Drum Circle Distilling Tour

SiestaKey_Spiced_Rum_Bottle“There’s naught, no doubt, so much the spirit calms as rum and true religion.” You got that right, Lord Byron.

Calm your spirit, at least, when you visit award-winning Drum Circle Distilling, one of the fun Alumaflamingo offsite adventures.

During the rum factory tour you’ll meet the acclaimed Siesta Key Rum makers and learn about small batch distillation methods. At Drum Circle, spiced, silver and gold rums are made from the fanciest available ground spices and honey (“we did not get into this business to let the cost of ingredients drive the rum flavor,” states the website), and entirely hand-crafted in a copper pot still. “This allows us to produce a delicious rum that harkens back to a time before mass production and the bottom line determined the quality and flavor of rum.” Cooking Light magazine named their spiced rum as one of the best artisan products in the country in 2012.

After the tour meet in the tasting room to enjoy samples of the “dangerously drinkable” Siesta Key spirits— “possibly the tastiest rum in the world,” said the Miami New Times. Free samples will be flowing (and can be poured into a Siesta Key Rum keepsake shot glass.)

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Mote Aquarium Breakfast Experience

Have breakfast with a manatee! Or a sea turtle. Or a shark!

At the Mote Aquarium Breakfast Experience, Alumaflamingo attendees will enjoy continental breakfast and an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour before the facility opens to the public.

Mote is a working marine laboratory where visitors experience marine life up close and personal—even sharks, swimming in their 135,000 gallon open water “Shark Zone” habitat, where popular Florida game fish (and the world’s largest grouper species) also make their home.

You’ll be able to pet rays and reef animals at the touch tanks, and the Mote website encourages you to “be sure to say hi to some of our star residents” like manatees Hugh and Buffett, and the sea turtle gang: Caleb, Hang Tough, Harry, Shelley, and Montego.

You’ll also meet marine scientists and observe their projects in viewable working laboratories. Mote researchers are hard at work understanding why sharks are rarely afflicted with cancer—and what that means to human cancer treatment.

Sign up early for this fantastic offsite tour at the Alumaflamingo registration desk.

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A day at the beach, Sarasota style

Among the outdoor outings planned for Alumaflamingo is a bright, sunny beach event at Ted Sperling Park on the Gulf Coast.

Kayak, fish, bike, hike, birdwatch, or simply lean back and enjoy the weather at this beautiful location on  South Lido Beach.

Bring your own kayak, paddleboard, canoe, fishing equipment, and other beach rec gear. Waves and calm water are both waiting to play in, as you’ll have access to the Gulf side as well as the inlet side of the water. (Sports equipment is readily available for rent in Sarasota.)

BYO lunch for the grill, too—we’ll have hot coals ready for you to cook your favorite picnic fare.

Ted Sperling Park (named for a former county commissioner and leader of the local “Save Our Bays” movement) also features a nature trail with hiking paths and observation decks in the cool pine and mangrove forests.

The number of participants for this day at the beach is limited, so sign up early at the Alumaflamingo registration desk!

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Lido Mangrove Kayak Tour

Sports and recreation fans will love the activities on the Alumflamingo program this year, and anyone who loves natural beauty (who doesn’t?) will flip for this kayak eco tour through the Lido Mangrove Tunnels.

During this two-plus hour kayak adventure, you’ll paddle through exotic mangrove overgrowth, explore Sarasota Bay, and encounter amazing wildlife up close along the way.

The fully guided tour includes on-water basic paddle instruction—all skill levels welcome—before setting out with an informed guide who will share information about the mangrove ecosystem.

Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins frequently swim and play among the passing kayakers, and you might see a West indian Manatee as well if the waters are warm enough. These 1000-pound “gentle giants” are curious and friendly—don’t be surprised if one approaches your kayak for a quick pat on the head! (Sorry, no man-eating alligators will make an appearance.)

Birders, you’ll want to sign up for this tour! Kayaking is a quiet sport that allows you to approach tropical birds in their natural habitat along the waterway. Depending on the time of year, you’ll tick ospreys, egrets, cormorants, pelicans, a variety of herons, and other species. (Bring your camera, but zip it into a waterproof baggie.)

You’ll also see beautiful living shells in the protected waterways, including the state shell of Florida, the Horse Conch. The water is shallow (and usually very clear)—optimum conditions for viewing sealife.

What an awesome Alumaflamingo outing! Sign up at the registration desk when you arrive.

View a video of this beautiful paddle trip here.

 

 

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Building homes, building hope

Habitat LuciusWant to give back to the local Sarasota community during Alumaflamingo? Join Airstreamer Lucius Herrmann on a half-day volunteer outing to a Habitat for Humanity homebuild site.

“You’ll help a deserving family in need buy a decent, affordable home by providing volunteer labor to build a house,” Herrmann explained. “My wife and I volunteer with Habitat for Humanity and support our Atlanta, Georgia affiliate. We work in the warehouse periodically, as well as at job sites to build houses. In addition, when we travel in our Airstream we volunteer with the Habitat for Humanity RV Care-A-Vanners to build houses around the country.”

Worldwide, some 827.6 million people live in urban slums; Habitat for Humanity volunteers are working to reduce that number, one home at a time. “Decent, stable housing provides more than just a roof over someone’s head,” states the Habitat for Humanity website. An adequate home means “stability for families and children; health, physical safety, and security; a sense of dignity and pride; and an increase of educational and job prospects.” Last year, Habitat for Humanity served 124,946 families around the world by providing homes to those in need through volunteer labor and donations.

“We really enjoy working with Habitat,” said Herrmann. “It allows us to help build housing, meet RVers, and see the United States. We refer to the experience as ‘travel with a purpose.’”

Sign up early for this rewarding, hands-on outing at the Alumaflamingo registration table, as space is limited. Participants must be at least 18 years old (or age 16 or older with a parent). All tools will be provided, and closed-toed shoes are required.

Learn more about the Care-A-Vanners at their webpage, and visit the Habitat for Humanity Sarasota & ReStores on Facebook.

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It’s big. It’s fun. It’s back!

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The time is now to plan bring your rig to the second annual Alumaflamingo, returning to Sarasota, Florida in February (exactly when you need some sun) at the fairgrounds (just five miles from the white sandy beaches).

Like the quote about the duck, things look calm on the surface but we’re paddling like heck to put together an amazing program for 2015 including new tours, new outdoor activities, and new educational Airstream seminars.

Fan favorite Antsy McClain and The Trailer Park Troubadours will perform, but don’t be intimidated—plan to display your own talent (or “talent”) during the infamous Aluminum Gong Show.

Last year there were more than 250 Airstreams at Alumafandango! Vintage owners, register for the special vintage parking area.

Maximize your savings by planning ahead: Sign up before December 31, 2014 and save up to $30. (Prices for campsites and each adult increase on New Year’s Day, 2015.)

Pass this post to your camping friends and invite them to meet you in sunny Sarasota this winter! All brands of RV are welcome at Alumaflamingo.

 

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Alumaflamingo registration is now open!

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It’s not too early to circle the date on your calendar and look forward to a week of Airstream fun in sunny Sarasota.

Plan now to join us in Florida in February (2/24—3/1, 2015) and save some bucks! Register before January 1 and get $30 discount.

(Jump to this link for price details.)

All Aluma-events are different from year to year, and we’re already planning exciting new seminars and activities for the 2015 program. (Thanks to everyone who completed the post-event survey after our first-ever Alumaflamingo this year. Your comments matter!)

Sign up for Alumaflamingo today, and don’t delay registering even if you think you might not be able to come. You can’t lose: If you cancel anytime before the event begins, we can transfer your fees to any one of our other events (Alumafiesta, Alumapalooza, Alumafandango) being held within 11 months of Alumaflamingo.)

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Alumaflamingo 2015

The first-ever Alumaflamingo was a hit, and plans have already begun for next year!

Save the dates: Alumaflamingo will be held again at the Sarasota Fairgrounds in sunny Florida, February 24 through March 1, 2015.

Registration opens soon; keep an eye on this site and on the Alumaflamingo Facebook page, too. (Drop by Facebook to see photos, videos and media coverage of some of the fun we had in Florida!)

Dates are set for our other upcoming Aluma-events, and we’d love to see you there. Tell your friends! (Remember, our events are not just for Airstream owners; the activity-packed schedules offer something for everyone.)

Alumapalooza, returning to the Airstream factory in Jackson Center Ohio for the fifth year in a row. Sign up soon!

May 27 – June 1, 2014.

Alumafandango, at Seven Feathers RV Resort in Canyonville, Oregon:

September 2-7, 2014

Alumafiesta, at Tucson/Lazydays KOA in Tucson, Arizona:

January 27 – February 1, 2015

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Recipes from Eleanor’s cooking demonstration

Did you enjoy the cooking demonstration at Alumafiesta?  We’ve got the recipes for the entire six-course meal here, by popular request.  Click here to download the Alumafiesta recipes to your computer.

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Pre-event instructions for attendees of Alumaflamingo

Are you registered for Alumaflamingo 2014?  Then you’ll want to start packing up the Airstream for a warm week in Sarasota!

We’ve got lots of special events and activities planned for the week, so there are a few things we’d like to remind you to bring. It’s all in this document:  Pre-Event Instructions Flamingo 2014.  Please click on the title and read the handy tips it contains.

Safe travels to all of you.  We’ll see you in Florida soon.

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