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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Florida State Beats FGCU 65-47 - Advances To The Final 16 in Basketball - 4 Wins Away From National Championship

Check out our friends George and Joel Dawson in the video

Last night we saw FSU beat a very good Florida Gulf Coast University team at the Tucker Center to advance in the basketball playoff to Greensboro. Friday at 9 PM they will play Arizona State University.

IF FSU wins the next two - a very big IF - they will be in the Final Four Tournament in Tampa. If they are there - we will be there.

Florida State shot out to a 17-2 lead and coasted to the victory. They announced a crowd of over 4000 ticket sales.

We took our neighbor Tom Taylor along to the game. He hasn't attended a game in a long time and he enjoyed the Lady Seminoles.

He Has Eyes Like A Hawk

Yesterday this hawk paid us a visit. He perched on the roof of our barn and surveyed the yard for food. Lulu was convinced there must be a snake nearby.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Michelle and Krystal Maas Visited Over The Weekend

Our friends from Homestead FL - visited over the weekend. Kris is finishing her second year of studies at FSU in hospitality management. On Saturday - we saw them in the crowd at the FSU girls basketball game against Alabama State. The Seminoles won easily and tonight at 6 they play Florida Gulf Coast University from Fort Myers. 

You can see our guests in the middle of the picture wearing blue and pink. Not a bad picture from my little handheld Sony camera.

Springtime In Tallahassee

As much as we miss the friends and family from back North - brief trips to Richmond - Washington - and Springfield have made us realize that there will be no snow shoveling in our future. 

Tallahassee is in "Northern" Florida. We will hills - pine trees - oaks - frost - and a few temperatures below freezing. This is often followed by a few days of 80 degrees in February. Summers are hot and humid - just like Washington DC - both cities have plenty of air conditioning. 

Many of the our citizens have family ties to the region - during the Civil War - 80% of the people in the county were slaves. 

We have been living in our Southern plantation now for over a year. The yard is in bloom.  The light pink flowers are dogwood. The darker pink are azaleas. The camellias have already fallen.

The grass was yellow through January and February - it is starting to turn green now.

Lulu's blueberries have lots of blossoms and even some berries already

This tangerine tree has tons of blossoms and smells so good.

Our orange tree produced 10 fruit the first bloom - we only planted it in August. The oranges are very sweet and there is only one left.

If you look closely you can see the blueberries.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Lady Seminoles NCAA Basketball Pathway To The National Championship

Tonight we attended the NCAA selection event with the FSU Lady Seminoles. In attendance were the team - the athletic director - about 500 people - and the president of the University - John Thrasher. 

A team must win 6 games in a row to be the national champion. The Noles drew a first round game with Alabama State this Saturday The first two games will be played right in the Tucker Center in downtown Tallahassee. If the Seminoles win those two games - they will get to play the 3rd and 4th games in Greensboro NC. If they win those games - the final 2 games will be played in Tampa FL. 

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Lincoln Presidential Musuem - Last Day In Town

We spent 6 days in Springfield. Lulu was busy most of the week - but Friday we had the whole day together. We started with a nice breakfast at our hotel - then walked about 3 blocks to the Lincoln Presidential Museum. It is easily one of the top 5 museums in the world to me. They have done such a wonderful job with multi-media - the place easily keeps you busy for 4 hours. It is great for school kids and old people alike. 

The Presidential Museum was the only admission we paid here this week. It cost $12 each. 

After the main event - we used our iPhone to get an Uber car to take us the 3 miles to the tomb at the Oak Ridge Cemetery. The graveyard was covered with snow - the Lincoln Monument is very stately. Lincoln's body is under a 10 foot thick layer of concrete - grave robbers tried to steal the body for ransom once - they failed. 

It is 1 PM - Saturday - the hotel van will take us to the airport for our 3 PM flight home. We will go through Dallas and be home at 9 PM. Six days on the road and we are going to make it home tonight. 

I am lucky to have breakfast every morning across from this wonderful lady. She really enjoyed the Lincoln Museum and Library.

Lincoln was 6-4 - he and Washington stand head and shoulders above all the other presidents. 

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Springfield Illinois - GAR Museum - Frank Lloyd Wright House

Lulu was done work at 3 PM - I had to take her to Lincoln's Old Capitol to get her picture by the State Library where Lincoln studied for his Bar exam. 

I wanted to sit in Lincoln's legislature seat.

I stumbled onto the GAR - Grand Army of the Republic Museum. The GAR was a military group like the American Legion. To belong you had to fight in the Civil War for the North. It was started in Springfield and they still keep a collection there.

This flag was the one that was on Lincoln's Ford Theatre Box.

Banners - guns - letter - uniforms - pictures - and badges of the GAR and their Women's Auxiliary.

I also had a fantastic tour at the Dana-Thomas House - a 12,000 square foot Frank Lloyd Wright Prairie Home. I will post those pictures after I sort out that story tomorrow.

Springfield IL - A City Of Two Capitols

Lincoln's Old State Capitol

It feels a little like the movie Groundhog Day here today. I wake up early with Lulu as she prepares for her conference. Then she goes out the door - I open the curtains and stare out at all the ice and snow. The last few days have been dark and overcast - today it is sunny but 9 degrees.

Wednesday was busy - I toured the Old State Capitol - then the Korean War Museum - then the New State Capitol - and finally the Illinois State Museum. Each place alone deserves a story - but this web page is about my days - so here I go. 

The old capitol was replaced around 1870. It was out grown so they turned it back into the county courthouse. Around 1970 - they completely restored it to the way it was when Lincoln served here. The above room was the state library.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Springfield Illinois - Abraham Lincoln's Home For 25 Years

Abraham Lincoln lived in Springfield IL for 25 years. While there he was a state legislator - a lawyer - and a member of the US Congress. He bought this house for $1500 - at the time it was just 1000 square feet and one story. He raised the roof - and put on a full second floor - also he put an extension out back. After he died his son willed it to the state as long as they kept it open to the public with free admission.

It was foggy all day Tuesday in Springfield - temperatures were in the 40s - dropping to the 10s tomorrow. Lulu and I enjoyed breakfast in our hotel - then toured the Lincoln home and Lincoln Library. Lulu's first meeting was at 4 PM today - so we had to hurry back for that. I am on my own for the rest of the day. 

Lincoln was born in Kentucky in 1809 - move to Indiana in 1818 - then on to Illinois around 1835. He spent 25 years here - then in 1860 moved to Washington DC. They brought him back to Springfield in a pine box on a train in 1865. The train went from Washington to Baltimore - Harrisburg - Philadelphia - New York City - Albany - Buffalo - Cleveland - Columbus - Indianapolis  - Chicago - and finally he was buried a few blocks north of here. 

In his living room - they had a stereoscope for the kids. The house was completely furnished with original pieces. Lulu likes to pose with audio-visual items.

Springfield Illinois - From One State Capital to Another

At takeoff - looking east - this is Tallahassee - the most obvious building is the Department of Education. The red roof buildings are FSU.

Looking north from our hotel room in Springfield is the St Josephs Hospital.

I love going along with Lulu on her adventures. For 6 days we will be in lovely downtown Springfield. Lulu is consulting for the state while I get to tour their lovely "Lincoln All Week - All The Time."

At 1 PM - we left our Leaf in the parking lot at Tallahassee International Airport - please no smirking.  After a bit of delay in Dallas - we arrived in the dark at Abraham Lincoln Airport at 8 PM. The limo picked us up and took us to the President Abraham Lincoln Hotel - which is right in the center of the Lincoln Museum - Lincoln Home - Lincoln Library - and Lincoln Tomb. Throughout the week - I will be adding Lincoln's to that list. 

This morning we were greeted by freezing rain - and the schools are closed. Lulu's first meeting is at 4 PM - so she wants to visit Lincoln's home right away. Although Lincoln was born in Kentucky - spent much of his boyhood in Indiana - most of his professional career as a lawyer was spent right here in downtown Springfield. He must have been very smart to build his beautiful home right in the middle of a park that covers 4 city blocks. The kids must have had a lot of nice places to play. 

From his house you can see the Old State Capitol where he spent time as a legislature and also argued in front of the State Supreme Court there. 

We are staying on the 11th floor of a 12 story building. Our room looks north - the Old State Capitol is a block west of us. I-55 is two blocks eats of us. Lincoln's house is a block south of us. We are prepared to do a little walking. 

Back home in Tallahassee today - the legislature opens their session. They will be meeting until May 1st. Although they pass many laws - their main objective is to pass a budget. They do that and they can go home. The legislature and governor in Florida are Republican - thanks to gerrymandering. The majority of registered voters are Democrats. 

The motto here in Springfield seems to be - "We are better than New Jersey." The motto in Tallahassee seems to be - "We are ranked 50th in the amount we spend pre capita for education - at least we are not last."