Knaus Berry Farm (or we waited almost an hour to have a snack and it was totally worth it)

Look, I know it’s been two months since my last post and you’re probably wondering where I went and what the heck happened.  I’ll get to that, I promise.  That’s not what this post is about, though.

This post is about dessert.  Sort of.

Last weekend, Amelie and I took a drive down to Homestead, Florida, into the Redlands Agricultural District.  For those who’ve never been to South Florida, Homestead is one of the southernmost cities in the state, just north of where the Florida Turnpike and US-1 meet.  Redlands is about 20 miles south-west of downtown Miami.  If you keep going south from there, you pretty much wind up in either the Florida Keys or the Everglades.

Inside of Redlands is a place called Knaus Berry Farm.   They’re a seasonal bakery that has been run by the Knaus family since 1956.  They also have you-pick-em strawberry and tomato fields, depending on availability.  Amelie has been raving to me about this place for more than a year, but we missed their open season last year and I had to put a reminder on my calendar to check in when they opened again in November.

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Knaus Berry Farm has a dedicated following, and the line on a weekend to get to the bakery counter is often 45 minutes to an hour.   This wasn’t even all that busy, from what I understand.

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The bakery counter has various fresh basked goods, which I’ll get to.  If I had more stomachs, I would have wanted to try one of everything.

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The bakery counter is a cash-only operation, so the line actually moves reasonably quickly.

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There are separate lines for produce and for milkshakes.  The produce counter only had one person step up while we were inside.  The produce looked amazing, but we were there for the baked goods.

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This is what we went out for:  the cinnamon buns.  Fresh out of the oven, they were so, so good.  They’re also dense!  Just one of these is actually crazy filling.  Once we made it to the bakery line,  we just sat in the grass, in a patch of shade near the main building to eat one of these each.

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Since I had a family thing the next day, I also took one of their Black-Bottom Cakes.  I’d never had this type of cake before, and it was damn tasty.  I know it may be blasphemy for me to say this, but I liked this cake more than chocolate chip cookies.

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If you want to visit Knaus Berry Farm, I will offer some quick tips:

  1. Use the bathroom before you go.  There’s no restroom on site.   We were in line already, and had to duck out to go three miles away to a fast food restaurant on US-1.  Then we started the line over.
  2. Bring cash.  They don’t accept plastic here, and you’re gonna want to get more than one thing.  The prices are reasonable, but you don’t want to go all the way there and not be able to buy these delicious baked goods!
  3. Check the weather, and bring sunblock.  The line for the bakery is not covered.   The only time you’re really indoors here is at the bakery and produce counters-  the rest is basically outdoors.  Standing in the South Florida sun for even forty minutes will give most people a bit of a burn.  I’ve lived here almost all of my life, and I wore the same hat I wore to the Great Pyramid, and even I got a little pink in places.
  4. Come hungry.  Seriously, if you eat a big meal before you drive out, then you’re missing out on the joy that is these gooey wonderful cinnamon buns fresh out of the oven.

Knaus Berry Farm is open November through mid-April each year, at this location: 15980 SW 248 Street
Homestead, FL 33031
305.247.0668

You can see more reviews and photos here.

Have you ever been to Knaus Berry Farm?

Lost Photo Post: The Palm Beach Zoo

Here’s another one in a series of photo posts where I took a bunch of photographs, intending to make a blog post out of them, and then never got around to actually writing the post.

In late August, Amelie and I went to the Palm Beach Zoo.  We’d been meaning to go for a while because I kept telling her about various childhood memories of going there when it was still called the Dreher Park Zoo. The zoo was founded in the 1950s, and the name was changed to the Palm Beach Zoo in 1997.

As is my custom for zoo visits, I took the dslr camera and took a ridiculous number of photographs.  Here’s a sampling of my favorite shots.

A passing staff member took this first one:

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This is Mardi, a nine foot long American alligator.  Mardi has Leucism, which gives him his white pigmentation and bright blue eyes.

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Amelie wants to kidnap this African Serval, and to put a bow tie on it.

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This sloth is one of my spirit animals.  Excuse me while I take an upside-down nap.

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Golden Lion Tamarin.  These little guys are so fast!

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Sleepy little Fennec fox!

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This koala was wandering all over the enclosure because we got there right before his feeding time, and he knew it.  Also, I kinda feel like he looks like Bernie Sanders, right?

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There were a couple of kangaroos hoppin’ around.

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Most of the big cats like this tiger were pretty sleepy because it was a warm day.  I also have blurry pictures of sleeping cheetahs.

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This one makes me giggle every time I see it.

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I cannot remember what type of animal this little guy was.  He was smaller than a golden retriever.

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Here’s another alligator.  He thinks we can’t see him.

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Ah, the noble capybara!  He’s such a stoic fuzzy fellow!

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Parrots!

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Look, a bear!

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Bush Dogs!  They’re technically canines, but they’re small and look a lot like sand otters.  The sign said they’re active during the day and sleep at night, but these two were totally bucking the system.

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Big ol’ anteater!

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Lastly, a regular otter.  I took at least thirty or forty pictures of the otter, and this is one of about three where he wasn’t moving.    River otters are a lot like small children on too much candy, I bet.

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What’s your favorite zoo animal?

Editor’s Note:  I’m attempting to blog every day in November with CheerPeppers.  I don’t expect to succeed because life be crazy, but any blogging in excess of my previous post-free month is a win, right?

Wynwood Art District, Miami

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Despite living in South Florida for most of my life, I’d never been to the Wynwood Art District before this trip.  Amelie took me down there earlier this week because she thought I would enjoy it, and she was right.

Wynwood is a neighborhood in Miami, a little bit north of downtown Miami.  The Wynwood art district contains over seventy galleries, five museums, three collections, seven art complexes, twelve art studios and five art fairs.  There are monthly art walks, and more.

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The really cool thing about Wynwood, though, is the walls.  The outer walls of the buildings throughout Wynwood are painted by artists.  On a regular basis, the walls are white-washed, and the cycle of art continues.

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This next wall was done by Sheperd Fairey, the guy who created the Obama HOPE poster and some other well known art memes.

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Some of the art is colorful.

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Some of it is really colorful.  This one is my favorite from the area.  I love how the paint “bleeds” onto the sidewalk and over the rocks in front of it.

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I can’t look at this one without squealing, “Yellow pig!”

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This piece isn’t a painting-  the face is carved into the wall.  The picture that follows is a close-up of the eye.

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The largest concentration of artsy walls is guarded by flat tin alien dudes.

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The design on this one is pretty nifty.

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I walked past this three times without noticing the woman’s genitalia- I was too focused on tthe butterflies in the upper right corner.  It wasn’t until I looked at the picture on my computer that I saw the other bits.

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On this piece, the very first thing I noticed was the key in the bottom-most hand.  I still wonder what it opens.

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This cafe is fronted by very colorful apparitions that look like they’re trying to escape.  The little red one furthest to the left looks like he’s making it.

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It took me .0003 seconds to notice (and laugh at) the little yellow dude’s penis, because I am apparently ten years old.

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I think an octopus would make an amazing plumber.

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I didn’t spot the kitty right away when I walked by this one.  There are actually several cats hiding on this wall, and I didn’t notice any of them until Amelie pointed them out to me.

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The “Road Trip” painting is across the street from Panther Coffee, a pretty great place to stop for some java or tea.

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Also across the street from Panther Coffee:  Someone hung this little guy up on the overhead lines.

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Ah, Miami life.  A man walks his two little dogs.  I dig the tiny sweater on the second dog.

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When I was growing up, ice cream trucks would roam the neighborhoods playing a jingly version of “The Entertainer”  and enticing us to eat sugary confections.  In these modern times, the ice cream and the jingly musical sound are the same, but the trucks have been replaced by pedal power.

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Even on the side streets, Wynwood has some amazing work.  The clouds on this explosion of color are fantastic.

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There’s a fine, fine line between art and graffiti.  I’m not entirely sure which side of that line this wall occupies.

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As we left, the clouds started to get a little bit ominous.  This has the added bonus of making this last photo look amazing.

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Does your city have a dedicated art district?

Family Time In Florida

I’ve been in South Florida now since the first of November, and I just have a few days left to soak it all in before I head back to Germany. (Just in time for Christkindlmarkt season, though!)

The centerpiece of this visit home was my father’s 75th birthday party.  This picture contains my immediate siblings and my dad.  It’s rare for all of us to be in a photo at the same time these days.  Dad really doesn’t look 75, does he?

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Another highlight of this trip has been seeing my niece again.  She was born less than a year before I moved to Germany, and she’ll be three in a few weeks.  I’ve missed two thirds of her life so far, but she warmed up to me pretty quickly.  I suspect she recognized in me another three year old to hang out with.

 

 

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Are you close to your family?