Everyone is Invited!
There will be a special Travel Presentation at the Tallahassee Senior Center on Thur., Nov. 19, from 2-3 p.m.
To RSVP, call (850) 891-4000
Working With Wolves
By Rosetta Stone Land, Travel Columnist and Coordinator, Tallahassee Senior Center
Fifty travelers hopped on the coach with Travel Leaders for the Tallahassee Senior Center benefit tour to the Seacrest Wolf Preserve in Chipley, Florida. Not knowing exactly what to expect, the day brought much excitement among the brave souls venturing along to meet the wolves and explore their habitat and habits. It was my fourth visit to the sanctuary and it was an incredible opportunity for me to share it with my TSC friends.
Seacrest owners Cynthia and Wayne Watkins greeted us as we arrived. Cynthia boarded our coach to give a brief history of how the preserve came to be and its vision for the future. Above all, she focused on its mission of conservation and education. It all began in 1999 as a conservation effort and evolved through the years as the largest wolf preserve in the Southeastern U.S. With a very captivating southern accent, Cynthia told us that Seacrest is a part of the Oaks Farm in Washington County. "The farm covers more than 430 acres that is dedicated to the conservation of indigenous wildlife and Florida eco-systems," she explained. "We offer a haven for wildlife and the farm is dotted with spring-fed ponds and lakes and crisscrossed by nature trails."
Wayne led the group into the wolves' enclosure - where he tells us, "in addition to native wildlife, there now resides (within these boundaries) the Gray, British Columbian and Arctic wolves.” Small species within the preserve include gray and silver foxes, Arctic foxes, skunks, raccoons, and a groundhog. Wayne and Cynthia shared with our aptly attentive travelers, their passion for the future of wolves in America, as well as their fears for the wolves’ removal from the Endangered Species Act.
While our day trippers listened intently, their eyes followed the Gray wolves now coming closer. As these beautiful creatures moved among them, it didn't take but moments to lose all trepidation and reach out to stroke the animals. There seemed to be a magic working...smiles everywhere. We walked with wolves. We howled with wolves.
The group went on to pet foxes and other critters loving attention before climbing on the bus and heading to Falling Waters State Park for a picnic lunch. Trekking the boardwalk into the forest prompted us to appreciate Florida's lush greenery which offered just a hint of fall yellows and reds with beautiful cascading waters. As usual, tour leader Joanie Sharman sprung a surprise on the road home. A stop in Quincy at the Gadsden Arts Center found Grace Robinson, executive director, inviting us in to enjoy the Regional Exhibition of Fine Art that, coincidentally, included works by a few relatives of our travelers. Of course, the gift shop also drew attention!
For information on Seacrest Wolf Preserve, visit SeacrestWolfPreserve.org or call 850-773-2897; for information on Gadsden Arts Center, visit GadsdenArts.org or call 850-875-4866. Falling Waters State Park can be found at FloridaStateParks.org/park/Falling-Waters or call 850-638-6130.
Coach Tours with Travel Leaders
Contact Joanie at 701-3745 or Rosetta at 891-4004 for information on the following tours. Must have 30 travelers on each coach to confirm tour.
Georgia Olive Farm / February 16
- Travel to Lakeland, GA. Tour the olive fields and oil mill, lunch at an Italian restaurant that cooks with the farm’s extra virgin olive oil, and tour Valdosta, GA, with a local guide.
Ocala Horse Farm Tour / March 22
- Motor Coach departs Publix (Lake Ella) parking lot at 8 a.m. $99 per person includes motor coach, horse farm tour and lunch. Travel to the official Horse Capital of the World – Ocala – with over 70,000 acres of thoroughbred breeding and training farms. Your group will take a guided wagon ride through scenic farms where you can interact with the horses. Driver provides a guided tour, fun facts about Ocala, the farms, and the various breeds. Boxed lunch includes sandwich and sides.
Key West & the Florida Gold Coast Tour / April 18 - 22
- $922 pp/double, $1,251 single.
- Includes tours, deluxe motor coach transportation, daily breakfast, 1 lunch/dinner, taxes and meal gratuities. Ybor City Cruise to Key West from Fort Myers/Conch Train Tour/ Sunset at Malory Square/ South Beach/Jungle Queen Riverboat cruise/ Island BBQ /Comedy show/Flamingo Sawgrass Airboat ride in the Everglades/Morse Museum of American Art (Winter Park). Price $100 deposit due Jan. 7; balance due Mar. 15.
Biloxi Bound / May 3 & 4
- $235 pp/double, $280 single.
- Anchor Square/Round Island Lighthouse/Beauvoir Mansion/Beau Rivage Hotel and Casino/Tour Biloxi with guide/educational cruise aboard a Shrimp Boat/Dockside Shrimp Boil. Price includes: deluxe motor coach transportation, 1 night hotel, baggage handling, Beauvoir Mansion, $25 free play at casino, breakfast, step-on guide, boat tour, and Shrimp Boil. All money due Mar. 29. Proof of age required. Tour is limited to 40 so book now!
Collette Vacations Tours
All Collette Vacations tours include Roundtrip Air from Tallahassee, Fees/Surcharges and Hotel Transfers. Call Rosetta at 891-4004.
Islands of New England / May 12 - 19
- Price begins at $2,579
- Providence / Newport, Boston / Cranberry Bog / Plymouth Rock / Cape Cod / Martha's Vineyard / Nantucket / Hyannis / Provincetown / Whale Watch or Sand Dunes / Lobster Dinner
Alaska & The Yukon / August 14 – 26
- With early booking bonus price begins at $6,049
- Note: This is a land tour and does not offer a cruise. Price includes airfare from and return to TLH.
- Anchorage / Tok / Whitehorse (Yukon) / Skagway / Dawson City / Fairbanks / Denali
Colorado Rockies, Historical Trains & 4 Nat'l Parks / September 2 – 10
- Durango – Experience the Wild West
- Price begins at $2,989
- Ride aboard the famous Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad through southwestern Colorado's San Juan Mountains / Journey on the world's highest cog railroad to Pike's Peak, a stunning backdrop for Colorado Springs / Mesa Verde National Park / Arches and Canyon Lands National Parks.
Albuquerque Balloon Festival / October 6 - 12
- With early booking bonus price begins at $2,649
- Balloon Fiesta / Albuquerque National Museum of Nuclear Science & History / Indian Pueblo Cultural Center / Turquoise Traid / Santa Fe / Cooking school.
All tours benefit the Tallahassee Senior Center & Foundation. Call 891-4018 for tour information.