Tag Archives: Florida Road Trip

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 (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

Florida Caverns State Park

24 Jan

A Life to Live

Melody Hendrix

Did you know that Florida has caves as beautiful as the famous Mammoth Cave and Carlsbad Caverns? Florida Caverns State Park is located in the Florida Panhandle near Marianna. It is home to the only air-filled cave accessible to tourists in Florida.
Florida Caverns is unusual for the state. It is a limestone cave, part of a system of Ocala limestone which stretches out into north Florida and south Alabama and south Georgia..
The Florida Caverns has dazzling formations of limestone stalactites, stalagmites, soda straws, flowstones and draperies. The caverns are home to blind salamanders and crayfish, as well as the endangered gray bat.

This is just one more example of Florida’s diverse landscapes. The tour of the cave is a must.
caves-2

The address is  3345 Caverns Rd, Marianna, FL 32446

Directions to Florida Caverns State Park

Florida Caverns State Park is located three miles north of Marianna, off of U.S. 90 on State Road 166. From Tallahassee, take I-10 west to exit 142, turn right on Highway 71 and travel north to Highway 90. Turn left. Follow brown park signs. From Pensacola: Take I-10 east to exit 136, turn left on Highway 276, travel north to Highway 90. Turn right. Follow brown park signs.

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