Archive for » February 1st, 2012«

From the bizarre files: the world’s largest, deepest, darkest motel room

 From the bizarre files: the world’s largest, deepest, darkest motel room

Okay all you Goth, vampire-esque types roaming around Los Angeles, here’s a motel that’s perfect for your fantasies and dark sides that’s just a short distance from home in  Arizona’s Grand Canyon country.

You can actually drive in your Goth mobile from Los Angeles in six or less hours, or fly of course. Then bed down in a cavernous suite, 220 feet below the earth, that was formed over the course of 65 million years. I mean, is this you or what?  Of course you don’t have to sport a penchant for Goth or the living dead to enjoy this bizarre experience.

Located in the Grand Caverns Motel, the dungeon-esque, but truly livable suite is accessible by elevator, down 22 floors and comes with all the creature comforts such as two double beds, living room with a queen fold out sofa, (room sleeps up to 6), a library of old books and magazines such as a National Geographic collection dating back to 1917, dictionaries and other books dating back to the late 1800’s.


There’s even a functioning record player with records, table and chairs, bathroom, several lightening options for the overnight stay in the caverns, and personal lightening.  Your check in time is normally with the last tour of the day (4 PM) and check out is shortly after the first tour begins. (10 am). You can check in earlier and stay later… but keep in mind that the caverns has guided tours 363 days a year along the concrete trails that curves around all sides of the room, so your privacy

As the largest dry cavern in the US, the suite is entirely devoid of any light or sound. The quiet air, free of moisture and impurities, begs to be breathed, and engages all the senses. The oxygen in the caverns is distilled as it stretches miles through limestone crevices beginning at the Grand Canyon. Since natural light is absent the suite comes equipped with electric lamps, along with a record player, and a library, including books and magazines dated back to the1800’s.

 For additional information, contact (928) 422-4565.

The Caverns also offers above ground accommodations, but just one underground suite.

A slice of history:

In 1961 President John F Kennedy declared the Grand Canyon Caverns a bomb shelter. During the Cuban missile cruise, the military stock the caverns with food and water to keep 2,000 people alive and well for 30 days. The supplies are still located in the caverns… just in case.

Tours are still given thru the ccaverns.362 days a year. Over a mile of trails are explored daily by tourist that arrive via the longest remaining strip of historic route 66, the mother road. These Caverns and resort was the place to stay by all the Hollywood celebrities and politicos as they travel back and froth from the west to east. It was the wide spot on the road. 400 miles from Hollywood which made it the first nights resting stoop for millions of visitors, and it still is.

The Grand Canyon Caverns property (800 acres) is  actually  a full service motel with restaurant, bars, gift store, gas and fuel station, rodeo arena, airstrip (L37) RV parks, camp grounds, horses and bike trails (you can rent both) Frisbee golf, convinces store, meeting rooms tour guides, Jeep tours to the Grand Canyon and friendly employees.

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Alamo Rent A Car Launches "The Value Project"

ST. LOUIS, MO, Feb 01, 2012 (MARKETWIRE around COMTEX) –
If there’s a family vacation in your future, this is a place to
go — before we go.

Inspired by a sponsorship of’s 100 Places to Take Your
Kids, Alamo Rent A Car has launched “The Value Project,” an online
community for families formulation vacations. The village — found
under a new add-on on Alamo’s Facebook page — offers families a forum
for exchanging ideas and information (including good deals,
can’t-miss attractions, insider believe and more) about U.S.
vacation destinations and transport experiences.

“We’ve combined The Value Project as a extensive apparatus to help
customers make a really many of their family vacations,” pronounced Susan
Madigan, selling executive of Alamo Rent A Car. “This online
community enables Alamo business to be a transport experts, as they
connect with other families, share personal practice and benefit
from one another’s suggestions, ideas and tips.”

The Value Project community, that offers family-friendly vacation
suggestions from Frommer’s Travel and Alamo employees and customers,
will prominence cities from’s 100 Places to Take Your
Kids and embody calm from a 100 best family-friendly
attractions in a U.S.

Just launched, Alamo’s sponsorship of a Frommer’s 100 Places to
Take Your Kids will continue by Jul 2012. Throughout the
sponsorship, a Frommer’s page will underline Alamo ensign ads, design
elements and an interactive game. The idea of The Value Project is to
both foster a Frommer’s partnership as good as emanate a
destination where people can get genuine vacation values from a real
experts: internal Alamo employees and Alamo fans.

The Value Project is only a latest transport creation from Alamo,
which has prolonged been famous as a record innovator. The brand
was a initial in a attention to offer real-time Internet booking
capabilities in 1995 and introduced a industry’s initial and only
online check-in complement in 2005. Customers can also check in during more
than 171 self-service kiosks during 63 U.S. locations, that warranted Alamo
the “Extra Mile Award” from Budget Travel repository in 2007. Alamo
customers in a U.S. are means to conveniently select their own
vehicles, formed on their allege reservation and requested car
class, and afterwards simply expostulate divided from a airport.

For some-more information about Alamo, and to learn about disdainful deals
and transport tips, revisit a Alamo Facebook page at .

About Alamo Rent A Car
Founded in 1974, Alamo Rent A Car is a
value-oriented, internationally famous code portion a rental
needs of airfield convenience travelers. Alamo offers low let rates and
a hassle-free patron knowledge during a many renouned travel
destinations via a world. In addition, Alamo business in
the U.S. are means to conveniently select their possess vehicles, based
upon their allege reservation and requested automobile class, and then
simply expostulate divided from a airport. Alamo also is partial of a global
strategic fondness with Europcar, formulating a world’s largest car
rental network.

St. Louis-based Enterprise Holdings owns and operates a Alamo brand
in North America. With annual revenues of $14.1 billion and some-more than
70,000 employees, Enterprise Holdings also operates, by its
regional subsidiaries, some-more than 1 million cars and trucks, creation it
the largest and many extensive automobile let use provider in the
world totalled by revenue, employees and fleet. For some-more information
about Alamo, visit . This news recover and other Alamo
announcements are accessible during a Enterprise Holdings press room.

About Frommer’s
The marketplace personality in transport guides, Frommer’s has
guides for each form of traveler and for each form of trip.
Frommer’s publishes some-more than 400 guides to destinations around the
globe. Travelers count on Frommer’s for accurate prices, savvy
trip-planning, sightseeing advice, minute maps and vehement reviews
of hotels and restaurants in each cost range. is a
comprehensive, dogmatic transport apparatus featuring some-more than 3,500
world destinations. For some-more information, revisit
Frommer’s is a purebred heading of Arthur Frommer. Frommer’s is a
branded impress of Wiley.

        For some-more information, contact:
        Meghan Maguire
        Alamo Rent A Car
        Email Contact

SOURCE: Alamo Rent A Car

Copyright 2012 Marketwire, Inc., All rights reserved.

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Solar-Powered Car Leaves Half Moon Bay for Trip Around a World

A organisation of German students left Half Moon Bay’s Harbor View Inn on Tuesday morning to embark on a U.S.-leg of a worldwide query to set a Guinness World Record for a farthest stretch ever trafficked by a solar-powered car.

The automobile — a two-seater sports indication dubbed a SolarWorld GranTurismo (GT) — runs on a battery charged by a object around solar panels. It was grown by a organisation of engineering, business and striking humanities students from Germany’s Bochum University of Applied Sciences, according to Devon Cichoski, a mouthpiece for Hillsboro, Ore.- and German-based solar row production association SolarWorld.

“The SolarWorld GT is singular among solar cars in that it’s designed to transport prolonged distances,” Cichoski said. “Other solar cars are designed for speed.”

While a automobile can run during 62 to 63 miles per hour, Cichoski said, it’s many gentle cruising between 30-40 miles per hour.

The students aspire to mangle a universe record by pushing a SolarWorld GT over 21,000 miles.

The outing around a universe is estimated to take over a year to complete. Beginning in Oct. 2011, a automobile journeyed opposite Australia and New Zealand before starting a U.S. leg in Half Moon Bay. While between 10 and 15 students are holding turns pushing a automobile opposite a U.S. by a track that is scheduled to take it by Arizona, Texas and Florida, 30 students make adult a worldwide organisation that will navigate it by Europe, Africa and Asia after it leaves a U.S., Cichoski said. The SolarWorldGT will interpretation a tour in Australia in late 2012, according to a company.

SolarWorld sponsored a growth and make of a car, that cost between $500,000-600,000 to make over a final year or two, Cichoski said. The association has had a solar automobile sponsorship agreement in place with a Bochum University of Applied Sciences given 2006.

The automobile sports 3 block meters of SolarWorld’s panels on a roof of a automobile and an additional 3 block meters of panels that can be taken out and charged when a automobile is stopped. The supplemental panels are stored inside a physique of a car.

According to Cichoski, a SolarWorld GT initial arrived in a U.S. during a Port of Oakland and was afterwards ecstatic by trailer to Half Moon Bay.

Why Half Moon Bay?

Because of a prolonged stretch a automobile is scheduled to travel, a students wanted to take smaller roads if possible, that enables a automobile to expostulate during a speed closer to what it is many gentle with, according to Cichoski. Less trade and entrance to quieter and some-more scenic highways and roads were also reasons, Cichoski said. 

On Tuesday, a students left Half Moon Bay during 11 a.m. They designed to expostulate south on Highway 1 and stop overnight in Santa Cruz, according to Cichoski.

“The students fielded a lot of questions about a automobile from a staff and guest during a Harbor View Inn in Half Moon Bay,” she said.

A support automobile driven by students has been following a SolarWorld GT on a highway in box there is a need for support, she added.

This is a second solar automobile grown during a Bochum University of Applied Sciences sponsored by SolarWorld.

“The initial automobile that students grown was some-more of a competition car,” Cichoski said. “The automobile captivated a lot of courtesy though a students felt they were blank a event to rise something a open could  use — so a second organisation of students designed something formed on what competence be probable in a future.”

Though no open events were scheduled to showcase a automobile in Half Moon Bay or Santa Cruz, a students and a SolarWorld GT will be during UC Santa Barbara’s Bren School of Environmental Management on Feb. 4. On Feb. 6, a automobile will be on arrangement for a open during SolarWorld’s Camarillo, Calif. offices.

“SolarWorld is a row manufacturer, though we select to unite projects like this since of a recognition a automobile brings to a intensity of solar,” Cichoski said.

“The automobile can act as an envoy for solar and get a open inspired,” she said.

Got Patch? Sign adult for a newsletter by clicking on a “Patch Newsletter” couple on a tip right of a homepage.

To accept news feeds about Half Moon Bay and a unincorporated Coastside between Montara and Pescadero, revisit Half Moon Bay Patch on Facebook and “like” us here. Follow us on Twitter here.

Want to blog for us? Click here.

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'Underclass-safari' post lands official in trouble

Christian Democrat party official Patric Rylander, party secretary Acko Ankarberg’s right hand man, has found himself in stormy weather after calling for a underclass-safari on his Facebook page, featuring people on welfare as well as screaming teens.

  • Stockholm ‘upper-class safari’ under fire (30 Jan 12)
  • ‘Upper-class safari’ angers Stockholmers (16 Jan 12)

Among other things there should be a high rate of people on social welfare, viscious screaming teenagers, only feature rented apartments in the ‘Miljonprogram’ suburbs, closed down shops, destitute social services, [it should] be run down and overrun by graffiti, Rylander wrote on his Facebook page, according to daily Dagens Nyheter (DN).

Despite receiving several tips for other sights for the tour from Facebook followers, Rylander’s suggestion of a tour of the Miljonprogram areas of Sweden, referring to the now mostly run-down one million homes that were built in the 60s and 70s to house Swedens increasing population, have sparked outrage among his party colleagues.

It is not OK to speak this way about any place, anywhere. This is about people. People who deserve to be treated with respect and dignity and not made fun of, said local Christian Democrat politician Stefan Gustafsson from Svsj in central Sweden to Sveriges Radio (SR).

Regardless of whether it was ironic or not I think it is inappropriate to say these things. It does nothing for the Christian Democrats, said another Jnkping party member, Mia Frisk, to SR.

Rylander told SR that he realized in hindsight that the post had been phrased inappropriately and that he had had no idea that it would be spread so widely.

I tend to write foremost for my friends and often with a little irony and sort of ‘tongue in cheek’. Perhaps it is phrased slightly inappropriately at times and perhaps it was this time, Rylander, who has some 889 Facebook friends, told SR.

Acko Ankarberg, in a conversation with news agency TT, called Rylander’s post lacking in judgement.

If that is irony it can easily be misinterpreted. I have spoken to him and told him he shouldn’t have done it, she told TT.

She confirmed, however, that Rylander will continue on with his work despite the incident.

Rylander told DN that the post should be seen in the light of the recent upper-class safari that took place last weekend and which has sparked outrage among the resident’s of Saltsjbaden, who feel their privacy have been invaded.

He had attempted, albeit badly, to illlustrate this with the post, he told the paper in an email.

To pit social groups against each other and the wish to nurture class hatred, like the organizers of the upper-class safari say that they do, is completely wrong. No one should be subjected to safari visits, not those who live on Solsidan, nor anywhere else. Everyone deserves respect, Rylander told DN.

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Varsity: Road trips yield fastening experience

Adrienne Kloecker knows a thing or dual about highway trips. As a comparison on Villa Maria’s basketball team, Kloecker has taken many train rides to divided games.

On a approach there, a group is mostly critical and focused as they prepared themselves mentally for a game.

The float home, however, is customarily a opposite story, one that mostly finds Kloecker and some teammates dancing during a behind of a train as “Don’t Stop Believing” and “Stanky Leg” blast by a speakers.

When a Victors are not dancing, they pass transport time with chatter and snacks, generally a team’s favorite, Swedish Fish.

Somewhere between dancing and snacking, a teammates get a possibility to bond in a approach that’s deeper than backcourt partner or locker neighbor. The Victors are not alone in their experience. Many high propagandize athletes learn that they emanate durability memories when they transport hours on a highway together to divided games and tournaments.

“It’s fun; it helps us bond,” pronounced Fort LeBoeuf comparison Lindsay Bean, who has gifted copiousness of trips as a member of a school’s basketball and volleyball teams. “We unequivocally come together with all of these roving experiences.”

Road trips can be as sundry as a opponents teams face: A discerning crosstown expostulate in a propagandize bus. Car pools to southern District 10 schools. Charter train rides to Pittsburgh suburbs. Even airline flights to Florida or Arizona for national-caliber tournaments.

And finally, there’s a pinnacle: The tour to places like Hershey or State College for a state pretension game, trips that can launch with a propagandize pep convene and a hundred-student chaperon on a travel outward a school.

As a member of Villa’s three-time state championship basketball team, Kloecker has gifted any of those highway trips. She has enjoyed joining not customarily with her varsity teammates, though a youth varsity and ninth-grade players as well.

“I like removing to know a freshmen and sophomores,” she said. “That’s a time we get to hang out with a younger teammates.”

Other teams use some-more medium means of transportation, such as a automobile pool. Especially during prosaic mercantile times when propagandize districts are squeezing budgets, teams with medium register sizes can save income by holding smaller vehicles to games. For instance, on Friday, Strong Vincent basketball manager Shannon Pullium, his assistants and players congested into minivans and SUVs to expostulate to Rochester, N.Y., for a two-day Rochester East Showcase.

Teams that are not sponsored by their propagandize and aren’t members of a Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association don’t have a same advantages as those that are. That’s a box for Fairview’s girls H2O polo team, that does not have entrance to a bus. Mallory Lawson, a youth on a team, pronounced a girls float in vans supposing by relatives of group members. Sometimes, a group ventures as distant as Lansdale, that is located north of Philadelphia.

Lawson also is a member of Fairview’s powerhouse swimming team, that is a long-lived caller to a PIAA accommodate during Bucknell University in Lewisburg. Last year, on a outing behind to Erie, a Tigers were means to applaud their school’s initial state champion, diver Danny Roberts, and a boys team’s second-place finish.

“We all grow closer,” Lawson pronounced of her teammates. “It’s tough not to if we spend a whole weekend with them.”

Meadville’s hockey group mostly loads adult parents’ cars or vans for games in Buffalo, Cleveland, Erie and Pittsburgh.

Chris Allegretti, a comparison on Meadville’s hockey team, also finds roving to be a rewarding experience.

For longer trips to places such as Philadelphia and Canada, a Bulldogs raise onto licence buses, that are versed with manager seating, mounted televisions and a lavatory in a back. Like a Victors, a Bulldogs are about credentials on a float down.

“We try to keep it as focused as we can,” Allegretti said.

The float behind finds a Bulldogs possibly shouting or bickering, depending on either they won or mislaid a night’s game. As all athletes know, a mood on a train can low extremely on a approach home from a loss.

“When we lose, everyone’s flattering cranky,” pronounced Allegretti, who combined that a atmosphere is customarily positive.

In a eventuality of a win, a Bulldogs absolutely flog behind in their manager seats, food down on pizza and chips and watch cinema such as “Miracle” and “Accepted.”

Between pity pizza and examination movies, a teammates turn some-more in sync with any other, something Allegretti pronounced carries over to a rink.

“It helps a lot with certainty and only (our) ability to go out and perform a approach we wish to,” he said.

The highway isn’t all fun and games. Casey Shelton, a comparison on Mercyhurst Prep’s boys basketball team, pronounced train rides can be tiring.

“If you’re on a train a prolonged time and we take a nap, it’s unequivocally tough to get loose,” Shelton said.

Cathedral Prep hockey actor Brent Torchio pronounced a Ramblers face a same issue.

“Once we get off a train you’ve got to get a kinks out of your legs to comfortable up,” he said.

Sometimes, completing task can be an issue. This is so for Alex Margraf, a comparison on McDowell’s hockey team. As a partial of a Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League, a Trojans take weekly trips to face Pittsburgh-area teams, mostly on weekdays.

The Trojans mostly get home late during night and, Margraf forked out, doing task on a train is formidable since it is tough to focus.

Despite that drawback, Margraf enjoys a experience.

“It’s good for a group as distant as fastening is endangered since we get to speak about a diversion a lot going down. Sometimes we watch film,” he said.

As for a visit prolonged trips to a Pittsburgh area, “I consider it has a certain impact,” Margraf said. “A lot of teams don’t get a event to do this. We get to be together as a group for a longer volume of time.”

Road trips have valid to be some-more than only a fun ride. Steve Spearman, a McDowell wrestler who does not suffer highway trips, values a high turn of foe he faces during prestigious meets.

“It’s like a disproportion between pledge and professional,” Spearman said.

Mercyhurst Prep’s Shelton and a Lakers began their deteriorate in a Neshannock Tournament in New Castle opposite what Shelton called tough competition.

“I consider it unequivocally got us started on a right foot,” he said. “After personification such good teams down there, we were prepared to face (local teams) when we came behind to Erie.”

Central Tech basketball actor Marquel Hilliard common a sentiment.

“Playing opposite talent, we consider it creates we better,” pronounced Hilliard, a senior.

On some trips, athletes can face tip foe and build lifelong memories. Hilliard, for example, recalls removing a possibility to watch his favorite team, a Los Angeles Lakers. In Dec 2010, Central Tech’s basketball group trafficked to Philadelphia to play Conwell-Egan Catholic and Archbishop John Carroll.

While on a trip, Central Tech’s group members attended an NBA diversion between a Lakers and a Philadelphia 76ers. Hilliard won’t forget that knowledge any time soon.

Music is a tack of prolonged highway trips, either athletes listen to their iPods sensitively or mouth tunes after a win.

Bean enjoys memories of when a Fort LeBoeuf volleyball group assimilated in singing “Build Me Up Buttercup” on train trips.

Mercyhurst Prep sophomore tennis actor Katie Elia savors those good times.

“If we win,” Elia said, “on a approach back, it’s like a party.”

Throughout District 10, athletes laugh, provoke and antic teammates and suffer a highway a same approach a Villa Maria basketball group does by dancing and a Meadville hockey group does by examination movies.

Together, they share a power and stress of preparation, a overjoyed jubilee of feat and a vale beating of defeat.

Win or lose, they get behind onto a train and float it out.

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A safari in the Bavarian Forest

“I want to see the bears,” says a determined elderly woman. The retiree is one of 11 nature enthusiasts who have gathered at one of the Bavarian forest’s highest mountains – Mt. Lusen. Despite the heavy snowfall, the party will take a tour of the 200-acre (over 800,000-square-meter) wildlife enclosure, hoping to see some of the area’s renowned animal life, which includes owls, lynxes, bears and wolves. 



It’s a cold and windy day and the temperature is almost at freezing point. “It is not that easy to spend five hours outside in the woods,” says forest guide and tour leader Claudia Barthman.



She gave up her desk job as an industrial engineer back in 2008 to work as a forest guide. The position offered her the opportunity to do what she wanted most – spend as much time as possible outdoors. Claudia leads groups of tourists on hikes through the snow-covered mountains. Today a group of pensioners is set to take a three-hour tour of the park.


The elusive hunter



Bildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift:  Claudia Barthmann gave up her job to spend more time outsideAs the group moves further into the forest, excitement grows at the possibility of catching a glimpse of a lynx. This well-built feline is the largest predator in the region and can weigh up to 11.5 kilos (over 25 pounds). Classified as endangered, sightings of the lynx are rare.



Experts believe that around 16 lynxes live in the Bavarian Forest, but it is difficult to know the exact number. Although a shy animal, the lynx is a skilful hunter and not particularly choosy about what it eats: Its diet can include foxes, mice, rabbits and deer.



However, forest guide Claudia is cautious not to raise the hopes of the visitors too high. She is never 100 percent sure that they will get to see the elusive lynx. As tour members scan the snow-covered mountainside with their binoculars, they fail to see any sign of the deceptive animal.



It takes the trained eye of the forest guide to spot the rapid movement of the lynx and then not one – but two animals that even come close enough to be photographed.



Leave nature alone



Germany’s first National Park opened in October 1970. Claudia Barthman explained that at that time it was the home of elephants, camels and lions. It was initially seen as a tourist attraction, most likely to hinder any objections that might have come from the locals.



Bildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift:  The cold doesn’t deter visitorsThe abundant timber found in forests was for centuries one of the most important natural resources and today the forest needs to be protected. After many controversial and passionate debates, the national park is an established institution some 40 years later.



“Here in the forests, a tree can just fall over. It’s allowed to grow old or even die,” says the forest guide. Here the dead wood is considered a unique habitat for various species of insects and mushrooms. Its motto “Leave nature alone” reflects the national park’s aim.



Bear stays away



During the winter months, many of the animals require special protection; hence, the national park’s roads are closed during the cold season. Nonetheless you can still see wolves and the gigantic elk. Both these animals were once natives of the Bavarian forest, but are today no longer found in the wild.



As the energetic elderly woman comes to the end of the forest tour she is shivering, but excited – even though she didn’t see any bears. After all, no one wants to disturb the hibernating animals, least of all a sleeping bear.



Author: Andreas Kirchhoff / bos

Editor: Kate Bowen


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The Ave Herald Reports: Second annual steak cook-off grows by leaps and bounds

Ask 6-year-olds to name their favorite day of the year, and I guess most would say Christmas. But for one 6-year-old, the best day of the year is the Sunshine State Steak Cook-Off held in Ave Maria’s Town Center.

Yes, for my dog Marco, there’s nothing like steak cook-off day.

Ave Maria’s second annual steak cook-off was held on Saturday, Jan. 28, this year to perfect weather in the Town Center. I must confess that last year, when I first heard about the idea, I greeted it with skepticism, even a few snickers. A parade of grills?

Turns out, I was using the same predictive skills I bring to making investments or timing the real estate market. That first event was a huge hit: 400 steaks were cooked by eight grill teams. This year, it was more than twice as big — 16 teams, 1,100 steaks.

Tom Smith, who organized the event to raise scholarship money for the Rhodora J. Donahue Academy, calls it the biggest event of its kind east of the Mississippi.

Many of the grill teams came from outside our town, like griller Dana Hillis of Big Papa’s Country Kitchen and his wife, Janet, of Naples. They travel all over the United States entering competitions, and the bevy of glittering trophies they display settle it: Marco and I will get our steak from them.

The Family Fun Festival, held the same day, featured not only the usual inflatables for the kids, but animals visiting from the Kowiachobee Animal Preserve. Rare as it may be to see a brilliant orange-colored iguana, it is rarer still to see nuns cuddling a cinnamon-colored skunk. Jade, the huge black leopard, is “just like a kitten” her caretaker tells me. Hmmm…maybe. I suspect Jade is thinking of eating a steak or two — or 10 — herself, or maybe Marco.

Orange Jeep Tours showed up, soon to be operating eco-tours in Ave Maria. Few realize that the creation of our town involved wetlands restoration: five wetland basins were restored, reclaiming 160 acres. I’ll take one of those tours and hope to report about it in my next column.

Finally, the steaks are served up, and the diners dig in: some, like me, eating off wide flat-topped cement bollards; others happily eating off the stacks of piled-up pallets I predicted no one would use. Marco dines off the ground.

The trophy for the best steak in Florida was awarded to a team calling itself the Grill Sergeants, composed of Barron Collier Company employees. Judging was done in blind tests, with the panel of seven judges not knowing who cooked the steaks they were tasting. Second place went to a team of Immokalee residents led by Johnny Gutierrez and third place was taken by Bart Zino of PBS construction, who is the grill master at Immokalee’s annual Farm City Barbecue.

In case it escaped your notice, the team we’d chosen as the sure winner came up empty handed.

“We had fun,” said Dana Hillis gamely.

Don’t worry, Dana, in Marco’s judgment, you get first prize; in fact, after snagging many morsels of gristle and meat that lie on the ground, Marco believes all the grillers deserve first prize. And believe me, when it comes to steak, Marco knows.

- – -

You can find more information on this event and other articles about Ave Maria at The Ave Herald (, which Patricia publishes along with her husband, David Shnaider.

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Barrichello has IndyCar energetically available preference on his future

Rubens Barrihcello

SEBRING, Fla. — Randy Bernard’s final few weeks had been noted by jet transport and let cars and house bedrooms in vital cities, meetings with those who by hosting or underwriting competence establish a destiny of a IndyCar Series.

But here a array CEO was on Monday morning, in a motionless center of nowhere, in a behind dilemma of Sebring International Raceway — opportunely upwind from a manure plant — underneath a tent, perusing a black competition automobile with KV Racing Technology co-owner Jimmy Vasser.

After travelling a nation attempting to contend or rekindle seductiveness in a array already during a vicious connection with a depart for NASCAR of idol Danica Patrick, and walloped following a genocide of renouned former champion Dan Wheldon in a final competition of a 2011 season, Bernard had seen a probable new storyline, a diversion, and a strong one during that, presumably tumble right into his business plan.

Rubens Barrichello, 39, a many tenured motorist — and a 11-race-winner — in Formula One on Monday began a two-day exam with KV Racing during a insistence of his friend, godfather of his children, self-described “brother” and associate Brazilian, Tony Kanaan, who began pushing for a group final year. Replaced during Williams F1 by Bruno Senna, Barrichello was giveaway of obligations and with small goading concluded to participate, during a slightest charity invaluable, only feedback on a new DW12 competition automobile that debuts this season. Best-case scenario, for Vasser and Bernard, Barrichello opts to join KV, that still has dual motorist vacancies to fill.

So here Bernard was, carrying landed during a new circuitously airfield and whisked into a well-attended manufacturers’ tent like some college football manager courtship a blue-chip quarterback, assuring a Brazilian in a brief plead only how most he would be welcomed by a IndyCar Series.

If there was a scoreboard, his name positively would have been sent flashing opposite it. As it was, Bernard shouted Barrichello’s career statistics with a animation of someone who congested with propensity on a craft float to executive Florida.

“That kind of credit is accurately what caliber, a turn IndyCar needs to attract,” Bernard said. “When we saw Nigel [Mansell] or Emerson [Fittipaldi] or some of a other greats come to IndyCar, see how it towering a recognition of a sport. I’m here only to support and make certain if Rubens has any questions for me. … we need to make certain we do what we can to help. That’s all we am here for.”

Bernard pronounced he found Barrichello “humble, first-class,” while Barrichello, after branch 94 laps on Monday pronounced he was “thrilled to get to know [Bernard] here.”

The Barrichellos seemed thrilled, or during slightest amused, on Monday notwithstanding a mob — including Brazilian radio — documenting their each move. Eduardo Barrichello, 9, lurked behind a array stall, playfully charity pretzel twists to a KV mechanics. Rubens had a vast grin and a bro cuddle for Vasser during a execution of a initial day’s work.

“Quite honestly, if we go utterly from joy, it wouldn’t be a problem,” Barrichello told “There’s joy. we still have so most passion for a speed. we am utterly immature in my mind. we am not to my tip turn in terms of fitness. we am only removing improved and better. … we only like it, what we saw.”

The array likes what it envisions. Just regulating Twitter supporters as a register — 1.4 million, as accurately quoted by Bernard in his recitation of Barrichello’s vitals — a Brazilian would give a array a million some-more intent fans even after factoring in a detriment of Patrick and her 445,447 (as of Tuesday). A video posted by KV Racing of Barrichello holding a path around Sebring had amassed roughly 11,000 views in an hour on Tuesday. Barrichello would change a IndyCar paradigm, pronounced associate Brazilian Helio Castroneves, causing a certain change in destiny motorist seductiveness in their country, and immediately in unite impasse since of a discount he represents.

“I pledge it,” he said, examination Barrichello array from a circuitously stall. “Because when we speak about Formula One, you’re articulate about hundreds of millions of dollars. When you’re articulate about IndyCar, it’s so most less. Ten million dollars now in IndyCar, we can do an implausible team. That’s a large budget. Now we can have a large team, and Rubens.”

Though Barrichello pronounced he would finish a exam and “have a think,” Kanaan speculated that “knowing Rubens his timeline will be flattering short. we consider by a time he gets out of a automobile [on Tuesday] he will have a flattering good suspicion what he wants to do.”

If so, he pronounced he skeleton to browse over many “factors” awhile longer after returning to Brazil. He pronounced it is not indispensably his welfare to lapse to Formula One.

“I don’t wish to put it as a preference. we wish to have an open mind,” he told “I’ve been vital there for 19 years. we have been a fan of a Indy array for a array of years as good because, entrance to revisit Tony and some other friends for a prolonged time. I’ve been to Indy. I’ve been to Milwaukee, to Sao Paulo [all past or benefaction IndyCar venues]. I’ve been to many tracks. we like it, what we saw. It is a good atmosphere, and good racing. The cars are really identical in racing together. There is not a welfare in that. It’s only a lot of things involved. we only need to see what comes up. we need to speak to my family. we need to speak to Jimmy. we need to speak about a lot of things. we like it. After that, we only consider it’s too shortly to consider on that. As shortly as we finish [Tuesday] we will put it in my head, divided a small bit, and see what comes up.”

Vasser, whose group is built to accommodate 3 drivers — he fielded Kanaan, fifth in points, E.J. Viso and Takuma Sato final deteriorate — pronounced he needs an answer by Feb. 15. That is one of many sum left to discuss, including sponsorship. Bolstering Castroneves’ point, it is approaching that Barrichello would be means to move sponsorship with him to a IndyCar series.

“We haven’t talked about it,” Barrichello pronounced of carrying to yield sponsorship. “Obviously, I’m during a time in my career where we wish that’s not a case. The universe is going into a instruction that we don’t do that since you’re a compensate driver. It’s since a competition needs income and we wish to uncover a sponsor. we haven’t talked to Jimmy about that. He knows we am here to have fun. I’m anxious we was means to get used to a automobile so fast, and we’ll go from there.”

Barrichello pronounced racing on ovals will not be an snag notwithstanding a guarantee he done to his wife, Silvana, not to competition them in America. The array now contests 4 ovals events.

“I did contend that,” he told “I never suspicion we could come over to this side since a day we was … we suspicion we was going to race, like 25 years in Formula One and afterwards we should be over with it. we never suspicion we could come this way. So we did contend that. That is really correct. It came out of my mouth, and we am flattering certain if that was a problem it is a solved problem. It is not a large issue.

“It’s so many opposite situations. we could run, if we wanted to, on a highway tracks, not on a ovals. we could run all a time. There’s so many options available.”

And so many available his decision.

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