My News 13 - floridatankful The latest in floridatankful county news from My News 13 http://mynews13.com/ en-us Thu, 28 Apr 2016 23:53:35 Thu, 28 Apr 2016 23:53:35 Copyright 2016 My News 13 30 <![CDATA[Florida on a Tankful: Blueberry season in the hills of Lake County]]> http://www.mynews13.com/content/news/cfnews13/news/article.html/content/news/articles/cfn/2016/4/27/blueberry_season_201/?cid=rss Thu, 28 Apr 2016 8:00 AM Scott Fais "The scenery here is not normal Florida,” warns farmer David Hill on the approach to his property.

It’s here in the hills of Lake County, where the asphalt road gives way to sand.

"You're transported to another world,” says Retha Gahangir.

The famed 10-mile clay loop in Clermont bisects a sweet destination.

"If my husband keeps eating as many as he picks, they are going to start weighing the customers,” Gahangir jokes while picking blueberries.

"It takes me back to that time of my childhood, that is as sweet as a ripe blueberry," she says.

Several times each spring during blueberry season, Gahangir and her husband, Mike, will make the pilgrimage to Southern Hill Farms.

"Raises your spirit pretty much,” Mike says while holding a white plastic bucket filled to the rim with blueberries.

Here, a sea of green and blue stretches 40 acres.

"Corral them like happy cattle,” Hill says of the task to spread visitors out among the rows and rows of blueberries, ensuring no plant is picked over too badly.

"Most of the time, they will spend between one to two, to three hours here, just hanging out,” he says of visitors.  “They just sit under the barn in the rocking chairs, and they don't want to leave."

Hill says there’s a technique when picking the biggest berries that starts with looking under the leaves.

Meantime, Hill's daughter Rachael Criswell wants visitors to walk away with knowledge of the growing process.

"They learn blueberries grow on a bush. Lots of kids don't know that. Lots of parents still call them trees,” she says.

"Kids love it. To them, it's a game. To you, you're getting your bucket filled, and spending time with your kids."

Kids will also love the blueberry muffins, while big kids appreciate the home-made blueberry cobbler.

With no admission fee, and $4 a pound, Gahangir says she'll be back before the growing season ends.

"It releases this peacefulness about you that cannot be compared,” she says while heading into the barn to pay for her crop.

"They come back and thank us for giving them the opportunity to pick,” Hill concludes.

Note: The bushes at Southern Hill Farms are expected to produce fruit until Memorial Day weekend. Keep in mind that the farm is closed on Mondays.

Find Southern Hill Farms just outside of Clermont, not far off the State Route 429 toll road.

Tankful on Television
You can catch new Florida on a Tankful stories each Thursday and Saturday on News 13 and Bay News 9. New editions play at the end of each hour starting at 6 a.m. Classic Florida on a Tankful stories can be found each Friday and Sunday on Bay News 9 and News 13 at the end of each hour starting at 6 a.m.

Tankful on Demand
Catch Florida on a Tankful with Scott Fais on your time, now on Bright House Local On Demand, Channel 999. Use your remote to scroll to the right to the TRAVEL category. Then SCROLL DOWN to TANKFUL.

Scott Fais joins Travel Monthly
Catch our own Scott Fais as the Florida Correspondent on the On Demand travel magazine, Travel Monthly. Each month, Scott joins other travel reporters from across the United States as they showcase a wide variety of attractions, diners, parks and landmarks from across America. See Travel Monthly nationally on Time Warner Cable channel 411.  And here at home on Channel 999 in the Travel section.

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<![CDATA[Florida on a Tankful: Corn, cafe mean spring at Long & Scott Farms]]> http://www.mynews13.com/content/news/cfnews13/news/article.html/content/news/articles/cfn/2016/4/21/zellwood_spring_farm/?cid=rss Fri, 22 Apr 2016 6:30 AM Scott Fais In Zellwood, the spring flowers are in the field, along with Hank Scott, who parks a pickup truck long enough for a peek at the pickles.

"If you take care of that vine, everyone of them has a flower, that's another pickle,” said Scott, the president of Long & Scott Farms while examining a cucumber vine.

  • Long & Scott Farms is in Zellwood
  • Farm sells sweet corn, as well as fresh vegetables in farmer's market
  • Farm also has cafe where visitors can enjoy breakfast or lunch

The Scott family first began providing a taste of spring in 1963.

"I've been here since I was big enough to get on the tractor,” Scott jokes.

This week, the farmer's market reopened as the sea of gold and green that put Zellwood on the map is just about ready.

"Be ready next Tuesday,” Scott says of the famed Zellwood sweet corn. It is just about to turn yellow and join fresh peppers, tomatoes, squash and sweet potatoes at the farmer's market.

Inside the market, the “recipe tree” holds ideas on how to cook what’s available in the farmer's market. Or, you could let somebody else do the cooking at Scott's Country Cafe and enjoy the entire farm-to-table movement.

"Look at this. We're sitting in the middle of a farm,” said Grace Genetia, of Mount Dora. "It's always exciting when they first open up.”

Visitors place their order next to the antique stove and then have a seat on a tractor seat to enjoy sausage biscuits for breakfast and corn chowder for lunch, along with daily specials such as chicken pot pie.

"You can tell it was made with a lot of care and a lot of love,” Genetia said.

It's a 50-year tradition Scott hopes to continue.

"Hopefully a legacy that my Dad's left and hopefully I'll leave and my kids and grandkids are part of it, and hopefully, they carry on the tradition,” Scott said.

NOTE: The Long & Scott Farm Market and Café are closed on Sunday and Monday in the spring.

Tankful on Television
You can catch new Florida on a Tankful stories each Thursday and Saturday on News 13 and Bay News 9. New editions play at the end of each hour starting at 6 a.m. Classic Florida on a Tankful stories can be found each Friday and Sunday on Bay News 9 and News 13 at the end of each hour starting at 6 a.m.

Tankful on Demand
Catch Florida on a Tankful with Scott Fais on your time, now on Bright House Local On Demand, Channel 999. Use your remote to scroll to the right to the TRAVEL category. Then SCROLL DOWN to TANKFUL.

Scott Fais joins Travel Monthly
Catch our own Scott Fais as the Florida Correspondent on the On Demand travel magazine, Travel Monthly. Each month, Scott joins other travel reporters from across the United States as they showcase a wide variety of attractions, diners, parks and landmarks from across America. See Travel Monthly nationally on Time Warner Cable channel 411.  And here at home on Channel 999 in the Travel section.

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<![CDATA[Florida on a Tankful: Young paleontologists wanted at Gatorama]]> http://www.mynews13.com/content/news/cfnews13/news/article.html/content/news/articles/cfn/2016/4/20/gatorama_dig/?cid=rss Thu, 21 Apr 2016 5:45 AM Scott Fais From the same place that allows wee ones to wade with little alligators and lend a hand in hatching baby gators each August, comes a new experience at Gatorama.

  • The Big Gator Fossil Dig is at Gatorama in Palmdale
  • Gatorama's giant sandbox simulates a paleontologist dig site
  • Guests can also hold gator hatchlings in late August during "The Hatching Festival"

"At some point, these guys are going to expire," said Tricia Couch as she stood near a dig site full of alligator bones. "That's where the fossil end of things comes in."

Get your glasses. Put them on. Check for the brush and grab your trowel.

The Big Gator Fossil Dig at Gatorama simulates a dig site where skeletons of alligators are waiting to be discovered.

"It's a unique opportunity to see the skulls and the teeth and the scoots and all the cool stuff that makes up an alligator and a crocodile," Couch said.

Just west of Lake Okeechobee, you can dig like young paleontologist Cami Fuson, who dug up real gator bones.

"It's bumpy on your hands," Cami said after handling the bones.

Getting out of the classroom is something she enjoys, adding: "If you're reading a textbook at school, you're just sitting there reading."

Although these are real bones that have yet to fossilize, they can inspire what's next.

"We're trying to inspire the inner paleontologist to maybe pursue a career in science or alligator and crocodile conservation," Couch said.

In the meantime, Cami keeps it real.

"Gators can be really stinky sometimes," she said.

Tankful on Television
You can catch new Florida on a Tankful stories each Thursday and Saturday on News 13 and Bay News 9. New editions play at the end of each hour starting at 6 a.m. Classic Florida on a Tankful stories can be found each Friday and Sunday on Bay News 9 and News 13 at the end of each hour starting at 6 a.m.

Tankful on Demand
Catch Florida on a Tankful with Scott Fais on your time, now on Bright House Local On Demand, Channel 999. Use your remote to scroll to the right to the TRAVEL category. Then SCROLL DOWN to TANKFUL.

Scott Fais joins Travel Monthly
Catch our own Scott Fais as the Florida Correspondent on the On Demand travel magazine, Travel Monthly. Each month, Scott joins other travel reporters from across the United States as they showcase a wide variety of attractions, diners, parks and landmarks from across America. See Travel Monthly nationally on Time Warner Cable channel 411.  And here at home on Channel 999 in the Travel section.

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<![CDATA[Florida on a Tankful: Fresh seafood off the boat at Pensacola market]]> http://www.mynews13.com/content/news/cfnews13/news/article.html/content/news/articles/cfn/2016/4/15/florida_tankful_pens/?cid=rss Fri, 15 Apr 2016 5:05 AM Scott Fais An empire built on seafood in the Florida Panhandle has gained the reputation of pulling folks from Central Florida and even across state lines for a visit.

  • Joe Patti Seafood Company is in Pensacola
  • Son Frank is known for his brash mic skills behind counter

"That will knock your socks off," says a dominant voice on the overhead public address system.

Yes, he's a little brash.

"Tell her to change the water in the Mackinaw red," barks the man with the flattened beret.

The man behind the microphone, who acts like he owns the place, helped build his own seafood empire in Pensacola.

"Madam, you got enough of that?" he asks a visitor from across the counter. "Go take care of that lady there," he instructs an employee.

Who is he? The legendary 80-something-year-old Frank Patti.

"I was born in the fish market," Patti said. "I used to go shrimping with my father when I was 6 or 7 years old."

Just off the Gulf of Mexico in Pensacola is the Joe Patti Seafood Company. The company founded in 1933 still bears Frank's father's name.

"Mom and Daddy started it," Patti said. "They raised us during the Great Depression when there was nothing. We ate shrimp and pasta, fish and pasta — all pasta."

While growing up, Patti was hesitant to leave the shore for finding a catch in the Gulf.

"It was hell getting away from the beach, because I like chasing the girls, too," he said with a chuckle.

Eventually, while his father was in the market, Patti headed out to sea to catch the fish his family sold.

Nowadays, you'll find almost everything that lives in the ocean behind the counter and on ice — from pompano to red snapper and even jumbo crab claws.
Patti can often times be found sitting behind the microphone and calling customers by number to the counter.

"No. 69!" he shouts, scouring the room for the holder of the winning ticket. The additional comments he adds while on PA system gained him notoriety.

"That one is Andy. Andy is a pretty fish," he tells me while petting a salmon from Norway.

Patti will also share that he spent three years in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War and, more recently, five years in a Texas jail for tax fraud. The sentencing that put him behind bars also has made him more mellow, he admits.

Over the years, the length of the seafood display counter has changed. Today, it's about 120 feet long. However, one thing will never change: Frank said the name up on the roof is a tribute to his father.

"I love Daddy's name up there," he said. "And it will stay up there. And my son and his son will see to it that it remains there."

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<![CDATA[Florida on a Tankful: Wild encounters at Peace River Wildlife Center]]> http://www.mynews13.com/content/news/cfnews13/news/article.html/content/news/articles/cfn/2016/4/14/wild_encounters_at_t/?cid=rss Thu, 14 Apr 2016 5:21 AM Scott Fais Not far away from the stately homes of Punta Gorda, formed of stucco and glass, awaits a natural attraction.

  • Peace River Wildlife Center is in Charlotte County
  • Center cares for and rehabilitates injured wildlife
  • Executive at center says 90% of birds at center were injured by humans

"Our main goal is to get these animals healthy again and release them back into the wild,” said Robin Jenkins, the executive director and veterinarian at Peace River Wildlife Center.

Just off the Peace River in Charlotte County is a lesson at work under the trees.

"Our secondary goal is education,” Jenkins explained, as a white screech owl sat on her right hand.

The center just outside downtown Punta Gorda cares for seabirds and waterfowl that need the kind of support only humans can provide.

"Maybe we can keep some other animals from being injured in the same way that these were injured," Jenkins suggests.

Here, native Florida birds that need some extra tender loving care find it along the shady boardwalk. Everything from bald eagles, pelicans and sandhill cranes, to that white screech owl sitting on Jenkins named Luma.

"It's entirely possible his parents or siblings pushed him out of the nest, because he would have been flagging predators to the nest,” she said of the bird that should be brown but instead is the color of an April snowfall up north.

Each afternoon, the Peace River Wildlife Center makes a spectacle of feeding water fowl. The pelicans are like wide receivers and always ready to catch a fish. Visitors can have seat safely behind a fence and watch what looks a lot like baseball pitching practice. Volunteers lob fish into the gaping mouths of pelicans who sit attentively, ready to open their massive jaws.

A popular resident roaming around the pelicans is a sandhill crane known as Chickie. The bird standing about 50 inches tall has a “scissor beak.” The top and bottom portions of his beak cross over themselves, making it difficult for the bird to devour mealworms.

Jenkins said 90 percent of the birds at the center were hurt by humans.

"Just be cognizant these guys are out there, and it's their world, too,” she said.

The Peace River Wildlife Center is open seven days a week. Visitors are welcome from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tankful on Television
You can catch new Florida on a Tankful stories each Thursday and Saturday on News 13 and Bay News 9. New editions play at the end of each hour starting at 6 a.m. Classic Florida on a Tankful stories can be found each Friday and Sunday on Bay News 9 and News 13 at the end of each hour starting at 6 a.m.

Tankful on Demand
Catch Florida on a Tankful with Scott Fais on your time, now on Bright House Local On Demand, Channel 999. Use your remote to scroll to the right to the TRAVEL category. Then SCROLL DOWN to TANKFUL.

Scott Fais joins Travel Monthly
Catch our own Scott Fais as the Florida Correspondent on the On Demand travel magazine, Travel Monthly. Each month, Scott joins other travel reporters from across the United States as they showcase a wide variety of attractions, diners, parks and landmarks from across America. See Travel Monthly nationally on Time Warner Cable channel 411. And here at home on Channel 999 in the Travel section.

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<![CDATA[Florida on a Tankful: Grab skates, glide with seniors in Kissimmee]]> http://www.mynews13.com/content/news/cfnews13/news/article.html/content/news/articles/cfn/2016/4/7/senior_skaters/?cid=rss Fri, 8 Apr 2016 5:00 AM Scott Fais You can hear the keyboard music from the parking lot outside Skate Reflections.

"Wednesday is our adult session,” says Kelly Childs, the owner of Skate Reflections in Kissimmee.

When walking into the lobby, tickets still pop up from under the countertop. Inside, you will find folks mulling about, pulling suitcases that, once open, reveal a time capsule.

"We drive here 92 miles,” says Jeanne Hahn from Ormond Beach.

At 82 years young, Hahn isn't slowing down.

"The thing I worry about the most is the fact that I have had two knee replacements,” she says. “But I am still going."

What began for Hahn at age 9 turned into competing in national competitions and the mantra to keep rolling.

"My theory is let the undertaker chase you,” she says.

Lace up your skates and be ready to have Bill Lamping lap you.

"I use to deliver newspapers on roller skates,” Lamping jokes.

Today, Lamping's skate partner arrives on four wheels. He tosses a walker on wheels onto the rink floor, the same walker seniors use for stability.

"I skate with the walker, because it's still tight and I don't have that flexibility yet,” he explains.

Not only can his skating partner keep up with him forward, she goes backward like a teenager.

"I'm 16 in here,” Lamping says.

Skate Reflections owner Kelly Childs takes it all in stride.

"He's one of a few that we have with the walkers,” Childs says. "They are phenomenal. And nothing gets them down."

"One foot in front of the other,” Hahn says.

Tankful on Television
You can catch new Florida on a Tankful stories each Thursday and Saturday on News 13 and Bay News 9. New editions play at the end of each hour starting at 6 a.m. Classic Florida on a Tankful stories can be found each Friday and Sunday on Bay News 9 and News 13 at the end of each hour starting at 6 a.m.

Tankful on Demand
Catch Florida on a Tankful with Scott Fais on your time, now on Bright House Local On Demand, Channel 999. Use your remote to scroll to the right to the TRAVEL category. Then SCROLL DOWN to TANKFUL.

Scott Fais joins Travel Monthly
Catch our own Scott Fais as the Florida Correspondent on the On Demand travel magazine, Travel Monthly. Each month, Scott joins other travel reporters from across the United States as they showcase a wide variety of attractions, diners, parks and landmarks from across America. See Travel Monthly nationally on Time Warner Cable channel 411. And here at home on Channel 999 in the Travel section.

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<![CDATA[Florida on a Tankful: Cape Canaveral Lighthouse again welcomes guests]]> http://www.mynews13.com/content/news/cfnews13/news/article.html/content/news/articles/cfn/2016/4/6/cape_canaveral_light/?cid=rss Thu, 7 Apr 2016 6:00 AM Scott Fais On a bright spring morning, Merritt Island resident Howard Davies is about to get his wish.

"I've always wanted to go to the lighthouse," Davies said. "Been here all this time, and never had an opportunity to go."

It's a pilgrimage Davies waited 18 years to make after moving to the United States from England.

"I've talked to people about it, and they said, 'Well, there's no access,’ ” Davies said.

The treasure was locked up and buried behind the security fence at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station — until now.

Recently, an old friend began greeting visitors.

"They are bolted together; there are no welds,” a volunteer proudly says at the entrance to the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse.

Built more than 150 years ago, the lighthouse continues to protect the Brevard County coastline.

"The first two floors are waterproof,” visitors learn upon entry.

On Friday and Saturday mornings, SunWard Tours delivers the curious to the restricted area, where visitors are given one hour to explore. They can climb five floors using a tight spiral staircase embedded in the center of the tower.

"You're supposed to crawl up,” said Susan Clemens from Boca Raton. “I didn't realize that, that you're supposed to be crawling. It's not an actual step, it's a crawl, and down, you do it backward."

Clemens climbed the structure forward and backward until she met volunteer Barbara Read.

"The light is seen 25 miles all the way around,” Read boasts.

The metal exterior is complemented by a brick interior that acts as insulation.

"There is a cool feel to them,” she says, holding the bricks that line the inside of the lighthouse, similar to a brick pizza oven.

Yet, all of this was picked up and moved in the 1880s when rising tides on the Atlantic encroached too close. You can still see the roman numerals used when rebuilding took place almost 130 years ago.

"They could put it back the way it was supposed to be, or perhaps we would have a Leaning Tower of Pisa here,” Read said.

Visitors can't climb to the top. Halfway up, the stairs are exposed, much like a tall ladder, giving past climbers vertigo.

"The fire department doesn't like to extract people from way up there,” a education guide jokes of the beacon that shines from generation to generation.

"To be up close, that was really, really good,” Davies said.

For tickes, tour times and security requirements, visit SunWard Tours.

Tankful on Television
You can catch new Florida on a Tankful stories each Thursday and Saturday on News 13 and Bay News 9. New editions play at the end of each hour starting at 6 a.m. Classic Florida on a Tankful stories can be found each Friday and Sunday on Bay News 9 and News 13 at the end of each hour starting at 6 a.m.

Tankful on Demand
Catch Florida on a Tankful with Scott Fais on your time, now on Bright House Local On Demand, Channel 999. Use your remote to scroll to the right to the TRAVEL category. Then SCROLL DOWN to TANKFUL.

Scott Fais joins Travel Monthly
Catch our own Scott Fais as the Florida Correspondent on the On Demand travel magazine, Travel Monthly. Each month, Scott joins other travel reporters from across the United States as they showcase a wide variety of attractions, diners, parks and landmarks from across America. See Travel Monthly nationally on Time Warner Cable channel 411.  And here at home on Channel 999 in the Travel section.

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<![CDATA[Baby goats and U-pick produce highlight Spring at Hunsader Farm]]> http://www.mynews13.com/content/news/cfnews13/news/article.html/content/news/articles/cfn/2016/3/31/spring_produce_/?cid=rss Fri, 1 Apr 2016 4:30 AM Scott Fais The famed pumpkin cannon atop the vintage fire truck is silent.

The John Deere roped off.

Yet, springtime at this popular fall destination is anything but quiet.

Dashing between the “U-Pick” field and the farmer's market, you discover Rachel Hunsader's boots were made for rushing.

"I've been working out here, helping out since I was little,” she says between chores.

Yet she squeezes a few moments to share a little love with Patty the pig.

"You start rubbing her belly, she'll roll over,” Hunsader says. "She's smarter than some dogs!”

However, the stars of the Hunsader Farm this spring are baby goats born on Thursday, March 31.

"And all of a sudden, they're finally here,” Hunsader says.

The two baby goats born early Thursday, along with a third goat born on Wednesday, are already walking and exploring their part of rural Manatee County while a nervous mom and dad keep watch at a distance.

Visitors can also grab a bag of feed for 50 cents and offer lunch to the emu and tortoises, and call a parrot to say hello (the yellow parrot only answers when he hears a cell phone ring).

With Florida's mild growing season and crops left wild, the Hunsader Farm is a popular U-Pick destination.

Sign in at the produce barn.

Grab a bag or a box.

Then drive out to the fields. Visitors are allowed to park right next to the crops to keep walking to a minimum.

During the first weekend in April, snow peas are in season.

"It's easier if you hold the end and then rip the pea off, or unless the whole plant is going to be coming with you,” Hunsader demonstrates.

Plus, ‘tis the season for green beans.

"You can grab them and pick them right off,” she says yanking on a few green bean poles at once.

Plus, for one more weekend, the ambitious will still find strawberries.

“It's getting too hot for them,” Hunsader explains.

After leaving the farm behind for college, the recent graduate is happy to be home and join her father David keeping the Hunsader Farm vibrant.

"It's cool when you go into Publix and see our squash and it has our sticker on it,” she says with a grin.

This weekend, the farm market offers wide variety of fresh vegetables and several kinds of apples.

Note: The Hunsader Farm is open Monday – Saturday. Sunday is a day of rest. Snow peas and green beans sell for 89 cents a pound in 2016.

For questions, dail the U-pick hotline at 941-331-1212  

Tankful on Television
You can catch new Florida on a Tankful stories each Thursday and Saturday on News 13 and Bay News 9. New editions play at the end of each hour starting at 6 a.m. Classic Florida on a Tankful stories can be found each Friday and Sunday on Bay News 9 and News 13 at the end of each hour starting at 6 a.m.

Tankful on Demand
Catch Florida on a Tankful with Scott Fais on your time, now on Bright House Local On Demand, Channel 999. Use your remote to scroll to the right to the TRAVEL category. Then SCROLL DOWN to TANKFUL.

Scott Fais joins Travel Monthly
Catch our own Scott Fais as the Florida Correspondent on the On Demand travel magazine, Travel Monthly. Each month, Scott joins other travel reporters from across the United States as they showcase a wide variety of attractions, diners, parks and landmarks from across America. See Travel Monthly nationally on Time Warner Cable channel 411.

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<![CDATA[Florida country store is an attraction for grits and sausage]]> http://www.mynews13.com/content/news/cfnews13/news/article.html/content/news/articles/cfn/2016/3/30/grits_sausage_store/?cid=rss Thu, 31 Mar 2016 5:00 AM Scott Fais Whether you enjoy grits for breakfast or later in the day, some of the freshest can be found not far from the Florida Statehouse.

As a 50-year-old Ford tractor coughs to life, Tyrone Morris gets busy with a different kind of farm chore.

"I dump it into a hopper and it crushes it to any size I adjust it too,” Morris says as a belt attached the tractor begins to spin.

"Freshly ground, made yellow grits!” he exclaims.

Using the engine on the tractor to turn a large belt flowing inside a 1928 grist mill shotgun shed, Morris is feeding more than Florida’s big bend area.

"We ship them all over the United States. Anywhere and everywhere,” Morris says.

A short drive outside of downtown Tallahassee awaits a corner destination known for ground grits and fresh sausage that’s survived the test of time.

"We're talking four generations on the sausage and three generations on the store,” says Janet Bradley Parker, the proprietor of Bradley's Country Store.

"We were farm to table before anyone knew what farm to table was,” she says.

In her family since 1910, Janet's grandmother started a legend in Florida's big bend.

"She was selling sausage out her kitchen window," Parker shares.

The peeling ceiling inside, Formica counter tops now covered in marble and drying sausage in aisle 1 of the store give the business the feel as if time has stood still. For those dashing in on their work break and those with extra time on their hands, lunch includes fresh sausage and a soda in a glass bottle.

Outside, children can't pass up what's in the parking lot. Here, kids and kids at heart can't get enough of this pallet swing in the old oak tree. On this swing, you stand up as you rock back and forth.

Meantime, not far away, Morris is ready to turn another 50lbs pound of corn into grits.

"I just want them to have a nice, full belly,” he says.

Tankful on Television
You can catch new Florida on a Tankful stories each Thursday and Saturday on News 13 and Bay News 9. New editions play at the end of each hour starting at 6 a.m. Classic Florida on a Tankful stories can be found each Friday and Sunday on Bay News 9 and News 13 at the end of each hour starting at 6 a.m.

Tankful on Demand
Catch Florida on a Tankful with Scott Fais on your time, now on Bright House Local On Demand, Channel 999. Use your remote to scroll to the right to the TRAVEL category. Then SCROLL DOWN to TANKFUL.

Scott Fais joins Travel Monthly
Catch our own Scott Fais as the Florida Correspondent on the On Demand travel magazine, Travel Monthly. Each month, Scott joins other travel reporters from across the United States as they showcase a wide variety of attractions, diners, parks and landmarks from across America. See Travel Monthly nationally on Time Warner Cable channel 411.

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<![CDATA[Florida on a Tankful: A chocolate facial in Winter Park for Easter]]> http://www.mynews13.com/content/news/cfnews13/news/article.html/content/news/articles/cfn/2016/3/24/a_chocolate_facial_i/?cid=rss Fri, 25 Mar 2016 6:30 AM Scott Fais This is Peter Cottontail's season. But, for adults who have outgrown chocolate bunnies, maybe it's time consider Easter chocolate in a different way.

"The cocoa bean is really high in antioxidants. So, smooth’s lines, wrinkles," says Kelly Stapleton with The Pure Blends Organic Spa and Apothecary.

Inside a century goneby drug store, this Winter Park spa takes Easter chocolate to a new level. 

Victoria Nelson carries an Easter basket of another kind into the treatment room.

Kick off the shoes, lose the shirt, and come face-to-face with a facial made of chocolate.

"People are looking for the natural way to get great skin," says Stapleton, who handles spa client services.

The candles are lit. "So now, I am going to put a hot towel on your face," Nelson says.

Before the chocolate treatment, Pure Blends applies a cherry enzyme peel under steam before Victoria does an inspection of your pores.

"You just want to cleanse to make sure all the impurities are off the skin," she says.

After resting for a moment, the chocolate is mixed on site and once blended, applied by brush.  And Kelly says the treatment is gaining popularity with men.

"We have a lot of husbands coming in who say, 'Oh my gosh, my wife's skin looks great.  What can I do?'  We definitely get a lot of men, now more than ever," Stapleton says.

You can't eat this chocolate, however.

"I'm sure it taste… well, not taste, but smelled really good!" Kelly says.

The entire experience lasts about an hour.

"So now your skin looks super bright," Nelson says.

The glow of chocolate may last longer than a chocolate bunny in the spring sunshine. 

Spas across Florida are joining "Pure Blends" to offer treatments at a substantial discount during "Spa Week" next month.

The Pure Blends Organic Spa and Apothecary is located on Pennsylvania Avenue in Winter Park, just outside downtown Orlando.

Tankful on Television
You can catch new Florida on a Tankful stories each Thursday and Saturday on News 13 and Bay News 9. New editions play at the end of each hour starting at 6 a.m. Classic Florida on a Tankful stories can be found each Friday and Sunday on Bay News 9 and News 13 at the end of each hour starting at 6 a.m.

Tankful on Demand
Catch Florida on a Tankful with Scott Fais on your time, now on Bright House Local On Demand, Channel 999. Use your remote to scroll to the right to the TRAVEL category. Then SCROLL DOWN to TANKFUL.

Scott Fais joins Travel Monthly
Catch our own Scott Fais as the Florida Correspondent on the On Demand travel magazine, Travel Monthly. Each month, Scott joins other travel reporters from across the United States as they showcase a wide variety of attractions, diners, parks and landmarks from across America. See Travel Monthly nationally on Time Warner Cable channel 411.

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<![CDATA[Florida on a Tankful: After years of blight, art brings light]]> http://www.mynews13.com/content/news/cfnews13/news/article.html/content/news/articles/cfn/2016/3/23/northwood_village/?cid=rss Thu, 24 Mar 2016 6:15 AM Scott Fais "Northwood Village is very cozy,” says Jasmine Etienne with the Community Redevelopment Agency in West Palm Beach.

Ten years ago this evening, most people would not visit Northwood. The town that most would drive through with their doors locked is now open again for business and visitors.

"Let's go take a look,” says Nickie Hennevelt as she leads a group of two dozen.

On select Saturday nights, you'll find Hennevelt on foot, leading tours of art galleries. Part artist, part tour guide, wholeheartedly Northwood Village.

"I want them to come and enjoy, the vintage feeling, of a great, unique neighborhood,” she says.

Hennevelt is part of the fabric of this urban community. Her “Northwood Village Artwalk Tours” give visitors a chance to stroll, mingle and become inspired by a neighborhood whose best days are still to come.

"I would love to live in this kind of community, where art is all around, people are working together as a community,” says Bobbie Kaufman visiting from Long Island.

After years of blight, there is light with art.

"Our murals are amazing,” says Etienne.

Visitors are invited to snack and sip as the sun sets. Throughout the evening, folks will venture into about 10 different art galleries. And there is also art on the plates, when you get hungry.

"It's just not an art gallery," Hennevelt said. "They have gelato!”

The 90-minute stroll provides insight into Northwood’s past and future.

"Northwood is like a little, a little nook, that nobody gets to see,” said Brian Leibowitz from Lakeworth, Florida.

Northwood's new reputation makes a lasting impression.

"It's very heartwarming to see an area reinvent itself,” says Mal Danker, visiting from New York.

Tankful on Television
You can catch new Florida on a Tankful stories each Thursday and Saturday on News 13 and Bay News 9. New editions play at the end of each hour starting at 6 a.m. Classic Florida on a Tankful stories can be found each Friday and Sunday on Bay News 9 and News 13 at the end of each hour starting at 6 a.m.

Tankful on Demand
Catch Florida on a Tankful with Scott Fais on your time, now on Bright House Local On Demand, Channel 999. Use your remote to scroll to the right to the TRAVEL category. Then SCROLL DOWN to TANKFUL.

Scott Fais joins Travel Monthly
Catch our own Scott Fais as the Florida Correspondent on the On Demand travel magazine, Travel Monthly. Each month, Scott joins other travel reporters from across the United States as they showcase a wide variety of attractions, diners, parks and landmarks from across America. See Travel Monthly nationally on Time Warner Cable channel 411.

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<![CDATA[Florida on a Tankful: Honeymoon Island's baby eagles greet visitors]]> http://www.mynews13.com/content/news/cfnews13/news/article.html/content/news/articles/cfn/2016/3/17/honeymoon_island_eag/?cid=rss Fri, 18 Mar 2016 5:15 AM Scott Fais Just north of downtown Tampa, in Dunedin, another world awaits.

"It's this awesome oasis away from the hustle and bustle of Pinellas County,” says Peter Krulder, Park Manager at Honeymoon Island State Park.

More than one million people visit annually, making Honeymoon Island the most visited State Park in Florida. Humans aren't the only ones who enjoy the sand and surf.

“You can see one of the two chicks right on the nest and off to the left is the other eagle chick,” Krudler says, pointing into a set of pine trees along the Osprey Trail.

At first look, you'll be hard pressed to see them.

"We're 350 feet from the eagle's nest,” Krudler promises.

Bring your binoculars to focus on the eagle chicks born around Christmas 2015 and now visible to the eye.

''Yesterday, it was still in the nest. Kinda flopping around; spreading his wings a little bit,” Krudler says. “But today, he actually got out."

On a recent afternoon, the babies scooted out of their nest on tree limbs, while mom and dad went in search of food.

Their heads aren't white and won’t be for a while according to Krudler.

“They'll start about their third year," Krudler says. He’s quick to share the eagles with visitors from a safe distance, many of whom traveled a distance to get to the park.

"I'll use an American term... 'awesome,’” says Carole Shrigley, who is visiting from the United Kingdom.

"It's a delight to see something that is just ironically Americanized, I suppose as well” she says.

And like a good vacation, this will come to an end all too soon.

"Probably another month or so,” Krudler thinks before the pair of babies join their parents and fly away.

“We figure they head north with the rest of the snowbirds,” Krudler concludes with a laugh.

Tankful on Television
You can catch new Florida on a Tankful stories each Thursday and Saturday on News 13 and Bay News 9. New editions play at the end of each hour starting at 6 a.m. Classic Florida on a Tankful stories can be found each Friday and Sunday on Bay News 9 and News 13 at the end of each hour starting at 6 a.m.

Tankful on Demand
Catch Florida on a Tankful with Scott Fais on your time, now on Bright House Local On Demand, Channel 999. Use your remote to scroll to the right to the TRAVEL category. Then SCROLL DOWN to TANKFUL.

Scott Fais joins Travel Monthly
Catch our own Scott Fais as the Florida Correspondent on the On Demand travel magazine, Travel Monthly. Each month, Scott joins other travel reporters from across the United States as they showcase a wide variety of attractions, diners, parks and landmarks from across America. See Travel Monthly nationally on Time Warner Cable channel 411.

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<![CDATA[Florida on a Tankful: The Green Market in West Palm Beach]]> http://www.mynews13.com/content/news/cfnews13/news/article.html/content/news/articles/cfn/2016/3/17/green_market/?cid=rss Thu, 17 Mar 2016 6:00 AM Scott Fais Although you may not find a four-leaf clover in the heart of downtown West Palm Beach, expect plenty of green on select Saturdays.

"A good selection of beautiful lettuces, kale, a lot of Asian greens, things we can grow in this Florida clement,” boasts organic farmer Nathan Venzara.

On several Saturday mornings through May, downtown West Palm Beach becomes a walkable market.

"All the good things are here,” says Pat Stecker, from Wellington, Florida.

The Green Market is ranked by Cooking Light Magazine as the best green market in Florida.

"We first stop at the donut shop,” Stecker says. “We eat a whole package of those."

And of the 5,000 visitors to the market each Saturday, who could resist?

"We put apple cider fresh right into the batter,” explains Travis Oimoen with Cider Donuts. The red tents traditionally have a line for the gooey delights that are served so warm, you may find your fingers burning. On an average Saturday, more than 3,000 mini doughnuts will be devoured.

Just beyond Cider Donuts at the market entrance awaits 79 additional booths.

"It's all organic,” Venzara says from behind a table, where several cartons of lettuce are now empty following the morning rush.

"When you buy the food from your local farmer, you're building community,” Venzara explains.

Strollers and an ice pop will keep little ones occupied, while parents may want a mimosa that only ends when the market closes.

"It's bottomless. I can go back and get them all day,” says Maryann Jeffries while raising a glass.

Sold by the city of West Palm Beach, buy one mimosa, and refills are free. The mimosas are popular, and so are the giant, cocoon-like fruit at the far eastern edge of the market.

The jackfruit is pretty heavy. The lime green bods are the size of a medium-size dog. Cut it open, and it tastes like mangos, pineapples and bananas.

If you plan to visit, hurry. When June's heat arrives, The Green Market closes.

"Our farmers have to take the time off, because they have not been able to grow the products we want to have at the event each week,” says Katrina Resch, the Green Market Manager.

NOTE:  The Green Market is closed March 19, April 23 and 30, 2016. Find parking here.

Tankful on Television
You can catch new Florida on a Tankful stories each Thursday and Saturday on News 13 and Bay News 9. New editions play at the end of each hour starting at 6 a.m. Classic Florida on a Tankful stories can be found each Friday and Sunday on Bay News 9 and News 13 at the end of each hour starting at 6 a.m.

Tankful on Demand
Catch Florida on a Tankful with Scott Fais on your time, now on Bright House Local On Demand, Channel 999. Use your remote to scroll to the right to the TRAVEL category. Then SCROLL DOWN to TANKFUL.

Scott Fais joins Travel Monthly
Catch our own Scott Fais as the Florida Correspondent on the On Demand travel magazine, Travel Monthly. Each month, Scott joins other travel reporters from across the United States as they showcase a wide variety of attractions, diners, parks and landmarks from across America. See Travel Monthly nationally on Time Warner Cable channel 411.

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