Tag Archive: christmas

Tropical Tromping….

I know you are wondering what is going on in the world. You are asking why the Chicks with Ticks haven’t been around.

Kaleigh and Allison exploring the sand flats

Kaleigh and Allison exploring the sand flats

Well, IT’S SUMMER SILLY. That’s right – kids are out of school and adventures abound. So, in honor of summer I thought we would begin to tell you what AMAZING places we have been adventuring so far.

View of the shore.

View of the shore.

We are going to start with Caladesi State Park https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/Caladesi-Island. It is only the most beautiful island ever…well at least one we can paddle to.

Alex relaxing near an old log.

Alex relaxing near an old log.

So, we load up paddle boards, coolers, kayaks and 4 kids….me with 4 kids isn’t that unusual. In fact, I almost always travel with 4 kids. Just so happens that this trip included my two biologic kids and each of their best friends. IT also included loads of silliness at Wal Mart to get food and stuff, bouncy balls that flew out of the window (another story for another time) and an amazing parking spot.

Allison searching for adventure....and creatures.

Allison searching for adventure….and creatures.

We loaded up and paddled out to the tip of the island from the causeway. I recommend this for above average paddlers as there is a boat traffic pattern, channel, sand bar, and sometimes a strong current and winds. This paddling is very east most times – but occasionally it is a little tiresome for beginners – none the less – it’s a blast.

There are mangrove trails to paddles, crystal clear shallows to explore, lots of sea creatures to selfie with, clean sandy shores, bird watching, shelling, relaxing, and – our favorite – ADVENTURING. SO – don’t miss out. You can rent kayaks and paddle boards on the causeway. Also, if paddling is not for you – take the ferry – it’s affordable and fun. Bring your lunch – camera and RELAX and enjoy the amazing natural habitats of Florida beaches.


For advanced paddlers (and drinkers) there is a marina and beach well into the islands that has amazing lunch and sangria. The beaches host tortoises and beautiful rare plants. You can paddle with porpoises sometimes and see some great mangroves.

If you’re like me (God save you) you have already asked your family to boycott the holidays and head to the Ocala National Forest or Honeymoon Island and pretend it’s summer! Any self-respecting Chick with Ticks goes crazy this time of year. Too many malls, boutiques, fancy paper, shiny ribbons, and cashola right out the door!! Not enough tromping, mudding, climbing, trekking, spitting or peeing in the woods if you ask me! “But Jacque, aren’t the holidays all about gift giving,” you ask. NO – BAH HUMBUG – I am totally against spending tons of hard-earned cash on crap you don’t really need and some you don’t really want – what I want to share is memories, mud and beer! So, here’s my suggestions on how to have one helluva holiday season Chicks with Ticks style!!

  • On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me – a really great wetlands plant ID book (please ask to borrow it)
  • On the second day of the Holidays my best friend got from me – a one year pass to Florida State Parks!! (hell yeah)
  • Silver Bells, silver bells – yep – got some of those jingle bells – they are great bear deterrents.
  • Chestnuts roasting on an open fire and I got my neighbor some lighter knot tied in a hand-made bow with a note that said good for one fire and a few good stories. Won’t ever forget that one!
  • Up on the housetop…is a versatile  tarp that can serve as shelter, protection, a slip-n-slide, and 100’s of other useful fun things.
  • Rudolph the red-nosed-reindeer – had too much hooch – so we made some infused vodka in a neat decanter….that’ll be hair of the dog for him.
  • I’m dreaming of a LIGHT Christmas – that’s right – LED flashlights to be exact – or those really cool ones that also have that glowing gas in the handle – my buddy Josh has one that makes me jealous every time we go frog hunting!!
  • Over the river and through the woods – a Gazetteer will certainly make the trip more fun than that stuffy GPS…plus – when you can’t use the GPS – the Gazetteer does the job like it always has!
  • It’s beginning to look a lot like hunting season….go for broke and get that pink camo rifle! It’s okay to be a Chick!
  • I saw mommy kissing someone – and she put on Burt’s Bee tinted lip balm first and MAN her lips were soft.
  • Santa Claus (or some other holiday spirit) is coming to town and he better have a yard stick or other walking stick customized by you for your favorite Chick or Hick! Make it fun – think of interesting things to carve or attach to it.
  • Finally – you know you just can’t go much longer without ordering a Chicks with Ticks T-shirt!

So, ditch the malls and halls and balls and get down to the real business of giving. Then duct tape the family and head for the woods! They will forget it when they smell bacon on the campfire! Happy holidays – they are just beginning!

Tis the season to be jolly….and merry and bright. I thought it might be appropriate to talk about something serious. We laugh and play and now is the time to focus on the gift giving season. So, in the spirit of the holidays, here’s some ideas from the Chicks with Ticks on what to buy for the outdoors person that has everything. Hope you enjoy!

  1. Monkey Butt powder – yep, it’s real and it works. You can get a large portion at Tractor Supply! It’s the best for chaffing – in the saddle or just in your thighs! Not too scented and doesn’t smell like lilacs so you won’t be embarrassed boys!
  2. Damn Good Hiking Stick – yes, a yardstick would be fun – especially an old one. You can even customize the handle and include a link to this site so they know why you gave them a damn yard stick!

    That's Right!!! Guys dig Chicks with Ticks and we dig him for shouting it out!!

  3. Orange….that’s right – anything bright orange – it’s hunting season and we all know that when we are hiking in head high brush – and we wave our arms over our heads because we saw a pitcher plant in bloom, we look just like a friggin deer! Put some orange on!
  4. Tracks & Scat laminated fold out guide. You can get these anywhere online cheap – buy used – it’s recycling. This sounds like a weird gift – but fess up – you too want to know what the hell made that cool looking poop. You also saw some footprints and you aren’t sure if it’s a bear that’s been following your family or a panther – good to know which so you can roll up in a ball or stare the damn thing down! Got mine at Amazon.com used section.
  5. Field journal. Write in the Rain makes some cool booklets that are durable and can’t be killed. Sweat, blood, rain – whatever – it won’t ruin your written words….use a Write In The Rain Pen and voila’ – it’s practically guaranteed that someone will  find your memoirs.
  6. Polarized sunglasses. You can’t see a darned thing in the water if you don’t have them on. These things will make you oooh and ahhhh for hours. You can get any kind at any price point anywhere.
  7. Roll up picnic blanket. I don’t mean you must have a picnic – it’s a great place to lay down and watch things, take a nap, read, write, eat, and if you get stuck out there you can make a shelter. I got one at Target on sale and it rolls up and hooks to my backpack. Love it – beach works great too!
  8. Audubon guides! Get them used online at some store….I paid like $2.50 + shipping and they are $19.95 retail. Recycle!!! They have one for just about everything and even for kids. Pics are amazing and they teach you so much and are very portable.
  9. Link to our blog – share! Tis the season after all! Send someone random or 100’s of random people a link to this blog. It will make them smile….hell it will make me smile!
  10. Chicks with Ticks t-shirt….That’s right! They are only $20 +shipping and are a great gift for anyone.

You know each of us knows at least one person who deserves a cool gift. Save money, recycle, reuse, repurpose, re-gift, just share a memory in a blank journal and encourage them to add one – then pass it along and make sure people date and name their stories! Let’s make this season all about the people and not about the stuff….how about a hand written note that says – “One ticket to Go Anywhere With Me”

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