Penny Adventure Journal

Most collectors at one time or another have used a pressed coin booklet for their collection. When I first started getting into pressed coin collecting I used these booklets exclusively, but my collection quickly outgrew those booklets.

These booklets can be found pretty much wherever a pressed coin machine is located. Some have custom cover designs for the location you are visiting, or some are more generic. But they are all similar in design, usually a trifold little plastic booklet with plastic pockets inside where you can just slid your pressed coins into.

Even thought I don’t use these booklets anymore to actually house my collection, I still find myself picking these up whenever I come across a unique one. It’s basically become a collection in and of itself at my home.

Not too long ago I came across a post online for a new type of penny booklet that I thought was definitely unique and had some interesting features that I wanted to check out. I headed over to our friends at Pennybandz.com who produced this item and ordered one so I could look at it in person and in much more detail.

This is called their Penny Adventure Journal and it’s pretty amazing. It’s wrapped in a nice Vegan Leather cover that comes in quite a few different colors like Crimson Red, Sunset Orange, Tie Dye, and many others. I opted for the Ocean Turquoise version.

As you can see from the above picture, this journal is pretty thick but there is a reason for that and we will get into it shortly. But this is really well made and has some fun features inside.

When you first open the journal there is a band on the cover that you would want to remove, but it does give a bit of an overview of what is included inside.

The first thing we come across is a clear pocket with a zip top. This can be used for your loose change, maybe your park tickets, some cash, or even a pen which you may need when we get a little further into the journal.

The next few pages are for your pressed coins to be stored. This is a similar design to those other booklets we spoke about at the beginning. Once nice feature of this version is the cut out at the top of each pocket that makes it much easier to insert or extract your coins from these pockets. The pennybandz website advertises this booklet as being able to store 146 coins which at first I thought I may be missing some of these pocket pages. But I believe what they were doing to get to this overall number would be having two coins in each pocket back to back and the math worked out by doing that. So just be aware if you prefer not to store your coins that way, then the number of coins you can store in this journal will be half of the advertised number.

Now we come to the actual Journal part which I really think is a fun additional.

I wish I had come up with this statement. Live the adventure…press on! This also has a spot at the bottom for the collector’s name. Just in case you have more than one collector in your family you can keep your journals separated.

The journal then has pages with cool tables where you can list the date, location and design for each of your newly pressed coins.

Then the next page is where you can really document the details of your trip, favorite moment, info on the machine, or basically whatever you would like.

There are quite a lot of these journal pages that should keep your busy on all your squishing’ missions. Or even for existing coins you’ve already collected.

After all the journal pages there are a few more of the plastic coin storage pages that are the same as the ones at the front of the booklet.

The very last plastic page has some slightly larger sized pockets so you can store your pressed quarters, or maybe other larger sized coins you may have pressed or acquired on your travels.

I think this is really a cool new all inclusive way to store your pressed coins. Personally it would not work for the way I collect and store my coins, plus this blog is really how I document and share my “journal” thoughts and details. But I am absolutely going to give one of these to each of my daughters on our next family vacation so they can use it for their own collections and just writing about our vacation together and not just about the coins but what we did, things we saw and maybe even the fun things we ate along the way. This is definitely a unique press coin booklet that I think a lot of casual collectors will enjoy using. I left a link above for the pennybandz website in case you want to check it out and maybe pick up one for yourself. This is not a sponsored advertisement, I did pay for the above booklet myself but thought it was so fun that I wanted to share it with all of you.

Keep on Pressing!

Buc-ee’s Pressed Pennies | St. Augustine, FL

For more details on my first visit to Buc-ee’s in St. Augustine, Florida you can see our YouTube video at this link.


On many of my travels hunting down pressed coins I’ve stopped at more than my share of roadside rest areas or truck stops to take a break from the long hours behind the wheel. Most of these places are quickly forgotten, and left behind after a quick fuel fill-up or fast food meal. However there is a chain of interstate gas stations and convenient stores that have garnered quite a following. Buc-ee’s opened their first location in Lake Jackson, Texas back in 1982 and since then has grown to over 39 locations. Originally they were only found throughout Texas but have in more recent years started to expand into some other southern states like Alabama, Georgia and just within the past couple months here in Florida.

On February 22, 2021 their first Florida location officially opened in St. Augustine. There was plenty of media attention here locally in Orlando, and I was able to see some of the interior but wasn’t quite sure exactly what all the fuss was about. I checked out some YouTube videos of this new location and my interested was piqued. But then in one of the videos I saw what appeared to be a penny press machine inside and that sealed the deal. It took some time but I eventually picked a date not too long ago and made the almost 2 hour trip up I-4 and then onto I-95 towards St. Augustine so I could visit my very first Buc-ee’s.

The first thing I noticed when getting off the interstate and into the parking lot were the signed that advertised Big Rig Trucks were not allowed at their location. This seemed strange, but after some further research apparently this is something they have implemented at all their locations. Also they have an incredible number of Gas Pumps to fill up your vehicle. I believe this location along had over 100 pumps. After I parked my car and headed towards the entrance I was met by their Mascot Bucky keeping safe and wearing his facial covering.

Inside the store is kind of split in half, part of it is a big convenient store with coffee stations, soda fountains, coolers with bottled drinks, snacks, a deli, plenty of jerky and even fresh barbecue. I was a bit overwhelmed when I first walked in and figured I would just start with the Buc-ee’s brand merchandise first before checking out the food.

They had everything you could need from T-shirts and sweaters to swimsuits and home decor. My daughters would have loved all the plush animals they had there as well.

The smell of food was intoxicating and I quickly found myself gravitating towards this area of the store. In the middle is where they have an area with pre-made sandwiches, tacos, burritos, beaver chips, and even sausage on a stick. I witnessed a fresh brisket being placed on the cutting board while I was examining all the options and the staff broke out in a loud chant about the “brisket on the board”.

On the reverse side of the barbecue counter was where they made fresh fudge and among other sweet treats even various kinds of candy coated nuts. I grabbed myself a basket and quickly started to load up on food. Before I knew it my basket was almost full and I hadn’t even checked out the deli but I figured that would need to wait for another day.

With my basket full of food I was about to check out and go indulge in my car, but then remembered there was a pressed penny machine inside that I had completely overlooked. Thankfully it wasn’t too far away, just look for the old Bucky pickup truck near the merchandise section.

The cabinet on this machine was fantastic. I loved seeing Bucky on the front, and that red color fit right in. I have used this style machine in the past at some other locations and actually really like them. They pressed really well for the most part, and are really quiet when you use them. I know that standard “cranking” sound we are all used to is part of the experience but it’s nice to take a break from that every so often.

The designed available in this machine were all created specifically for this location and stated St. Augustine, FL on each of them. The first has an image of Peace Heart Buc-ee’s, the second was a Luck-ee Penny, the third said Belongs to Buc-ee’s, and the last said Smile if you love Buc-ee’s. These designs were really cute and I do really like that they had the location listed on each coin. This makes for a fun little sub-set to collect along your travels.

Reluctantly I headed out of the store and back into my car. I enjoyed all the food I picked up and after being back home have actually felt cravings to go back for some of those breakfast brisket tacos. After visiting I completely get the obsession and have caught the fever myself. I do wish it was a little closer to home so I could visit more often, 2 hours up the coast is a bit of a hike. Thankfully they have also just opened their second Florida location in Daytona Beach which is a little closer and I’ll be heading there pretty soon. Keep on Pressing!

SeaWorld Orlando – Penny Machines Converted to $1

As with so many of the other theme parks around Central Florida, SeaWorld’s pressed penny machines have now been completely changed over to $1 per design. The machine does supply the penny for you, and initially I found them to be all nice new shiny zinc coins. However over time it seems that the machines are being loaded with circulated pennies that may be more tarnished or dirty making for a not so great final pressing. With that said most can be easily cleaned back at your home.

This conversion of their machines took a couple months and I think in total I made about 4 trips to finally document all of them. In this post I’ll review all the machines, their new locations since some were moved from their previous spots. Quick side note, this park has a bit of a unique layout so some of the locations are a bit hard to explain, in case you aren’t familiar I have put together a map of all the penny machine locations which is updated quite frequently for your visits to this park and may others in Central Florida, you can check them out here.

Following the State’s health guidelines there was a mandatory temperature check for all guests prior to entering the park.

I was able to initially visit the park on one of their very first days of reopening and it was so nice to see all the team members welcoming the guests into the park. They seemed to happy to be back to work and doing what they enjoy.

Every gift shop had plenty of “Welcome Back” merchandise which was definitely popular among guests and it was going fast.

Now let’s get down to business and start reviewing all the pressed penny machines. The first machine is in the SeaWorld Store right at the front of the park after you scan in with your park ticket.

I’ll get this out of the way now so I don’t need to revisit with each machine. There was only one machine that returned with new designs and we will get to that one shortly. But all other machines had no changes other than to their payment system and the price increase.

Around the back of this main SeaWorld Store was the second machine. This machine did return with the only set of new designs available.

Just across the courtyard is the SeaWorld Rescue store with the next machine.

I always find there are quite a few machines found right around this front area of the park. But then as you head a little further back they start to be spread out a little more.

Just to the left of the SeaWorld Rescue store is the Strollers Rental & Gift Shop. Like many other stores in this park there will be a bunch of items for sales outside as well and inside which I guess is to try and draw you in.

All they need to drawn me in is a pressed penny machine and this Strollers rental does have one just outside the gift shop door.

Now it was time to head a little further into the park, and just near the Aquarium by the Manta Coaster they had placed two penny machines together.

Here is a close up of the two machines, as I’ve mentioned the designs are the same but these were previously located in different areas of the park before this change.

Walking past the entrance to the Manta Coaster I found another penny machine which was outside the Manta Soft Service ice cream booth.

This was a fun machine to use because the Manta coaster initial lift goes right over top of you can even though that’s not my type of ride, I’m always fascinated to watch others riding it.

Before heading too far back into the park past Manta, I back tracked a bit towards the Key West section.

Outside of the Sand Castle Toys-n-Treats store was Penny Machine #23. It was also located right beside a Dippin’ dots cart so I figured it was a perfect time for a cold snack before continuing on.

Back near the Stingray Lagoon in the past you could find multiple machines, but now currently there is only one a available and you just see it to the far right side of the covered area.

Just note that this area does get very busy as touching stingrays always draws a crowd, and during feeding times it can get pretty packed. The machine is a bit off to the side so it shouldn’t be an issue accessing the machine during those busy times.

After spending some time with the Stingrays I headed back to the Dolphin viewing area and was surprised to see that the two penny machines usually found near the underwater area were both gone. I continued to the Manatee Rehabilitation area.

This machine had returned and was in the exact same spot as before the conversion.

Near the Manatee Rehabilitation area and the Turtle Trek exhibits is the Trek Treasures gift shop. I always thought this would be a perfect place for a machine, but in all my visits there has never been one here.

On this visit there still wasn’t a machine inside the shop, but right across the walkway was a newly relocated machine.

I do believe that this was one of the machine previously found at the Dolphin underwater viewing area, so it wasn’t completely removed just changed locations within the park.

By this time we were maybe about halfway through the park, it’s really amazing how large it is but we still had lots more machines to try and find.

Near the Journey to Atlantis water flume ride is where the next machine was found. Now usually the water splash from the ride won’t make it this far over the wall and I’m sure they don’t want to damage the machine by having it constantly soaked with water. But with that all said, I would still be on the lookout just in case. You never know when a rogue wave may hit.

Beyond the Journey to Atlantis ride and near the Kraken coaster we found the High seas Market which sells some grab and go drinks and small snacks like pretzels and popcorn.

You can see that there was a machine placed just to the left side of this small market, which is perfect for it with some of the designs being themed for the Kraken coaster.

This is also the area of the park where you get to enter Antarctica.

My daughters love this area just with all the fake ice and snow decorations around, plus they love penguins. The above machine is located just at the exit from the Penguin exhibit, but you don’t actually have to go through it to find the machine if you prefer to not get too cold. It’s freezing inside there. But instead you can just access the machine in this outside area near the lockers.

This was a good time of day to stop for some lunch. I always recommend trying to eat at off peak times like 11am or after 2pm to try and avoid some of the longer times and crazier crowds. I’d never eaten at the Expedition Cafe and figured it would be nice to try something a bit different.

We headed inside and there were a couple different stations with some Asian cuisine, American burgers and hot dogs, and a third with some lighter faire like salads. After ordering and picking up our food we sat outside since there was a nice breeze and it wasn’t too humid yet. Once I was done eating I headed over to get a better look at the two penny presses found just outside the Expedition Cafe’s front entrance.

After eating we were in the home stretch of finding these last few machines, and were energized after a nice lunch. We exited the Antartica section, past the Pacific wharf area and found a machine in a unique location.

If you have visited some of the Central Florida parks you may have encountered people coming up and asking if you want information on Vacation experiences or packages. I always just assume these are for a Time Share style sale, but I’ve never taken them up on this so I don’t really have much info. I will be honest, I’m always at the parks just to relax and enjoy a nice day out and don’t really want to be bothered with this type of interaction. But they have always been very nice and again in my experience when you say you aren’t interested they just leave you alone and move on. With this penny press right near their booth seems like a bit of an inconvenience when you just want to press some coins, but I wanted to mention it just so you were aware you do not need to buy or signup for anything to use the machine.

Another favorite area of ours is the Shark experience. Plus since most of it is indoors you get a nice Air Conditioning break.

After visiting with all the amazing sharks inside you exit near the Underwater Grill restaurant which has some pretty good food, and you get to eat right next to the shark tank. Outside you can see some little tanks with smaller sharks swimming around that you can feed at certain times throughout the day. This is also where two more machines are found.

Machine #10 is on the right side with some interesting shark designs.

Then machine #18 is on the left side and has a one of my favorite designs in all of SeaWorld which is of a Sea Dragon. If you have ever seen a Sea Dragon in person they are amazing to watch and I find them just simply mezmerizing.

No too far from the Shark experience are a set of restrooms and they also placed a penny machine back in this area.

If you aren’t paying attention for it you may pass right on by. I have a feeling this machine may be relocated in the future just because it’s kind of out of the way from people passing by.

Not too far from the “hidden” machine is the gift shop for the Mako coaster called Reef Treasures.

Previously this machine was found across the walkway and a little easier to spot. I was surprised to find it closer to the gift shop on this trip but probably makes it easier for the shop employees to help should someone have a problem with the machine.

I was so surprised to find that there was a large section of the park without any machines. We haded past the new Infinity Falls water rapids ride that still has no machines, through the Sesame Street area that has no machines, Shamu Stadium no machines, and even the Wild Arctic exhibit no longer has machines available. I walked across the big main lagoon kind of in the center of the park and back towards the Dolphin Nursery. Since our visit was almost over we stopped for some (more) ice cream.

With our treats in hand we sat outside to enjoy them and found another penny machine.

Looking across the walkway I could see the Seaside Restrooms and two more machines. I’ve mentioned this in the past, but I really dislike when they put machines near restrooms.

I guess they are definitely high traffic areas and kids use them while they are waiting for the rest of their family. To be it just seems like a strange place to put them.

On my checklist of machines, there was just one last one remaining to find and it was not too far from the above restroom location. Tucked away in the corner near the restrooms was a room with lockers for rent was the last machine.

We always have a great time visiting SeaWorld and I really think their food options are above and beyond better than a lot of the other theme parks. I was hoping to see more new designs released, or even one of those new 8 or 12 design touch screen machines would be awesome here. At least we still got the same 25 total machines returned and that’s huge for any collector to try and acquire in one day.

I do apologize for this being one really long post, but as I mentioned since most of the designs hadn’t changed I didn’t want to spread this out over multiple posts. This was really more just to document the new cabinets and price increase to the machines throughout the park. Thank you as alway for visiting, and if you are in the Orlando area be sure to check out SeaWorld it really is a great place to visit. Just remember, you don’t need to bring any quarters ore pennies anymore, just you dollar bills or credit card.

Have a great week and Keep on Pressing!

Strawhouse Pictures, Penny Press

A few years ago I had read a post on the TEC Facebook group from fellow member Tyler Tyson about a short documentary film he was being featured in.  The film was created by Strawhouse Pictures based in Rock Hill South Carolina who have been making features and short films for over 10 years.  This documentary was filmed over a few days at Tyler’s home, and was showcasing his passion for pressed coins, how he got into the hobby and shows off his impressive collection of coin press machines.

Penny Press Film

The film was released and shown in numerous independent film festivals around the United States.  I wasn’t able to see it in a theatre near my home, but it was eventually released online and I will admit I’ve watched it at least a half dozen times by now.

Strawhorse Pictures Penny Press Coin

To held promote this special film and occasion, Tyler created the above pressed penny design which I just received as part of my TEC Membership.  Another perk of membership with TEC are the unique and very limited pressed coins you received each quarter with your newsletter.  This was designed by Tyler Tyson (current TEC Vice President and soon to be President) and Paul Conner.  It was engraved by John Gusmano and rolled on US cents by Tyler.

If you would like to watch this short film you can do so by clicking here.  It’s only about 5 minutes long and was really well put together.  Any time we can help share stories about our hobby is a plus and I’m always happy to share these with you.  Have a great week and Keep on Pressing!