Archive | Bill Lites A Slice of Life- Wednesday RSS feed for this section

2018 Florida Road Trip Part 10 (Continued)

20 Feb

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

 

Day 10 Sunday 10/28/2018

 

 

Now I worked my way back to I-95 and headed south to visit the Jacksonville Fire Museum, located in the Midtown area of Jacksonville.   This museum is located in the restored 1886 Fire Station #3, and displays artifacts and memorabilia related the evolution of the Jacksonville Fire Department from the 1850s.  This includes various hand operated, horse drawn, and motorized firefighting and rescue equipment, that have been used by Jacksonville firefighters over the years.

 

 

The Museum of Southern History located in the Fairfax area of Jacksonville was my next stop.  The museum was closed today; however, their website informs me that this museum depicts the lifestyles and cultures of the antebellum South.  The museum also covers the cultures of the early Florida Native Americans and those who settled Florida, with respect to the Civil War and more recent times.  As it happens, the Civil War Governor of Florida, John Milton, whose plantation site I had visited, near Marianna the other day, is also mentioned in this museum’s website write-up.

 

 

Now I headed a few miles west to visit the Norman Silent Film Studios Museum located in the Arlington area of Jacksonville.  This studio complex (museum) began as the “Eagle Film Studios” in 1906.  This was a typical example of the northern U.S. film studios wanting to be able to continue filming throughout the winter months. Between the years of 1908 & 1922, as many as 30+ northern film studios moved their operations here, where the area soon became known as the “Winter Film Capital of the World.” Richard E. Norman purchased the Eagle Film Studios in 1908, and moved his Midwest film operations to the Jacksonville area, where he renamed it the Norman Silent Film Studios.  Over the years the Norman Film Studios gradually declined as the Jacksonville film industry moved its operations to southern California in the 1930s.  Finally, after many years of very little activity, in about 2008, as part of an overall restoration project, one of the existing buildings was opened as the museum (Google Norman Silent Film Studios to see how the film studio has progressed over the years).

 

 

Next on the list, I travelled across town to visit the Kingsley Plantation, located in the Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve on Fort George Island.  This 1797 plantation house, and out buildings, are situated conveniently on the Fort George River, where the owner’s docks gave him access to all types of river traffic, and for his own needed supplies and crop transport. Zephaniah Kingsley was a slave trader and shipping magnate, and owned several plantations along the St. Johns River, by the time he became the third known owner of this plantation in 1814 (Google “Kingsley Plantation” for more interesting details about Zephaniah Kingsley and the Kingsley Plantation).

 

 

By now I was ready to head for the motel, and gave Greta (my Garmin) the address.  After leaving the Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve and St. George Island, I spotted the Sandollar Restaurant and decided to stop in for a seafood dinner with them.  That was a very good choice.  Their Fish Tacos were out-of-this-world good, and the view of Mayport across the St. Johns River, from my outdoor patio table, was beautiful and restful, with the soothing river sounds and the whole scene being painted golden by the setting sun.

 

 

 

—–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 10

14 Feb

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

 

Day 10 Sunday 10/28/2018

 

This morning my plan was to head north on I-95 to visit the Kings Bay Submarine Museum, located just across the border from Jacksonville in Kings Bay, GA.  I was hoping to get a photo of all of the submarine launched missiles (display) that was advertised to be part of the museum.  When I got to the gate entrance to the base, I was informed that the Museum was no longer on the base, but had been relocated to the town of St. Marys, GA. The only thing related to the base was a submarine “Gate Guard” near the gate entrance.  So I took a photo of the Gate Guard and headed for St. Marys.

 

           

When I got to the St. Marys Submarine Museum, located on the St. Marys River waterfront, in downtown St. Marys, it was closed.  However, I noticed there was a car parked in front of the museum, and decided to see if it was open after all.  Sure enough, the curator was there doing some work and agreed to let me look around the museum until he was finished with his work.  This small museum is dedicated to the history of the U.S. Navy’s submarine fleet, from its inception, and includes submarine memorabilia and artifacts dating from the early 1800s.  The museum also has a submarine control room display, with a working periscope. 

 

 

Across the street from the submarine museum I took a stroll thru the St. Marys Waterfront Park overlooking the St. Marys River.  This is a beautiful quiet park where a person can enjoy the surroundings while being soothed by the sounds of the river flowing nearby.  In the 1800s, tall ships frequented the St. Marys harbor, as it was the southernmost point of the United States (at the time), and was a prime trading port.   Today the city of St. Marys offers several areas, within the park, to rent for weddings and other special occasions.

    

       

While I was in St. Marys, I checked out the St. Marys Railroad Museum, located just a few blocks north of the Submarine Museum.  This museum was closed, but their website informs me that the museum is situated in the restored late1800s St. Marys SM&K train depot.  The museum offers 1-hour excursions, on “Train Days,” on their restored diesel powered train with open site-seeing train cars.  The museum also displays model railroad layouts, of different scales, inside the building.  The museum building also doubles as the local St. Marys Little Theater.

 

 

I headed south on I-95/U.S.-17/SR-200 to visit the Amelia Island Museum of History, located in Fernandina Beach, Fl.  This museum is housed in the restored 1878Nassau County Jail building, and displays artifacts and memorabilia on two floors.  The museum showcases the island’s some 4000 years of Florida history.  There is an emphasis on 8 flags, representing the 8 countries that have occupied this island area over the centuries.   Displays include a Timucuan Indian Village scene, evidence of the Spanish Mission period, Civil War photos, and artifacts from the early Florida settlers.

 

           

 

—–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.

2018 Florida Road Trip Part 9

6 Feb

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

 

Day 9 Saturday 10/27/2018

 

This morning I headed southeast on U.S.-231 & I-10, to see if I could find the Whippoorwill Sportsman’s Lodge located on Lake Talquin in Quincy.  I’m not sure how I ended up on U.S.-90, but I saw a Historical Marker and stopped to see what it was all about.  As it turned out, this was at the entrance to the Blue Springs Recreational Park (closed because of hurricane damage).  The historical marker indicated that this park was, at one time, the site of the “Sylvania Plantation” built by John Milton in 1845.  The plantation was actually a small family community, consisting of the large manor house, barns, a family chapel, a school, a blacksmith shop, and living quarters for his 50 slaves.   John Milton later served as Florida’s Governor during the Civil War.

 

 

Instead of getting back on I-10, I continued east on U.S.-90 thru more hurricane devastation, and finally found the Whippoorwill Sportsman’s Lodge located in Quincy.  This turned out to be nothing like what I was expecting. If there was a lodge or club house, there in the trailer park, I didn’t see it.  So I just took a photo and was on my way.

 

 

Now I heading east on I-10, by-passing Tallahassee this time, to visit the Old Monticello Jail Museum located in Monticello.  This museum is located in the original 1893 Jefferson County jail that was in use until 1984. In addition to being a modern jail (for its time), the Sheriff’s office and his home were both designed to be part of the building.  I discovered the Old Jail is currently under restoration, so I took a photo and headed for the next museum.

 

Traveling east on I-10 again, my next stop was to visit the Treasures of Madison County Museum located in Madison. This museum is housed in the restored original 1890 W. T. Davis building, and displays artifacts, exhibits, and all kinds of memorabilia, related to the early history and development of Madison County, Florida.  The original W.T. Davis building has also served as an opera house and theater over the years.

 

 

Now I headed east on SR-6, thru the Twin Rivers Wildlife Management Area to visit the Old Jail Museum located in Jasper.  This museum is housed in the original 1893 red brick jailhouse.  The museum was built to house the sheriff and his family on the first floor, which now contains artifacts and memorabilia related to the history of the jail in the late 1800s.  Originally prisoners were housed on the second floor, and the central tower was use for hangings, the last taking place in 1916,

 

 

Taking U.S.-41 southeast several miles, I was planning to visit the Steven Foster Museum located adjacent to the Suwannee River in White Springs.  As it turned out, the museum is part of the Steven Foster Folk Culture Center State Park, which looked to me more or less like a Day Park where a family would plan an all day event.  I didn’t want to pay admission to the park and then have to take the time to find the museum.   So I took a photo and was on my way to the next museum.

 

 

Heading southeast out of White Springs on U.S.-41, I passed the Adams Country Store and just had to stop for a photo.  The store was closed, but their website Informs me that this building was built in 1865 and was restored in around 2011 using mostly building materials from other old buildings in the area  (where possible).  The “Store” is filled with every conceivable thing that you might find in a general store during the mid-1800s time period, including antique gas pumps and gas station signs.

 

 

Continuing southeast on U.S.-41, next I visited the Keystone Heights Airport in Starke to see what might be on the ramp and in the hangers.  As luck would have it, the entire airport was deserted.  So I took a couple of photos and was on my way northeast toward Jacksonville.

 

 

I gave Greta (my Garmin) the motel address for tonight, and headed northeast on U.S.-41 & I-10.  I skirted downtown Jacksonville, by taking I-295 north to find my motel, located in the Pecan Park area, near the Jacksonville International Airport. After I got checked in, I heated up my Mexican food dinner and enjoyed that delicious meal again.  Yummmm!

 

 

 

 

—–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 8

30 Jan

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

 

 

This morning I was at the National Museum of Naval Aviation there in Pensacola when the doors opened. I had been to this museum on previous trips, but knew they rotated their aircraft from time to time, and I wanted to see what they had on display at this time.  With 150+ beautifully restored aircraft dating from the early 1900s, I knew it was going to take me a while to do the whole museum.  I am constantly amazed at how this museum can get such a large number of aircraft in the space available, and the place not look crowded.  In most cases there is room between the aircraft to allow for good photos.  I would place this museum with some of the top “Must See” aviation museums in the country.

 

 

Just a short distance east of the Naval Museum, I visited the Pensacola Lighthouse & Museum located adjacent to Pensacola Bay.  This lighthouse was built in 1858 to replace the 1825 lighthouse, to give better navigation aid to ships within Pensacola Bay and outside Santa Rosa Island.  The museum displays artifacts of the history of the lighthouses that have served in this location dating from 1823 (See Wikipedia for many more interesting lighthouse details).

 

 

Now I headed another few miles east to visit Fort Barrancas located in the Gulf Islands National Seashore. This fort was built by the Spanish in 1839 directly across Pensacola Bay from Fort Pickens, on Santa Rosa Island, to protect the bay from water attack.  The fort is now part of the 860 acre Fort Barrancas Historical District, which is now actually located within the Pensacola Naval Air Station (See Wikipedia for many interesting details about the history of Fort Barrancas),

 

 

Next I headed northeast on I-110 & I-10 to visit the West Florida Railroad Museum located in Milton. This small museum is situated on the original 1882 Pensacola & Atlantic Railroad passenger depot site, that provided  L & N Railroad service to the area until 1973.  In addition to railroad memorabilia inside the depot, the museum has a restored  bridge tenders house, a section shed with motor car, and several restored pieces of rolling stock outside.

 

 

As I was heading toward my next museum, I saw a Historical Marker in the small town of Bagdad, and stopped to see what it was all about.  The marker informed me that in late 1864, during the Civil War, Union forces attacked the Confederate forces in the town of Bagdad, in what was later called the “Skirmish on the Blackwater.”  This activity took place in and around the Bagdad area, with the Union forces ultimately occupying the town and the Thompson House, shown in the photo below.

 

 

I continued northeast on I-10 & SR-4 to visit the Baker Block Museum located in the city of Baker. This museum turned out to be sort of a small indoor artifact and exhibit building next to a historic village, outside,  related to the history of early Florida panhandle living.  The village consists of a restored late 1800s post office, log cabin, corn crib, grist mill, blacksmith shop, and outhouse.

 

 

—-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 7

23 Jan

A Slice of Life

 Bill Lites

Day 7 Thursday 10/25/2018

 

This morning I headed west on SR-52 & I-10 towards Pensacola.  Since I was going to have to do some back tracking once I visited the Pensacola museums, I decided to check out some of the museums I had missed on U.S. 98.  I was hoping they would have had time to recover from any hurricane damage by now. I took SR-85 south at Crestview and headed for the U.S. Air Force Armament Museum located at Eglin AFB. This is a large two-story museum, with multiple displays, artifacts and memorabilia of the many types of armament devices developed by the U.S. Air Force over the years.  Around the outside of the museum building, there is a large assortment of restored U.S. Air Force aircraft on static display.

 

 

Now I headed south on U.S.-85 and east on U.S.-98 (which was open by now) to visit the Fishing Museum located in Destin.  They were open, and this turned out to be a very interesting museum, dedicated to the history of Florida Gulf Coast sport fishing industry in the Destin area.

 

 

Next I headed back west on U.S.-98 a few miles to visit the Camp Walton Schoolhouse Museum located in Fort Walton Beach.  This restored 1911 schoolhouse is typical of the one-room schools of the early 1900s. What is interesting to me is that most of the desks and other schoolroom type equipment in this museum were still being used in the grade school I went to in the early 1950s (they built things to last back in those days).  I’m sure, like me, this is the case with many older citizens today.

 

 

 

I continued west on U.S.-98, across Pensacola Bay on the Gulf Breeze Parkway, to visit the Historic Pensacola Village located just north of E. Main Street in the Old Pensacola area. This is a cluster of 28 beautifully preserved/ and restored  buildings (including the Dodd House and Old Christ Church) that made up a 6- acre section of downtown Pensacola that gives visitors an idea of how the city looked during Colonial times.

 

 

Now it was time for Greta (my Garmin) to take me to tonight’s motel there in Pensacola.  When I got to the motel, I was surprised to see the lobby full of guests milling around.  I told the desk clerk I had a reservation and when he looked it up he said, “I’m sorry to have to tell you that we had a water main break this afternoon, and we had to cancel all the 1stfloor guest reservations” (my room was on the 1stfloor). He apologized and gave me the name and phone numbers of two motels in the immediate area that had vacancies. Bummer!  I wondered what else could go wrong on this trip?  I tried to make reservations on my phone, but that didn’t work, so I ended up staying in one of the motels which I had been given the name (at 3-times what I was expecting to pay for my original reservation).

 

By now I was tired and hungry, so when I saw a Sonny’s BBQ Restaurant, I pulled in for a plate of their delicious Baby Back Ribs.  Of course this meal included baked beans, broccoli, and garlic toast.  And, to cool me off, a BIG glass of ice tea.  Things looked a lot better by the time I finished that meal.

 

 

—–To Be Continued—–

 

2018 Florida Road Trip Part 6

16 Jan

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

 

Day 6 Wednesday 10/24/2018

 

Two of the most important museums I had my heart set on visiting on this trip, were the National Museum of the U.S. Navy located in Pensacola, and the U.S. Air Force Armament Museum at Eglin AFB.  Since hurricane Michael had changed my route plans, I now had to work my way to Pensacola by an alternate route.  After breakfast this morning, I headed north on U.S.-19 to visit some of the museums in Tallahassee that were originally on my list to visit on my way back from Pensacola. The first was the Museum of Florida History.   This museum is located in the R.A. Gray Building, there in Tallahassee, and as the state’s history museum it displays exhibits, artifacts, and memorabilia related to the development of Florida’s unique history over the years.

 

 

Just a few miles west of the Museum of Florida History, I visited the Mission San Luis de Apalachee. This is the site of a Spanish Franciscan mission that was built in 1633 as part of Spain’s effort to colonize the Florida Peninsula, and to convert the Apalachee Indians to Christianity (see Wikipedia for “Mission San Luis de Apalachee“ for many additional interesting details).

 

 

As I headed for the next museum, I passed the Florida State Capital Building and stopped to take a photo. There was a modern 22-story executive office building in the background that ruined any kind of decent photo that a person would try to take of the restored original 1902 Old State Capital Building. Rats! I could have done without that modern distraction.  Guess I’ll have to learn how to do “Photo Shop” so I can get rid of those, and other, ugly distractions in the future.

 

 

While I was in Tallahassee, I went looking for the Railroad Square Art Park, and found it located just south of U.S.-90 and the Florida State University.  Because of my word dyslexia, I didn’t read all the words, and was expecting a “Railroad” park or museum, not an “Art Park.”  All I found at the “Park” was the sign below, just outside a small house with a “Black Dog” sign on it (whatever that means) and a couple of unidentifiable warehouse looking buildings.  DiVoran keeps telling me to, “Read ALL the words Bill” but one slips by me now and then.

 

 

Now I headed northeast on U.S.-90 about 10 miles, to visit the Tallahassee Automobile Museum located near the intersection of U.S.-90 and I-10.  This turned out to be one of the largest auto museums I’ve ever visited. The museum displays some 160+ beautifully restored (mostly American) cars dating from 1894, and includes, among others, a rare1948 Tucker.  The museum also has on  display, large collections of motorcycles, bicycles, boats, grand pianos, cash registers, and clocks filling two floors.

 

 

After this exhilarating experience, I headed northwest on I-10 & U.S.-231 toward Dothan, AL where I was to spend the night. I was running low on gas when I crossed the state line between Florida and Alabama.  The first gas station I came to in Alabama was advertising gas for $.40/gal lower than the last station I had passed, in Florida.  I couldn’t believe my eyes.  I pulled in and asked a guy at one of the other pumps if the price was a joke or what?  He said, “Nay, this heres the reglar price, ‘causen we have lower gas taxes here in Alabam than they does down in Florida.  People comes across the border for their gas all the time to save money.”  WOW, what s serendipity!   I made plans to top-off my tank again tomorrow before leaving Alabama.

 

 

I skirted Dothan, AL and headed north on U.S.-431 to visit the Todd Syrup Farm  located a few miles north of the city of Dothan near Headland, AL. This turned out to be a long standing small community developed by Mr. Joe Todd and his wife Edria, and consists of a General Store, a Café, a Syrup Factory, a Farming Museum, and Campground.  I got to the Farm just at quitting time, and was able to meet Joe Todd and several of his syrup factory workers as they were closing up shop for the day.  Joe informed me that Thomas Todd had started this syrup business back in 1864, and that the family had been running it ever since. When I asked him about the museum, he mentioned the 40+ different cane mill designs the family had invented over the years, some dating from the Civil War days.

 

 

On my way to the motel I passed the entrance to the National Peanut Festival grounds and stopped to take a photo of their giant peanut.  Wikipedia informs me that the annual fall National Peanut Festival is held at this fairgrounds complex to honor peanut growers and celebrate the peanut harvest season.  The festival has amusement rides and an outdoor amphitheater where live music concerts are performed.   I would imagine you could find the “Miss. Peanut” beauty pageant winner there too.

 

 

While I was checking in at the motel, the desk clerk commented how lucky I was to have a room reservation, as they had been booked completely full, with relief workers, every night since hurricane Michael.  He was right, as I would not like to have to sleep in my van tonight.  Once settled in my room, I heated up my Italian Mama’s delicious meat Lasagna dinner and enjoyed it again.  Yummm!

 

 

—–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 5

9 Jan

A Slice of Life
Bill Lites

 

Day 5 Tuesday 10/23/2018

 

I was out early this morning, heading north on U.S.-19 to visit the National Armed Services Museum located in Dunedin.  This small museum displays artifacts and memorabilia from all branches of the U.S. military, dating from the Revolutionary war to the present.

 

 

Now it was another 10 miles north on U.S.-19 to visit the SpongeOrama Sponge Factory located in Tarpon Springs.  This is a very interesting place where they tell you all about how Florida Gulf Coast natural sponges are harvested, processed and distributed all over the country. I would have enjoyed a lunch at one of the fine Greek restaurants along the water front if it hadn’t been so early.

 

 

While I was in Tarpon Springs, I drove into downtown to visit the Historic Train Depot Museum.  This small museum is situated in the original 1909 Atlantic Coast Line Railroad depot building and displays artifacts and memorabilia related to the influence of the railroad on the city of Tarpon Springs beginning in the early 1900s.

 

 

Now I headed north on U.S.-19 & SR-50 to visit the Brooksville Railroad Depot Museum located just off S. Main Street in Brooksville.  This museum is located in the original 1885 Florida Southern Railroad Depot and presently is the trailhead for the Good Neighbor Trail Project (Wikipedia will tell you all about the trail).  The museum displays memorabilia and artifacts that tell the story of the railroad’s influence on Brooksville and the surrounding area in the late 1880s.

 

 

Next I worked my way roughly 145 miles north, mostly on U.S.-19, to visit the Forest Capital Museum State Park located just east of the Perry- Foley Airport.  This 13 acre park contains a small museum and several restored early 1800s buildings, that gives visitors an idea of what life would be like, as they tried to scratch out a life on an 1864 Florida homestead.

 

 

A Florida Historical Marker at the entrance to the park described how the nearby Perry Army Air Base (1943-1945) was used to help train 120 U.S. Army Air Corps fighter pilot replacements each month in support of the WWII war effort.  Today the Perry-Foley Airport still uses those runways for general aviation purposes.

 

 

By now I was ready for Greta (my Garmin) to take me to the motel for the night there in Perry.  After I got checked in, I asked the desk clerk for her restaurant recommendations, and she said,  Mama’s Family Italian Restaurant just down the street was good.  So I gave Mama’s a try, and enjoyed a delicious meat Lasagna dinner with  fresh baked Italian rolls and butter.

 

 

NOTE: When I planned this trip in early September, I had planned to travel from Perry, west on U.S.-98, along the Florida west coast, all the way to Pensacola, the most westerly point of my trip.  I would visit museums along the way in St. Marks, Carrabelle, Apalachicola, Port St. Joe, Panama City, Destin, Fort Walton Beach, and Eglin AFB.  I had motel reservations for a night’s stay in Panama City and Pensacola.  We now know that hurricane Michael had other plans for western Florida.

 

 

A week after the hurricane dealt it’s deadly blow to the southeast (and two days before my trip was to begin), the Panama City motel called to tell me they were not going to be able to honor my reservation because of major hurricane damage.  Because of the way I had made my reservation (non-refundable), the closest place they could place me for that night was Bainbridge, GA.  I agreed since most of U.S.-98 along the west coast of Florida was closed, and I didn’t want to take a chance on traveling on any roads other than Interstates thru the hurricane’s path.  The next day the Bainbridge motel called to tell me they were not going to be able to honor my reservation for that night either.  What a mess this was turning out to be.  I ended up having to stay in Dothan, AL that night.  I just wanted to get all the details straightened out before I left on my trip, as I didn’t trust my ability to make or change the necessary arrangements while on the road.

—–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

%d bloggers like this: