2018 Florida Road Trip Part 1 (Continued)

28 Nov

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites


Day 1 Friday 10/19/2018


Now I headed west, back across the Indian River on the North Causeway, to visit the Missionary Flights International (MFI) facility located at the St. Lucie County Airport in Fort Pierce. One of the missionary families DiVoran and I support ministers to several small communities in Haiti, and uses the MFI folks to transport equipment and supplies to their son who heads up the ministry there in Haiti.  I had called ahead and talked to Leslye, who now introduced me to the President of MFI operations.  Joe was kind enough to take the time, from his busy schedule, to give me a tour of the MFI facilities and their fleet of airplanes, which range from a Cessna 310 to three turbo prop powered C-47s.



Now I headed east, across Seaway Drive to A1A, and a few miles south, to visit the FPL Energy Encounter located on Jensen Beach.  This attraction was closed at the time, but I was informed that this museum is not open to the general public, and that reservations are required for group access, and.   The Encounter displays a collection of electrical and nuclear power exhibits to educate visitors about the various ways of producing electrical power for consumers.


Heading back across the Indian River on Ocean Blvd, across U.S.-1 again, I was looking for the Maritime & Yachting Museum located in Stuart.  This museum displays artifacts and memorabilia which include antique boats, navigational equipment and model boat displays related to yachting.  The museum was  closed, so I took a photo of the building and was on my way.



While I was in Stuart, I decided to pop over to the Witham Air Field and check out the Stuart Jet Center to see what they were all about.  As it turned out, the Jet Center is a flight and service center for all types of aircraft calling Martin County their home base.  One of their most recent winter visitors to the Jet Center is the world’s oldest flying DC-3, the American Airlines Flagship Detroit.  The Flagship Detroit is usually maintained and operates from its home base located at the Shelbyville Municipal Airport in Shelbyville, TN.  As with many older people, and some older machines, the Flagship Detroit now calls the Stuart Jet Center its winter home, where it can enjoy the warm and sunshiny days.



Next I headed south another 25 miles, on U.S.-1, to visit the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum located on the north side of the Jupiter Inlet.  Construction began on the lighthouse in 1853, but was delayed several times (once by the Third Seminole War 1855-1858) before it could be completed in 1860.  Over the years a U.S. Weather station, a U.S. Signal station, and a U.S. Navy Radio Compass station were added to aid navigation in the area.    In 1939 the U.S. Coast Guard took over responsibility for the lighthouse, and the U.S. Navy established a Radio Detecting Station known as ”Station J.”  In 1943 alone, Station J was credited with locating some 60+ German submarines, off the coast of Florida, which were destroyed by the U.S. Army Air Corps and the U.S. Navy.



By now I was ready for Greta (My Garmin) to take me, the 20 miles south, to my motel, for tonight, in West Palm Beach.  After getting checked in, I asked the desk clerk for some restaurant recommendations, and he said there’s an IHOP right there at the end of the driveway.  Well, I wasn’t in the mood for breakfast. I wanted some MEAT in my meal tonight.  I got in the van and went downtown looking for my kind of place to eat. Nothing!  I came back to the motel and went the other way.  I just knew there had to be something somewhere. Nothing!  OK, that did it.  I drove back to the motel and went to the IHOP.  I ordered one of their Colorado Omelettes, and to my surprise, it was the most delicious omelette I’ve ever had, and it was huge!  I could only eat half of it, so I will nuke the other half tomorrow morning for a scrumptious breakfast in my room before heading out on Day 2.



—–To Be Continued—–




Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 61 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.




One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

One Response to “2018 Florida Road Trip Part 1 (Continued)”

  1. divoran09 November 28, 2018 at 3:37 pm #

    I enjoyed the ride.


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