Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Day at the Ocean

Cape Canaveral National Seashore, FL

Only one picture. But anyone who has stood on a lonely beach knows the sensations this scene evokes. A deserted beach on a winter day is something everyone should experience. Long pants and a wind breaker replace the bathing suit and sun block. The gray sky, the wind, the roll of the sea, the squawking gulls all seem to me to be God talking. Whenever I get to walk a beach in the winter, even for an hour, I feel refreshed, humble, and thankful.

Three days after Christmas, all the family has gone and the few days of quiet before the New Year hubbub seem like a good time for a reflective walk on the beach. Michelle and I enjoyed that today. It felt good.

The story here is interesting. When NASA set up the Kennedy Space Center, they bought a lot of empty land around the center to act as a security buffer -- housing developments near a rocket launch site would not be a good idea. A rocket explosion during launch could take out many houses and lives. As time progressed, most of that land became the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge and the Cape Canaveral National Seashore. A wise choice for all of us.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Magic in the Magic Kingdom

Disney World, Orlando, FL

Tricia, Tony, and Ava joined us in Florida for a week. We spent three days of that week at Disney World. It was awesome to watch Ava experience the magic of the Magic Kingdom. I wish I had more and better pictures of this adventure.

This is a terrible picture but it is the only one I have

This trip was a lifetime memory. Thanks to Grandma from all of us for making it happen.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Lights

The Great Outdoors RV Park, Titusville, FL

Christmas comes to TGO. People here are into lighting up the holidays in a big way and with big bucks. We made several evening trips around the park enjoying the work of the residents. Some pictures illustrate the point.

Watching Christmas lights in a light jacket (or no jacket) is hard for me to get used too. But Christmas is a beautiful time wherever.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas Kickoff

The Great Outdoors RV Park, Titusville, FL

This is our first Christmas in Florida. For me as a northerner, phony snow does not mask the fact that the warm climate takes away from my holiday spirit. However, it is what it is. Here at TGO the Christmas season starts with a parade of golf carts decorated for the season.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Ava in the Nutcracker

Fayetteville, NC

This past weekend we left TGO (without the Cougar) for a visit to Fayetteville, NC. to see Ava perform in The Nutcracker with her dance class. She was excited and so was her stage mom (and Grandma).

Ava had two parts. First she was one of the children at the party:

Then she was a mouse:

Christmas wouldn't be complete without the Nutcracker.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Let me know what spring is like on Jupiter and Mars....

Kennedy Space Center, FL

Rare treat today. We took the short drive over to the Kennedy Space Center to watch the launch of "Curiosity". We didn't go into the Center, just stopped along the road close-by (along with a zillion other people)

Here is the newspaper story

NASA Launches Super-Size Mars Rover to Red Planet

CAPE CANAVERAL, FLA. – The world's biggest extraterrestrial explorer, NASA's Curiosity rover, rocketed toward Mars on Saturday on a search for evidence that the red planet might once have been home to itsy-bitsy life.

It will take 8 1/2 months for Curiosity to reach Mars following a journey of 354 million miles.

An unmanned Atlas V rocket hoisted the rover, officially known as Mars Science Laboratory, into a cloudy late morning sky. A Mars frenzy gripped the launch site, with more than 13,000 guests jamming the space center for NASA's first launch to Earth's next-door neighbor in four years, and the first send-off of a Martian rover in eight years.

I got these few pictures on my phone camera.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Sawdust Club

The Great Outdoors RV Park, Titusville, FL

Before we arrived at TGO, Nelson Hommel told me about the Sawdust Club. The Sawdust Club is a woodworking club with a very nice "shop" facility.

Since I hope to build my fishing boat this winter while in Florida, the possibility of having a shop to work in really caught my attention. Nelson gave me a tour and I joined the club.

A large workshop with work tables and assorted power tools ...

... a Paint Room ...

... and a Storage Room for hand tools and lumber ...

... gives a fellow everything he needs to build a boat

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fishing Ponds at TGO

The Great Outdoors RV Park, Titusville, FL

First order of business after settling in at TGO was to explore the many fishing ponds shown on the park map. Here are a few of them.