The Bucket List: Con­sider tak­ing a short cruise

The Standard Journal - - LIFESTYLE - By Mike Hunter mike.hunter@cruise­plan­ners. com

The Rock­mart Farm­ers Mar­ket is now com­pletely in sea­son with new and re­turn­ing ven­dors, fall pro­duce, and plenty of Oc­to­ber sweets. When the weather per­mits it, lo­cals can visit ev­ery Thurs­day from 2 through 6 p.m. on Rock­mart’s Wa­ter Street.

“Spread­ing Oaks will be bring­ing plenty of pro­duce in­clud­ing all your fall veg­etable needs,” Mar­ket Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Shonna Kirk­patrick said. “Morn­ing Glory Farms will be bring­ing pork and chicken, baked goods, jams and jel­lies, and fresh veg­eta­bles.”

Pop­u­lar fall items in­clude ap­ples, Brus­sels sprouts, pears, broc­coli, pump­kin, cab­bage, car­rots, onions, green beans, cran­berry, figs, and much more. Ear­lier sum­mer items such as toma­toes, peaches, okra, wa­ter­melon, or corn may be ei­ther gone en­tirely or in lim­ited sup­ply.

“Foote­hills Farm­house will have veg­gies, soap, and pizza crusts,” Kirk­patrick said. “Ms. Adri­anna with Tim­ber­land Farms will be bring­ing grass-fed beef, and stop by Quiet Acres for greens in­clud­ing kale, pep­pers, egg­plant, and let­tuces. Stop by Dewey’s for a fried pie along with his jams, jel­lies, & pick­les. We hope Ms. Sue should be at mar­ket with all her good­ies.”

While prices will vary be­tween ven­dors, pa­trons can also still take ad­van­tage of the dou­ble SNAP fea­ture. The Rock­mart Farm­ers Mar­ket will dou­ble EBT up to $50, so those in need can leave with dou­ble the food for half the cost. To­kens can be col­lected by vis­it­ing Kirk­patrick or an­other em­ployee at the venue’s front table

Spon­sors are still be­ing ac­cepted, and those in­ter­ested in can visit http:// www.rock­mart­farm­ers­mar­ find-us/ to con­tact Kirk­patrick. Only two ma­jor spon­sors will be ac­cepted at any given time, and the busi­ness must pro­mote healthy liv­ing and com­mu­nity im­prove­ment to be ac­cepted.

More in­for­ma­tion about the mar­ket and its hap­pen­ings can be found at http://www.rock­mart­farm­ers­mar­ket. com/.

Cruis­ing is a near-per­fect va­ca­tion. You board the ship at a port (which is a very short flight from At­lanta or you can drive from Polk County to five ports in 8 hours or less), un­pack once and—for one low all-in­clu­sive price— en­joy free meals and en­ter­tain­ment while never hav­ing to worry about where to go or what to do next. Just pick from the in­cred­i­ble as­sort­ment of ac­tiv­i­ties that are laid out in the ship’s daily pro­gram, which is de­liv­ered to your state­room each day. But with pre­cious few days off dur­ing the school year and a busy sched­ule year-round, com­mit­ting to a tra­di­tional 7-night cruise may sound im­pos­si­ble. How­ever, you don’t have to rule out an ocean voy­age for your next stress-bust­ing get­away.

Va­ca­tions don’t al­ways have to be long es­capes. Some­times you just need to get away for a few days, and shorter cruises are the per­fect length for a quick break.

What are the ben­e­fits of three- or four-day mini-va­cays?

1. It’s a great way for the first-timer to get a taste of ocean cruis­ing. This is sim­ple way to see what you’ve been miss­ing.

2. You’ll get to ex­pe­ri­ence the perks of cruis­ing, many of which are unique to ocean cruis­ing, in just a few days.

3. The short cruises are quite in­ex­pen­sive. You have very lit­tle to risk in terms of time and money.

For the ports near­est Polk County you have the fol­low­ing 4-day cruise des­ti­na­tions dur­ing the school year:

Charleston, S.C.: Nas­sau, Ba­hamas

Jack­sonville, Fla.: Freeport and Nas­sau Ba­hamas and Princess Cays

Mo­bile, Ala.: Cozumel, Mex­ico

New Or­leans, La.: Cozumel

Tampa, Fla.: Cozumel, Key West, and Ha­vana, Cuba

If you have a flex­i­ble sched­ule some of these cruises are priced such that a cou­ple can cruise for less than $800; in­clud­ing cruise fare, taxes, port fees, and gra­tu­ities.

Add up what you’d spend on a week­end land get­away on ho­tel, food, shop­ping and en­ter­tain­ment. It’s of­ten more than the cost of a short cruise. Talk to your friends and fam­ily about ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a shorter cruise.

Fi­nally, a short cruise out of Port Canaveral (Or­lando) or even Mi­ami or Ft. Lauderdale is a fan­tas­tic “add-on” to a visit to Uni­ver­sal Or­lando or Walt Dis­ney World theme parks.

Ready to book your next dream va­ca­tion or want to learn more about what is best for you? Con­tact your lo­cal Cruise Plan­ner Va­ca­tion Spe­cial­ist at 678-901-0993.

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