Disney Springs…

A MALL, NOT A THEME PARK. More theme parks are located in Orlando than in any other city in the world. Disney World, Epcot Center, Sea World, Legoland to name just a few. But we’ve already been to these parks years ago and frankly didn’t have any interest in fighting the crowds to spend lots of money to see them for a second or third time. So today, we went to Disney Springs…a huge outdoor mall, not a theme park. Read more »

Categories: Florida, People | 4 Comments

Bok Tower Gardens and Pinewood Estate…


A GOOD DAY FOR A PICNIC. 
Yesterday would have been a good day for a picnic in central Florida. The skies were clear and a gentle breeze softened the upper 70’s temperature in the afternoon. The problem is that we hadn’t thought about a picnic when we began a drive down Highway 27…we were just “looking around.” But next time we’ll know to pack a lunch and stop for the afternoon at Bok Tower Gardens where after lunch we can get a second look at the Pinewood Estate and listen to the carillon concert at the Singing Tower.

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Categories: Florida, History, Museums | 2 Comments

Tiffany Art in Orlando…

A RAINY DAY. Today was overcast and drizzly, so it seemed like a good day for an outing we could enjoy indoors. We had read about a large collection of Tiffany art on display in the nearby suburb of of Winter Park, so we decided to pack up for the day and take a look. We’re glad we did.

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Categories: Florida, History | 2 Comments

Orlando, Florida…

WE’VE ARRIVED IN ORLANDO. We’ll be in Orlando for the next few months, enjoying the sun and beach weather as we wait for the rest of the country to get warmer. We’ve learned that motorhome travel is severely limited during the winter months as it’s just too cold to do much or go many places. Having lived in Southern California all our lives, and being spoiled by the year-round temperate weather, it’s taken some time for us to accept this reality. On those occasions in the last few years when we’ve decided to brave the weather so we could continue our Adventure, we’ve been reined in by freezing temperatures, violent thunderstorms, tornado threats, black ice and close-calls! So, we’re no longer trying to “keep things going” at this time of year. As soon as it warms up enough to travel again, we’ll head north in search of destinations we’ve yet to explore.

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Fairhope, Alabama…

GREETED BY A STORM. We arrived in Fairhope, Alabama on Monday afternoon and were met a few hours later by a potent thunderstorm, high winds and tornado warnings. That’s “warnings,” not “watches.” There’s a difference! Severe weather caused widespread damage to lower Alabama and by Tuesday morning the National Weather Service reported that 12 tornadoes had occurred in the area. Even though I’ve become more accustomed to severe weather conditions than we ever encountered back home in San Diego, this storm caused me to become alarmed. The lightening was so bright that the entire area looked like an overexposed black and white photo all night long. Our friend Dylan, who lives in Mobile, was concerned enough that she offered us shelter in her home, but we decided to  ride out the storm in our motorhome. As it turned out, that was a sound decision. By morning, the sky was clear and although the temperature was only in the thirties the sun was shining brightly.

On Monday we drove from Pensacola to Fairhope, located on Mobile Bay in Alabama.

WE’LL BE HERE JUST A WEEK. We’ll be in Fairhope for just a week. The locals say the village is located in LA, meaning “lower Alabama.” It appears that cold weather will prevent us from exploring as much as we’d like. It’s chilly, overcast and breezy, hardly weather for a couple of tourists to stroll around town taking in the sights.

 

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Categories: Alabama | 2 Comments

Another change of plans…

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We’ll depart Pensacola on January 2nd.

WE’VE DONE IT AGAIN. We’ll remain in Pensacola through January 2nd, and then we’ll take off and put Pensacola RV Park in our rear view mirror. We’ve loved staying here and feel a real attachment to our park hosts and others we’ve met here, but it’s time to go. You may recall that last October I announced our plans, but they’ve changed. One of the nice things about RV travel is that we’re not tied to an itinerary and are free to change plans whenever we wish. So, we’ve decided that until Spring it will just be too cold to go where we’d planned. Being life-long southern Californians, we’re not used to cold weather and don’t really want to learn to live with it. So here goes with our revised plan…in a nutshell, we’re headed south. Read more »

Categories: Alabama, Alligators, Animals, Florida | 4 Comments

Happy Thanksgiving…

THANKSGIVING, 2016. This Thanksgiving Day I am grateful more than ever before during my lifetime! I am thankful for my wife, my health and forgivethanks friends at my side and many others who prayed for me and offered their support last year at this time. Because last year at Thanksgiving, I lay in the intensive care unit of a hospital in Foley, Alabama, unconscious, 2,500 miles from home, on what appeared to be my deathbed. Today, I am healthy and able to enjoy the day. I have learned that every day of life truly is a gift from God.

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Categories: Armed Forces, Florida, Miracles Happen, People, Special occasions | 8 Comments

Blue Angels Homecoming Airshow…

NOVEMBER 11, 2016

VETERANS DAY WEEKEND. What better way to celebrate Veterans Day Weekend than to attend the Blue Angels Homecoming Airshow at Naval Air Station Pensacola. The show celebrates not only the holiday weekend, but the 70th Anniversary of the Blue Angels team as well.

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Veterans, I salute you!

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Categories: Armed Forces, Florida, History, Holidays, People, Special occasions, World War II | 2 Comments

Cub’s Crawfish…

NOVEMBER 6, 2016

FOLKS IN THE SOUTH ARE DIFFERENT! People who live in the southern United States are different. As a group, they are the mosthospitality gracious, welcoming and thoughtful folks we’ve ever encountered. “Southern hospitality” is a real deal. And the fried chicken here is absolutely the best! But some of the other food these guys consume in quantities is interesting, to say the least. This was evident today when we had a late lunch at Cub’s Crawfish after competing in the Turkey Shoot at the local VFW hall. Nope, to my friends in San Diego I will tell you this, “You won’t find the kind of seafood consumed down here at Point Loma Seafoods. But don’t fret about being able to get crawish. From what I’ve seen, you’re not missing much. The things are scary looking!”

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Categories: Alabama, Animals, Eateries, Florida | 8 Comments

Turkey Shoot in Elberta, Alabama…

NOVEMBER 6, 2016

REALLY? If someone had told me even as recently as a year ago that Florence and I would one day go to a Turkey Shoot in Elberta, Alabama I’d have said, “You’re out of your mind! I mean, why in the world would anyone want to go to a Turkey Shoot, whatever that is? And where in the world is Elberta, Alabama?” But today we went and it’s not as bad as it sounds. There were no turkeys, only paper targets. The event we attended was held at the VFW Hall in the little town of Elberta, about 30 miles distant from where we’re staying in Pensacola. Our friend Wayne put the bug in our ears about this outing and as it turns out, and as stupid as it sounds, we had a lot of fun.

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It’s easy to find the VFW lodge in the little town of Elberta, Alabama.

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Categories: Alabama, Florida, People, Special occasions | 4 Comments

Hot Spot Barbecue, Pensacola…

November 5, 2016

HOT SPOT BARBECUE. Hot Spot is a small family owned BBQ restaurant in the old section of Pensacola, near Seville Park where we attended the Arts Festival yesterday. I spotted it as I waited at a traffic light and instantly knew it was a joint I’d want to visit.

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You can’t tell a book by its cover, but I can tell quite a bit about a restaurant even from outside. 

 

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Categories: Eateries, Florida | Leave a comment

Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival…

NOVEMBER 6, 2016

PENSACOLA’S GREAT GULFCOAST ARTS FESTIVAL. This is a popular arts festival held eachartfest2
year in Pensacola. More than 200 painters, potters, sculptors, jewelers and others display their works. Craft artists demonstrate traditional arts, crafts and trades, including blacksmithing, engraving, spinning and weaving. Live musicians entertain with music ranging from bluegrass to Cajun to blues to jazz and classical. Dance troupes, community groups and local folk groups perform.  And a festival wouldn’t be complete without food. Treats from traditional to local favorites and regional festival fare are available throughout the festival grounds. There are choices for every taste.

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Categories: Florida, History, People, Special occasions | 8 Comments

Up, up and away…

OCTOBER 15, 2016

MEET OUR FRIEND WAYNE.  We’ve been at the same RV park for quite a while. People come and go. Different rigs on different days. But whenmodel1 our “next door neighbor” Wayne arrived, we knew something was a little different. After initial pleasantries on arrival, we noticed that behind his good looking motorhome was a huge covered trailer. “What could be inside that thing?” I wondered to myself. I found out the next morning when I saw that, like rabbits from a hat, Wayne had extracted not only his tow-car, but model airplanes the likes of which I’d not ever seen.

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Categories: Alabama, Florida, People | 2 Comments

What’s next?

OCTOBER 13, 2016. Many of you have asked me, “Why are you still in Pensacola? We thought you’d have headed down the road by now.” We thought so too, but a couplewhatsnext things changed. First, I decided not to resist all my doctors’ pleas that I stay in town a little longer. They remain amazed at how I’ve recovered but most of them want me to complete the year so they can “fine-tune” their accomplishments with me. “Okay, doctors. You win. I’ll stay a little longer, but my reason has little to do with you. I feel great!”

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Categories: Alabama, Florida, Holidays | 3 Comments

My trip to San Diego…

OCTOBER 12, 2016. Mum’s been the word about our future plans. But that’s only because we hadn’t formulated them until now.san-diego We’ve made some decisions and plotted our course, so in short order I’ll let you know “what’s next.” And perhaps after you know where we’re headed you’ll have some suggestions for us. What to see and what’s not worth the effort. Which restaurants in an area are special. We’re “all ears.” We value your recommendations. Over the years we’ve followed your tips frequently and been glad we did. So please leave your ideas as comments to this or any other post. Or send me an email. I’ll respond to your thoughts right away. Read more »

Categories: Alabama, Animals, California, Florida, History, San Diego | 3 Comments

Two hundred thousand visitors!

TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND OF YOU GUYS! By day’s end tomorrow, more than 200,000 of you guys will have visited this blog since June of 2013. That’s impressive. That’s flattering. Thank you. Let’s talk a little bit about it…the milestone, that is.

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Two hundred thousand of you guys have been part of our Adventure so far. And we’re not done yet. Not even close!  

IT ALL BEGAN IN JUNE, 2013. We’d decided to embark on our “Great American Adventure” about 8 months earlier. We figured that folks would think we were nuts. “Who cares,” we decided. So we ran with it. As it turned out, not even one person thought we were nuts. In fact, quite to the contrary everyone with whom we shared our dream in those early months said something like, “Wow. I wish I could do that.” Or, “I’m hoping to do that some day, too.” We were amused but not surprised, because we’d already begun to “get it.” That this idea of ours, to begin our Great American Adventure was not unique to us. Rather, it was our demonstration of a feeling most of us experience at one time or another. “Let’s just go!” Let’s be gypsies. Let’s be kids again. So we did, and we have. The rest is living history. Because our Adventure is not yet complete, as those of you who follow my blog already know. Read more »

Categories: Misc | 4 Comments

The Many Faces of Pensacola Beach, Part II.

THE MANY FACES. About a week ago, I published a post called “The Many Faces of Pensacola Beach.”  There are a few more pictures I took that morning at the beach, so I decided to post them here as “The Many Faces of Pensacola Beach, Part II.” The theme continues to be something like, “Its easy to find beauty all around us, if we just take the time to look for it.” So, here goes…

 

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Top of a wooden fence post at the beach. Again, early morning is a good time to photograph landscape scenes. While the sun is still low in the sky, shadows are created in the photo images which make even the mundane quite extraordinary.

 

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An ordinary wooden fence plank has knots. When photographed close-up, they show more of Nature’s handy work.

 

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This is another picture of the knot on that same fence board. This piece of wood is pretty because it’s been washed and bleached by the sun, the wind and the salt-sea air.

 

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More bright light and dark shadows. This scene would be very ordinary at high-noon.

 

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Categories: Florida | 12 Comments