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Day 222: Sing karaoke at Top Flite

17 May

ImageApologies for the terrible photo. This is what happens when you snap pictures with an iPhone in a dark club. The big night to go to Top Flite, surprisingly, is Wednesday. Situated a few blocks from Florida A&M University, Top Flite is extremely popular with southside residents and FAMU students and graduates. I went recently with my husband to celebrate a colleague’s birthday and was really surprised to see how packed the place was on a Wednesday night. We had to pay a small cover charge and wait in line to get in. Once inside, we were able to grab one of the few open seats left. Top Flite isn’t known for its tasty cocktails or glamorous decor. You know the kind of club I’m talking about – floors and furniture with the wear and tear of decades of high-heels and spilled beer. The club is popular because of the location, atmosphere and fairly strong drinks. It was karaoke night and we kicked back to watch a half-dozen wannabe singers and dancers take the stage. At times it felt like we were judges on “American Idol” – the singers were that good. I was way too intimidated to try to sing or join the dancers on stage. Overall, an evening well spent.

Address: 623 Osceola Street

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Day 178: Pick bluberries at Green Meadows Farm

27 Jun

There is no better way to mark the start of summer than spending a late afternoon leisurely picking blueberries. Florida is home to quite a few blueberry farms and some allow you to come on their property and pick your own. Near Monticello, about thirty minutes northeast of Tallahassee, is Green Meadows Farm, which offers rows of organic blueberry bushes ripe for picking. Mark and I arrived on a late Sunday afternoon to pick blueberries and were quickly handed a pail and let loose on their property. The blueberries cost $3.25 a pound, a good deal for organic blueberries. It wasn’t exactly back-breaking labor. The blueberries were dangling within easy reach and with the two of us it only took us about 30 minutes to fill up the pail to our satisfaction. (I’ll admit, I learned I am not exactly a farm girl and grew a little bored of the chore.) We were told we could eat as many blueberries as we wanted out on the field, a perk Mark took advantage of. It pays to call ahead and ask about their hours. They are open mornings and evenings Thursday through Sunday, but the owner will tell you the optimal time to come depending on the heat and weather that day if you call ahead. It would be a great activity for kids, but if yours are the rambunctious type, you may want to sit this one out. Unfortunately, this activity is seasonal. The best time to go blueberry picking is in the months of May and June.

Address: 177 Bluebird East, Moticello, Florida (850-997-4886)

Day 23: Attend a FAMU men’s basketball game

23 Jan

I knew I was in for a good time when the seats reverberated as I walked into the doors of the Lawson Center, where the Florida A&M University men’s basketball team played Howard University. The buzz was thanks to the bumpin’ dance music blaring from speakers mounted on the scoreboard. Clearly, Rattlers know how to have a good time. The game itself was entertaining, with FAMU keeping its lead the entire game, but Howard occasionally made it close enough to be a nail-biter. The FAMU cheerleaders — as well as various other scantily-clad dance squads camped throughout the arena — were also impressive. Cheerleaders did high-air flips and stunts that were beyond what I saw from the Florida State cheerleaders when I went to a recent FSU women’s basketball game.  FAMU games are not just for students or alumni; anyone would have a great time cheering for the basketball team and be charmed by the Rattler spirit.