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2018 Florida Road Trip Part 2

5 Dec

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

 

Day 2 Saturday 10/20/2018

 

First thing this morning I heated up my leftover IHOP Colorado Omelette, and had a delicious breakfast there in my motel room.  What a wonderful way to start the day!  After breakfast, I headed south to visit my first museum, the Palm Beach Maritime Museum located in the Northwood Village area on the Indian River.  I was expecting a museum exhibiting displays and artifacts related to the early maritime history of the Palm Beach area.  So I was surprised to find the museum closed, and the remnants of last night’s local homeless community packing up their things. Since there was no one around to ask about the status of the museum, I just took a photo and was on my way.

 

 

While I was in West Palm Beach, next I visited the Palm Beach Photographic Centre in downtown West Palm Beach.  This museum is located in the Mandel Public Library, and is a visual arts organization that displays various forms of photographic artwork.  The museum is noted for organizing the city’s annual FotoFusion photography festival.

 

 

Another museum there in West Palm Beach I wanted to visit was the Ragtops Antique Automobile Museum. This museum is known for its beautifully restored classic cars of all type and models dating from the 1930s to the 1960s muscle cars.  And the biggest surprise is that all of these cars are For Sale!  Just bring lots of cash.

 

 

Now it was on south another 30 miles to visit the Boca Express Train Museum located in Boca Raton. This museum is housed in the restored 1930s Florida East Coast Railroad depot, and displays artifacts and memorabilia related to the early development of the Boca Raton area aided by the railroad. The museum also has several restored pieces of rolling stock, including a 1930s Baldwin steam engine, a 1947 Seaboard Air Line streamlined rail car, dining & lounge car, and a 1946 Atlantic Coast Line caboose.

 

 

Next I headed just a few miles south on U.S.-1 to visit the South Florida Railway Museum located in Deerfield Beach.  This small museum is situated in the 1926 Seaboard Air Line Railway Station and displays artifacts and memorabilia related to the history of the railroad with respect to the early Deerfield Beach area.  The museum was a little hard to find, as it is located on the south end of the restored, and still active, Deerfield Beach Amtrak passenger terminal.

 

 

Another 20 miles south on U.S.-1 I visited the Fort Lauderdale Antique Car Museum located in the Poinciana Park area of Fort Lauderdale.  This museum was created by Mr. Arthur Stone, and is his personal and loving collection of Packard Motor Cars from 1900 to 1958.  The museum also displays a vast array of automobile and oil company artifacts and memorabilia dating from the early 1900s.

 

 

While I was in Fort Lauderdale, I wanted to visit the World Jet, Inc. facility to see what they were all about.  As it turned out, World Jet is a full-service Fixed Base Operator (FBO) located adjacent to the Fort Lauderdale Executive airport.  They specialize in the maintenance and servicing of all types of private jet aircraft.  There wasn’t much to see going on this morning.

 

 

As part of my research for this trip I had planned to visit my friend, Lucas, there in Fort Lauderdale, for lunch.  He had grown up in Titusville, and his family still lives there.  I found his apartment, which had a beautiful view of the Middle River and many of its more expensive homes and yachts.  He took me to the Tom Jenkins BBQ restaurant where I had some delicious Smoked BBQ Sausage with baked beans and cole slaw.  We had a great visit and he gave me a ride in his new Mini Cooper.  I was surprised at how much room there was in that small car. And the 40+ m/gal impressed me too!

 

 

Next I visited the Naval Air Station Museum located next to the Fort Lauderdale International Airport. This small museum displays artifacts and memorabilia mainly related to U.S. Naval Aviation during WWII.  The museum has a section dedicated to Flight 19 that flew out of NAS Fort Lauderdale on December 5, 1945 and vanished into the Bermuda Triangle.  Flight 19 is one of the Navy’s most perplexing unsolved mysteries to date (Google U.S. Navy Flight 19 Mystery for many interesting details).  The museum also honors NAS Fort Lauderdale as the base where future President, then Ensign, George H. W. Bush trained to become a torpedo bomber pilot.

 

 

By now it was time to head for the motel for tonight.  I told Greta (My Garmin) to take me south toward to the motel, located in the Richmond Heights area of south Miami.   Traffic was pretty heavy, but we finally got to the motel.  After getting checked in, I heated up my leftover Smoked BBQ Sausage and enjoyed that great meal again.

 

 

 

—–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.

 

Bill

 

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

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.

 

Bill

 

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

2018 Florida Road Trip Part 1

21 Nov

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

 

Day 1 Friday 10/19/2018

 

Heading south from Titusville my first stop was to visit the Airport Museum located inside the Melbourne International Airport in Melbourne.  This is a small museum consisting of artifacts and memorabilia related to the history of the Naval Air Station (Melbourne) that was an active naval aviation training station for U.S. Navy and Marine pilots during WWII.  Also displayed are artifacts and displays related to the ever growing airport complex, as well as the history of the surrounding city of Melbourne, and many of the space programs over the years.

 

 

While in Melbourne I visited the Liberty Bell Memorial Museum located just a couple of miles southeast of the Melbourne International Airport.  This museum was established to record and honor the history of our American Nation.  The museum includes a Rotunda which houses a replica of the original Liberty Bell, as well as artifacts and ephemera related to the history of America.  As part of the museum, there is also a Freedom Hall which displays militara related to each of the U.S. military branches of service.

 

 

Adjacent to the Liberty Bell Memorial Museum visitors can stroll thru the beautiful Melbourne Military Memorial Park, which honors many of the U.S. Military personnel who have fought and died to preserve our freedom.

 

 

Heading south on U.S.–1, next I visited the Mel Fisher’s Treasure Museum located in Sebastian.  This museum displays archeological artifacts related to what is referred to as the “1715 Spanish Treasure Fleet.” On its way back to Spain, eleven of the twelve ships in the Spanish fleet were devastated by a hurricane off the eastern coast of Florida.  This museum’s displays have been recovered from those ships over the years.  The museum also has an observation window where visitors can view underwater conservation work in progress.

 

 

A few miles south of Sebastian, on SR–A1A, I visited the McLarty Treasure Museum located on Orchid Island, which is the barrier island just north of Vero Beach.  As part of the Sebastian Inlet State Park, this museum displays more of the artifacts and memorabilia related to the destroyed “1715 Spanish Treasure Fleet” that have been recovered in this area.  This location is also believed to be the site where survivors of the hurricane that destroyed the Spanish fleet made camp, and over the next year or so attempting to retrieve as much of the lost treasure as possible, before returning to Spain.

 

 

Another 25 miles south on A1A was the National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum, located on North Hutchinson Island, which is the barrier island just east of Fort Pierce.  This museum displays artifacts and memorabilia related to the history and equipment used by the U.S. Navy Underwater Demolition Teams (UDT) and Sea, Air, Land (SEAL) teams from their inception during WWII (frogmen) up to the present.  There is also a beautiful UDT-SEAL Memorial honoring those who have died in the service to their country.  When not on tour, the actual restored 28-foot life boat from the “Maersk Alabama” hijacking incident (2009) is on display outside the museum (Used in the movie Captian Phillips).

 

 

—–To Be Continued—–

 

 

&nbsp 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.

 

Bill

 

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

 

2018 Florida Road Trip (Prelude)

14 Nov

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

 

Prelude:  Because of the influence of NASA and the U.S. Air Force, east central Florida is the home to many historic, space, and aviation related museums.  Living in this area for many years, I have visited many of these museums more than once. Because they are all within a “Day Trip” distance, or less, from where I live, they will not be counted as part of this current road trip.  However, I will start off by giving you a brief account of each of them so you will know what is available in the area.

 

 

Because we live on Florida’s east coast near the Kennedy Space Center (KSC), one of my favorite places to visit is the KSC Visitors Center.  This is one of the most frequently visited attractions in Florida, next to Disney World in Orlando.  The visitor center is one of the best ways for NASA to advertise their launch operations business that has been on-going within the 144,000 acre Kennedy Space Center over the last 60+ years.  The KSC Visitor Center complex displays a variety of artifacts, memorabilia, and exhibits related to the history and future of America’s manned space flight programs.  The U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame is also located within the NASA Visitor Center Complex. There is a rocket garden and several space related attractions, as well as bus tours. The bus tour gives visitors a close-up look at the KSC and provides educational information about the many past and current projects as well as those planned for the future from this location.

 

 

Located southeast of the KSC, across the Banana River, on the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station you will find the Air Force Space & Missile Museum.  This small museum exhibits artifacts and memorabilia related to the early days of America’s space programs.  The museum also has a Rocket Garden which includes the restored launch complex 26, from where the first successful American satellite was placed in earth orbit, and launch complexes 5/6 which were used to place America’s first Astronauts in earth orbit.

 

 

While in Cape Canaveral anyone who has an interest in lighthouses will want to visit the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse, located on the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, and operated by the U.S. Air Force Space Wing.  The lighthouse has a very interesting history beginning with the first lighthouse placed at this location in 1838.  Other lighthouses have been built and moved to this location over the years, to warn mariners of the dangerous Southeast Shoals located just off the Florida coast.  Free tours of the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse can be scheduled for Wednesdays & Thursdays (only) thru the Patrick AFB Public Affairs office.

 

 

Just a few miles west of Cape Canaveral, across the Banana River, you will find the 82 acre Brevard Veterans Memorial Park located just south of SR-520 at the south end of the Sykes Creek Parkway.  Within this beautifully laid out park you will find the Veterans Memorial Library, the Veterans Memorial Plaza and the Veterans Memorial Museum.  The museum displays artifacts and memorabilia related to all branches of the U.S. Military Services dating from the Revolutionary War to the present War on Terror.

 

 

On your way back towards Orlando from either of the afore mentioned museums you will find the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum located just off SR-405 on the east side of the Space Coast Regional Airport in Titusville, FL.  This is a large three-hanger museum that displays 40+ beautifully restored aircraft from WWI to the present.  As with most aircraft museums, there are always aircraft in various stages of restoration by the excellent staff of volunteer mechanics. Several of the aircraft in this museum’s collection are in flying condition and for those who wish the thrill of flying in a vintage warbird, and have the money, this can be arranged at the gift shop.

 

 

Another local space related museum is The American Space Museum located in downtown Titusville, FL. This museum displays artifacts and memorabilia related to the history of America’s manned space exploration from its earliest days.  The museum also has examples of launch control consoles from the blockhouse of launch complex 36, from which NASA and the U.S Air Force launched various payloads on Atlas rockets from 1962 to 2005.

 

 

The outdoor Space View Park, located on the Indian River, just two blocks east of the museum, is the site of the Space Walk of Fame and is an integral part of the American Space Museum. The monuments and brick engravings honor the Astronauts and many of the workers who made the U.S. Manned Space Programs possible.  The Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, and Space Shuttle monuments and engravings displayed in the park also help keep alive the memory of the people and programs and what they have accomplished in their generation.

 

           Additional Brevard County area museums will be discussed next week.

—–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.

 

Bill

 

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

The Pinewood Derby Race Car

8 Nov

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

 

 

DiVoran and I transferred from Los Angeles, California to Titusville, Florida in 1965, for me to work on the Apollo Moon Landing Program.  At the time, our daughter was three and our son was 18 months old.  We bought our first new house, and spent months furnishing it the best we could (Can you imagine, our lot had no grass and no trees when we bought that first new house),    DiVoran went to work as a hair stylist for a while, and we made some wonderful friends at the local church we joined.

 

                 The house was gray with no grass or trees when we bought it!

 

We stayed really busy the first few years, and the stress of the jobs was getting to us.  Friends of ours suggested we join their square-dance club, to help relieve some of the tensions of our daily lives.  Not being much of a dancer, I couldn’t see how hours of high-stepping square-dancing would relieve my tensions.  But I learned that it was really great therapy, and we liked it.  We had some wonderful times dancing with the Titusville Twirlaways square-dance club, at local and state-wide dances over the years.

 

 

When our son, Billy, was seven we enrolled him in the local Cub Scout Pack 370 and I became a volunteer Scout Leader.  The Boy Scouts of America program is a great learning and character developmentexperience for young boys, and I enjoyed helping as a leader.  We had lots of skill and development projects, and Billy and I worked together on most of them.

 

 

One of our favorite projects was a Pinewood Derby race car.  This involved taking a block of hard-wood, and hand fashioning it (with lots of elbow grease and sandpaper) into a race car.  As I remember it, the Cub Scouts were given a certain amount of time to finish their car and have it ready for racing.  There were certain rules they had to follow, so there would be no cheating. When race day came, we made a day of it and all the parents were cheering for their son’s car to win, as they raced down an inclined track.  After the race, there was a covered dish meal and a good time was had by all.

 

 

When Billy was 10, he graduated into the next age group of the Boy Scouts, which was Webelos.  I worked with him to earn the many merit badges he needed to move up each step in the Scouting program.  Funny thing, while I was working with Billy on his merit badges, DiVoran and I were working on collecting our square-dancing badges for various classes and trips we took to dances around the state.

 

 

One of the most fun projects I worked on with Billy, while he was in Webelos, was the building and flying of model rockets.  As an engineer, I was challenged to build rockets that would look the best and fly the highest.  Billy got caught up with the challenge, and actually designed his own model rocket from scratch.  The first flight didn’t go too well, but with just one small modification, it flew great. We bought several kits, and spent many hours putting them together and painting them.  Then we had loads of fun flying them at the local school yard.

 

That’s Billy’s original design on the far left

 

As a side note, you might be interested to know that those model rockets Billy and I built, when he was in Webelos, have survived to this day.  And Billy’s son, Jacob, enjoyed flying them (when he was younger) at the same school yard, all these many years later.  To me, it’s a testimony to the shared love, respect, learning ability, and character development, to see generation after generation succeed in life with the help of organizations like the Boy Scouts of America.

 

—–The End—–

 

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.

 

Bill

 

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

Happy Days

31 Oct

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

 

After I got out of the U.S. Navy, DiVoran and I moved to California for me to go to Northrop University.  Times were tough for a young married couple trying to get an education. DiVoran worked at a beauty salon for three years obtaining her PHT Degree (Putting Husband Through). God was good to us, and when I had enough education to get a full-timeengineering job I finished my classes in night-school.  It was about this time that we were blessed with our first child. A beautiful girl who we named after DiVoran’s best friend, Charlene.  Little did we know then what a wonderful woman she would grow up to be.

 

                                                 

Of course the name “Charlene” was way too big for such a tiny little thing, so we came up with the nick-name of “Renie” and it stuck.  I remember being a daddy in many ways.  I helped with the dishes, changed diapers, and carried her around with great joy.  Most of all there was no one who could bring up that essential burp like I could.  Our little bundle of joy took after her beautiful mother, and before we knew it she was the glamor girl of the family.

 

                                               

In the midst of work, school and taking care of our daughter, our son, Billy, was born a couple of years later.  As they grew up together, Renie became mama’s little helper with her baby brother.

 

                                       

When I finished my degree, North American Aviation transferred me and my family to their Florida Field Operations, which was at the Kenedy Space Center.  This job was part of the Apollo/Saturn V Manned Space Program to send a man to the moon.  We moved into our first new house, in a new housing development, and the children were quick to make new friends.  As usual Renie took good care of her little brother as they learned their way around their new suroundings. 

 

                                   

The problem was our Renie was the only girl in our neighborhood, and she had to let the six boys she usually ran around with know that she could hold her own.  She was quickly accepted into the neighborhood “pack” and it was good training for getting along with the men she would eventually work with, at her various jobs she would have over the years.

 

                                   

During these early years in Florida, our family became avid campers (see “Our Trip Across America Part 1-12).  We started with tents, and over the years, evolved into a beautiful air conditioned pop-up camper.  Renie and Billy loved Florida camping with its fresh water springs and nature trails.   By the time Billy got his first motorcycle Renie was finding many of her own interests and began to drift away from a lot of the outdoor activities the boys in the neighborhood were into.

 

                                   

Renie made us very proud while in high school, participating in the school’s swim team program, the marching band where she played the French Horn, and as one of the football team’s cheerleading “T-ettes.”

 

                                               

Renie has always been a hard worker in what ever she did.  After graduation from high school, it was at her Sears job, that she met the love of her life, Ron.  After a long courtship she and Ron made both families happy and proud when they married in 1987.

 

                                               

After years of hard work, and receiving their college degrees, Renie is now an Executive Assistant for The Veria Company, and Ron is a Logistics Comptroller for the Brevard County Sherif Department.

 

                                               

DiVoran and I are blessed that our children have found work here in the Central Florida area and we get to enjoy their company often.   Renie and her younger brother, Billy, get to see each other occationly, as his company is a contractor to The Veria Company, and he has a chance to visit her office once in a while for his job.  As a dad, I’ve always been proud of Renie and loved her with all my heart. Now that we’re older she helps DiVoran and me with our computers, our i-phones and lovingly ministers to us when we have health issues.

 

—–The End—–

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.

 

 

 

Bill

 

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

Memory Lane Road Trip Part 17

24 Oct

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

 

Day 17 – Wednesday 5/3/2018 

 

Because my flight didn’t leave until 4:00 this afternoon, and because I was hoping the crowds of tourists would not be so bad this early, I had planned to visit downtown New Orleans this morning.  Well, I was half right.  I was able to find a parking spot close to Jackson Square, but the crowds of tourists had already started to build by the time I got there.  According to Wikipedia, Jackson Park was called “Plaza D Armas” from 1782 -1803, and was the site where Louisiana became a U.S. Territory as a result of the Louisiana Purchase.

 

 

I checked the Café Du Monde first, in hopes I could get a table, but it was filled to over flowing, with a waiting line.  So I walked thru Jackson Square (1803), and got a photo of the statue of General Andrew Jackson on his trusty steed, “Duke.”  The square is a good place to get a photo of the oldest church in New Orleans.   The building of the St. Louis Cathedral was begun in 1718, the same year New Orleans was founded.  Bet you didn’t know that little bit of trivia.

 

 

I walked around the outside of the square to check out the local artists and their paintings.  Then I walked down to Bourbon Street, just to say I had been there and see what it looked like.  By now the crowds were getting overwhelming, so I headed south, out of town, to visit the Southern Seaplane Base located in Belle Chasse, LA. This charter company flies hunters and fishermen to out- of- the-way locations and tourists on sight-seeing flights around the New Orleans area.  There were three buss-loads of tourist arriving as I was leaving, and I ask one of the pilots how that worked and he said, “We have to take them up in shifts.”

 

 

 

It was getting close to lunch time, so I headed for the airport to turn my rental car in.  On the way I spotted a “Chick-fil-a” restaurant and decided to have lunch with the “Chicks.”   With a full tummy, Greta took me to the airport where I turned my car in and took my time walking from the rental car building to the air terminal (luckily it wasn’t raining today).  There had been bad weather in Chicago earlier, and our flight to Orlando was delayed about 2½ hours.  Our plane finally got there, and when we were ready to push back from the gate, a last minute couple arrived to discover there was only one seat left, and she wouldn’t leave without him.  This caused the airline to have to recalculate the weight and balance/fuel loads.  That caused us another half-hour delay before we could get going.  Once we got in the air, the flight to Orlando was quicker than usual, very smooth, and we got an extra bag of their always fresh peanuts for our trouble.

 

 

 

DiVoran had her own set of problems when she came to pick me up at the Orlando airport.  First of all, she had to drive thru a terrific thunderstorm on SR-528 after leaving Titusville, and traffic was slowed to a crawl.  Then when she got to the airport, there was construction inside the airport loop, and traffic was really backed up.  It took her 30 minutes to get from the entrance to the “Arrivals” pickup ramp to where I was waiting to be picked up.  Then it took us another 15 minutes to get to the on-ramp for SR-528 East heading for home.  I want to tell you, it sure was good to get home and relax from the stresses of this day. I loved taking this trip.  I especially enjoyed getting to see my cousins, and all the different places and things I saw.  However, all of that just makes me appreciate my beautiful restful home and my lovely wife even more.

 

 

I hope have enjoyed reading about this road trip as much as I have enjoyed remembering and writing about it. I hope you will join me when next I take to the open road somewhere in this beautiful country of ours, to visit new and different people, places, and things.

 

—–The End—–

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Bill

 

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

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