Kingdom of the Sun (KOTS)
Antique Automobile Car Club Ocala Florida
Tallahassee Overnight Trip, August 2020 (Edited for web site)
After meeting for breakfast at Eggs Up in Ocala, 9 KOTS members (Steve and Jill Ellis, Bill and Nancy Bachmann, Harry Schoepf, Chuck and Gloria Ufkes and James Vaughn and Lisa Blough) and 7 guests (Danny Clark, John Farr, Harold Grobe, Chuck and Trish Johnson and Frank and Dee O’Donnell) all headed for Tallahassee.
Our first stop was the Tallahassee Automobile and Collectibles Museum. This impressive two story venue is privately owned by Tallahassee businessman DeVoe L. Moore. Open since 1996, his museum primarily showcases items of Americana from his personal collection. As the museum literature says, “It’s More Than a Museum…It’s a Journey Through History”, and is home to one of the nation’s largest collections.
We arrived at our hotel, The Staybridge Suites, and enjoyed a stroll across the boardwalk to look at the lake. Some of the group ate dinner out and others decided to pick up provisions for an ice cream social in the hotel lobby. After all, this is an antique car group so there is always ice cream involved.
Our second day took us to St. Marks Lighthouse located in the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. This wildlife area on the Gulf coast encompasses 90,000 acres and serves as a wintering habitat for migratory birds. We saw a deer and fawn crossing the road! A bit of history – St. Marks was considered an important port of entry in the 1820’s for the prosperous planting region of Middle Florida and South Georgia. Growers brought their products in wagons and then loaded it aboard boats to be shipped to New Orleans and St. Augustine FL. Boats commonly ran aground in the shallow water in the bay and St. Marks River. A lighthouse was constructed in 1831 and moved due to erosion to its present location in 1842. The lighthouse has withstood numerous hurricanes and shelling during the Civil War. Confederate troops were stationed nearby to defend the area against Union attacks. During that time, the tower’s lighting was removed to prevent it from aiding Union ships patrolling the bay. In 1883, the tower was raised to its present height of 82 feet above sea level. The lighthouse has always had keepers who lived there until it was automated in 1960.
After the lighthouse, it was on to Cedar Key, a delightful seaside town on the Gulf Coast. As with other places we have visited this summer, tourism is down and there were not that many people.
We all enjoyed a delicious lunch at Duncan’s On the Gulf restaurant. After lunch, members of the group headed for? - You guessed right- ICE CREAM!
Once again, a good time was had by all. We enjoyed getting away, seeing new sights and making some new friends who love antique cars. We missed those members who could not be with us for health and other reasons and hope they can join us on the next adventure. Stay tuned- more fun to come.
Boondocks Restaurant Trip October 21, 2020
We had a nice drive (about 60 miles) to Boondocks Restaurant and had a great meal. Was nice getting out in the cars and catching up with our friends.
Blackwater Inn in Yankeetown 2/17/22
We left Rose's parking lot outside of On Top of The World at 11:00am. It was about an hour drive to Blackwater Inn. Weather was perfect for the cars with the tops down. Our meals were very good and service was great. Was so nice to see so many people attend this event. Everyone had a great time.
10/13/22 We took a road trip to Ziggy's Haven Bird Sanctuary in Inverness FL, then lunch at The Cove, followed up with a stop at Lucy's Ice Cream.
Ziggy's is a no breed, no kill facility has been in business for 20 years and is a non profit that focuses mainly on parrots - boarding, adoption, education and rescue. It operates by an all volunteer staff. Kids from local schools primarily run the sanctuary on the weekend. The guides are an excellent source of information and they do know their birds.
Thanks to Jill Ellis for her help with this article and pictures.
November 16, 2022 We took a trip to Two Tales Ranch in Williston FL. This is a privately owned Asian elephant ranch with a few added amimals. The Lemurs were adorable.
The owner, Patricia Zerbini is 9th generation of the Zerbini family to work with exotic animals. This is a 24/7 labor of love. The cost can go as high as $120,000 to feed just one elephant a year. Patricia gave us a fabulous talk and enlightened us with her vast knowledge. The comment with the biggest impact was that due to the loss of habitat in areas where elephants roam and live in the wild, the African and Asian elephant population could become extinct in 5-10 years. Thank you Jill Ellis for the pictures.