absolutely nothing can prepare one properly for the grandeur and scope that is Alaska. Even when one is traveling through it or looking out the window experiencing it, it’s impossible to comprehend the vastness. The trees are taller and denser than any I’ve ever encountered before, even those in areas where civilization has intruded enough to build.

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View from the parking lot at Resurrection Roadhouse at Windsong Lodge

We had breakfast at the Roadhouse and boarded the shuttle for the trip to the harbor for our Kenai Fjords cruise. Let me preface by saying that the weather was so bad the day before that all of the cruises had been either cancelled or limited to Resurrection Bay. We were scheduled to go out into the Gulf of Alaska as part of our 6-hour tour (cue Gilligan’s Island theme) of Kenai Fjords National Park.

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“Our” Major Marine Tours Catamaran

The Major Marine Tours boat was a catamaran, so I felt certain that the cruise would be as smooth as possible. Our all-female crew was wonderful. Our guide was a U.S. Park Ranger – Ranger Dan. Ranger Dan was originally from Sandy Springs, Georgia (not far from where we used to live). The ride out in the bay was breathtaking. We went past Bear Glacier, where it looked as if an immense vehicle had driven down it. Those areas of dark are called moraines. We passed some water caves and lone standing rocks that reminded me greatly of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in the Pictured Rocks area.

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Bear Glacier and Moraines (for size reference, notice full-size boat in front of glacier)

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Standing Rocks Reminiscent of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

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Giant Cave

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Could not BELIEVE someone was out on a Jet Ski (It was very chilly!)

Not far past the rocks, we entered the Gulf of Alaska and happened upon a pod of Orca. There were several adults and a few juveniles. While not nearly as rough as the previous day, there was plenty of rocking and rolling while the ship cut its engines to drift and watch the orca. We stayed as stationary as possible considering the seas for quite a while. Sadly, this took quite a toll on many of our shipmates.

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Adult and Playing Juvenile Orcas

When Captain Kayleigh started the boat back up and headed toward Aialik Bay and Glacier, it was not a moment too soon. Even though I’d taken Bonine (a motion sickness medication), that rocking with the diesel fumes had gotten to me. As we pulled close to the Aialik Glacier, there was a tremendous explosion sound and then intense thunder as the great glacier calved. I’m so glad I was able to see this intense, natural phenomenon. As I was trying to see the Harbor Seals up along the edge of the by, the glacier calved yet again.

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Aialik Glacier in Aialik Bay

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Aialik Glacier Calving (note spray from splash)

 

All through the bay, there were small icebergs from the glacier “calves.” The crew managed to fish one of these out of the bay, clean it off, and shatter it into drink-sized pieces. Jim got a glacier margarita. I was still feeling a bit green, so I abstained from that and the “buffet” lunch.

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Harbor Seals at Aialik Glacier (note icebergs from recent calving behind them)

The trip back was quite a bit smoother as the boat was going with the current and waves instead of against it. I also think that the sea had extracted its toll on us so was kinder to us on the return. As we went through the passages in the Channel Islands, we were able to see flocks of puffins (both Horned and Tufted) in the wild. We also saw Sooty Shearwaters and Black-legged Kittiwakes. On the rocks was a huge colony of huge Stellar Sea lions. Most of the trip the sky had cleared greatly and these immense mammals were sunbathing and taking in the warmth. When we passed the area where we had seen the orca on the way out, we found they were still there and even more visible. Luckily though, we had very little time left on the tour, so the Captain and crew made for the harbor after only a short stop.

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Black-legged Kittiwake in foreground – Horned & Tufted Puffins behind

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Large Colony of Stellar Sea Lions (basking in the sun which finally came out)

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Four of the Pod of Orcas

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Ranger Dan Holding Map of Our Route (and all the wildlife seen)

Once back on dry land, I felt a whole lot better and we scouted for someplace to grab a bite and a cocktail. Right next to the boat harbor is Ray’s Waterfront. Our shuttle driver had recommended the place – and it was close, so we gave it a try. I’m very glad we did. The service was a bit awkward, but the bourbon was good and the macadamia-crusted halibut, with coconut curry rice and sauce was very good – actually, one of the better meals on the trip.

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Ray’s Waterfront (picture from Pintrest)

We stopped across the street and bought a pint bottle of Maker’s Mark. (Have I mentioned that everything in Alaska is quite a bit more expensive than in the lower 48? Just getting products into Alaska is way more expensive, so they pass that along in pricing.) The clerk had to see BOTH of our licenses – out of the wallets. Now, y’all know how old we are. I guess a rule is a rule and he could get fired if he didn’t require us to pull out our id, but really?

We caught the last scheduled shuttle of the evening and headed back to the lodge. After a quick nightcap, we headed for bed. It was a very long day, but one not easily forgotten.

Alaska Bucket List Trip

Day 2 – September 2 (Anchorage to Seward)

Another EARLY start. We needed to be at the Anchorage Railroad Depot at 5:45 a.m. As our bodies were still on Eastern time, this wasn’t as hard as it sounds (there’s a 4-hour time difference). The depot, though, really isn’t set up for the onslaught of humanity that come to board the Alaskan Railroad trains. There are very few seats in the depot and there were hundreds of passengers (mostly older). That said, we were given our “GoldStar” pins (again, we splurged for top-of-the-line travel in the GoldStar Dome) and sent to the front of the train to find our car.

After climbing a very tight, spiral staircase, we found our seats in a beautiful train car with huge, picture windows. The perks of riding in the top-of-the-line compartment is that you get a meal and two “adult beverages,” as well as unlimited coffee, tea and soft drinks. As a heads-up, the bartenders on Alaska Railroad make a mean Bloody Mary!

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Jim on a Train = Happy Man

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Me on a Train = Tired!

The weather was still not cooperating as far as being sunny or clear and there were still a number of large wild fires in the area. I must say, however, that the scenery is matchless! The entire trip was one beautiful vista after another. I saw my first moose from the train just as we were leaving Anchorage. It was walking down a residential street in a subdivision. As the train move on toward Seward, we were hoping to see more birds and animals in the Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge, but the tide was out in the Turnagain Arm (a body of water with the world’s second highest tides at over 30 feet) so no Beluga whales or much wildlife.

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Leaving Anchorage

 

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Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge

 

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Glacial River Between Anchorage & Seward

 

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One of the Myriad of Waterfalls Between Anchorage & Seward

We went past Spencer Glacier, Bartlett Glacier and through Grandview Pass. Jim took a great shot as the train headed through the Pass. There was an area in the very back of the train car which was open and it afforded some very good shots of glaciers as we passed. It was a little to “breezy” for me, but Jim loved it. Of course, you put Jim on a train and he’s completely happy.

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Alaska Railroad @Grandview Pass – Photo by Jim Pappas

As soon as we were pulling into the Seward depot, I could see the shuttles for the Seward Windsong Lodge. One was, obviously, a baggage truck and the other our passenger shuttle. From the time we left our bags at the depot in Anchorage, we didn’t see them again until they were delivered to our door at the Windsong Lodge. The efficiency of the tourist programs in Alaska is without reproach! I cannot commend Alaska Tour and Travel highly enough. Throughout the entire trip, our rooms were ready, our excursions had us booked properly, and we didn’t have to worry about transfers or anything. Definitely, the way to go!

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Seward Windsong Lodge

Check-in time at the Seward Windsong Lodge (3 p.m.) is strictly adhered to at the Lodge and, since we had arrived before noon, we had several hours to kill.

We had passes to Alaska SeaLife Center which is down on the Seward Harbor, so we hopped on the shuttle. The shuttle made a stop right outside the SeaLife Center. If you ever get to Seward, this is a great attraction. You can spend a few minutes – or a few hours. The cost of admission helps their mission. From their website: “The Alaska SeaLife Center is the only facility in Alaska that combines a public aquarium with marine research, education, and wildlife response.

While primarily dedicated to marine research and education, the nonprofit Center is the only permanent marine mammal rescue and rehabilitation facility in the state.”

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Spotted Seal in for Rehabilitation

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Horned Puffins @Alaska SeaLife Center

We were really looking forward to seeing the sea birds. We got our first-ever looks at Harlequin Ducks, Common Murres, King Eiders, Pigeon Guillemots, endangered Spectacled Eider, and (of course) the stars of the show, the puffins (Horned and Tufted)! I could have watched these amazing creatures for hours as they flew through the water. They can dive to amazing depths and hold their breath for an astoundingly long time.

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Horned Puffin Chilling

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Tufted Puffin

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Tufted Puffin Playing

After a couple of hours, we returned to the Windsong Lodge to get checked in. The property reminded me of the wonderful lodges in the Smoky Mountains or even Switzerland. There were several buildings with roughly 8 rooms (4 up and 4 down) in each nestled into great woods. We opened the window to the sounds of red squirrels, birds, water from a recent rain dripping from the leaves and needles, and wind.

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Seward Windsong Lodge – Poppy

The Resurrection Roadhouse (on the Resurrection River) is located on the grounds of the Windsong Lodge. It consists of a restaurant area and a lounge. The lounge didn’t open until 5, so we opted for a late lunch/early dinner. Again, while the food was filling it wasn’t a stand out. I was a bit disappointed in the crab cakes because I figured (being Alaska) there would be mostly crab. Figured wrong. I WILL say, however, that the Bourbon Mule (a cross between a julep and a mule – mint and ginger beer) was outstanding. I might be beginning to see a theme here.

Resurrection Roadhouse

Photo from TripAdvisor – Weather Was NOT This Nice for Us

Alaska Bucket List Trip – Day 1

Day 1 (Detroit to Anchorage)

The day started early. We woke up at our normal weekday time of 4:30 a.m. The house seemed eerily quiet without our beloved dogs. It was just as well that we had much to do to get the airport. Luckily, our check-in and flights went like clockwork. That, in itself, is amazing. We flew from Detroit to Seattle (about a 5-hour flight), and then from Seattle to Anchorage (approximately 4 hours). I have to admit I am now spoiled for flying. We splurged and bought first-class seats for the entire trip. I guess I never realized how much nicer everything is when flying first-class. Most of both trips were cloudy, but I did manage to snap a couple of photos of Mt. Rainier with my cellphone.

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The wait for the shuttle from the airport in Anchorage was a little long, but not bad. Actually, it was the only transportation on the entire trip that was less than on-the-dot precise. The shuttle driver was very nice and took us to the Clarion which was comfortable and not in the middle of any hub-bub. We got a kick out of the brass sign on the front door warning people that moose DO frequently walk through the area and the parking lot so do not approach them or get out of the hotel or car when they are there.

Since we were pretty well exhausted from the travel and there really wasn’t anything pressing in Anchorage, we walked to Humpy’s Great Alaskan Alehouse to get something to eat. I have to say that the food was just meh, but the beer was very good. Except for a couple of occasions, this was to be true for the entire trip.

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Bourbon School

Bourbon School

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Being a Kentucky-bred, it’s only natural that I would have an affinity to two things – horses (and those of you who have read my blog over the years know that this is true of me) and bourbon. I’ve said before that I suspect that the first inoculation given at birth in Kentucky involves the development of love for horses and bourbon. While it seems that the love of the equine was immediate, the appreciation of bourbon took some time to acquire.

My heritage (as I have recently learned) is Scottish, and Scotch whiskey was the first brown liquor I developed a taste for. Part of my college education was in London, England where I learned to drink Scotch. It was an integral part of my education.

 displayBlanton’s Stoppers

It wasn’t until I was in my very early thirties that I decided it was time to learn more about bourbon. I was so incredibly lucky that my first foray into bourbon was on a recently-introduced, single-barrel bourbon called Blanton’s. Why was I drawn to this particular bourbon? Take a look at the bottle. Seriously! It was the horse and jockey.

Since both my husband and I have ties to Kentucky, we became very interested in the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. For those who haven’t previously heard of it, the Kentucky Bourbon Trail is a program of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association to promote the bourbon industry in Kentucky. (More about the Bourbon Trail – but keep it brief as it will be in a later post.)

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In early April, Woodford Reserve in Versailles, Kentucky held its “Bourbon Academy.”

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The Official Bourbon of the Kentucky Derby

Master distiller, Chris Morris, was the professor and there were roughly 30 eager pupils.

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Master Distiller Chris Morris

First, we learned a little about the history of Woodford Reserve. It was originally known as Old Oscar Pepper Distillery, but they began distilling whiskey in 1780 on the banks of a glorious stream. The water is so clear and so pure due to the limestone, it was a natural location to start distilling. The distillery building was erected on site in 1838. It is actually the oldest of all the distilleries in the area, although it was closed for quite a while. Brown-Forman bought the property in 1993 and refurbished it to bring it back into operation. The Woodford Reserve brand was introduced to the market in 1996.

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THIS is the water that makes Kentucky Bourbon GREAT!

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Oldest Building on Woodford grounds – with the barrel delivery system

We started out, by learning about charring the barrels. The amount of char on the inside of new, American white oak barrels is critical to the taste and quality of the bourbon which comes out. We did our own “char” by building a fire inside a barrel. It was a little too windy, but the visual was sufficient to give a greater understanding of how many different levels there are in making a really top-notch bourbon.

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Young Mash – Tastes like Breakfast Cereal

We got to stick our fingers into the developing sour mash. It was amazing the difference in the tastes between the new mash (like a bland breakfast cereal) and the final vat (seriously getting sour and looking on top like someone’s pizza). We saw the gorgeous copper stills and learned about how the process of successive distillations makes the clearest, highest quality distillate. Notice, I didn’t call it bourbon yet. At the point where it comes out of the still, it is just alcohol – or “white dog.” It’s the aging in the oak barrels that turns pure alcohol into bourbon and gives it all those marvelous flavor notes.

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Aged Mash (almost ready for distillation)

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One of Woodford Reserve’s Famous Copper Stills

We learned all about the flavor wheel in an exercise, led by resident chef, Ouita Michel (a James Beard Award nominee). Who knew there were so many different flavors to discern in bourbon? We got to taste different nibbles of food paired with bourbon to see how the flavors changed. I had never thought about considering pairing food with bourbon and how different bourbons would go better with certain food items, but I sure learned a thing or two about that. I’m absolutely rethinking Thanksgiving dinner pairings. I think a good bourbon would pair beautifully with all the flavors in turkey and dressing. I absolutely know that bourbon and pecan pie are made for each other.

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The Woodford Reserve Flavor Wheel (Who knew?)

There was also an exercise about being able to recognize different scents in bourbon as well as taste. It was really nose-opening to smell a cotton ball in a glass with different esters on it and to try and discern what the smell was. One of the funniest responses was “my grandmother’s couch.”

We had an outstanding lunch and got to sample several different bourbons and Woodford’s bottled version of “white dog.” All of the bourbons were from Brown and Foreman’s stable of bourbons. Jim and I both favored Woodford’s Double Oaked – a relative newcomer to their offerings.

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All Related – Yet SO Different

Upon graduation, we each got our own bottles of Woodford’s flagship Reserve. These were very special bottles as they have our names and graduation dates etched right into the bottles. What a nice touch!

If you ever consider taking the one-day course, I would emphatically tell you to go for it.

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Such a Beautiful Place to Go to Class

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Getting “Social” in Lexington

Getting “Social” in Lexington

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Most of y’all know that I’m a born Kentuckian. I like to say that I was inoculated at birth with a love of horses and bourbon. I think that may be a requisite vaccination for all newborns in the Commonwealth, at least it appears that way. All I can tell you is that I have loved horses as long as I can remember, and acquiring a taste for brown, corn liquor came mighty easy.

Every year for my birthday, if at all possible, I sweet-talk my dear husband into a trip to the Bluegrass. That’s not a difficult task as he spent many, many summers in the state visiting his grandmother. Some of his happiest times were spent in my birth-state.

Earlier this year, we had visited and completed the Bourbon Trail (which I will write about in an upcoming blog), so this time it was totally about visiting horses, eating and drinking excellent food and bourbon, and visiting Wallins Creek (where Jim spent his summers) to take photos and gather information for his upcoming model train layout. (Can you see that there will be many different posts on all kinds of subjects in the offing?)

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Sunset in the Bluegrass

Our base of operations was Lexington. I never tire of Lexington. The area around Lexington is some of the most beautiful country anywhere in the world. Yes, I may be more than a bit biased, but I have been lucky to travel quite a bit and this is where I choose to come as often as humanly possible. Lexington is surrounded by farms housing the finest thoroughbred horses in the world and the very best distilleries are within a very short drive.

We arrived on my birthday, so we had made dinner reservations at Tonys of Lexington. We had lots of time before our reservation, so we wanted to enjoy a bourbon (or two) in a local bourbon bar. We’d heard about Bluegrass Tavern (with their 450 bourbons), and decided that we’d join the locals and see what 450 different bourbons even looked like. We arrived around 4:30 p.m., but they were inexplicably closed. Hmmm! What to do? Then we turned around and found Parlay Social on the corner right behind us. We decided to go in and cool off and see if they could fill the bourbon bill. (August is more than a little warm in Kentucky.)

“Social” is a great name for this place. We were greeted and made to feel right at home by the cutest bartender. Her name is Kristin, and she’s as nice, social, and informative as she is sweet. We had landed in just the exact right place to try out some bourbons that are, quite frankly, impossible to get in Michigan bars or restaurants.

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Kristin – Bartender Extraordinaire – Parlay Social (Check the bottle in foreground!)

Kristin handed us a list of all the options available and it just about made my head swim. There weren’t 450 listed, but there were enough fine options that we didn’t feel as though we missed a thing. They had options to try one or two ounces of some of the best and most sought-after bourbons in the world. Prices (as you can see) were anywhere from $5 all the way up to $112 for one single ounce of liquor. Extravagant? Darn tootin’! It was my birthday, though, so we decided to taste some of them. We shared, so each ounce became half-ounces each. (Wouldn’t want y’all to think we overdid it or anything!)

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Side #1 – Parlay Social Bourbon List

Our favorites were Eagle Rare 17-year and Pappy Van Winkle 15-year. I have to say, that if I had to choose one bourbon to drink (and cost was no factor) it would be the Pappy 15-year. It was, without a doubt, the best, most palatable, smoothest sipping bourbon I’ve ever had. Lord knows if the 20- and 23-year are any better, because we sure don’t. One day, I plan to save up so I can find out; but the leap between the 10-year (Old RIP Van Winkle) and the 15-year (Pappy Van Winkle) was like jumping to light speed in the Millennium Falcon.

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Side #2 – Parlay Social Bourbon List

As we were tasting some of these beautiful, brown liquors, the shift manager, Oliver, came out to see how we were doing. Again, we were made to feel right at home. Both he and Kristin gave us some suggestions as to places to visit in Lexington. When we told them we had reservations at Tonys, they both nodded and told us we would really enjoy our meals. In a later post, I’ll tell you more about Tonys and the wonderful dinner we enjoyed.

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Oliver – Shift Manager at Parlay Social

We actually went back to Parlay Social a couple of afternoons later to tell them what a wonderful meal we’d had, and to try out a couple more bourbons. It was like visiting with old friends. Funny, I know that they get all kinds of visitors and regulars on a daily basis, but we were remembered. That goes a very long way in making one feel welcome.

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Back bar at Parlay Social – Check out just SOME of the Bourbons

It’s a given that we will be back to Lexington in the very near future. It’s also a given that we will be visiting Parlay Social again, too.

 

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You CAN Go Home Again – Part 2

If you’re reading this in email or on Facebook, click on the title! It will take you directly to the blog (an easier viewing page.) If you’re already in my blog, WELCOME! (One more hint: If you click on any of the photos in the blog, they should open up in a browser window so you can get a better look!)

Unconquered!

Unconquered!

On day 2 of our trip to Tallahassee and my very belated true “homecoming,” we headed back to the stadium to get a better look at the marvel that now occupies the space where the structure I knew used to stand. I must say that this building is marvelous. There are wonderful statues around the exterior. I’ve already talked about the Bobby Bowden statue, but even more recognizable to the public (and deeply meaningful to those of us who went to school here) is the “Unconquered” statue of Osceola on Renegade. You’ll notice, I never fail to recognize Renegade in the same breath – he is, after all, a horse. During the day it is remarkable. At night, it’s an amazing sight to behold!

Unconquered at Night
From there we walked the entire circumference of the stadium. Immediately adjacent is the Dick Howser baseball facility. We stopped to admire the statues that are outside. One depicts a family of Native American Seminoles. It’s really beautiful. I love that my university never forgets who originally owned the land and who have graciously allowed us to use their tribal name.

Indigenous People (the Seminole)

Indigenous People (the Seminole)

Another of the wonderful statues is “Sportsmanship.” I can truly believe that Coach Bowden had some input as to that one. In his day, Coach was always sure to impress upon his team that while winning was exceedingly important, good sportsmanship was paramount.

Sportsmanship

Sportsmanship

Sportsmanship Statue - Close-up

Sportsmanship Statue – Close-up

There was a mandatory stop to photograph our Championship Wall. Wish we’d gone into the “sod cemetery,” but that will have to wait until my next homecoming trip. The photo below was taken by my friend, Julie Bauman, who I was thrilled to finally meet at the game. More on that in the next post.

Championship Wall

Championship Wall

Sod Cemetery Plaque Commemorating our 2013 Championship (Photo Credit to Julie Bauman)

Sod Cemetery Plaque Commemorating our 2013 Championship
(Photo Credit to Julie Bauman)

Our next stop was a visit to the Hall of Fame. As you walk through the doors, the first thing one sees are the three National Championship trophies – three gleaming crystal footballs. I have to say that, as a true-garnet Nole, the sight simultaneously brought tears to my eyes and a huge lump in my throat. They are a source of great pride for all alumni and fans. There are also banners showing achievements of those associated with Florida State University in all college athletic programs. Most notably there was a banner highlighting Jameis Winston’s Heisman Trophy award. (Unfortunately, the trophy, itself, was not on site.)

1993 National Championship #1

1993
National Championship #1

1999 National Championship #2

1999
National Championship #2

2013 National Championship #3

2013
National Championship #3

Jameis Winston's Heisman Trophy Win Banner

Jameis Winston’s Heisman Trophy Win Banner

As I stood in the middle of the hall, a familiar flash rushed by. My husband, Jim, saw him better than I. I only caught his flaming hair flying through the doors into one of the “off limits” areas. Red Lightning! Red is the now famous “ball boy.” Red has taken the job of ball boy to a whole new level. He is beloved by the whole team for his enthusiasm and dedication to the team. During games, you can see Red dashing up and down the sidelines. He performs his duties with such gusto and aplomb that he has become a celebrity of sorts. Red has also been known to wade into the fray to protect his players should difficulties break out. It seems that no Seminole or member of the opposition wants to tangle with our intrepid ball boy, so they back off. Seeing Red was an unexpected pleasure.

Red Lighting as He's Normally Seen

Red Lighting as He’s Normally Seen

Red with Jameis and the Heisman Trophy

Red with Jameis and the Heisman Trophy

We then walked through the athletics museum that is part of the Hall. I recognized members of the Hall of Fame. One I especially recognized was Ron Sellers (aka “Jingle Joints) who was until this year the FSU career record holder as a receiver. His accomplishments are even more spectacular considering he was limited to only 30 games due to the rules in place at the time. I had the pleasure of meeting Ron when he was a client of a firm I used to work for. What a fine gentleman.

Ron Sellers (aka Jingle Joints)

Ron Sellers
(aka Jingle Joints)

One of the displays that really meant a whole lot to me was the case that discussed the legacy of Osceola and Renegade. In the case are Renegade #1’s blanket and bridle along with Osceola’s boots. During my time at the University, that tradition had not yet started. I’m exceedingly glad that it’s part of the fabric of FSU football and life now.

Osceola and Renegade Display

Osceola and Renegade Display

The Story of Osceola & Renegade

The Story of Osceola & Renegade

As we were leaving the Hall, we were told that one of the campus buses (the Osceola bus) was free and would drive all around campus. We could get on or off at any stop and wander then jump back on. We thought that was a great idea and rode around for a while. It was so interesting to see how little the campus had changed in some ways and how beautifully it had been improved in others. I must add that every student we came upon was polite and friendly. I had to wonder if we had been that welcoming in our day. It was so nice to feel as though the students were pleased to see us “old timers” visiting. The buses stopped running in time for the Homecoming Parade to take over the streets.

Garnet & Gold Guys 2014 Version

Garnet & Gold Guys
2014 Version

While I was in school, I don’t remember attending a single Homecoming Parade. We made up for it this year. We were down by the Florida Capitol and saw that the parade was beginning on a nearby street. We walked over to that street and joined the group of local residents who were watching. What fun! We just missed Osceola and Renegade (our timing was just off and I was really disappointed), but we did get to enjoy the remainder of the parade and it was terrific being a part of the community for it. It was such fun seeing the “Garnet and Gold Guys” in person. Yes, they’re the latest iteration of the crazy guys that are always shown on television when an FSU game is broadcast.

Garnet & Gold Guys Homecoming Parade

Garnet & Gold Guys
Homecoming Parade

After an extremely full day, we headed off to dinner. I will be devoting a whole post to the restaurants and B&B at a later time.

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Looking Forward to “Seeing” You Here Next Time on Colmel’s Blog!

Cider Mills! Never Knew What I Was Missin’

Just the other day, I was asked about cider mills. As I have a new bunch of readers (THANK YOU VERY MUCH! Welcome! Please feel free to comment), I thought I’d reblog this post from 2011. Hard to believe it’s been three years since I first posted this.

Colmel's Blog

If you’re reading this in email or on Facebook, click on the title! It will take you directly to the blog (an easier viewing page.) If you’re already in my blog, WELCOME! (One more hint: If you click on any of the photos in the blog, they should open up in a browser window so you can get a better look!)

 

Ahhhhhh, Autumn! What is it about the first leaf turning that sends me into a frenzy? Maybe it’s because I had such a deprived childhood. Okay, by deprived I mean that, while growing up in Florida sounds like heaven to so many, the only colored leaves we ever saw were in photographs or cut from construction paper. So the change in the air, the change in the sound and the vision of a colored leaf just sets off all my happiness whistles.

 

Apple time! The other bell…

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