Thursday, January 24, 2008

Our Outting Today

Our home school group leader, Mrs. Merrilee, sends out an email every Monday giving us all a little heads up for our weekly Thursday meeting. I tried to keep it a secret about what we would be doing. My secret keeping abilities failed last night. In our conversation at supper, I told the boys that we would be visiting an island. An island? Well my goodness, we're gonna need a boat. Imagine that! LOL

I woke up this morning and the boys were all dressed and were modeling their backpacks. Water bottles were all filled up and snacks were packed. Do ya think they were excited?! Yeah, me too. Even Mindy our little Schnauzer was running around barking and carrying on.

Down the road we go. The excitement didn't stop. They were going to get to ride in a boat. They just kept on and on. You know how it is!

Finally! At the river. Now I hear, "Where is the boat?" "Is that it?" And on and on.
The boats in sight and it's time to all load up.

The boat that we all rode in was a canoe. LOL No joke! It was not just an ordinary canoe. It was handmade out of cypress wood with a fiberglass shell. The owner gave us lots of information about the canoe. I sure wish I would have written some of it down. Ok - I now have an F in note taking. Hmm...I think I need to set a better example.
The canoe could only take 3 of us to the island at a time. It took a few minutes to get everyone there but it was well worth it.

Rum Island -
I don't know all of the history about the island, however; what I do know if pretty darn interesting. The history goes something like this: Years and years ago there was a house on the island. Yes - there was a still where they made rum. The island sits in the Santa Fe River with one county on the north side and another county on the south side. The island didn't have to abide by either of the counties laws because it wasn't connected to either county. Both of the counties were dry counties. A dry county is a county that cannot sell any alcohol.

The island's name is supposedly derived from moonshine and bootlegging operations that was located on the island in the early 1900s. A current sign on the site ironically warns, "Rum Island "No Alcohol Allowed." It has been reported that undercover police stake out the grounds, looking to bust people with open containers.

At some point the house burnt down. I have no idea what happened to the still. Somewhere on the island there is a small part of the foundation of the house. Today we did not find the remains. I would love to explore more on the island and find out more about the history.

Our 3 boys were extremely interested in the island. Their interest is an encouragement for me to take them back and do a little more exploring.

Note to self - next time - take the darn camera.

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