Friday, March 21, 2014

Barry Meguiar and the 2014 Autogeek Detail Fest and Car Show in Stuart, Florida

We spend a lot of time in our car, so we take a lot of pride in keeping it looking good.  And lately we've really gotten carried away with the car detailing hobby.  Turns out there is a whole community of car crazy nuts out there, and thanks to the internet, we can find fellow detail buffs at Autogeek.  Autogeek is a gigantic retailer of car detailing products, plus they teach the art of auto detailing and host the web's biggest discussion forum on detailing.

We really love using Meguiar's products to keep the car looking great, and we use Meguiar's exclusively, so when we heard Barry Meguiar himself was going to be at the big 2014 detail fest and car show at Autogeek, we just had to make the trip to Stuart, Florida to be part of the action.  And while we didn't enter our own car in the show, we did spend the afternoon marveling at some of the best looking cars in Florida.  And did we mention we got to meet Barry Meguiar and got an autographed picture?  Of course he asked if we were car crazy, but we also chatted for a minute about the Keys.  We were so starstruck we forgot to mention how we love the durability of the Ultimate line or the deep wet gloss we get from the Gold Class line, or how paste wax changed Josh's life.  And if you have an extra hour on your hands, just let Joe give you some pointers on how Endurance tire gel can keep you looking good all week until your next two bucket wash.  So yep, call us car crazy if you want, but we got to meet Barry Meguiar.  The next time you see the cleanest crown vic in the 305 with insanely clean wheels and that deep glossy shine, you can call us car crazy, or you might just call us Josh and Joe Travels!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Georgetown Fair Queen: Danielle Brown and the 2014 Princess Luncheon

On Saturday, March 8th we were with Miss Georgetown Fair Queen Danielle Brown at the 2014 Princess Luncheon.  We heard there were about 250 tickets sold this year and they even added more tables to make sure every princess in Georgetown had a seat at the luncheon.  The princesses were greeted with tables covered in white linen and lunch served on real china, but most of our queens-in-training went right for the cupcakes.

This year's princess luncheon featured a special performance with a ballerina, story time and several dances with the queen.  As the official photographers of the Georgetown Fair Queen, we were especially pleased to do all the individual princess pictures with the queen, which were all printed and put in cards with a handwritten note from Queen Danielle.  And Queen Danielle visited with the princesses at every table during lunch.

The princess luncheon is one of our favorite events with the Georgetown Fair Queen, and it is truly magical to see the banquet center transformed into a princess wonderland.  Think you've got what it takes to the do the job of the busiest local fair queen in Illinois?  Keep watching our blog for contestant information or get in touch with directors Karen and Jill.  Contestant orientation will take place this summer, but not before Queen Danielle makes more appearances than we can count. So keep watching for new pictures of the Georgetown Fair Queen right here at Josh and Joe Travels!

Monday, March 3, 2014

South Florida and the Florida Keys: In the Swamp at Big Cypress with Florida Panthers and Alligators

Big Cypress National Preserve is over 700,000 acres of freshwater swamp, and it is also home to about 30 of Florida's 120 or so Florida Panthers.  Along with the occasional panther crossing the road, a trip through Big Cypress puts you on a path to see real alligators and lots of other Florida wildlife in its natural habitat.  Big Cypress was established in 1974, and we loved our stop at the Oasis Visitors Center.  The Oasis Center has a lot of education going on inside, so if you have kids or are curious kids at heart, be sure to go inside to learn the real facts about the swamp and the wildlife that calls South Florida home.  Driving through Big Cypress you will see panther crossing signs on the road, and at the center you'll learn how vehicle strikes are still a leading cause of panther death.  We really don't have enough panthers to be running them over at night with our cars, and they are pretty cool and an important part of the swamp, so slow down and observe night time speed limits while your out cruising.

The big star of the show at Oasis Visitors Center are the alligators.  These guys are hard to miss, and even harder not to marvel how you can get so close to them from the observation deck.  As the official photographers of the Georgetown Fair Queen you often see us with big cameras and long telephoto lenses, so we wanted you to know we snapped these pictures with our compact camera which doesn't have much of a built-in zoom.  And he best part - it doesn't cost anything to stop at Oasis.  They'll load you up with maps and information, tell you the best stories and give you the best tips.  Even the visitor center itself has a really cool story.  So when you go out into Big Cypress looking for an adventure, be sure to spend some time at the Oasis Visitors Center, and be sure to look around, because lurking between the alligators and panthers you might just spot Josh and Joe Travels!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

South Florida and the Florida Keys: Inside the Smallwood store in Chokoloskee

Even though you can follow highway 41 most of the way through Big Cypress to get to Chokoloskee, getting there really is quite a little adventure.  From 41 you go south to get to Everglades City, and from there out on the causeway to Chokoloskee, which at that point, has you out on the southernmost tip of the mainland looking out into the Gulf.  And right there is where you'll find Smallwood Store.

Smallwood Store is still standing today as a museum and historic attraction, but in Smallwood's day it was the hub of activity, even functioning as the post office.  Down in the 10,000 islands, Smallwood Store is a historic site and one of the last standing examples of Florida pioneer history.  The Smallwood Store is up on stilts, and you'll notice on the way there that most people still put their houses up on stilts to protect from floods and storms.  For a few dollars you can go inside and check things out for yourself, and they are generally open 7 days a week.  After checking out the pictures we're betting you'll be curious to go inside and take a look for yourself, just like Josh and Joe Travels!