Tally Cat Cafe

You guys, something really important happened last week – a cat cafe opened here in Tallahassee. The Tally Cat Cafe, to be exact, and as you can guess, I absolutely had to be at their grand opening this past weekend. Heck, we even made reservations to make sure we had face time with the resident cats.


The cafe part of this establishment is on point: plenty of seating (with chairs that look the tiniest bit like they have cat ears) and a bar where you can sip and look into the cat room. The baristas were handling the rush like bosses, helping customers, whipping up beverages, handing out cat ears, and selling merch, all the while chatting with the people in line and making sure everyone was having a good time.  I went for a Chai Kit-tea and a croissant (both were great), and my mom opted for a Cat-e  Au Lait and a coffee donut (which I assume were good because they were gone in less than 5 minutes). My friends both opted for blended frozen something-or-others and seemed pleased with the results.   While we waited for our session to start, we milled around the cafe, checking out the artwork (all available for sale), and peering into the cat room to see which fluffy felines were out and about.   After a quick list of “dos and don’ts” and a round of hand sanitizer for everyone, we were allowed into the cat room, which is beverage and food friendly as long as you make sure the cats don’t steal any extra snacks from your plate/cup. It was really hard to keep my “MUST SNUGGLE” impulses in check, but I reined it in and took up a seated position on one of the many poufs available. I sipped my beverage and tried to let the cats come to me. I also may have set my croissant in the middle of the table in front of me to lure the kitties in; I figured if they were anything like mine they’d have to investigate.This snuzzy beauty is Charlotte; she napped the whole hour we were in there and could not have cared less about the noisy, needy humans. I thought she was pretty clever – she had one of the best beds in the place and was high enough up most people couldn’t bother here. 
The indifferent calico below is Beatrice; she is chubby, a little grumpy, and full of sass – pretty much me in cat form. She was undoubtedly the queen of the cat room, and while she allowed us to adore her, she made sure that she moved to the next person after a minute or two to keep us from getting to full of ourselves. After watching her work the room, we decided that the single name “Beatrice” simply wasn’t enough for this regal creature, so we started referring to her as Lady Beatrice Wobblybottom of the Tallahassee Wobblybottoms. In all seriousness if I didn’t already have five cats of my own, I would adopt her in a second. Sass respects sass. 
While I was wishing I could adopt Lady Beatrice, my friend Cassie was having her heart stolen by this handsome guy. His name is Vlad, and he has one of the most beautiful plume tails I have ever seen. On top of his glossy coat and inky whiskers, he was a HUGE cuddle bug. Loved the ear and chin scratches and even gave me a kitty kiss on my cheek.  It will probably come to no surprise to you that Vlad was adopted two days after we met him; we were a little sad that we wouldn’t be seeing him again, but happy that he found a fur-ever home. He and his owner were featured on the cafe’s Instagram page, and she looks like she is just as in love with him as we were. 
I won’t go into our interactions with every cat, but I will say that they were all really sweet playful babies. You think having all of those people around would be a bit much, but they were just so excited to be snuggled and make new friends.
Alas, after our hour was up we had to bid adieu to our new friends. I am hoping that I’ll have time to make another visit this weekend.

To find out more about the Tally Cat Cafe, you can check out their website or follow them on Facebook or Instagram.  They also have information available on how to adopt or for any interested parties.


Floaty Floaty Pretty Layers

Lately, I’ve been wearing a lot of dresses. They’re easy to throw on, comfortable, and, in general, tend to look as if you’ve “tried” harder than, say, a tank top and some yoga pants. This weekend I received an email from  Free People highlighting some of their lovely summer dresses, and you know what? I need more dresses.

 Being a chubby girl, I have been conditioned to not consider mid-drift baring options, but this lovely blue number is so cute I say “damn societal expectations!” The sweet little side buttons make it even more perfect. 
THIS DRESS! So bright, so patterned, so floaty! And a wonderful reason to invest in a pair of gold sandals

Uh oh, more buttons! Plus, being black, you don’t have to worry about sweat showing.
It’s so hard being fiscally responsible, when there are so many gorgeous options. What is your favorite warm weather clothing item?

 

All images from  Free People


The Rest of It…

I ended up with so many pictures of Weeki Wachee this past weekend that I decided to break things up into two posts. One about the mermaids and the other about everything else because even though the mermaids are considered the main attraction, they are not all Weeki Wachee Springs has to offer.

 As you can see below, there are quite a few things to be seen. While the mermaids have claim on the part on the deepest part of the springs – where the spring mouth is, the other part has been converted into Buccaneer Bay, a water park with crystal clear water and three water slides. Lifeguards patrol the beaches and keep an extra close eye on the area at the base of the slides to avoid collisions. We didn’t get to swim this time, but they were playing some of the music from my high school days and the nostalgia induced was STRONG.  The park is also home to interesting wild life. While there is a designated show and viewing area for the more dangerous and scaly inhabitants, the peacocks have free rein of the grounds and can often be found around the edges of the snack shack and entertaining tourists in the open green spaces.  
Discovery point is where you want to go to see the Wildlife Show and to walk the Tranquility Trail. We were rained out of the former, but we did manage to do the later.   The Tranquility Trail runs against the edge of the area that is accessible only to those renting kayaks and paddle boards (something I really would like to try next time), and I love to see how the waters transition from that bright, almost artificial looking blue at the center to the dusky murky edges where the trees hang down into the water and play host to tadpoles and small darty fish. With a little bit of planing and an early morning, I think it would be completely possible to enjoy everything Weeki Wachee has to offer. And I will absolutely be putting that theory to the test the next time I have the chance.


The Mermaids

Like I mentioned on Monday, my mom and I took a quick trip down south this weekend. While spending time with family was at the top of the list of “things to do”, #2 was go to Weeki Wachee to see the mermaids. Even though I lived in central Florida until I was 18, I didn’t know anything about “The City of Mermaids.” It wasn’t until I came to college and spent some time learning about what there was to do in the sunshine state that I discovered I had grown up a mere 2.5 hours away from mythological creatures. It took another 10ish years for me to finally make the trip, and I wish I had done it a lot sooner.

Even though I was completely in the dark, it turns out my mom and her siblings went to Weeki Wachee a number of times in the 60’s and 70’s. Heck, there are even stories about my grandparents losing my Uncle Brian at one of the swimming spots and my Uncle Larry skipping school with his friend to go hang out with the mermaids.

The park has changed a bit since then – the impressive shell has been removed from the springs and the mermaids do a lot more of their tricks in fins -, but walking around you get the sense that the history of the place is being honored, while modernizing some of their practices to make sure the park maintained for future generations. 
Now I am completely aware that these aren’t “real” mermaids, but the little girl in me was completely dazzled by these amazing underwater acrobats. I gave my mom such a hard time because now I am old, married, and live far far away, but a younger more athletic me could have perhaps joined these ladies and worn fins of my very own. If only I’d known!  I clapped and cheered my heart out for these ladies (because they can actually hear you through the glass), and I only hope that I have the chance to make a return trip very, very soon. 

If you’re interested in learning more about the mermaids, you can check out the park’s website, and if you keep a close eye on their camp schedule, you can even book a spot in their weekend “Siren’s of the Deep” class and learn what it’s like to be one of the Weeki Wachee mermaids.


Weekend Recap

Hello friends, as we face down a new work week, I am still thinking about this past weekend. As a belated Mother’s Day gift, my mom and I made an overnight trip down to Ybor City to visit with my Aunt and Uncle and stopped at Weeki Wachee Springs on the way back to meet the mermaids.

 I was able to get Friday off from work, so we woke up a little later than normal, loaded the car, and then hit the road. In honor of meeting the mermaids, we made Orange Creamsicle Cupcakes and decorated them with shimmery white chocolate mermaid tales to bring to my Aunt and Uncle. We arrived around 2pm, spent some time playing with my fur-cousin Rosie, and then had an early dinner at the historic Columbia Restaurant. I’ve been to their St. Augustine location before, but the one in Ybor is the original and I’d never managed to go even though I grew up only an hour away. After a bit of shopping, we checked into our AirBnB tiny house, which is my favorite tiny house I’ve stayed in to date, and called it an evening. The next morning we were up bright an early to grab breakfast at the Tropicana – my mom always has to have Cuban toast, a deviled crab, and a cafe con leche from them every time she is in town – and hit the Saturday Market right across the street. 
We were lucky enough to see plenty of the famous Ybor Chickens; they are protected by the city, and this time of year there are plenty of little chicks to be seen foraging with their parents and running around in the bushes.  The roosters are very keen to make their presence known; they strut around crowing to make sure nobody forgets who these spaces really belong to. This guy was following me around the market. I think he liked my hair. On our way out of town, we stopped at La Segunda Central Bakery to stock up on loaves of Cuban bread and pastries for the road. You guys know while I love baked goods, I can be a bit of a snob, but everything I have ever tried from these guys has been incredible. My only complaint is that they’re so far away from Tallahassee. If you’re ever in Ybor, do yourself a favor and put this place on your list of things to see. 
After seeing the mermaids (more on that later) and having one last meal with my Aunt and Uncle, we headed back to Tallahassee and spent Sunday running errands and trying to rest up a bit. A fantastic weekend, and it was over far too soon. I am already trying to get Andy to agree to a longer trip later on this year. Maybe in the late fall when things have cooled down a bit. I managed to make it through our adventure without a sunburn, but Florida has only started to get into her summer swing.