Stephen Foster Cultural Center State Park

It was a relatively short trip to our current destination yesterday. Along the way we stopped off in Trenton, Florida, to visit the Suwanee Valley Quilt Shop. What a great shop...unique. I'll tell you about that in a separate post. It's along the Florida Quilt Trail, and we saw a number of the quilt blocks along our drive yesterday.

This one was next to a watermelon patch of some kind.

These next blocks are on the side of the quilt shop.

These were on the side of a museum in the last little town we drove through before arriving at our destination.

We had reservations at the park, and so it was a quick check in process.

I've seen Stephen spelled with both an "e" and an "a" with respect to this one park. Now that I've seen the sign, let's just go with the conventional spelling. So anyway, we're here because it sounded interesting. When I read about it online, this paragraph caught my attention on the park website.

Situated on the banks of the legendary Suwannee River, this center honors the memory of American composer Stephen Foster, who wrote "Old Folks at Home," the song that made the river famous. The museum features exhibits about Foster's most famous songs and his music can be heard emanating from the park's 97-bell carillon throughout the day. 

Only, when we arrived at the park, we were sad to see this sign indicating that the bells aren't working right now.

So...bummer. The ranger informed us they were still trying to raise money to repair the bells. Also, the front gate code wasn't necessary because "someone took out half the gate a while back." Oh yes, and watch for the road to the campground because "someone took out the sign there." Oh yes, and the hiking trails are all closed because of tree removal. Okay...it was disappointing at first, but as she went down the litany of things we couldn't do here and the things that had been taken out or were busted, it started sounding downright comical. The website also says:

In Craft Square, visitors can watch demonstrations of quilting, blacksmithing, stained glass making, and other crafts, or visit the gift shop. 

So let's just hope Craft Square lives up to its promises or this park could turn out to be nothing more than a place for Smitty to walk for the next couple of days. It's sad when you think about it. Obviously, this park is starved for funding to keep it up and fully operational. This is something of a travesty, Florida. Just sayin'. Priorities, people.

Speaking of Smitty...there has not been nearly enough kitty time for the past few days. We got to work right away setting things right with them. Sadie and I had a marathon stitching and lap-sitting fest.

Smitty got out for two walks and then settled in with Mike for a mutual admiration fest.

On the stitching front, I got a start on the first of the 12 sundresses for the Sundress quilt.

These are going to stitch up fast, and so I'll probably have this one finished before we move on to our next destination on Thursday.

We had a nice phone conversation with Matthew yesterday evening. We haven't talked to the kids in quite a while, and so it was nice to have some time to catch up. We're expecting rain today, and so we'll probably check out Craft Square and hope for the best there. There is one hiking trail open, and we'll probably save that for tomorrow when we're promised better weather. Just as I typed those words I checked my weather app. It said rain was supposed to start at 6:15 a.m., and it has. Also, it's supposed to stop around 11:00 a.m. and since we probably won't even get dressed until about that time, it might not matter one bit.

2 comments from clever and witty friends:

quiltzyx said...

What a bummer that lack of funding has hit this park so hard. I'll bet the carillon bells are amazing. Did you get to hear the dulcimer & piano music?
Cool to see all the quilt blocks too - lots of bright colors!
Glad y'all got to catch up on your kitty time.

Brown Family said...

I am sorry you missed the carillon bells. They have some here at the Renaissance Fair. A person wearing a brown monk's habit plays them. It is too bad that so much was wrong with this park. It sounded like it could have been a great hiking place!