Ponce de Leon – Deadly Damn Vagabond

It might be pushing it to call Ponce de Leon a vagabond since he was a career soldier, but in terms of dreams and adventure, certainly he fits the bill as someone who not only traveled broadly, but was foolish enough to chase the fountain of youth.

Ponce de Leon was a Spanish explorer and was the first European soldier to set foot in Florida. He set up the oldest European settlement in Puerto Rico and he also found the Gulf Stream in the Atlantic Ocean . Ponce de Leon, was looking for a fabulous fountain of youth and a way to join the ranks of the truly wealthy people.

vagabond explorerPonce de Leon was born in Santervas, Spain, he fought against the Moors as a solider in southern Spain and he traveled on the second journey of Christopher Columbus in 1493 to Americas. But he did not return with Columbus to Spain, he stayed in Santo Domingo which is called the Dominical Republic today. That’s a pure vagabond move, Ponce.

He was the governor of Dominican province of Higuey. ponce de leonHe heard about gold in the neighboring island of Borinquen (Puerto Rico at present) and he conquered the island and claimed it for Spain. In the process he and his men brutally killed a huge portion of the native population. Later he was appointed governor of island. He was removed from the Governorship because of his intense cruelty to the local population and keep in mind, the Spanish weren’t known to be too nice and they thought he was cruel. .

Later Ponce de Leon was handed the right to find and take Bimini Island which is called the Bahamas today. He traveled from Puerto Rico with three ships, the Santiago, the San Cristobal and the Santa Maria along with 200 men. He stopped at Grand Turk Island and San Salvador, and reached the coasts of Florida in 1513.

He named the place “Pascua de Florida” which means feast of flowers because they first located land in 1513 which was a Palm Sunday. And one can assume that the flowers were blooming. Then Ponce de Leon claimed the land for Spain.

Further Reading
Ponce de Leon and the Discovery of Puerto Rico and Florida
Ponce de Leon and the Search for the Fountain of Youth
Eyewitness Travel Guide – Florida

He headed south into the warm currrent Gulf Stream (thus blundering on it and losing the smallest of his ships for two days, again in vagabond fashion). While they searched for the ship,a fight broke out between men of Ponce de Leon and Native Americans. Still, they managed to ‘discover’ the Florda Keys and more…

Ponce de Leon - fountain of youthMany people believe that Ponce de León discovered Florida while searching for the Fountain of Youth. In his Historia General y Natural de las Indias of 1535, Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo y Valdés wrote that Ponce de León was looking for the waters of Bimini to cure his aging. Most historians hold that the search for gold and the expansion of the Spanish Empire were far more imperative than the any potential search for the fountain, but they don’t understand the things that drive normal men to leave family and home in search of something remarkable. Personally, I’m certain he was looking for the fountain of youth.

What You Need To Know Before Booking Your Next Fishing Trip



When it comes to fishing holidays it doesn’t get much better than the United States. From wahoo, to amberjack, to marlin; the beautiful blue waters are filled to the brim with a diverse array of fantastic species for you to challenge yourself against. Nevertheless, when it comes to booking the vacation of your dreams this is not something you should dive right into. This post provides you with all the information you need prior to booking your fishing holiday.


Where in the U.S. should you go fishing?

First, you need to decide whereabouts in the United States you would like to take your trip. There are lots of great fishing areas. This includes the likes of Hawaii, Texas, Wisconsin, and Michigan. However, none of these places come close to the fishing Mecca of Miami. When it comes to fishing, a day out on one of the boats in the Miami area is assured to be full of fun. This is because you get to try your hand at hooking anything from wahoo, to amberjack, to swordfish, to grouper, to kingfish, to skipjack tuna, to marlin. Where else will you find fishing as varied as this? If that wasn’t enough, Miami itself is a stunning city, brimming with a vibrant personality. Accommodation is in its plentiful and there are lots of delicious restaurants too. 


What else is there to do while visiting Miami?

Here are some of the other things you can do in Miami while you are on your fishing trip…


  • Enjoy the famous and stunning South Beach
  • Head to Vizcaya Museum and Gardens 
  • Check out the New World Center 
  • Check out South Pointe Park 
  • Go on a speedboat tour if you’re looking for an adrenaline rush
  • Visit Monkey Jungle
  • Head to the Venetian Pool
  • Marvel over the mystery of Coral Castle
  • Take a trip to Miami Seaquarium
  • Check out the galleries, showrooms, boutiques, and shops at Design District
  • Visit Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
  • Go on an Art Deco walking tour


Choosing the best fishing charter company for your trip

Choosing a company for your fishing excursion is just as important as selecting a destination is. You need to put in the hard work and effort. There are lots of companies offering this service yet you want to benefit from the best boats in Miami, the most experienced crew, and altogether the best day possible. 


Read reviews that have been left by previous customers in order to get an honest assessment of the excursions provided. Don’t be afraid to call the company in question either. They will be able to tell you how the day goes from start to finish. 


Make sure their service is not limited. Beginners and experienced anglers alike should be able to find something that suits them. You should be able to try your hand at catching all of the fish that were mentioned previously. From the mighty amberjack to the speedy marlin; the company should give you the possibility to catch them all – and the information and advice to enhance your chances of hooking them. This includes regular fishing reports on the company’s website so you know the best time to go fishing in Miami.


What fish can you expect to hook whilst enjoying fishing in Miami?

If you read reviews online you will struggle to find a negative one about the diverse fishing experience in the United States. Practically everyone states that they loved their experience in Miami especially. There are, of course, many reasons why this is the case; the glorious weather, the stunning surroundings, and without doubt the species of fish on offer. This is something worth elaborating on further.


What type of fish can you try and hook when enjoying your Miami fishing experience? Well, there is everything from wahoo, to marlin, to mutton snapper, to black grouper, to Atlantic sailfish, to yellow-eye snapper. This is great because it means that there is a challenge for everybody; from beginners to the more experienced anglers, from those who prefer fast fish (such as marlin) to those who want to hook a beast (such as kingfish). 


If you are really looking for a challenge you won’t be short of options. Tarpon tends to be the highlight of most people’s Miami fishing breaks. However, wahoo and marlin are extremely fast. You have to be super quick if you are to outwit these fish. So, why not give it a go? Try your hand at some of the fastest and most intelligent fish in the world against one of the most magnificent backdrops you will ever lay your eyes on.


When is the best time of the year for snook fishing in Miami? 

If you are looking to experience the best of fishing in Miami you should definitely try your hand at snook fishing. This is a fish that will provide you with a lot of fun and excitement, as they put up an excellent fight. Their violent headshakes will give you a great adrenaline rush!


What is snook? Well, this is actually a species that contains a wealth of different types and comes in a selection of colors; from gold, to black, to green. Nevertheless, when enjoying snook fishing, there is a distinct feature that will help you to spot snook. This is a clear lateral line in a distinct black shade that is situated on the side of the fish. In addition to this, snook boast a big lower jaw and two distinct dorsal fins. 


Nevertheless, knowing what to look out for is one thing, but when is the best time to enjoy inshore fishing in Miami for snook? All experienced anglers situated in Miami will tell you that snook is usually in warm waters, meaning from spring to early fall is a great time to go fishing for them.


A fishing holiday comes highly recommended. However, because of the popularity of this type of vacation, it can be very difficult to find the perfect destination and excursion package. If you use the advice provided in this article you shouldn’t experience any problems.


Big Food Challenges in Florida

Florida is known as a place where everything is bigger and better – the theme park rides, the sports and certainly the food. If you’re the competitive type, why not check out some of the restaurants below, all of which offer unique challenges for the truly hungry.

Whether you’re on holiday with your kids or enjoying an intimate break, sweltering over the Inferno Soup at Nitally’s, chowing down a 48oz steak or eating ice cream from a kitchen sink, you’re sure to have a great story to take home with you whether you pass the test or not.

48oz Steak Challenge at Don Shula’s Steak House

48 oz steakLaunched by former NFL coach Don Shula in 1989, this restaurant chain quickly gained a reputation as one of the best places in Florida to sink your teeth into some prime Angus beef. Each restaurant is themed after the Miami Dolphins’ “Perfect Season” that Shula presided over in 1972, when the Dolphins became the only team in NFL history to finish the entire season undefeated.

Orlando holidays in Florida wouldn’t be complete without sampling their famous 48oz Porterhouse steak, dubbed “The Shula Cut”. Holidaymakers who manage to finish all of this titanic T-bone in one sitting are rewarded with induction into the restaurant’s 48oz Club, which would certainly provide a few bragging rights back home.

However, guests have their work cut out for them if they’re planning to beat the record of superfan Taft Parker, who to date has eaten over 175 of the giant steaks – earning a commemorative football from Don Shula himself for his achievement.

Shula’s Steak House Orlando, Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel, 1500 Epcot Resorts Blvd, Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830

Inferno Soup Challenge at Nitally’s

If you’ve got a taste for the spicy stuff, you may have finally met your match at Nitally’s Thai-Mexican restaurant in St Petersburg, Florida.

This challenge isn’t for the faint of heart: the Inferno Soup contains fresh ghost pepper. At over 400 times stronger than Tabasco sauce, it’s the hottest chili known to mankind – in fact, it’s so hot the Indian government has reportedly considered using it in non-lethal hand grenades.

For good measure, the restaurant throws about a dozen other varieties of pepper, including three kinds of jabanero, into the dish.

The owners of Nitally’s initially offered a $150 (£96) reward to any steel-tongued guest who can finish the soup in less than 30 minutes, but as of July 2011 not a single customer has managed it – prompting them to raise the jackpot to $800 (£512).

Challengers must be over 18, stone-cold sober and “of sound mind and health” before they can tackle the Inferno Soup Challenge, as well as remaining seated throughout. Any takers?

Nitally’s Thai-Mex Cuisine, 2462 Central Ave, St Petersburg, Florida 33712

20 Tacos in 40 Minutes at Poblano’s

Poblano’s Restaurant in Clearwater, Florida is a local favourite among lovers of burritos, enchiladas and tequila. The truly adventurous, however, can put their guts to the test with the 20 Tacos in 40 Minutes challenge. The crispy fried tortillas filled with shredded beef, cheese and lettuce are a staple of Mexican cuisine, but it takes true grit to step up to the bar at Poblano’s and earn a place in the restaurant’s hall of fame.

The tacos are served ten at a time and diners are expected to clear their plates completely to succeed. If they do manage to chow down the full 20, the house pays for the meal and the challenger receives a T-shirt and has their photo mounted on the wall of the restaurant.

A word of warning, though – only 13 people have completed the challenge since it was launched a couple of years ago. Reigning champion Adam went above and beyond to finish an incredible 30 of the spicy snacks in the allotted time.

Poblano’s Mexican Grill & Bar, 2451 North McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater, Florida 33759

The Kitchen Sink at Jaxson’s Ice Cream Parlour

Americans love to round off a meal with a good ice cream sundae, and entering this classically-styled parlour in Dania Beach, Florida is like stepping back in time to the age of soda jerks, Cadillacs and rock ‘n’ roll. There’s also a dessert on the menu that’s a meal in itself and then some.

The Kitchen Sink isn’t just a clever name – it really is served in a full-size kitchen sink, plumbing and all. The servers behind the counter are invited to let their imaginations run wild putting everything they can think of into the colossal sundae, with toppings including marshmallow, chocolate, strawberries, cherries, fudge and sprinkles.

In this case there’s no reward for finishing the food besides the satisfaction of a job well done, but at $12.95 (£8) per person – for a minimum of four diners – it’s a whole lot of ice-cream for your cash.

Jaxson’s Ice Cream Parlour, 128 South Federal Highway, Dania Beach, Florida 33004

Eddie’s Monsta Burger at Eddie’s Bar & Grill

Eddy's bar and grillIf you’re a burger lover and you think you’ve seen it all, Eddie would have you believe otherwise. From the outside it may seem like just another waterfront burger joint in Dunedin, Florida, but it has achieved local fame thanks to one truly daunting menu item: the Monsta Burger.

Featuring 3lbs of beef created from six of the restaurant’s normal half-pounders and “all the fixin’s”, this colossal burger is even served with a pound of French fries on the side! Finish it all within 30 minutes and you’ll get a T-shirt and your picture on the Wall of Fame, as well as a free meal.

Fail, and it’ll set you back $24.99 (£16), but why not have a go at one of Eddie’s other challenges? The super-spicy Fire-in-the-Hole Chicken Wings will net you $100 (£64) in gift vouchers if you can chomp down 13 in 15 minutes, or alternatively there’s an enormous tray of nachos offering the same prize if you can finish it in half an hour.

Eddie’s Bar and Grill, 1283 Bayshore Boulevard Dunedin, Florida 34698

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