Palm Trees in southern Florida

Saturday, May 18, 2019


I was going thru some stuff the other day and came across a cigar box with mementos & souvenirs. After spreading them out & looking at them I realized I had a box of memories. Memories kept in a box... then I thought of my last souvenir.

The last souvenir I bought was a replica Spanish silver piece of eight. I bought it at The Mel Fisher Treasure Museum in Sebastian Florida.  Right after I bought the coin I drilled a small hole in it and put it on my key chain!

The "piece of eight" coin right in front
of the P-38 can opener

This is a reminder of finally making it down to Sebastian Inlet.  It only took me 50 years... but putting this on my keys keeps it in my life rather than in an old box that lives in a cupboard.

The Sebastian Inlet beach I first read of
in a treasure book in 1968

This is not the only souvenir from this winter.  I have a Key West hat and a light blue zippered sweatshirt with a Key West decal ironed on the back!

This is the back of my sweatshirt

Having souvenirs on my key chain means that I see it everyday, it's not put away in a box.

Maybe I'm learning something?

Friday, May 3, 2019

Out of Florida...

With Spring arrived, we left Florida.  It was a great winter!

A sea shell on Sebastian Inlet beach

We need to be in Washington state come the middle of July, so we're heading in that general direction, but there are choices! 

The first plan was to travel along the Gulf coast in Texas and hang a right at Mexico, up the border and continue north. There would be sites to see, boondocking spots to check out (plus Whataburger is in Texas!), a long coast with salt water, camping on the Padre Island beach and 
down by Brownsville you're supposed to be able to see the SpaceX stainless test rocket (Hopper) from the road!  Then lots to see before getting to the "Very Large Array" (SETI) up in New Mexico....

There were some other options too, one of them was the Spring SE Vandweller GTG (get together) that was coming up in northern Alabama. This is a gathering where I met my wife a few years back and we have been visiting with friends there every year since then.  

GTG camp 2019, Raccoon Creek WMA
Stevenson, AL

We had maybe spent a touch too long in Florida (Florida was NICE!), but timing does count.  
It starts to get warm in Texas sooner than later, and the social security check only comes once a month.  Not having gotten to Texas in March made the timing for going to the GTG better.

So we went to the SE GTG at Raccoon Creek WMA (Stevenson AL) to hang out, visit old friends and meet new ones.  It's a place for hiking, biking, wildlife, barges on the Tennessee river, campfires, friends and a relaxing time. I thought we could adjust the route and see what's best when the GTG was about up.

The Tennessee River from the GTG 

While sitting around the fire one night someone (Ronda without the "h", maybe?) mentioned a music festival up in Ohio, so I looked it up.  (I have a computer in my pocket, I do that kind of thing). 

Sitting around the campfire

No music but it seems the music festival location has other things going on, plus the location sounded familiar. I had to pull up a map and look, that was really close to the town my great grandfather was born in!  I have relatives buried there (live ones too I understand) and it has been my intention to visit there: it's "on my (places to go) map!"

A side note - my outlook on life changed the day I actually "saw" the grave of my great-great grandparents in Santa Cruz Calif.  That was the moment in time when I KNEW I had great-great grandparents. They were buried there in 1883.  Knowing I had ancestors and actually seeing the graves were (in my mind) two different things.

Samuel and Martha Besse's marker
Santa Cruz, Calif

That is enough of a hint from the universe for me, Ohio is right on the way! Plus that takes us right by the National Museum of the USAF in Dayton, that's "on my map" too!

Oh lookee there! Milroy, Indiana is almost right on the way, I want a photo with the sign for that town too.  

Back in the late 1990s, I took the kids to Milroy, Minnesota for a picture by the sign. Everyone needs a hobby.

Dad, Aurora, Brandy (back), Gwendolyn and Ethan
at the sign for Milroy, MN

We're stopped in Georgia now, my wife was from here. We are visiting and doing some medical stuff. As soon as the medical is completed, we will be heading up towards Indiana & Ohio. Some more genealogy in Michigan, a trip up the coast of Lake Michigan, a stop in Traverse City (I retired from the Coast Guard there) and up across the Mackinaw Bridge, then take a left to follow (sort of) US 2 West to Washington state.

Heading west from Georgia