March Madness: Help Choose the Wonders of Florida

1962850_698074303564666_1230631378_nToday is day six of the March Madness style competition pitting Old Florida match ups as determined by voters on the Old Florida and Visit Florida Off the Beaten Path sites. Here’s an explanation of how the match ups were established from Off the Beaten Path’s Facebook page:

Some of you wonder how OTBP (Off the Beaten Path) and Old Florida determined the match-ups. Here’s how it was arranged: We asked for and collected nominations for a week from fans of Old Florida and OTBP Florida and then used the total number of votes for each nominee to “seed” them according to their standings in the nomination pool (like the NCAA would in tournaments). From there, we created four brackets — Sunshine, Palm, Seminole, and Flamingo — and we rotate the contests among them. If things seem askew, the nominations determined their placement. Also, this is for kicks — so don’t get too worked up.

Just like when the NCAA announces their brackets, there’s controversy regarding the seeding, but this is just for fun; and I’m enjoying participating and reading the descriptions of places that are old time favorites as well as learning about some less familiar old Florida attractions.1920174_700710083301088_1451650160_nIt’s not too late to participate in the voting. Click on the link for either Old Florida or Off the Beaten Path and “like” the page. Then you see the daily match ups – one at 7:00am and another at 7:00pm each¬† day.

The Match Ups you’ve missed:

Contest #1: Florida Citrus Tower defeated Stetson Mansion

Contest #2: Stiltsville defeated Gatorland

Contest #3: Florida Caverns defeated Vinoy Hotel (St. Petersburg)

Contest #4: Hotel Ormond defeated Daytona Speedway

Contest #5: Marineland defeated Lake Eola

Contest #6: Yearling Restaurant defeated Whitehall

Contest #7: Ichetucknee Springs defeated St. George Island

Contest #8: Vizcaya defeated Branch Ranch

Contest #9: Seven Mile Bridge defeated Ca’ d’Zan

Contest #10:¬† Still awaiting results for Tom Peter’s Smoked Fisk vs. The Senator

Contest #11: This morning at 7:00am, the Belleview Biltmore Hotel was matched against Tom Gaskin’s Cypress Knee Museum.

Check out Florida Off the Beaten Path and/or Old Florida so you can vote…or just enjoy the pictures and write ups!


Frog Legs, Gator, and Fried Green Tomatoes

YearlingSignConnie, Maureen, and I started our meal at The Yearling in Cross Creek with the Cracker Sampler Platter. I’m not usually an adventurous diner but felt I had to at least taste the foods that have earned The Yearling recognition as one of the best restaurants in Florida by Florida Trend Magazine.CrackerSampler

I can’t say I’d order frog legs, gator, or fried green tomatoes as my main meal, but I’m glad I tried them. They’re all better than they sound, and the frog legs were a pleasant surprise and the catfish sandwich…delicious.YearlingExterior

Time stands still at The Yearling. The rundown building made me wonder if our fifty minute drive was a mistake. I expected rustic, but this makes biker bars look good. Inside, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings memorabilia as well as other “old Florida” touches decorate the restaurant, and on the day of our visit, there was even a fire in fireplace of the dining room in which we ate…you really can’t judge a book by its cover!YearlingInterior


We topped off our meal with a slice of sour orange pie, a yummy treat similar to key lime pie but with a tangy orange sauce. Step back in time and check out The Yearling.SourOrangePie

Old Florida

If you love images of Florida in days gone by then you need to check out Old Florida on Facebook. Each day a half dozen or more pictures are posted of everything Florida.

Remember these postcards?

I think I may have stayed at here in Daytona.
I think I may have stayed at here in Daytona.
Postcard from one of my favorite restaurants in the state.
The Columbia is one of my favorite restaurants.

I love these citrus labels.

My early years teaching were in Weirsdale.
My early years teaching were in Weirsdale.
Florida grapefruit...the perfect way to start the day.
Florida grapefruit…the perfect way to start the day.

Of course there’s pictures from favorite Florida tourist attractions.

Glass bottom boats...the highlight of a trip to Silver Springs.
Glass bottom boats…the highlight of a trip to Silver Springs.
Long before Sea World Marineland attracted those who wanted an upclose dolphin experience.
Long before Sea World, Marineland attracted those who wanted an upclose dolphin experience.

Of course, old churches, hotels, houses, and landscapes are regularly posted as well.

Orange Creek Methodist Church
Orange Creek Methodist Church


Wekiwa Springs
Wekiwa Springs

I enjoy the Old Florida posts. Hope you do as well.