This Shark Valley, leisurely bike-ride stuff is all too weenie for cycling enthusiast Ralph Cabrera, a Coral Gables city commissioner who, with fellow biking pals, often takes a 70-mile or so ride from the South Miami area through Pinecrest and along the Deering Estate in Palmetto Bay and up the highway to Homestead along varying routes. The end destination is the famed Robert Is Here fruit stand (19200 SW 344th St., Homestead), where the milk shakes are renowned and theres a chill-out splash park out back, next to the petting zoo. You can top off your Florida City/Homestead excursion with lunch at Cracker Barrel (155 N. Krome Ave., Florida City) and dessert at Roberts, but that probably kills the fitness aspect part of the trip.
Cabrera has one suggestion, though: These days, so many people are out, and its fun, but go early in the morning with a big group. Theres safety in numbers.
Deering Holiday Wonderland
Speaking of the Deering Estate at Cutler, the Palmetto Bay institutions Holiday Wonderland exhibit is up through Monday, New Years Eve, and is free with admission to the historic grounds.
Tour the historic houses, which are accented with holiday decorations thanks to local garden clubs and community organizations. House tours are held daily at 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. The Natural Areas Tour, which includes a visit to the new Cutler Burial Mound boardwalk, is held daily at 12:30 p.m. Walking the grounds and pausing along picturesque Biscayne Bay is a nature-lovers treat.
The display is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. daily through Monday at the Deering Estate, 17201 SW 72nd Ave. Call 305-235-1668 and visit www.deeringestate.org.
Singing nuns and a stroll
Cross the county line really, its not that far, and this show is worth the ride. Catch the last performance of the delightful and uplifting musical Sister Act at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale, at 2 p.m. Sunday. You probably recall the movie: Whoopi Goldbergs a lounge singer who witnesses a murder and hides out in a convent for safe keeping so that she can testify in one piece. The Alan Menken-Glenn Slater score for the musical reflects the change in time and setting (1978 Philadelphia, where disco and creamy Philly soul music ruled), and the writers keep all of the humor intact and up the entertainment value with some of the most eye-catching costumes and set designs the stage has seen since Mamma Mia! Goldbergs not starring, but she produced the musical. Tickets are $39.50-$79.50. Call 954-462-0222 and visit www.browardcenter.org.
So, where does the outdoors part come in? Youre on the gorgeous Riverwalk immediately beyond the doors of the theater. Take a stroll along the lush path, take in some of the historic homes along the way, catch sublime water views, and head over to any number of restaurants within walking distance for post-performance sustenance.
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