Archive for the ‘Florida’ Category

Gulfport / Biloxi MS September 20, 2007

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

We will be in the Dallas area this weekend. 

After we left the Tampa area we drove to the Panhandle of Florida.  The Destin area had really grown since the last time we were there.

We were anxious to see the Gulfport-Biloxi MS area and what it now looks like after Katrina. 

The drive between Gulfport and Biloxi has been one of our favorite areas to drive through as there are huge live oaks trees surrounding very old, stately southern mansions. The mansions have large front yards with the beach and the Gulf of Mexico as an extension of their front yards.




The only thing between the houses and the beach is a 4 lane road (Highway 90). 

 Katrina arrived in the Biloxi area with a large surge of water which destroyed all the houses.  Now there is nothing along there but the large live oak trees. On the lots of these former homes are the new mansions of Beach Blvd. The people are living in nice motor homes or 5th wheels while they are having their houses rebuilt.  Or maybe they are new owners?








Before Katrina the houses were built on slats.  Now almost all the new homes are built on stilts.

The devastation was not just along the beach but the surge destroyed buildings and houses blocks away from the beach.

The casinos are back in business. We figured this could have been a priority to give people jobs and bring tourists and life back to the area.  Beau Rivage is a beautiful casino inside.


The Hard Rock Casino




National chains have been good about moving back into the area and building there.  We saw about 6 new Waffle Houses around the area.  Some of these were standing alone without anything around for blocks.


Signs made it through the storm.  



Most buildings didn’t fare as well.



Rick’s mother went to college in Gulfport and though the college buildings are still standing they are closed for renovations. 


Jefferson Davis’s home was also along this strip of  Beach Blvd (Highway 90) and it is closed for renovations.

It will take a few more years for the clean-up and rebuilding of the area.

On The Move September 11, 2007

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

We have been in the Tampa Bay Area for a month.  We had a great time not doing much of anything.  We visited with friends, looked at retirement communities, and sat at the pool.  We left the Tampa area yesterday.  We drove to Tallahassee and stayed in a RV park here.  We are going to drive down the Panhandle coast and look around and sit on the beach. We will slowly make our way to the Dallas area and will be there around the middle of September for a few weeks. While in Dallas we will probably empty some things out of the RV, visit family and friends and tend to some business.

We have driven a total of 15, 000 miles since we left Dallas in March.  That is a lot of miles!!!!!!!!!!

On a side note, when Rick went to Washington for his brother’s funeral, he and his son, Justin, made a quick trip into DC to show Justin some of the sights.

Justin at Iwa Jima Memorial.



I finally got a good picture of the laser etched wall at the Korean Memorial.



Thursday, August 30th, 2007

Well, as you can see by the map below, we’ve been a busy pair since starting this journey in early March.


It took a while, but, on August 10th,we landed in the Tampa area.  We had met some folks in Georgia that mentioned that they had an RV lot in the Tampa area that was available for rent.  The price that they gave us was very reasonable, about half what it will be in the winter.

We didn’t know what to expect.  When we arrived we were pleasantly surprised. Not only was the spot located in a gated park, but was tiled over the entire surface.




Of course, as you can tell from earlier posts, we have had a few interruptions.  But, since we drove over 5000 miles in the month prior to our arrival here, it is really nice to be in one place for a while.  We’ll be relaxing in the Tampa area until mid-September.

Traveling by Air August 23, 2007

Thursday, August 23rd, 2007

Tomorrow we both fly out of Tampa.  Rick flies to VA and will meet up with Justin, his son, in order to attend Bob’s memorial service on Saturday.  It will be held at the Grace Episcopal Church in The Plains, VA.


Tinka will not accompany Rick as she already had commitments in Dallas this weekend.  She has a doctor’s appt.  She will shop for school clothes for Ayden, our granddaughter, and take her to the first day of school on Monday. She will help Lance celebrate his birthday on Tues.  Tinka will also see Kiri, our daughter-in-law and Gracie, our granddaughter.  This will be a short trip with no time to visit any of our friends.

We will leave our laptop here in Tampa so we will not blog for about a week.

Check back next Friday.

Canaveral Seashore and Shuttle Launch, August 8-9, 2007

Tuesday, August 14th, 2007

Well, we finally made it to Florida.  Our first stop is New Smyrna Beach and the Canaveral National Seashore.

Our timing was pretty good.  It turns out that we arrived in time to witness the launch of the space shuttle Endeavour.  It turns out that the national seashore closes the park off towards the southern end so that NASA can put out their assortment of camera equipment.  Our plan was to go to the beach to watch the shuttle launch, but opted instead for a shuttle watching party that was advertised under PJ’s restaurant.


Tinka waited patiently for the launch.


Then the launch, right on time.  It took a couple of minutes for the sonic booms to reach us after the rocket was out of site.  We were able to see the separation of the solid rocket boosters.


On the 9th, our 21st anniversary, we opted for the relaxation of the beach.  We’ve learned, from our tour of beaches along the Atlantic, that the walk across the sand can be brutal while carrying coolers, towels, chairs and umbrellas.  We came up with the following solution when we were in New Jersey.  This cart has only 2-3 PSI air pressure in the tires, but the cart can carry 165 pounds.


The “sand” at the National Seashore is really unusual.  It is almost made up of shells.


It can be like walking in dried oatmeal and when you’re wet, it sticks to you like glue.


On our way out of the park, we saw a couple of sea turtles strolling beside the road.


The Canaveral Seashore is a nesting area for loggerhead, green and leatherback sea turtles. More information about the turtles can be found at the following link: