Sunday, March 12, 2017

Wandering With The Wrights
March 12, 2017

We have spent the last two weeks in Sebring and St. Augustine Florida. 
The street sign where our coach was parked in Sebring

 In Sebring we just really relaxed.  We had been away from stores like Sam's for awhile so caught up on some shopping and just sleeping in and relaxing.  We were at a campground with full hook-ups so did lots of laundry too.  We did drive into Daytona one day with some fellow NOMAD's John and Mary Ann Hooper and went to the Flea Market & Farmer's Market.  It has been voted one of the top 5 markets in the country and it is HUGE!!  We did buy a set of bamboo sheets but other than that just walked and looked at everything.  It was fun to spend the day with friends.  We went to church at the RV Park.  It was a nice service and they even sang a welcome song to us and invited us to join them for lunch which we did and thoroughly enjoyed.

It was then a short 87 miles to St. Augustine where we have also been for a week.  
We toured Flagler College and we were in awe of the beauty and the history.  It is today a private college costing $27,000 a year to attend including room and board but in its day it was the Ponce de Leon Hotel built by Henry Flagler an industrialist, oil magnate and railroad pioneer.  The tours are given by students and the young lady who did our tour was delightful and very knowledgeable.

Beautiful fountain at the college - it is also a sun dial.

When a hotel Ladies had to wear dresses covering their ankles and men had to wear suits and ties whenever leaving their  rooms


 The main dining room when a hotel and today continues to be where the students eat.  Each of the bulbs you see are in carved lion head mouths.

They have the largest collection of Tiffany Stained Glass in anyone place 
The rotunda ceiling

Even the floors were beyond beautiful



And of course the most recent pictures of that new grandson of ours.






While in St. Augustine we were able to spend time with some friends from our church in Gurnee, IL  Joe and Alice McPherson.  They had us for breakfast and took us on a  drive down by the ocean.  We also had dinner Friday night with them and attended church with them this morning and then out to lunch.  It was great spending time together.


We took this trolley everywhere we went in St. Augustine.  It was great as the streets are narrow and full of cars, busses and tourists
We toured an old general store that was really interesting 



 
Jerry climbed to the top - I opted out as the last time I climbed one in Michigan I had my one and only panic attack and didn't want to repeat the experience.


 Lignter Museum was originally built across from the Ponce de Leon Hotel for those who didn't want to dress as formally and it was called The Alcazar Hotel.  It contained a huge swimming pool which the Ponce de Leon did not.  People from the Ponce were allowed to go to the Alcazar but not the other way around.  It is now home to the museum, cafe's, government offices and antique stores.

Pictures just don't show the beauty 




Henry Flagler built the Memorial Presbyterian Church in memory of his eldest daughter who passed away after giving birth to his grandchild.  It is considered one of the 8 religious wonders in the US and it is beautiful.





We didn't sit in the pews but they must not be very comfortable as their were pills everywhere





We spent a lot of time on St. George street - so many shops, restaurants, museums. 

Jerry toured this Spanish Military Hospital Museum
Yesterday we spent the afternoon at Castillo de San Marcos fort - it was a beautiful day outside and we so enjoyed our time there.  Learned a lot and just enjoyed the views.




We got to see them fire the cannon - they do the same procedure as they did back when the fort was active.

Between the two walls is a moat - however they never filled it with water it is where  they would put their livestock when being attacked so that they wouldn't be killed.

This Oak Tree, called The Old Senator, it is well over 600 years old.  It is located 600 feet from The Fountain of Youth - perhaps that is why it has lived so long.  It actually has a palm tree growing in it. 


This is the Avenue of Willows however there are only Oak Trees on it today.  The leaves and moss form a beautiful canopy over the road.


We stayed at the Elks Club while in St. Augustine - we had no problem finding it as this stature fountain greeted us whenever we returned.
The Lodge is right next door to the VERY popular St. Augustine Amphitheater.   The Tuesday night we were here Willy Nelson played and Thursday night was Earth, Wind & Fire.  We could barely hear Willy but could hear Earth, Wind and Fire and really enjoyed the concert form our motorhome.

We leave St. Augustine in the morning for Brunswick, Ga  It will be nostalgic for me as I lived there from 1966-69 when my late husband was in the Navy and our oldest son was born there.  Anxious to see how things have changed.  We did visit one other time but even that was 33 years ago.


Sunday, February 26, 2017



Wandering With The Wrights
2/26/2017

Since the last blog we have finished up our last NOMADS Project in Crystal River, Florida, Visited Key West and the Everglades.  It has been a busy two weeks.


The Methodist Church that hosted us in Crystal River has a lovely old chapel and the pastor held our closing morning devotions there.  We always end with a communion service and it is always lovely and this was no exception - it is also a little sad as we know we are all heading separate ways in the morning.  We left and headed south to Tavernier, FL in the Keys. 
It was to long of a trip in one day so we stopped of at the "Wright Campground" in Punta Gorda.
We had visited earlier and they were gracious enough to have us back for a night.  We had a fun evening, and shared ice cream with Becky Wright, Dorothy Wright, Anne Miller, and Lulu - thank you ladies!!
We were fortunate to get an RV site at the ELKS Lodge in Tavernier - this was our view from the front window.
The view at sunset - even Teddy was amazed
The next morning we headed to Key West - very crowded and commercial which isn't our thing but we had to be able to say that we had been to the end of U.S. Highway 1


Now we can say - Been there done that :-)
1945 image, much larger than life, of a sailor planting a kiss on a nurse on the day most Americans learned of the Japanese surrender in World War II
Sponge Bob??
Streets were crowded and narrow - we were very happy we were in the Jeep and not the motorhome
Also visited Mallory Square which has always been the hub of Key West's social and commercial life since the city began in the 1820's.  It is where ships laden with goods from shipwrecks would dock and the goods stored in warehouses on the waterfront.  Where town people came to exchange news and shop.  Fast forward a century and a half and it is still the place to come eat, enjoy, and be entertained.  The "party" starts every night 2 hours before sunset.  There are musicians, jugglers, acrobats, etc.  The place is packed with performers and tourists.

Mallory Square was fun but by this time we were exhausted and we still had a two hour drive back home.
Beautiful architecture in the Keys and vibrant colors
I loved the looks of this home

You didn't think you would get through a blog without a picture of our grandson did you?  This is Vincent at one week being held by his great-grandma, my mom - she still has the touch at 93!!
How about that another picture of Vincent slipped in!!
We were particularly pleased to find this home - 1112 Southard  -  it is where Jerry's folks rented an apartment shortly after they were married during WW II when Tom was stationed at Boca Chica NAS Naval Air Station.
Truman's Little White House  We visited here our 2nd day in Key West.  Had a wonderful docent.  The house is located in a lovely part of town - very interesting tour

Hemingway's Home was also very interesting to see and to learn about the man

While Hemingway was away on a trip his wife had this pool put in with her own money and removed his boxing ring that was there.   That did not make him happy so - - 
In retaliation he went to an old bar and got the urinal that is laying on the ground and had it surrounded in tile and made a foundation out of it for the cats to drink from.  The story of Hemingway and his six-toed cats began in the 1930's when he was given one as a gift.  Sailors favored these cats believing they were good luck.  Today decedents of that first six-toed cat still roam the grounds.

One of my memories of Key West will be roosters and cigars.  Roosters all around crowing and many many men and women smoking cigars!!

We left the Keys and headed to The Everglades and stayed at a campground right in the middle of Big Cypress National Preserve.  We drove down Hwy. 41 known as alligator alley as one can see alligators and many different birds along the highway in the canals.  We had to be careful even in the campground with Teddy as there was a lake that had alligators.  Very unique experience to be taking a picture of an alligator swimming by and you look down and there is one sunning itself just 12 or 15 feet from where you are standing.  Upon arriving at the Midway Campground we couldn't get our water pump to work - it is shot but fortunately Jerry did a work around until we get to someplace that has the controller we need.  So grateful for how handy Jerry is!!!!





Went to this restaurant in Everglade City


It was outdoor dining and this was the view from our table.

another view from our table

These heavy metal boxes were at the campground in the Everglades.  They are for tenters to use if they don't have a vehicle to lock their food in - many come in by bicycle or motorcycle.  They are supposed to be bear proof.


Our campground was in an area called Ochopee.  No town but they did have a post office - the smallest in the world. 

We bought stamps there and the post master has worked there 11 years

This is an Anhinga.  It has its wings out drying as they don't repel water like a duck and they would drowned if they didn't get them dry.


Vultures



We took a two hour tram tour in the Everglades and climbed to the top of this structure to get a great view of the area.

From the top of the tower

Another Anhinga






Wish I knew the name of all the birds - they were beautiful and it was so great seeing so many different species in their natural habitat.
We had a 2 1/2 drive to the ELKS Lodge in Sebring, Fl  Feel like we are back in civilization after more than a week in the Keys and Everglades.  Keys has lots of people but very little shopping - Everglades are just totally remote.

Our view from the motorhome in Sebring at the Elks.  Tonight is the end of our second day here.  It has been so peaceful and beautiful - sorry to leave.

Head out in the morning for Sanford, Fl and will be in one place for a week!!!  Until next time - - - - - -