Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Florida Vacation

We did a bit of June traveling to Florida.  It was sort of a business/fun trip.  Here is a summary of our trip ...

Day 1, Wednesday June 8, 2011
Wednesday 8 June 2011
We departed KC after a delay and a few sidetrips.  We took the big truck (BETSI -- Big Expensive Truck) and hauled a trailer full of stuff.  My parents made a bad investment in a condo with a horrible owners association.  So we had to go down to take care of some of that bit of nastiness.  Word of advice -- don't buy a condo in Florida.  We traveled across Missouri on I-70 to St. Louis.  We managed to hit St. Louis without getting stuck in the traffic.  Around the airport area we saw lots of tornado damage from earlier this spring.  We cut across Illinois and made it into Paducah Kentucky by 10 PM.  All of the Illinois rest stops were closed.  My dad and I were sharing the driving duties, so we just drove straight through.  We made it through Tennessee and into the smoky mountains by midnight.
Click here for the rest of the photos.
And click here for part 2 of that set

Day 2, Thursday June 9, 2011
Friday 9 June 2011
Driving got to be a bit long in the tooth.  Even though we were sharing driving duties, and Betsi had plenty of room in the cab to sort of stretch out and sleep, it was still tiring.  We stayed a few hours in a Georgia rest stop after punching through Atlanta in the morning hours to avoid the traffic nightmare of rush hour.  We crossed into Florida sometime during one of my naps.  We arrived at Vero Beach by mid afternoon.  Florida is a long state.  We took care of some of our busines -- and unloaded the trailer.  Then we met up with one of my aunts and had dinner in a bayside grill.  We spent the night at my uncles condo.

Some of the pix got jumbled around, click here for a mixed set

Here is a link that will take you to the Svoboda page summarizing the 7th of June to the 10th of June.

Day 3 & 4, Friday June 10, 2011 to Saturday June 11, 2011
Friday 9 June 2011
We pretty much spent most of our time taking care of business for the next two days.  We had to move a lot of stuff out of storage, and deal with the condo situation.  We took some time in the evenings to explore and visit the restaurants.  Dad did a little fishing.  We went to the Fort Pierce Saturday market.  There was not much of a chance to do any interesting sightseeing for the blog, such as going to art galleries.

Here are some pix driving around

Day 5, Sunday June 12, 2011
Click here for the Svoboda Page on driving through the Keys
Click here for the Svoboda Page on Key West
Click here for the Svoboda Page on the Pride Parade
With most of the business buttoned up, Suyen and I rented a car and headed for Key West.  We stopped at a welcome center 14 miles outside of Key West, and booked a room at the Ambrosia Bed and Breakfast.  It turned out to be a good choice.  One of the women at the welcome center used to live in the KC area.  She asked about the quaint little neighborhood shopping center known as the plaza.  When I told her it was all chain stores now, she was rather disappointed.  We got to Key West in time to check out the pride parade, which was really entertaining for Suyen.

Here are some pix driving through the Keys and some of Key West at night
Here are pix from Key West, and the Pride Parade.

Day 6, Monday June 13, 2011
We spent a lot of our time in Key West visiting the art galleries and shopping on Duval Street.  We spent way more time than we needed to talking to a camera salesman.  We decided we needed a zoom lens, but not on this trip.  It is not good to buy such a thing while on vacation.  The art in Key West is spectacular.  I think artists from all over the world congregate here.  We did some of the obvious touristy things, like taking in the sunset from Sunset pier and visiting the Hemingway house.  Then we walked around a bit.  My wife, Suyen, turned in earlier than I wanted to, so I wandered around some more and took some pix.

Here are the pix from Monday in Key West

Day 7, Tuesday June 14, 2011
This was our last day in the Keys.  We did some things that we hadn't on the other days, but decided we need to come back for a longer visit some day.  We traveled up to Miami, and ended up in South Beach, where I got to take some nice pictures of the art deco there.  We found an old school motel by Haulover Beach.  It is being eclipsed by the Trump Towers to the north and a new tall building to the south.

Click here to see a photo set from Key West to Miami

Day 8 to 10, Wednesday 15, Thursday 16 and Friday 17 June, 2011
Suyen and I woke up at our Motel, and went to the beach.  It turns out, the particular beach we were on is the only legal nude beach in Florida, which was interesting.  Wednesday was our last day in Florida. We returned the rental car and went to a Fort Pierce beach bar and grill and visited with my aunts and uncles.  Thursday we loaded up and headed back for the long haul back home.  We got caught in a severe thunderstorm in Georgia, and again west of St. Louis in Missouri.  We got home tired and vacationed out.  I had to go back to work early Saturday morning.

Pix from the end of our vacation
Pix from the road trip back

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