The Haunted Higby, An Artistic Journey

Violet Sky at the Panama City Center for the Arts, Panama City, Florida

On display for the month of October at the Panama City Center for the Arts is a unique tale depicted through interactive artwork in a magical collaboration. The “Haunted Higby” was designed in partnership by the Bay Arts Alliance which creates a unique tale of lovers who enter the forest. The exhibit is not scary and read the story as you pass through some amazing artwork. In fact the Raven Wood Forest is an interesting demonstration of the artists skills.

Violet Sky at the Panama City Center for the Arts, Panama City, Florida

Also on display at the Panama City Center for the arts are several other galleries as well as plenty of artwork. Most of the works of art have been created from the talents of local artists.

Admission to the Haunted Higby and the rest of the Panama City Center for the Arts is free! For more information please visit https://www.pccenterforthearts.com/.

Violet Sky at the Panama City Center for the Arts, Panama City, Florida

Thanks for reading and as always, keep on truckin’!

-Violet Sky

Bewitched Statue, A Tribute to Elizabeth Montgomery

Bewitched Statue, Salem, Massachusetts

“Twinkle-Twinkle”, known for her iconic nose-twitching role as Samantha Stephens on the popular 1960s television show Bewitched, Elizabeth Montgomery has been immortalized by this statue in downtown Salem. TV Land dedicated this monument in 2005 for the amazing character portrayal she demonstrated throughout the duration of the show.

In fact, four episodes of the television show were filmed in Salem, and locals even said that there was a rise in tourism following its feature on Bewitched. The six-foot tall statue represents the bewitching “Samantha” aboard a broom with the crescent of the moon behind her as was shown on the shows intro.

The statues nose has been worn over time as people try to “twitch” her nose. This statue receives millions of visitors each year and is a wonderful tribute to the television series.

Thanks for reading and as always, keep on truckin’!

-Violet Sky

Salem Maritime Museum

Salem Maritime National Historic Site, Salem, Massachusetts

Known for being the first national historic site in America, the Salem Maritime museum is an interesting stop along your journey. It is a part of the National Park Service. Also included at the site are several other notable buildings and a replica of the East India Trading Company ship known as the Friendship. Admission to these buildings is available to discover over 600 years of New England history right at this cute port. During your visit be sure to explore to notable people, artifacts and history behind each of these historic buildings!

Also nearby is the Salem Witch Trials Memorial.

For more information please visit https://www.nps.gov/sama/index.html

Salem Maritime National Historic Site, Salem, Massachusetts

Thanks for reading and as always, keep on truckin’!

-Violet Sky

Salem Witch Trial Memorial

This monument has been placed in honor of the victims of the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 that took place in the city. For the 300th Anniversary of the tragic incident the memorial was dedicated in 1992 and rededicated in 2012. Of the 20 people that were wrongfully executed and the many others that faced consequences of being accused this stone and surrounding walls represent the challenges that the people of Salem faced. Also at the memorial are 20 granite benches each with a name of a person who lost their life due to the witch hunt.

Nearby is the Old Burying Point Cemetery which contains the graves of several key people involved in the witch trials. The cemetery is one of the oldest in the entire country. This memorial in particular was created from the result of a design competition for the best representation of a monument for the incident. Arthur Miller, author of The Crucible, was in attendance to announce the plans in 1991 and later in 1992, famed Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel led the dedication ceremony.

Monument to the Salem Witch Trial Victims, Salem, Massachusetts

The memorial is located on Liberty Street and is free to visit in downtown Salem, Massachusetts. For more information about the memorial please visit https://salemwitchmuseum.com/locations/witch-trials-memorial/.

Thanks for reading and as always, keep on truckin’!

-Violet Sky

A Day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Violet Sky at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Lake Buena Vista, Florida

Step back in time at one of Walt Disney World’s famous theme parks, Hollywood Studios. Stride into the park through a replica of Hollywood Boulevard. Serenaded by flashback music of the “Golden Age”, witness impersonators of popular actors and actress in period automobiles. Stop by and enjoy dining and shopping with unique options with something for everyone. With seven fantastic areas to explore all within one park, be sure to enjoy everything that this magical land has to offer!

Have lunch at the Brown Derby, Trolley Car Cafe or even Rosie’s All American Cafe. Shopping options include the Celebrity 5&10 or even Legends of Hollywood! Cute little attractions are scattered throughout the park which make wonderful photo opportunities.

Violet Sky at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Lake Buena Vista, Florida

For Muppet’s fans this park has some wonderful experiences. Enjoy some Italian food at PizzeRizzo or enjoy MuppetVision 3D a short, magical representation of a “Muppet Show”.

The Walt Disney Gallery and Theatre offers a little museum of artifacts and history behind Walt’s inspiration for the parks. Or if you are searching for some thrill rides, be sure to launch yourself onto the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster featuring Aerosmith or be spooked by the mystical Tower of Terror.

Throughout the park you will locate several replicas of iconic Hollywood destinations. An exact representation of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre stands tall complete with handprints of famous celebrities who have visited the park. At the park entrance is the popular Crossroads of the World Tower!

Violet Sky at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Lake Buena Vista, Florida

If you are a fan of the Star Wars saga, be sure to dive into this creation of key places in the series. The two main attractions in the area include the Rise of Resistance and the Millennium Falcon which provide guests the experiences of taking on battles and flying spaceships in this fantasy area. If you are hungry stop by Oga’s Cantina!

A wonderful place for children is Toy Story Land! With three spectacular rides featuring fun amusements, kids will feel like they are at a giant toy store. Slinky Dog Dash is a small roller coaster for those over 38″. Also available are the Alien Swirling Saucers and Toy Story Mania.

At the park are the options to see Broadway style plays in open air theatres. During my visit to the park, Beauty and the Beast as well as Indiana Jones were both being performed. What a great way to explore the amazing performances of these exciting shows!

Violet Sky at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Lake Buena Vista, Florida

So take a stroll down Grand Avenue, take a turn on Hollywood Boulevard or cruise down Sunset for entrance into many popular attractions. Also be sure to visit Stars Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Toy Story Land or even Animation Courtyard for a fun filled exploration of the park. Hop down by Echo Lake to see the giant boat and dinosaur.

For more information about visiting Disney Parks please visit https://adventureswithvioletsky.com/2020/04/30/tips-for-visiting-walt-disney-world/.

Thanks for reading and as always, keep on truckin’!

-Violet Sky

The Origin of Panama City Beach

Located in the heart of Panama City Beach across from the famous beachfront restaurant, Sharky’s, The Origin of Panama City Beach is a wonderful condominium with plenty of amenities.

This building opened in the fall of 2007 and has since brought people of Panama City Beach and its visitors to this unique place to enjoy fun in sun. The condominium is located across from the pristine white sand of the Emerald Coast. Offering guests their own private entrance to the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, the Origin is a splendid getaway destination. Parking is available on site with a pass in the parking garage or extra spaces are allowed in the overflow area.

Filled with plenty of amenities the Origin features a pool on the 4th floor along with a fitness center. Also available to guests is a movie theatre and a game room!

Thanks for reading and as always, keep on truckin’!

-Violet Sky

Kayaking Morrison Springs

Violet Sky kayaking at Morrison Springs, Florida

Autumn in Florida is a beautiful time of year. Not only have the temperatures cooled to the 70s but also the slow changing of some foliage allows for some great outdoor experiences. This fantastic weather makes for a splendid adventure out on the water. So grab a kayak and paddle on! Morrison Springs in the panhandle of Florida is a beautiful destination any time of the year but this fall trip aboard a kayak was amazing!

At Morrison Springs there is a boat launch that allows for plenty of space to put your kayak in the water. The water is so clear you can see all the way to the bottom and the cypress trees create a welcoming atmosphere! The swimming area is also open so pull your kayak ashore and jump in!

For more information about visiting Morrison Springs please visit https://adventureswithvioletsky.com/2020/07/15/morrison-springs/.

Violet Sky kayaking at Morrison Springs, Florida

Thanks for reading and as always, keep on truckin’!

-Violet Sky

Dinner at Wahoo Seafood Grill

Wahoo Seafood Grill, Tallahassee, Florida

A unique restaurant located just off of I-10 in Tallahassee, Florida with delicious food is Wahoo Seafood Grill. On several adventures I have stopped by this place and have always been impressed by the service and quality of food!

One of my personal favorite seafood dishes is boom boom shrimp and when you combine that appreciation with tacos, what a wonderful combination! Not only was the food delicious but also the portions are appropriate for the pricing. Their menu ranges from salads to seafood and even burgers! Also Wahoo Seafood has a full bar and specialty drinks!

Orders can also be placed online or dine options are either location are available. Check out their menu at https://www.wahooseafoodgrill.com/menu for more information.

Boom Boom Shrimp Tacos at Wahoo Seafood Grill, Tallahassee, Florida

Wahoo Seafood Grill has two locations, one in Tallahassee and another in Gainesville. Both locations are conveniently located near the interstate for easy accessibility. The Tallahassee location is just off from I-10 at Exit 199 while the Gainesville location is near I-75 at Exit 390.

Thanks for reading and as always, keep on truckin’!

-Violet Sky

Bell from the USS Tallahassee

Bell from the USS Tallahassee, Tallahassee, Florida

After serving over 20 years and its great efforts in World War I, the USS Tallahassee was decommissioned on March 24, 1922 and its bell was placed here in downtown of the Florida capital. The bell was displayed in Tallahassee as a symbol for the importance of the city and the ship that was named after the location.

Construction began on the ship in early 1899 at a shipyard near Elizabethport, New Jersey. It was determined after the ships launch that it would be named the USS Florida which entered the water on November 30, 1901. After only sailing for a few years the battleship was renamed in 1908 to the USS Tallahassee.

After its renaming the USS Tallahassee served the Naval Academy where naval men worked aboard training and operating the vessel. Of some of the most notable achievements that the ship produced was the discovery that stacked turrets could be used in a productive and safe manner.

Just before the U.S. entered World War I, the USS Tallahassee become designated as a submarine tender. During the war the ship sailed about the Caribbean region and even along the U.S. southern Atlantic Coast. The World War I Medal of Victory was designated to the USS Tallahassee for its service in 1917-1918.

During its years of commission the USS Tallahassee housed nearly 220 people and was over 250 feet in length. After being decommissioned in 1922, the ship was scrapped and any remaining resources were moved to other ships.

Violet Sky at the Bell from the USS Tallahassee, Tallahassee, Florida

The bell is located at 300 South Adams Street in downtown Tallahassee nearby the Old Florida Capitol Building. It is free to visit and definitely makes for a great stop if you are exploring the area.

Thanks for reading and as always, keep on truckin’!

-Violet Sky

A Visit to the Historic Florida Capitol Building

Florida Capitol Building, Tallahassee, Florida

Standing atop one of the highest points in Leon County is the old Florida Capitol Building. Noted for its unique architecture and elegant style it has been a symbol of the states government for nearly 200 years. At one time, this historical place feared demolition with the construction of the new government building in the 1970s, but after some fought to keep the structure it serves as a museum today.

Violet Sky at the Florida Capitol Building, Tallahassee, Florida

While Tallahassee was designated as Florida Territory’s capital in 1824, the first government officials met in log cabins in the area. Working in these small spaces was not adequate to their needs and instead began to work on a new building. In 1839, construction and approval for this historic building was commenced. Just as Florida was entering statehood in 1845, this elaborate house for the government was completed.

Carved into the pediment of the building is a classic picture of early Florida life. The art even includes a sidewheeler steamboat.

Florida Capitol Building, Tallahassee, Florida

The building served its purpose for many years but as with the expansion of government and increased departments it was voted to remodel and add on to the existing building in 1902. It was then that the iconic dome atop the highest point was erected. In fact one of the first people to climb to the top of the dome was a 90-year old Civil War veteran!

Later in 1923, two more extensions were added before the final additions in 1936 and 1947 which established actual chambers for the Florida House and Senate.

Violet Sky at the Florida Capitol Building, Tallahassee, Florida

The new capitol building which stands 22 stories tall was finished in the late 1970s. After its completion some thought that the old building should be demolished. Instead, the building was preserved and is used as a museum. Today people can visit the Old Florida Capitol Building which is open for tours and events. For current hours and admission please visit http://flhistoriccapitol.gov/.

Thanks for reading and as always, keep on truckin’!

-Violet Sky

The Old Spanish Trail: FL to CA

The Old Spanish Trail as it crosses over Gloster Avenue in Sneads, Florida

Once a grand highway system that led motorists from St. Augustine, Florida to San Diego, California the Old Spanish Trail still lies in some places today. Built in the 1920s it was the Route 66 of the South and many of the small towns grew based on the traffic that flowed through the cities from people on their way cross country.

The roadway linked the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean similar as to how Interstate 10 does in the present. It was about 2,750 miles in total length coast to coast. Construction began in 1915 and was not completed until the 1920s.

It is said that the Old Spanish Trail follows the path that Spanish Conquistadors took back in the 1500s as they explored what was later to become the United States.

Today the Old Spanish Trail is known as Highway 90 in the eastern half of the U.S. and Highway 80 in the west.

Thanks for reading and as always, keep on truckin’!

-Violet Sky

Victory Bridge

Victory Bridge at Chattahoochee River Landing, Chattahoochee, Florida

Constructed in 1922, the Victory Bridge cost a total of $1 million dollars and was used for over 70 years. It was a 100′ drawbridge that opened and closed to allow for riverboats to make their way through without coming into contact with the spanning arches.

It was named the Victory Bridge in response to the efforts and triumph of World War I which had just ended a few years beforehand. Old Spanish Trail which crossed over the bridge was a popular route that followed the path of colonial era roads. The Old Spanish Trail National Highway connected St. Augustine, Florida to San Diego, California.

After the Jim Woodford Dam was built in 1947, the use for the drawbridge become obsolete as the dam blocked any major boats passage down the river. It was the dam that created Lake Seminole. Each year the river floods but some years with greater intensity. As seen in the photo below, the river levels are monitored and marked during those extreme years. The highest level on record since the bridge was built was in March of 1929 when the river rose 79.6′ and in July of 1994 the Apalachicola River flooded 78.4′.

Violet Sky pointing at Historic Flood Level Markings on the Victory Bridge, Chattahoochee River Landing, Florida

Today Victory Bridge stands as a reminder of the past and makes for some great photo opportunities.

It was replaced in 1994 as the demand for traffic increased and the stability of the bridge were questioned. Soon afterward the bridge was decommissioned and barricaded from future usage. Although access onto the bridge is not allowed walking trails permit for some exploration underneath.

Violet Sky at Victory Bridge at Chattahoochee River Landing, Chattahoochee, Florida

Also nearby is one of the last standing Indian Mounds from the Fort Walton Period (1450-1650).

Thanks for reading and as always, keep on truckin’!

-Violet Sky

The Last Fort Walton Period Indian Mound

Indian Mound at Chattahoochee River Landing, Chattahoochee, Florida

At Chattahoochee River Landing stands the last of seven Indian Mounds constructed during the Fort Walton Period of 1450-1650 AD. These mounds were built by Native Americans in the area and were used for building dwellings on high ground to prevent being washed out in the event of the river flooding.

Only four of seven mounds have been found nearby with this one being the last standing. These mounds would have been constructed in a pyramid type shape with a flat top. The high surface was also suitable for a look out perch. It is believed that the chief or priest would have lived at the top while others lived around or at the base. This location would have been great for Native Americans as it was located near the river that would allow them to travel, hunt and trade with other nearby tribes.

Indian Mound at Chattahoochee River Landing, Chattahoochee, Florida

When Spanish explorers began navigating through the area in 1674 the Native Americans abandoned this site. With the Old Spanish Trail passing right through this spot the mound became an important stop along the route. During the War of 1812, the British used the mound for their fort.

On November 30, 1817 the Scott Massacre took place at this site and is noted for being a significant battle during the First Seminole War.

Indian Mound at Chattahoochee River Landing, Chattahoochee, Florida

During the mid to late 1800s, paddlewheel boats were docked at the landing and several wrecks are still nearby. Today the mounds are remembered for their significance in local Native American history and culture.

The mound stands on the banks of the Apalachicola River just south of the city of Chattahoochee, Florida and the Jim Woodruff Dam that creates Lake Seminole. The mound is free to visit and offers for some interesting history and beautiful views.

Thanks for reading and as always, keep on truckin’!

-Violet Sky

Three Rivers State Park

Violet Sky at Three Rivers State Park, Sneads, Florida

Along the tranquil shores of Lake Seminole just a short drive from the city of Sneads, is Three Rivers State Park. A beautiful landscape offering plenty of outdoor activities and even space for overnight lodging. It is a unique destination due to its connection to three different rivers and three different states.

History of Three Rivers State Park

The term “Three Rivers” comes from the converging of the Chattahoochee, Flint and Apalachicola Rivers that flow in and out of the lake. It was the building of the Jim Woodruff Dam in 1947 that flooded the area to create Lake Seminole. The lake is named after the Seminole Indians who once lived in the area.

In 1955, the area became a state park and has since offered outdoor recreational opportunities to visitors. There are 686 acres of land at Three Rivers State Park.

Lake Seminole from Three Rivers State Park, Sneads, Florida

Fun Facts About Three Rivers State Park

Glance across Lake Seminole from the state park and you can see the Peach State aka Georgia!

The lake is 37,500 acres and borders Georgia, Alabama and Florida.

At its longest stretch the lake spans 35 miles north from the dam.

Lake Seminole from Three Rivers State Park, Sneads, Florida

Visiting Three Rivers State Park

Activities at Three Rivers State Park include cycling, hiking, boating, fishing, picnicking and birding. In the picnic areas there are also playgrounds and a pavilion for events. Camping is also available at the park. There is one cabin available to rent on site that features one bedroom and one bathroom for guests to stay in. At the park are 30 campsites available for tent and RV’s.

For more information about visiting Three Rivers State Park, please visit https://www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/three-rivers-state-park.

Also nearby is the town of Two Egg, the haunted Bellamy Bridge and Lazy Acres Family Farm!

Thanks for reading and as always, keep on truckin’!

-Violet Sky

Fall Fun at Lazy Acres Family Farm

Violet Sky at Lazy Acres Farm, Marianna, Florida

Venture down country roads near Marianna, Florida to arrive at this cute family farm. Complete with a maze, cows, pigs, chickens, lawn games, live demonstrations, a general store and hay ride it makes for a fun fall adventure!

History of Lazy Acres Farm

The Lazy Acres Family Farm has been in the same family since 1854 and is owned by the great-great granddaughter of the original owner. The first member of the family to own the farm was Benjamin Neel who initially homesteaded the farm. His son, William Neel also ran the farm until his death in 1928. When William Neel II inherited the farm when his father passed away he was only eight years old and raised his first peanut crop that same year. After his time in the service he returned back to the farm where he married and had two children, one also named William. They named the homestead Lazy Acres Family Farm in 1947.

The current owners of the farm are still in the same family. They work hard to preserve their family homestead and raise cattle, pigs and chickens every year. They also farm about 100 acres of land each year. In addition they open the farm up for events seasonally.

Violet Sky at Lazy Acres Farm, Marianna, Florida

Visiting Lazy Acres Family Farm

There is a gift shop and farm store that sells fresh meat from the farm and other local goods to visitors. When they are not open to the public you may see a booth at local farmers markets.

Every fall the farm is open to guests to explore the maze, see animals and take a hay ride! The uniqueness of this maze comes from a delightful mix of flowers and corn. Also along the maze is a scavenger hunt of fun facts that could land you a prize from the drawing at the end of the season.

Field trips are also available for school and church groups. For more information about hours and admission please visit https://www.thelazyacres.com/contact.

Violet Sky at Lazy Acres Farm, Marianna, Florida

Also nearby Lazy Acres Farm is the haunted Bellamy Bridge and the town of Two Egg.

Thanks for reading and as always, keep on truckin’!

-Violet Sky

Town of Two Egg, Florida

Violet Sky in Two Egg, Florida

Just a short drive from Marianna and the famous haunted Bellamy Bridge, Two Egg, Florida is a quaint community with a unique history.

The town used to be home to the Allison Company Sawmill and a lumbering community. In fact, the town was actually called Allison during the early 1900s after the business. All that was there was a sawmill, grocery store, post office, a few homes and a camp for lumberman.

When the Great Depression hit in the 1930s, the grocery store had locals bringing their eggs in exchange for goods. Many families had plenty of chickens and that was all they had to give in trade for other necessities.

The town named changed to Two Egg after the Great Depression when the man that owned the grocery store in the community kept complaining that he lived in a “two-egg town”. As people would bring in only two eggs in exchange for items. Another tale also came from the idea that during the exchange of two eggs they were dropped at the store. The name for the area kind of stuck as locals kept referring to the area as “Two Egg”. The post office renamed its location and the Florida Department of Transportation marked Two Egg on the map.

Hollywood actress Faye Dunaway known for her leading roles in Chinatown and Bonnie and Clyde, was born and spent a few childhood years between Bascom and Two Egg in northwest Florida.

Also nearby are rumors of the “Two Egg Stump Jumper” a local legend of a wild man similar to bigfoot who roams the woods and swamps.

Thanks for reading and as always, keep on truckin’!

-Violet Sky

The Ghost of Bellamy Bridge

Violet Sky at the Bellamy Bridge Heritage Trail, Marianna, Florida

Florida lore says that the Bellamy Bridge is one of the most haunted destinations in the entire state. The tale of how it grew to earn that name has been told time after time. Strange occurrences have been known to occur here since the mid-1800s and the story of the Ghost of Bellamy Bridge has been cited as the reason for those paranormal happenings.

The “Ghost” Of Bellamy Bridge

Photos have been taken at the sight which resemble strange beams of light. People along the trail and at the bridge have felt icy chills on a hot summer day and the presence of someone standing nearby.

While several local legends state sightings of ghosts including one of a moonshiner murder and another of a headless man driving a wagon the most popular is the tale of the Bellamy family.

The ghost at the site is thought to be Elizabeth Bellamy, the wife of a plantation owner who owned the land near where the bridge is presently located.

Elizabeth Bellamy had been raised on a plantation in North Carolina. Her grandfather was an officer in the American Revolution and her father was a general in the War of 1812. Elizabeth fell in love with a young doctor by the name of Samuel Bellamy. They were married at her family plantation in North Carolina. Together they had a son named Alexander.

Her sister Ann had recently married Samuel’s brother Edward. Both of the couples moved to Northwest Florida. In 1836, Samuel and Elizabeth Bellamy along with their infant son moved to Rock Cave Plantation which was located near the parking lot and land by the bridge. The actual plantation house would have been located a short distance to the southwest. Along the trail you may notice live oaks that were once planted by Dr. Samuel Bellamy as an elaborate entrance to their Antebellum home at Rock Cave Plantation. Their main crop at the plantation was Sea Island cotton. Nearby also on land that cross the trail was Terre Bonne Plantation which was owned by their relatives, Edward and Ann Bellamy who lived at the farm until 1860 before moving to Mississippi.

Elizabeth died of malaria on May 11, 1837 at the age of eighteen after only three years of marriage. Alexander, their son, died of the same illness just three days later. This tragedy left Samuel devastated and heartbroken. He buried his wife and son on a ridge in the Samuel C. Bellamy Family Cemetery at Rock Cave Plantation. According to coordinates, the cemetery is located on a ridge nearby where the Bellamy Bridge stands today but the markers have since been lost.

Samuel become severely depressed turning to alcohol to combat his sadness. He struggled with emotions of losing both his wife and child. He asked that when he died he be buried at Rock Cave Plantation beside his wife and son. In 1852, Samuel committed suicide with a straight razor at Chattahoochee Landing. Since he committed suicide they would not allow him to be buried by his wife as it was considered by religious belief to be an act of sin. He is buried somewhere in Chattahoochee in an unmarked grave site.

The ghost of Elizabeth is said to frequent the grounds nearby the Bellamy Bridge as she is restlessly in search of her husband.

History of the Bellamy Bridge

The Bellamy Bridge was constructed in 1914, long after the tragic situation of the Bellamy family but was named for them due to its presence upon what was once their plantation land. It is the oldest bridge of its type in Florida. At a total cost of $2,389 the bridge is made from steel and is last bridge to have crossed the Chipola River at this spot.

Prior to this bridge the first few bridges here were constructed of wood. The first was built in 1851, the second in 1872 and the third in 1874. All three of the previous bridges could not withstand the harsh waters during flooding season when the Chipola River would rise. The fourth bridge is the one that stands today and has stood in this spot for over 100 years.

After being declared obsolete in 1963 due to increased traffic in the area it was decommissioned and the roadway and new bridge were constructed at Highway 162.

The Bellamy Bridge, Marianna, Florida

Visiting the Bellamy Bridge

The Bellamy Bridge is free to visit and is located on Northwest Florida Water Management District land. Parking is available off of Highway 162/Jacob Road which is also the site of the trail entrance. The trail is about half a mile through the woods and ends at the Bellamy Bridge.

Every October on the Friday and Saturday before Halloween, a guided, haunted trail tour is offered using flashlights at night.

Caution: Be aware of local river levels as the path may be washed out or impassable. Also watch for wildlife as this is located in a remote destination. The trail and bridge are in a swamp and mosquitos are terrible during rainy season so bring plenty of bug spray and long sleeve clothing.

Thanks for reading and as always, keep on truckin’!

-Violet Sky

The Nina Replica

Nina Replica during its visit to Pensacola, Florida

Imagine sailing on a great expedition across the treacherous waters of the Atlantic Ocean. It was on a boat similar to this that joined the party of Christopher Columbus’ crew in an several transatlantic adventures. Companioned by the Santa Maria and Pinta the boat explored the islands of the Caribbean. Overall the Nina had been logged in Columbus’ journal as having traveled at least 25,000 nautical miles. Today the replica of the Nina travels around the continent sharing glimpses into the historical past of the ship.

History of the Original Nina

This boat was used on the first voyage Columbus sailed across the Atlantic Ocean. Only 26 men sailed aboard the Nina during this journey. It was in August of 1492 that they sailed from Spain to what is now the Canary Islands and the Bahamas. They spent the winter months in the tropics exploring the area and returned in the spring of 1493.

Nina Replica during its visit to Pensacola, Florida

Just a few short months later, the crew set out again, but this time with 17 ships including the Nina. This boat lead everyone across as they were in search of exploring Hispaniola. After sailing the waters for nearly two years, all remaining ships except the Nina were destroyed in a Hurricane in 1495.

With as many crew as they could fit onto the Nina, Columbus and his men returned to Spain in 1496.

While on a trip to Rome, the Nina was captured by a crew of pirates and taken to Sardinia. Later in 1498, Columbus’ third voyage went back to Hispaniola. Over the next several years she explored the area of the Caribbean. The last record of the Nina is somewhere along the coast of Isla de Cubagua, Venezuela in 1501.

Violet Sky at the Nina Replica during its visit to Pensacola, Florida

The History of the Replica Nina

This replica of the Nina was built in Brazil alongside the Pinta in the late 1980s. Engineers, historians, naval researchers and shipbuilders all worked together to construct these replicas as best they could to how the Portuguese would have built the ships.

Nina Replica during its visit to Pensacola, Florida

They used hand saws, chisels and other period tools to construct the vessels of Brazilian hardwood. The ship weighs about 75 tons and travels at a speed of 5-7 knots using its replicated sails.

The two ships travel North America giving people the opportunity to explore what these famous historic ships would have been like to be aboard.

Nina Replica during its visit to Pensacola, Florida

While the Nina was docked at Palafox Pier in downtown Pensacola, we got to experience the miraculous ship!

During its docking in Pensacola, the cost to tour the ship was only $5 per person and that included a guided tour around the deck of the boat.

For more information about where the Nina (or the Pinta) is on tour, admission and hours please visit http://www.ninapinta.org/.

Thanks for reading and as always, keep on truckin’!

-Violet Sky

Dave and Buster’s-Panama City Beach, FL

Arcade at Dave and Busters, Panama City Beach, Florida

Looking for a convenient location to play a few arcade games and grab some dinner? Dave and Buster’s in Pier Park is an excellent place with fun-filled activities for all ages.

With many games to pick from you can play for hours while earning points to redeem cool prizes!

When to Visit

Earliest in the day is best to avoid large crowds and faster dining service. The evenings, especially on weekends can be much busier.

Check the promotional calendar to view special event dates for discounts and bundles. For example, all day Wednesday is half price games which allows you to save on your play chips while earning the same amount of points to redeem later.

For a current calendar of events happening at Dave and Buster’s of Panama City Beach visit their website at https://www.daveandbusters.com/locations/panama-city-beach or visit the storefront for more deals!

Arcade at Dave and Busters, Panama City Beach, Florida

Power Cards

If you are looking to play games at Dave and Buster’s, you will need to purchase a power card. This card is rechargeable and your points will continue to accumulate as you play.

Even better you can download the D&B app for your smartphone. In this account you can link your cards, recharge and earn more points. You can get rewards such as $10 free for every $100 you spend on food and game play.

To find out what current power card offers include visit https://www.daveandbusters.com/rewards.

Playing the Games

Different games at Dave and Buster’s have different costs to play and redeem different benefits.

Games with a green light around the swipe box mean that they are eligible to earn tickets that are redeemable for prizes.

Games with a blue light are for fun. These games are usually simulators or challenge games among multiple people.

For more information about games visit https://www.daveandbusters.com/play-games/games-in-store.

Gamebar and Restaurant at Dave and Busters, Panama City Beach, Florida

Dining and Drinks

Eating at Dave and Buster’s has a surprisingly good turn out. Unlike most greasy arcade snacks, D&B has a variety of foods on their menu from zucchini noodle pasta to a stacked hamburger. Salads and desserts are even a delicious option.

A full service bar as well unique house drinks are available at Dave and Buster’s for those over 21.

For menu options visit https://www.daveandbusters.com/sports-bar-and-restaurant.

D&B Sports Zone at Dave and Busters, Panama City Beach, Florida

Sports Bar

ESPN is played constantly at Dave and Buster’s on the big screens behind the bar.

Reward Zone at Dave and Busters, Panama City Beach, Florida

Rewards Zone

Find something to redeem all your tickets for in the reward zone. Here you have the option to find a giant stuffed animal, ninja products, X-boxes and or just a candy bar.

Thanks for reading and as always, “Keep on Truckin'”-Violet Sky

Fun in Historic Pensacola

Violet Sky in Historic Pensacola, Florida

In an effort to preserve the historic places of Pensacola, the city in partnership with the University of West Florida designated spaces for this district to be maintained. What makes this cute little area so unique is that the streets and all the buildings make visitors feel like they are stepping back in time! I thought this was such an awesome place to visit because the homes and businesses are tastefully restored with a nostalgic feel. The streets are designed as though you are actually visiting the places years ago and tidbits of history in front of the buildings embrace this sensation.

Violet Sky in Historic Pensacola, Florida

Another exciting aspect of the area is the ability to follow the Colonial Archaeological Trail. Featuring multiple historic locations throughout the downtown area of Pensacola, the Colonial Archaeological Trail is an excellent way to witness the preservation of local history. As you venture through the trail a unique aspect of this walking tour is the key locations that were previously used in the area. The occupation of Pensacola by Spain, Britain and now the United States have all left a trace in the archaeology of the region.

Violet Sky in Historic Pensacola, Florida

Shown above is the Lear-Rocheblave House. John and Kate Lear built their timeless home in downtown Pensacola in 1888, although they never actually lived in the home it still stands today as a symbol of the past. The residence was built upon the grounds of a 1700s British building. The house was built of strong construction and featured a grand porch and balcony upon each floor. The elegant door welcomes visitors in to see its beautiful architecture sprinkled with tidbits of history. The home gained the second part of its name after a local tugboat captain by the name of Benito Rocheblave purchased the residence in 1897. The Rocheblave family had resided in the area since 1817 during the time of Colonial Spanish rule.

Violet Sky in Historic Pensacola, Florida

Another important building in the district is the Old Christ Church. This beautiful, historic church was built in 1832 and known for its longevity in the city of Pensacola. Not only is this house of worship considered to be one of the oldest church buildings in Florida, it the oldest masonry church in the state which still stands on the original foundation.

So many other great historic places are available to visit in the downtown Pensacola area! For more information about visiting Historic Pensacola, please visit http://www.historicpensacola.org/.

Thanks for reading and as always, keep on truckin’!

-Violet Sky