Additional Activities – Classes and Pre and Post ‘Vous Trips

Like past Rendezvous, all Pre and Post activities are optional and costs are separate from the main Rendezvous fee. Transportation and overnight accommodations are not included.

We are offering the most popular classes and trips based on the responses we had to our August 2021 survey. All classes are offered at Two Hawk Hammock. Please click on each class name or scroll down to see individual descriptions. Classes are limited to a small number of participants, so remember… the early bird gets the worm.

All Pre and Post activities and trips are close to the Rendezvous site with the intention that people can easily extend their ‘Vous accommodations as needed. For estimation purposes use $15/day for tent camping and $90/day for a nice one bedroom/bath cabin, or some number in-between.

It is assumed that people will have their own car and/or share a ride.

Note: Diving classes are separate and need to be reserved and organized by the participant. There is more information about diving certification at the end of this section.

ActivityAvailability
WoodturningSeveral classes offered at various times
“Plein Air” PaintingTwo classes
Hydrostone Leaf Casting & Painting Two classes
Flying TrapezeOne class
Joint Health for the Active Body One class
Ziplining, Crystal River, and Downtown Ocala Pre-Trip: Thu March 31, 2021
Horseback RidingPre-Trip: Thu March 31, 2021
Kayaking/Canoeing and Downtown High SpringsPre-Trip: Wed March 30, 2021
Fresh Water Springs (Swim, Snorkel, or Dive) and tour Downtown Alachua Pre-Trip: Tue March 29, 2021
Cedar Key, FloridaPost-Trip: Tue-Wed April 5&6
Nature Tour, Breweries, Bats, and Downtown Gainesville Post-Trip: Thu April 7
Other List of things to do in the area
Diving ClassesProvided for informational purposes

Woodturning

How many times have you looked at a piece of wood and wish you could turn it into something special? Take a wood turning class with master woodworker Ken Schwiebert, no experience necessary!

Ken will demonstrate basic turning techniques and wood turning tools. Class will be hands on step by step as he guides students through the process of turning, sanding and finishing a small 5-6 inch diameter wood coin dish or a pen. You will be asked to choose either a dish or a pen during registration.

Duration: Approximately 2 Hours

Number of Students: 1 to 2

Cost: $75

Days/Times: Th 3/31 (2:30-4:30pm) , Fri 4/1 (9:30-11:30am), Fri 4/1 (1:30-3:30pm), Sat 4/2 (9:30-11:30am), Sat 4/2 (1:30-3:30am), Sun 4/3 (9:30-11:30am)

Onsite Landscape Painting – “Plein Air”

This hands-on workshop allows participants to create an original painting of a natural landscape in the traditional “Plein Air” style. (“Plein Air” is a French term meaning to paint in the open air.)

This class includes a 1-hour demo and 2-hours of hands-on instruction from award-winning painter Jordan Shapot. https://www.jordanshapot.com/

Through this class, you will learn how to capture natural light, color and color mixing, dynamic compositions, and tips and tricks to complete a painting within a limited time and a changing light source. All this while having fun outside!

Come enjoy the outdoors and leave with a finished painting as well as an enhanced appreciation of the natural world.

Time breakdown::

1 hour of Introduction of plein air painting and a detailed demo by Jordan

15-minute break

2 hours of hands on painting with plenty of 1-on-1 instruction

15 minutes of finishing touches and wrap-up

Equaling a 3.5 hour course.

Number of Students: 3  to 10

Cost: $80 (8”x10” canvas, acrylic paints, brushes, paint palette, apron, and easel are all provided for use during class)

Days/Times: Fri 4/1 (1:00-4:30pm), Sat 4/2 (9:00-12:30pm)

Hydrostone Leaf Casting & Painting

No experience necessary! Heidi Schwiebert will demonstrate how to make an impression of a real leaf that can be painted and displayed on a wall for home décor, hung as an ornament, or shaped into a bowl.  A variety of precast leaves will be provided for sanding and painting during class.

Duration: approximately 2 Hours

Number of Students: 4 to 10

Cost: $45

Days/Times: Fri 4/1 (2:00-4:00pm), Sat 4/2 (2:00-4:00pm)

Flying Trapeze

This classic circus skill is for the adrenaline junkies. Learn to fly through the air as our instructors guide you from take-off to landing safely in the net. This demanding activity requires participants to climb a 20 foot ladder in order to reach the take-off platform. Students must be at least 40″ tall with a maximum weight limit of 250lbs.

Duration: 90 minutes

Cost: Between $35-$117/person depending on the number of students, min 3 and max 10. We are assuming that we will have 10 students, so we will charge $35. If we don’t get 10 participants, we will contact you to see if you are still interested if the price changes.

Date/Time: Fri 4/1 (9:00-10:30am)

Prehab/Rehab Workshop: Joint Health for the Active Body

Prehab/Rehab Workshop: Joint Health for the Active Body

This class is great for aerialists and non-aerialists alike! Learn techniques to warm and prepare specific muscle groups for deep stretches. Learn static, dynamic and Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) stretching.

Duration: 90 minutes

Cost: Free and courtesy of Gainesville Circus Center! Aerialists stand united and GCC welcomes GOTC! Bring a mat or a towel.

Date/Times: Thu 3/31 (4:15-5:45pm)

Ziplining, Horseback Riding, Crystal River, and Downtown Ocala

Zipline (or horseback ride) the “canyons” https://www.zipthecanyons.com/ in the morning. Follow this adventure by having lunch and exploring Ocala’s quaint downtown, and then finish off the afternoon by exploring the nostalgic Silver Springs State Park https://www.floridastateparks.org/silversprings OR just zipline (or horseback ride) in the morning and have the afternoon off.

Cost $105/person for ziplining (does not include lunch)

Date/Time: Th 3/31-AM

Horseback Riding

While some are ziplining, have fun horseback riding at the canyons. Explore the quarries by land and watch the zipliners! This is a very beautiful ride along an old mined terrain, with man made lakes and plenty of ups and downs. Most of the horses have been rescued and now live peacefully in a safe and respectful environment.

Cost $76/person (does not include lunch)

Date/Time: Th 3/31-AM

After Ziplining or Horseback Riding (or if you just want to join the group for the afternoon after they finish with the morning adventures), join in for lunch in downtown Ocala followed by a trip down to the historic Silver Springs. There is a nominal fee to enter the park and there are a number of activities available: Silver Springs State Park | Florida State Parks

Kayaking/Canoeing & Downtown High Springs

Powered by the Floridan Aquifer, the largest self-replenishing freshwater aquifer in the world, North Florida is home to the largest collection of freshwater springs on the planet. The region has over 300 documented springs! Over 19 of the state’s 33 first magnitude springs (the really big ones) are located in North Florida. 

Take a 5.5 hour easy downstream paddling tour of the Santa Fe River and its many springs with retired arborist and Florida Master Naturalist and author Lars Andersen (https://stateofwater.org/people/lars-andersen/). After paddling, explore and have dinner in the nearby historic and charming town of High Springs (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Springs,_Florida).

Min/Max # of participants: 5-20

Cost $45/person (Kayak or canoe provided. Does not include dinner or box lunch)

Date/Time: Wed 3/30 – All Day

Fresh Water Springs (Swim, Snorkel, or Dive) and tour Downtown Alachua

Note: Participants most have a Certification card in order to dive.  Cave dives are available for people with specialized certifications. Swimming and snorkeling are available in lieu of diving.

Start the day by diving in Blue Grotto ( https://divebluegrotto.com/diving/pricing/ ) and then travel to Ginnie Springs, all open water dives in absolutely crystal clear water!

Alternatively, skip Blue Grotto and spend the day at Ginnie Springs, a jewel of a place with several pristine fresh water springs, all within walking distance.  You can paddle, tube, hike, swim, and/or snorkel in this beautiful and very family friendly environment. Then join the divers, “chase their bubbles”, and explore.

Finish the day by strolling through historic downtown Alachua and enjoying some local food.

Diving cost: $80/person for entry fees to both parks for diving. Dive rental is separate and can be arranged at Blue Grotto. 

Ginnie Day entry (no diving): $15/person

Day/Time: Tue 3/29 – All Day

Cedar Key, Florida

This trip would be done as an overnight post ‘Vous trip. There are many different types of accommodations and restaurants and this little island is very good for “chillaxing”. Participants will be in-charge of paying all their room and board expenses.

This former fishing village is reminiscent of the south Florida Keys and is a good representation of the beautiful Northern Florida Gulf Coast, with breathtaking views of the marshes, windy little roads with old-time Florida houses, and quaint shops https://www.visitflorida.com/en-us/cities/cedar-key.html 

Though not the best beaches for swimming; if you are into boating, kayaking, fishing, flying, and/or are interested in learning about shellfish aquaculture, this is an excellent spot for you.  The University of Florida has a biological station here https://ncbs.ifas.ufl.edu/

Date/Time: Tue 4/5 through Wed 4/6

Nature Tour, Breweries, Bats, and Downtown Gainesville

For people interested in staying in the area after the ‘Vous (starting April 6th), Nadia’s place in Cross Creek will be available for campers (tents and RV’s) at no charge.

Start the day with a walk at Sweetwater Wetlands Park, which will be of special interest to birders.  https://www.sweetwaterwetlands.org/

Catch some lunch and brews and afterwards continue this nature tour with a visit to Paynes Prairie through one of its parks: La Chua Trail (https://floridahikes.com/paynes-prairie-lachua).  Can’t promise you will see alligators, but it is highly likely. For a little bit of history about La Chua’s origins check https://flatravels.com/history/floridas-first-cattle-ranch-la-chua/

Then catch another brew before participating in one of Gainesville’s traditions: watching the emergence of the bats from the bat barns and bat house (https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/Bats/)

Follow this batty experience with a tour of downtown Gainesville, dinner, and some nightlife.

Optional: we can pool our resources together and hire transport so people can drink and not have to worry about driving.

Cost: Minimal parking fees for local parks and downtown Gainesville AND whatever you consume!

Time/Date: Thu 4/7-All Day

Other

For people interested in staying in the area before or after the ‘Vous, Nadia’s place in Cross Creek will be available for campers (tents and RV’s) at no charge.

There are no planned tours for the following sites. We have listed them because we feel that they are unique places and are worth visiting. Please note schedules, some are only open on weekends and some need reservations. 

If you would like to do this as a group activity, tell us when you register and we will check who else is interested and try to help you coordinate your visit.

1- St. Augustine – St. Augustine Florida – Things to Do & Attractions in St. Augustine FL (visitflorida.com)

2- Gainesville Circus Center (Aerial Classes offered in their main facility in Gainesville) – Gainesville Circus Center

3- Harn Museum of Art, Gainesville – https://harn.ufl.edu/

4- The Appleton Museum of Art, Ocala – https://www.appletonmuseum.org/visit/plan-your-visit/

5- Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville – https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/

6- Butterfly Rainforest Exhibit, Gainesville – https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/exhibits/butterfly-rainforest/

7- Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo, Gainesville – https://www.sfcollege.edu/zoo/

8- All About Elephants, Two Tail Ranch, Williston – https://allaboutelephants.com/

9- Lubee Bat Conservancy – https://www.lubee.org/

10- Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, Gainesville – https://kanapaha.org/

Diving, Diving Refreshers, and Diving Classes

Note: Diving classes are separate and need to be reserved and organized by the participant.

Note: Neither GOTC or the Florida organizers are sponsors or making any money sponsoring Blue Grotto

If you have a current C-Card you can dive at Blue Grotto without having to take any classes or additional training. They have rental equipment and tanks or you can bring your own.

Blue Grotto has accommodations which will be available to divers who are planning to attend the Rendezvous. These rooms and cabins are only a 10 minute drive from Two Hawk Hammock, the main event hub.

If learning to dive has been on your bucket list (or you need a refresher or additional training), this might interest you:

You can start your certification on-line and finish it in person during a 2-day immersion course either before or after the ‘Vous.  One of the advantages about Blue Grotto is that the price is all-inclusive (except for accommodations and meals), so there are no surprise expenses, especially for the open water test. Prices vary between $500-$800 depending on number of students in class. For more information including advanced classeshttps://bluegrottoscuba.com/courses/learn2/open-water/