.All Trips / Florida / North America / Southeastern USA

The Unique Coral Castle, Florida

Coral Castle, Florida

I’ve seen a lot of strange places during my travels, and the Coral Castle — not far from Miami — certainly qualifies as strange.  Still, in its own way, it is beautiful and tells the tale of a man’s desire to create something unique. 
The Coral Castle was entirely constructed and carved by a single man, Edward Leedskalnin.  Ed was an immigrant from Latvia who migrated to the USA almost a hundred years ago.  A slight man, weighing only 100 pounds in a 5 foot tall frame, Ed was heart-broken.  He loved a 16 year old girl in Latvia and was set to marry her when she rejected him a day before the wedding.   Ed decided to emigrate to America …

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.All Trips / Florida / North America / Southeastern USA

Driving the Overseas Highway, Florida Keys

00 Overseas Highway, Florida Keys

A highlight of my last visit to Florida was a trip to its Keys.  It’s a road trip I’d wanted to do for some time and wish I’d done sooner.  The drive is a journey to a place that’s unlike any other in America.  Looking at it on a map, it seems like you’d be floating across water, rather than driving a well-engineered roadway.

Map overview of the Overseas Highway

Map overview of the Overseas Highway

A trip down the Overseas Highway (US-1), the only road connecting Miami with the Florida Keys, covers only 113 miles and can be driven in as little as 4 hours.  But the point of the journey is to stop when possible, linger, and enjoy the beautiful scenery and ambience of the Keys.   The drive takes you across numerous …

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“Pic of the Week”, November 13, 2015: Gator wrestling, Florida

05 Gator wresting

Alligators are fascinating animals.  Large, primitive, with alert eyes that, like any good predator’s, follow you wherever you go.  I must admit that when they fix their unblinking eyes on me, the hair stands up on my neck.  They are six inches long when they’re born, but as fully grown adults can reach a length of almost 20 ft (more than 6 meters).  Once a threatened species, they’ve recovered and you’ll find them in freshwater swamps and lakes of the southeast.

I recently visited Orlando with my father and one day was spent at the fun old-fashioned amusement park, Gatorland.  There are several shows at this venue, including one featuring alligator wrestling.  This is not a violent sport …

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.All Trips / Florida / North America / Southeastern USA

A visit to the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida


The Kennedy Space Center is one of my favorite attractions in the United States. It highlights some of the greatest technological achievements of our species and is testament to one of the most significant advances of human civilization — mankind leaving its earthly home to travel to the moon. It was President John Kennedy’s challenge to the nation to get a man to the moon and return him safely to the Earth before the close of the 1960s, a goal accomplished by the landing of Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong on the moon in July 1969.  I was very young during those halcyon days of space travel but remember vividly the great successes (and some heart-breaking failures) of the …

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.All Trips / Florida / North America / Southeastern USA

The Tampa Bay Automobile Museum — a fascinating collection of fine cars!

Tampa Bay Automobile Museum 2013 244 1936 Panhard Dynamic

One of the great pleasures of traveling is discovering those special places — gems that aren’t necessarily very famous or perhaps are off the beaten path, but still so very worthwhile visiting.  So it was with the Tampa Bay Automobile Museum which I had the pleasure of discovering during a recent visit to Florida.

Situated in a light industrial area just outside of Tampa in Pinellas County, the museum abuts a factory run by the owner of the wonderful car collection I’m about to share with you.  The factory is Polypack (manufactures packaging machinery) and its owner is Alain Cerf.  Mr. Cerf is an immigrant from France, a man with obvious exquisite taste in cars and the means to indulge …

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A visit to the Everglade National Park: Shark Valley’s “River of Grass”

012 Everglades Shark Valley Bobcat Trail 012 Alligator

This is the last in a three part series highlighting a visit to Florida’s unique Everglades.  The first part discussed the Cypress forests of the Everglades and the second part highlighted the coastal mangrove forests near Everglades City.  Today I’d like to share with you a great example of the major component of the Everglades, the “River of Grass” — tens of thousands of acres of partially submerged sawgrass.  Within this flat landscape are some small islands on which grow cypress, palm and gumbo-limbo trees.

The Everglades is characterized by a broad shallow river flowing from Lake Okeechobee into Florida Bay.  This river averages 40-50 miles (75  km) in width, 6 in (15 cm)  in depth and flows very slowly, …

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“Pic of the Week”, August 30, 2013. Saturn V Rocket, Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida

2013-035-August 30a.  Kennedy Space Center.  Apollo Rocket

I sometimes forget that most people alive today were not part of the exciting age of space exploration in the 1960s and early 1970s.  While I was just a boy at the time, I’m glad I experienced this truly fun and historic decade, especially as a fan of science fiction.  The stuff that we’d read about for years was now happening in real life — almost like a dream coming true!   People were traveling into space, actually going to the moon and, perhaps more remarkably, safely returning to Earth.  I vividly recall watching the Apollo 11 lunar landing and seeing the grainy footage of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin bouncing around in the low gravity of the moon — the …

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