New Years at Mayakka State Park

Steve on Canopy Walk

Our last trip to Mayakka State Park was immediately before our Great American Road Trip in March of 2010. On our previous trip we’d done the ranger tours, the airboat ride and the tram tour, so this trip was to have a bit of a different tone to it. We were going to do stuff outside the park.

curbcrusher - View my 'Mayakka River State Park 2011' set on Flickr

Winery Sign

We stated with a trip to the Rosa Fiorelli winery that is located just north of the park. In addition to collecting all the local state park stamps, we’ve also started making sure we drive to every winery within a days drive of the places we camp. This winery was a pleasant place, don’t ask me about the wine, I don’t drink it, that’s Lady CurbCrusher’s job. The folks that ran this place were friendly and jovial, and that made the stop pleasant. The shop was small, and had about 10 people in it, and only room at the tasting bar for 2, so it made for an intimate wine tasting.

Hay Tractor Our next stop was Hunsader Farm, which we passed on the way to the winery. This was a cute, kitschy kind of place with a produce stand, petting zoo and other activities.

Yoders Sign Line after we ate

Finally it was time to eat, so we headed into Sarasota to Yoders Amish restaurant. Lady CurbCrusher had heard about this place, so we decided to try it out. They are famous for their pies, but all the food is excellent. The line was out the door when we got there around 3:00pm, and we when left about ninety minutes later, the line was around the side of the building. We indulged in large high cholesterol meals of country fried steak, fried chicken and mashed potatoes and gravy. Then topped it all off with pie for desert. We had apple, peanut butter cream and pecan pie. All the food was delicious and the portions were generous. It was definitely worth the wait.

Sign Old Homestead

The next day we headed out to a farmer’s market that we’d seen on the way out the back entrance to the park the day before, and found much more. It turned out it is the Crowley Museum and Nature Center. In addition to the farmer’s market on Saturday morning, they have a local history museum and a nature trail that wanders through the area. If you are a first time visitor to the farmer’s market, they will give you a free ticket to the museum and nature center. Always looking for free stuff, we took advantage of the offer and spent an hour or so looking through the exhibits and walking the nature trail. The exhibits were a good representation of the local history and very informative.

Alpine Steak House Sign

Alpine Steak House Sign

Our final activity for the trip was to eat at the Alpine Steak House. Mr. CurbCrusher had been watching Diners, Drive-ins and Dives a couple of weeks before the trip and seen the Alpine Steak House and it’s TurDuckEn dish featured. Since we were going to be in Sarasota, it seemed only natural to go eat there. There was no line at the Alpine Steak House, so unlike Yoders, we were inside and seated within seconds of arriving. The food was good, but did not live up to the expectations. Mr. CurbCrusher had the TurDuckEn, while Lady CurbCrusher had a chicken, and Little CurbCrusher went with a hamburger. We all enjoyed our meals, but they weren’t anything great. Given a choice, I’d probably make the trip to Yoder’s and wait in line.

curbcrusher - View my 'Sarasota Activities 2011' set on Flickr


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