Buc-ee’s – Road Trip Destination

Buc-ee’s – Road Trip Destination

Buc-ee’s – Road Trip Destination

By Kai Rambow

It is Texas-sized, making it a destination in itself.  Buc-ee’s is well known in its home state, and has recently expanded into Florida, Georgia, and Alabama.  It’s a fun, worthwhile stop.

What’s Worthwhile

I can only make a few recommendations here.  This gas bar/convenience store is well over 10 times the size of a Wawa with over 100 gas pumps.

You can get an extra-large drink for only 79 cents. Beside the typical sodas, there are other drinks, including iced tea. This has to be one of the best deals anywhere.

Hot sandwiches are, for the most part, well-liked. A hot brisket sandwich is very popular.  BBQ lovers have claimed not to rave about this, while others stated it’s good.  I tried a pulled pork BBQ sandwich, which was tasty with a melt in your mouth quality.

Buc-ee’s potato chips, called Beaver Chips, are so popular I couldn’t get any.  Trying to order/coordinate some with your ready-to-go sandwich may require some advice from staff.  I did get a good bite to eat.

Gas prices were competitively priced, and Buc-ee’s had the biggest and cleanest set of restrooms I’ve seen on the road.

What’s Not Worthwhile

If you love Wawa’s coffee, you’ll be disappointed. The taste and variety of choices was just okay. Please note the risks I take for you.

The selection of snacks is overwhelming. Many of the snacks are Buc-ee’s products and have been reviewed as too sweet or too spicy and a little pricey.  If you have a really sweet tooth you might enjoy trying something, otherwise you might want to skip.  It was fun to take a quick walk and check everything out.  Suggestion: You might want to select something you would normally get to do a true comparison.

Where to Find

The two locations in Florida are off I-95. If you’re doing a road trip in that direction, I-4 is mostly clear of the never-ending construction. I cruised right through on a recent trip, in both directions.

Shortly after connecting to the I-95 North, at exit 265 (Daytona Beach) you’ll find the Buc-ee’s.  Take the exit, turn right, then look to turn left at the next set of lights.

Just past St. Augustine, at exit 323, you’ll find the other Buc-ee’s.  Take the exit and turn left.  After crossing the interstate, you’ll see the store on your left.

Heading north on I-75 in Georgia, just south of Macon, you’ll find a Buc-ee’s.  It’s exit 144 (Fort Valley) on your right.

SEPTEMBER 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

SEPTEMBER 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Tour Ybor City’s last cigar factory, sing with the bluebirds of happiness, save the date for FallFest, commemorate 60 years of SCC with the History Society, tip a glass at Alafia Brewing Company, hit the beach with some rescued...

Men’s Club Extends an Important Lifeline

Men’s Club Extends an Important Lifeline

Men’s Club Extends an Important LifelineBy Bob Sanchez When Joan Gross crashed her golf cart into trash barrels at 10 p.m., that was the last straw for her daughter Ellen, who moved in with her mom, who is 86 now and has dementia, heart...

Jan Ring Quilter Extraordinaire

Jan Ring Quilter Extraordinaire

Jan Ring Quilter ExtraordinaireBy Paula Lickfeldt Jan Ring has been sewing since she was a youngster in 4H. She began quilting when she moved to Florida in 1984. Since that time, Jan has made many quilts and quite a few of them have taken...

A Labor of Love

A Labor of Love

A Labor of LoveBy Kai Rambow The tiny fawn vacuumed its bottle in three gulps. It was very hungry and had only been rescued a few hours earlier.  Fortunately, it was now at Owl’s Nest Sanctuary for Wildlife. Owl’s Nest is the largest...

Nan Ryan Showcases Her Quilting Talent

Nan Ryan Showcases Her Quilting Talent

Nan Ryan Showcases Her Quilting TalentBy Paula Lickfeldt Nan Ryan moved to Columbia SC in 2006.  One of her friends was a quilter, and she encouraged Nan to start quilting. Nan's first project was an Iris that she finally finished after she...

First Time Entrant Wins Best of Show

First Time Entrant Wins Best of Show

First Time Entrant Wins Best of ShowBy Kai Rambow “I hadn’t expected to do well,” shared Bradd Robinson. Robinson joined the Stained Glass club only two years ago, and this was his first competition. Robinson walked away with three ribbons...

A Labor of Love

A Labor of Love

A Labor of Love

By Kai Rambow

The tiny fawn vacuumed its bottle in three gulps. It was very hungry and had only been rescued a few hours earlier.  Fortunately, it was now at Owl’s Nest Sanctuary for Wildlife. Owl’s Nest is the largest rehabilitation facility in Central Florida covering east to Orlando, south to Bradenton and north to Gainesville. During the summer months they are at capacity. The goal is to help wildlife recover and be returned to the wild. They have an 80 percent success rate. Anything above 50 is considered to be good.

With ease Kris Porter, the director, seamlessly transitioned from one bird/animal to the next one.  Porter is an expert, a retired zoologist with Busch Gardens. Zoologists have studied the behavior and physiology of animals. If Porter knows the species, they’ll take it. Porter says, “rehabilitation is my retirement,” but to see her in action is to see boundless love for animals.  It is also probably what inspires over 325 volunteers to be a part of the mission.

This fawn, only arrived the morning I visited, hungrily inhaled her bottle.  Several fawns are successfully rescued and returned to the wild every year.

To be a rehabilitation facility, licenses are required. Even veterinarians are not allowed to do rehabilitation, unless licensed. A state license covers mammals and reptiles. To look after feathered friends requires a federal license.

That does not cover everything though. For example, there are many calls in a year about raccoons. To work with raccoons safely requires vaccines because of distemper and rabies. The shots cost $700 and the state won’t cover those. One of the volunteers, Julia, has helped raccoons recover because she is becoming a veterinarian, and so got vaccinated.

Nitro, a silver fox, was abandoned by someone and found emaciated at a month old. The species is not native to Florida, and so could not be returned to the wild. He is shown to school children, so they can learn more about animals.

Sometimes people who contact the organization are frustrated. One, because they sometimes don’t understand what is involved. Two, because they sometimes have unrealistic expectations. While I was there a call came in to rescue a turkey stranded in the middle of the road in a heavy rainstorm.  A rescue attempt under those conditions would endanger a volunteer’s safety. And even though Owl’s Nest works with a wide variety of species, the facility does not rehabilitate turkeys.

Porter has great organization skills. Charts keep track of animals’ progress in recovery. A huge binder, set on a stand for easy access, has detailed information on diets for various animals. Experienced volunteers help new volunteers transition to being good animal care givers.

If you would like to learn more or become a volunteer, you can visit their website: “owlsnestsanctuaryforwildlife.com”. Should you encounter an injured or abandoned bird/animal call the Florida emergency number at 888.404.3922.  They will know where an animal should go.  While Owl’s Nest covers a wide variety of animals, there are specialists such as raptor and sea life centers.

SEPTEMBER 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

SEPTEMBER 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Tour Ybor City’s last cigar factory, sing with the bluebirds of happiness, save the date for FallFest, commemorate 60 years of SCC with the History Society, tip a glass at Alafia Brewing Company, hit the beach with some rescued...

Men’s Club Extends an Important Lifeline

Men’s Club Extends an Important Lifeline

Men’s Club Extends an Important LifelineBy Bob Sanchez When Joan Gross crashed her golf cart into trash barrels at 10 p.m., that was the last straw for her daughter Ellen, who moved in with her mom, who is 86 now and has dementia, heart...

Jan Ring Quilter Extraordinaire

Jan Ring Quilter Extraordinaire

Jan Ring Quilter ExtraordinaireBy Paula Lickfeldt Jan Ring has been sewing since she was a youngster in 4H. She began quilting when she moved to Florida in 1984. Since that time, Jan has made many quilts and quite a few of them have taken...

A Labor of Love

A Labor of Love

A Labor of LoveBy Kai Rambow The tiny fawn vacuumed its bottle in three gulps. It was very hungry and had only been rescued a few hours earlier.  Fortunately, it was now at Owl’s Nest Sanctuary for Wildlife. Owl’s Nest is the largest...

Nan Ryan Showcases Her Quilting Talent

Nan Ryan Showcases Her Quilting Talent

Nan Ryan Showcases Her Quilting TalentBy Paula Lickfeldt Nan Ryan moved to Columbia SC in 2006.  One of her friends was a quilter, and she encouraged Nan to start quilting. Nan's first project was an Iris that she finally finished after she...

First Time Entrant Wins Best of Show

First Time Entrant Wins Best of Show

First Time Entrant Wins Best of ShowBy Kai Rambow “I hadn’t expected to do well,” shared Bradd Robinson. Robinson joined the Stained Glass club only two years ago, and this was his first competition. Robinson walked away with three ribbons...

SCC Celebrates July 4

SCC Celebrates July 4

SCC Celebrates July 4

By Kai Rambow

 

Sun City Center is returning to normal. Our usual July 4th breakfast didn’t happen this year, but many activities traditionally held on Independence Day were back! Here are a few fun images from our nation’s birthday.

Joanne Kerr of the Lapidary club showing one of the items for sale.

Members of the Lawn Bowling club held their regular practice sessions with many dressing in stars and stripes to mark the occasion.

The Model Railroad club set up a display in the Palm room to share with residents celebrating the 4th. Here Arny Goldklang fixes a track issue before visitors arrived.

SEPTEMBER 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

SEPTEMBER 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Tour Ybor City’s last cigar factory, sing with the bluebirds of happiness, save the date for FallFest, commemorate 60 years of SCC with the History Society, tip a glass at Alafia Brewing Company, hit the beach with some rescued...

Men’s Club Extends an Important Lifeline

Men’s Club Extends an Important Lifeline

Men’s Club Extends an Important LifelineBy Bob Sanchez When Joan Gross crashed her golf cart into trash barrels at 10 p.m., that was the last straw for her daughter Ellen, who moved in with her mom, who is 86 now and has dementia, heart...

Jan Ring Quilter Extraordinaire

Jan Ring Quilter Extraordinaire

Jan Ring Quilter ExtraordinaireBy Paula Lickfeldt Jan Ring has been sewing since she was a youngster in 4H. She began quilting when she moved to Florida in 1984. Since that time, Jan has made many quilts and quite a few of them have taken...

A Labor of Love

A Labor of Love

A Labor of LoveBy Kai Rambow The tiny fawn vacuumed its bottle in three gulps. It was very hungry and had only been rescued a few hours earlier.  Fortunately, it was now at Owl’s Nest Sanctuary for Wildlife. Owl’s Nest is the largest...

Nan Ryan Showcases Her Quilting Talent

Nan Ryan Showcases Her Quilting Talent

Nan Ryan Showcases Her Quilting TalentBy Paula Lickfeldt Nan Ryan moved to Columbia SC in 2006.  One of her friends was a quilter, and she encouraged Nan to start quilting. Nan's first project was an Iris that she finally finished after she...

First Time Entrant Wins Best of Show

First Time Entrant Wins Best of Show

First Time Entrant Wins Best of ShowBy Kai Rambow “I hadn’t expected to do well,” shared Bradd Robinson. Robinson joined the Stained Glass club only two years ago, and this was his first competition. Robinson walked away with three ribbons...

Ybor City: History Made Fun

Ybor City: History Made Fun

Ybor City: History Made Fun

By Kai Rambow

 

Did you know that: (1) Tampa’s population exploded from 700 to over 7,000 in a year; (2) Tampa was the cigar capital of the world; (3) Tampa was the first place with universal health care? It all started in Ybor City, and you can learn all kinds of things presented in a fun way on a walking tour.

“This is my hometown. It’s so much fun to learn about Tampa’s history,” commented one woman on the tour. A little later, two men debated what was worse in the beginning: the alligators, mosquitos, or heat and humidity. A walking tour, led by Max Herman, was engaging, entertaining and fun.

Vincente Martinez-Ybor transformed Tampa into a real town. Herman has the ability to share history in a fun way. Facts are only important to help the story of Ybor City/Tampa. The stories on tour kept everyone paying attention. While experienced Cubans came here to work, so too did Italians, Germans, and other immigrant groups. Each group built their own social halls (part of the tour) to celebrate and maintain cultural traditions. These social groups also created the first universal health for their members.

 

Background Preparation

A great way to start your tour is a quick visit to the state museum. A short video provides a great overview of Ybor City’s development. Displays in the museum highlight important milestones, complete with historic pictures. This is a great way to get a foundation before taking the tour. Unfortunately, the casita showing original homes in Ybor, is currently unavailable to visitors.

 

The Columbia Restaurant

After the tour, you’ll be hungry. You can continue the history by eating at the 110 year old Columbia restaurant. Cuban bread and the sandwich were invented in Ybor. Their Cuban sandwich is unique because it has salami (remember the Italian immigrants) making a hearty meal. It is the original.  You can order the half-and-half special. You might want to try their famous 1905 salad (created in the 1970s) and Cuban sandwich. Incidentally, the Cuban bread comes from La Segunda Bakery, also in Ybor, and 100 years old.

 Tips: You might want to drive from the garage (see itinerary and parking below) to here as it is a few blocks away.  There is plenty of parking in the back. Be sure to look at the beautiful Spanish tiles on the front of the building. 

 

Cuban Cigars Still Made Here

Tabanero Cigars loves having visitors, even if you don’t smoke. I am not a smoker, but I do know which end of the cigar to dip in brandy. Since Tabanero is a boutique cigar store you can see everything up close, and you are welcome to take pictures.  There is a coffee bar towards the back with great Cuban coffee. 

 

Tips for a Great Trip

Suggested Itinerary:  Arrive at 9 and visit the state museum park. Move car to parking garage around 10:30 a.m. Stop by Tabanero Cigars take some pictures and have a Cuban coffee. Walk across the street and take the historic walking tour with Max (be sure to make reservations) at 11 a.m. After tour head to the Columbia for lunch.

What to Wear: Comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen ,and sunglasses are important. Be sure to take a bottle of water with you as well. Note: Herman knows all the shady spots to stop while on tour. 

Where to Park: Street parking is only good for two hours. If you park in the garage on 15th Street, you won’t need to worry about time and it’s only one dollar per hour. From the garage it is a short walk to the meeting spot for the tour.

Ybor City Historic Walking Tours

Max Herman

(813) 505-6779

www.YborWalkingTours.com

Ybor City State Museum

1818 E 9th Avenue

Wednesdays-Sundays; 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

The Columbia Restaurant

2117 E. 7th Avenue

Tampa, Florida  33605

(813)  248-4961

www.columbiarestaurant.com

Tabanero Cigars

(Cuban coffee)

1601 E. 7th Avenue

Tampa, Florida  33605

(813) 402-6316

SEPTEMBER 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

SEPTEMBER 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Tour Ybor City’s last cigar factory, sing with the bluebirds of happiness, save the date for FallFest, commemorate 60 years of SCC with the History Society, tip a glass at Alafia Brewing Company, hit the beach with some rescued...

Men’s Club Extends an Important Lifeline

Men’s Club Extends an Important Lifeline

Men’s Club Extends an Important LifelineBy Bob Sanchez When Joan Gross crashed her golf cart into trash barrels at 10 p.m., that was the last straw for her daughter Ellen, who moved in with her mom, who is 86 now and has dementia, heart...

Jan Ring Quilter Extraordinaire

Jan Ring Quilter Extraordinaire

Jan Ring Quilter ExtraordinaireBy Paula Lickfeldt Jan Ring has been sewing since she was a youngster in 4H. She began quilting when she moved to Florida in 1984. Since that time, Jan has made many quilts and quite a few of them have taken...

A Labor of Love

A Labor of Love

A Labor of LoveBy Kai Rambow The tiny fawn vacuumed its bottle in three gulps. It was very hungry and had only been rescued a few hours earlier.  Fortunately, it was now at Owl’s Nest Sanctuary for Wildlife. Owl’s Nest is the largest...

Nan Ryan Showcases Her Quilting Talent

Nan Ryan Showcases Her Quilting Talent

Nan Ryan Showcases Her Quilting TalentBy Paula Lickfeldt Nan Ryan moved to Columbia SC in 2006.  One of her friends was a quilter, and she encouraged Nan to start quilting. Nan's first project was an Iris that she finally finished after she...

First Time Entrant Wins Best of Show

First Time Entrant Wins Best of Show

First Time Entrant Wins Best of ShowBy Kai Rambow “I hadn’t expected to do well,” shared Bradd Robinson. Robinson joined the Stained Glass club only two years ago, and this was his first competition. Robinson walked away with three ribbons...

A Groundbreaking Event

A Groundbreaking Event

A Groundbreaking Event

By Cathy Meyerhoff, SCC History Society

Though May 10, 1961 may not ring any bells with most local residents, it is important.  On that day ground was broken for the retirement community of Sun City Center. Nothing is recorded about this event other than the date. There is no record that Del Webb, whose plan it was to develop the town, was present. Even the location of the turning over of the first shovel of sandy soil is lost in the mists of time.

Information is known about the events leading up to this date. Twelve thousand acres of scrub, swamp, and pasture in southwestern Hillsborough County were the home of 2,500 cattle before Del Webb purchased the land in 1961 to be developed into a third Sun City community for retirees, following successful developments in Arizona and California.  

When the symbolic groundbreaking took place, orders were already issued to have streets, a shopping center, post office, recreation center, motel, restaurant and model homes in place before a grand opening scheduled for January 1, 1962.  Eight months later, that plan became reality and today we reap the benefits of that May groundbreaking 60 years ago.

IN THE PHOTO: Circa 1964 – This is a photo of the groundbreaking of the Emergency Squad Building showing Del Webb, second from the right, holding a spade. Unfortunately, the History Society has no photos of the groundbreaking of Sun City Center.

SEPTEMBER 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

SEPTEMBER 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Tour Ybor City’s last cigar factory, sing with the bluebirds of happiness, save the date for FallFest, commemorate 60 years of SCC with the History Society, tip a glass at Alafia Brewing Company, hit the beach with some rescued...

Men’s Club Extends an Important Lifeline

Men’s Club Extends an Important Lifeline

Men’s Club Extends an Important LifelineBy Bob Sanchez When Joan Gross crashed her golf cart into trash barrels at 10 p.m., that was the last straw for her daughter Ellen, who moved in with her mom, who is 86 now and has dementia, heart...

Jan Ring Quilter Extraordinaire

Jan Ring Quilter Extraordinaire

Jan Ring Quilter ExtraordinaireBy Paula Lickfeldt Jan Ring has been sewing since she was a youngster in 4H. She began quilting when she moved to Florida in 1984. Since that time, Jan has made many quilts and quite a few of them have taken...

A Labor of Love

A Labor of Love

A Labor of LoveBy Kai Rambow The tiny fawn vacuumed its bottle in three gulps. It was very hungry and had only been rescued a few hours earlier.  Fortunately, it was now at Owl’s Nest Sanctuary for Wildlife. Owl’s Nest is the largest...

Nan Ryan Showcases Her Quilting Talent

Nan Ryan Showcases Her Quilting Talent

Nan Ryan Showcases Her Quilting TalentBy Paula Lickfeldt Nan Ryan moved to Columbia SC in 2006.  One of her friends was a quilter, and she encouraged Nan to start quilting. Nan's first project was an Iris that she finally finished after she...

First Time Entrant Wins Best of Show

First Time Entrant Wins Best of Show

First Time Entrant Wins Best of ShowBy Kai Rambow “I hadn’t expected to do well,” shared Bradd Robinson. Robinson joined the Stained Glass club only two years ago, and this was his first competition. Robinson walked away with three ribbons...