March 14-15, 2006: My Niece Jeffie Visits Dallas
January 25 - February 1, 2006: A Visit to Florida
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March 3-12, 2006
Our Winter Trip to Florida



The Trip to Florida


We'd been arranging this trip down to Florida for some time, not just because we wanted to get our own plans set, but because Guy Blair was going to join us for part of our time down there. We were going to arrive late on Friday night, and Guy was going to fly in on Sunday. (Saturday is one of his heavier days with the church.) Guy planned to stay until Friday at which time he would fly back.

By now we have gotten to be pretty expert with the flights to and from Florida, and, as usual this time, we got Larry to take us to the airport on Friday evening, March 3, so that we could catch the late flight to Fort Lauderdale. The flight down was uneventful. We arrived late, picked up a car from the rental agency, and were at the condo about midnight. Also as usual, we walked down to the Floridian to get a late supper and then crashed.


March 4: The Las Olas Art Fair

Twice a year there is an Art Fair that is held on Las Olas Boulevard. The street is blocked off from the tunnel down to the intersection of SE 4th Street and Las Olas (leaving that the only way in and out of the condo). Sometimes, we just miss the Fair, but this year it fell on the first Saturday and Sunday that we were there. It is always enjoyable to wander through it, so that is what we did on Saturday.

We occasionally go to other events like this one; the one I remember most is the Fair held over in Fort Worth in Sundance Square. We went to that one the last time Tony and Roberta Hirsch were in Dallas. But I think the Fair here is the best. The quality of the artwork that shows up here is quite high, given the clientele, and I have found quite a few very interesting pieces here over the years. I thought about getting the kitty shown here for Prudence's Sun Room, but Fred thought that it was a bit over the top for the more subdued nature of that room in her B&B.

As I said, Las Olas is blocked off and two rows of exhibition spaces are created on either side of the median down the middle of the street. At the intersections, there are usually food vendors and stuff like that. Here is a view of the Las Olas Art Fair taken from a spot in front of Mango's Restaurant and looking west towards downtown. We both took quite a number of other pictures at the Art Fair on Saturday. They don't all deserve individual comment, so just click on the thumbnails below to see the full-sized pictures:

Me at the Art Fair The Art Fair Me with Artwork


Me with Artwork Fred on Las Olas An Art Fair Vendor


An Art Fair Vendor Me at the Art Fair Las Olas Art Fair


Las Olas Art Fair Me at the Art Fair An Art Fair Vendor

We enjoyed the Art Fair, as usual. That evening, we had dinner at Peter Pan, a diner up on Oakland Park Blvd., and one of our favorite places. We also went out later to the Ramrod, it being a Saturday night and a shame to stay in. But we were back fairly early, since Guy was arriving tomorrow.


March 5: Guy Arrives in Fort Lauderdale

This morning, we slept late, since Guy wasn't due in until after lunch. I had some straightening and cleaning up to do, so I got up a bit earlier than Fred. We got the condo all ready, and had some lunch at the Atlanta Bread Company, down Las Olas in downtown. We got back to the condo and then headed off to the airport. To get there, we simply follow Federal Highway (US-1) through the Kinney Tunnel and just a few miles down the road to the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport. We collected Guy and his luggage with no problem, and were back at the about an hour later.

Since we had to drive a circuitous route to get back to the condo, Guy of course saw the Art Fair which was still going on, and as soon as we dropped his stuff at the condo, he wanted to go and see what it was like. So we did another walk around the fair. I picked up a fabric swatch of my window treatments so I could be on the lookout for complementary artwork for the condo; here are Guy and I with some artwork that seemed to fit the bill, but it was too large for any of the spaces I wanted to fill. In another artist's space, I found some interesting art glass that I thought of for Greg, since he collects it, but none of the pieces seemed to be just the kind of pieces he is most interested in.

That evening, we had an invitation from Ty and Scott to come by for drinks in the late afternoon. Ty and Scott live in Imperial Point Towers, which is about four miles up Federal Highway, north of Commercial Blvd. I stopped to get their favorite dessert- a key lime pie from Publix- and here we are getting buzzed in to their building.

Ty and Scott bought their one-bedroom condo a couple of years ago, and have pretty much totally renovated it (as they have done with all the places they've owned in Fort Lauderdale). When they get done, their houses and apartments are always little gems, and this one was no exception. Here are Ty and I in their living room having refreshments and conversation.

A couple of months earlier, Scott had an accident at their condo when he missed the top step in an outside flight of concrete steps down from their parking level. He took quite a fall, and had to have some surgery on his jaw and cheekbones. For a while, he didn't look so hot, but as you can in this picture of Scott and I he seems to have recovered nicely. Finally, here is a picture that Fred took of Ty and Scott's "Bird of Paradise" with me behind it.

After we left Ty and Scott, who usually don't do anything much on Sunday evenings, the three of us stopped, if I recall correctly, at Acapulco Lindo for dinner, and then went back to the condo.


March 6: A Riverwalk Tour

On Monday morning, Guy got up early as he usually does, and so Fred and I were up at a decent hour as well. Guy asked us to take him to the grocery store on Sunday, and he had laid in quite a bit of stuff for breakfasts and snacks, so we had plenty to eat- oatmeal, croissants, fruit, juice and coffee. We had our coffee sitting down by the dock, where Fred took a few pictures of the river traffic at about nine-thirty in the morning. There is not nearly so much traffic on a weekday as there is on the weekends, but enough to make some interesting pictures. To see the full-sized pictures, just click on the thumbnails below:

The Jungle Queen Upriver to Downtown Cabin Cruiser Across the River

It was Monday morning and the Art Fair was gone, so we thought we would take a long walk along the New River Riverwalk with Guy. We'd done some of this before, but there were some new buildings that Guy hadn't seen, and anyway, the weather was beautiful and it was a shame not to do something outside. So we left the condo and walked right over to Las Olas. At the corner, right by Mango's, are Fred and Guy with downtown Fort Lauderdale in the background.

We walked the couple of blocks down Las Olas towards downtown until we came to the plaza in front of The Cheesecake Factory. Here, we took a couple of more pictures. This first one has Guy and I with the Las Olas Grand condominium in the background. This second one has Guy and Fred with the NuRiver Landing and Las Olas Grand in the background. The NuRiver Landing is a huge complex that is actually on the other side of the New River. It was supposed to be apartments, but turned almost immediately into condominiums.

Across from The Cheesecake Factory is the plot of land where the Hyde Park Market used to be years ago. You might remember that the market closed because some developer had bought the land and wanted to put up a high-rise. Well, the market was closed and shuttered and the land and building sat vacant for over two years while the developer wrangled with the city about what was going to be done with the land. Many of the local residents wanted a park and not yet another high-rise. Eventually, the developer got his way, and a few months ago the market was demolished and the sales center for the new building- the Icon Las Olas- was put on the site. The image at left is on the billboard at the sale center, and shows an artist's rendition of what the building will look like (the artist's view looks south across the New River and down US-1 towards the airport). A large airplane wing stuck in the ground, apparently.

A bit further down Las Olas and we are in the middle of downtown Fort Lauderdale. Kind of dead, but then it is mid-morning on a workday, and there wouldn't be many people on the streets at this hour. Fort Lauderdale isn't like New York, or anything; there isn't much downtown shopping. It's just a business center. Pretty though. As we walked along Las Olas towards the Riverfront Center, we crossed 3rd Avenue, and, looking south, we could see that the 3rd Avenue Bridge is up.

We took Guy by a different route to get to the Performing Arts Center and River Bend. We usually go along the Riverwalk, but since we were going to come back that way, we took him around Riverfront Center an through the area where the lunchtime places and coffeeshops are, and then down in front of the Science Museum to the Performing Arts Center. Right next to the Center the Symphony Condominium has gone up. There used to be some really old houses on the site, which had gotten a bit decrepit, so these buildings are a great improvement.

We walked back along the river following the Riverwalk until we got to Andrews Avenue. We thought we might cross the river and go to Shirttail Charlie's for a small lunch, no sooner did we get up the stairs to the top of the bridge than the traffic gates came down and the bridge went up. Not a problem to wait, though, and while the bridge was going up, we fooled around while Fred captured it all in cinema verite, and you can watch the result using the player at right.

And for a change, we had Guy take a picture of Fred and I on the Andrews Avenue Bridge. Once the bridge came down, we walked across to the other side. Before going down the stairs to ground level, Fred took this picture of the Water Taxi on the New River.

From the Andrews Avenue Bridge it is just a couple of blocks to Shirttail Charlie's. This is the restaurant on the river that is part of a complex that includes a marine service station, naval stores and dry storage facility. Years ago, when I had a boat here, we kept it here in the dry storage so we wouldn't have to have the bottom cleaned so often and so the boat would be safe. Between the naval store and the restaurant there, is, for some reason that I've never inquired about, a swimming pool, and it was a good place for a couple of pictures- Guy and I (with River House in the background) and myself and Fred.

We took a table right on the river and ordered some drinks and something small for lunch. While we were waiting for our food, Fred took a few pictures of the river traffic (the last one of a large yacht docked in front of the Performing Arts Center was taken with a zoom lens). To enlarge any picture, click on its thumbnail:

We had a light lunch at Shirttail Charlie's; here is Guy at our table by the river and a picture of The Jungle Queen on her way up the river.

After lunch, we took a leisurely stroll back to the condo, pretty much retracing our steps back across the Andrews Street Bridge to the North Side of the New River. You can see a picture of Guy and I at the base of the Andrews Street Bridge here and a picture of the bridge opened to let some of the boat traffic through here. From the top of the Andrews Street Bridge, here are some of the new condos along the New River. (This area has come to be known as "the canyon.") Looking downriver, here is The Third Avenue Bridge open to let the same traffic through as had just gone under the Andrews Street Bridge. And here is a picture of one of the newest condominium high-rises on the New River- River House.

We were shortly back at the condo where we just relaxed for the rest of the afternoon, took our normal drinking break down at the dock and then went out for dinner.


March 7: A Beach Walk

On Tuesday morning, we thought we'd go over to the beach for a while and either sit at Sebastian Beach or walk along the shore. We did a little of both. We parked at Sebastian Beach and sat on the sea wall for a bit just watching the crowds and the guys who'd come to the beach that day. Then, we walked down to the shore and went south along the high water mark, letting the waves cool our feet.

There has been an incredible amount of development in downtown Fort Lauderdale in the last few years, and you have seen many pictures of the new condos along the New River just west of my own place. But development hasn't neglected the beach itself, and just south of Sebastian Beach is the new St. Regis Resort- a Starwood Hotels property. It has been under construction for the last year, but in my last few visits to Florida it has really taken shape. There is nothing quite like it on the beach, what with its undulating terraces that look like western windscaped cliffs- except blue and white and nautical. And, taken from this angle, the hotel looks as if someone forgot to build the other half of it, the edge of the building ends so abruptly. Quite the sight on the beach, and I'll bet it will have prices to match. It is supposed to open in March, 2007 (about three months from this writing).

Right next to the St. Regis on the south is the Marriott Beach Place hotel and condominium. Just in front of the hotel tower is the retail space known as Beach Place. It has all kinds of shops and quite a few places to eat. Among other places, there is a Hooters (which overlooks the beach) and a Cheeburger Cheeburger outlet (the one that used to be near me on Las Olas got run out by the escalating property values). There is usually some free entertainment in the open-air atrium during season and on weekends throughout the year, and so it is a pretty popular place.


Perhaps you can get a better idea of what this particular spot on the beach looks like by watching this movie of Fred and Guy on Fort Lauderdale Beach using the player at left.

We continued walking south along the beach until we got in front of the intersection of Las Olas and A1A, at which point Fred took this view of Fort Lauderdale Beach looking north. You can see the St. Regis, Beach Place, and then another new condominium going up south of Beach Place. This is the Las Olas Beach Club which is a bit unusual as it is classified as a renovation rather than new construction. The Lauderdale Beach Hotel, one of the oldest hotels in town and one of the first hotels on the beach, used to occupy the site. The developers at first planned to tear it down and start over with the tower you see here, but they discovered that if they simply renovated and expanded the existing hotel, they'd qualify for some tax breaks and other benefits. But all they ended up doing was preserving the facade of the original hotel and integrating it into the new tower. So, even though the building is classified as a "renovation," 99.5% of it is brand new.

We continued walking south along the beach and, eventually, we reached the Bahia Mar area (where the Jungle Queen docks)- although we are opposite it on the beach.


Fred has been taking pictures and listening with half an ear as Guy and I have one of our animated discussions, which you can listen in on in his film using the player at right (this particular one rated PG-13 for Strong Language). One of the pictures that Fred was taking as we were walking along was this one of Sea Escape cruise ship. The Sea Escape goes back and forth to the Bahamas on 2- and 3-day cruises, and is designed for those who want just a small taste of the cruising experience and who also want to gamble on board ship. The ship is heading out to the Bahamas.

We didn't want to walk too far today, as tomorrow we intended to take Guy all the way down the beach to Everglades Inlet to watch the cruise ships depart (which happens on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons). So, we turned around near Bahia Mar and headed back.

Fred took a number of really good pictures, all of them looking north along Fort Lauderdale Beach, some with zoom and some without. In a couple of these pictures, you can see all the way up to the end of Fort Lauderdale Beach and the beginning of Galt Ocean Mile. To look at any full-sized image, just click on the thumbnail below:


March 7: A Trip to Boca Raton

When we got back from the beach walk, it was just about noontime, so we decided to take Guy up to Boca Raton, following the path we have taken on our bikes. Even if we had a third bicycle, I didn't think that Guy would want to ride that far, and I would also have been worried that something might have happened. It's enough that Fred and I herd each other, but Guy isn't familiar with the area, so driving was the way to go.

So we headed up A1A from our parking place at Sebastian Beach. We follwed our bike route through Galt Ocean Mile, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Pompano and Pompano Beach and up to the bridge at Hillsboro Inlet. Crossing the bridge, we went through Hillsboro and Hillsboro Beach and then finally into Deerfield Beach. It was about one o'clock, so we stopped in Deerfield Beach to have lunch- at Flanigan's (a Florida chain). I've marked our route through Deerfield Beach and where we stopped for lunch on the map at left.

After lunch, we continued north on A1A crossing into Boca Raton almost immediately. Then it was up and over the Boca Raton Inlet Bridge and on through Boca Raton. We went as far as the border between Boca Raton and Highland Beach before we turned around and headed back. One of the goals of the trip was to take Guy to the Gumbo Limbo Natural Reserve.


In talking about our stop at Gumbo Limbo, and in describing the photos, I am going to refer to the map above and the markings I've added to it.

We drove in the entrance and found a place to park, and then started off in the nature museum and buildings. Right at the entrance (#1), Guy and I posed with a replica of the official mascot of Gumbo Limbo- the green sea turtle. We started off in the museum building, just looking around at the exhibits and such, and then went out back to the fish tanks (#2). The first three pictures below were taken around the fish tanks, and the next four were taken by Fred of some of the specimens that the naturalist was talking about as she was feeding. To see a full-sized image, just click on the thumbnail:

The exhibits were all interesting- all Florida native species of flora and fauna. Next, we took Guy along the nature trail that begins at the back of the main building and wanders through the natural area on a raised platform (since much of the natural area is wetland). The trail forms a loop through the forest, and the main stop at the far end is the observation tower, a three-storey wooden affair (#3). At the top, you can look in all directions, and you can see from Boynton Beach on the north to Deerfield Beach on the south, and all along the Intracoastal Waterway north, west and south. Just before ascending the tower, Fred took this interesting picture looking up at the tower. At the top of the tower, we took a number of pictures, some of the best of which can be viewed by clicking on the thumbnails below:

When we came down from the tower, and just before we started off down the trail, Fred caught a photo of another native Florida-dweller.

We continued to the end of the boardwalk trail, went alongside the parking area for a golf course and then crossed A1A to Boca Raton Beach Park North. We crossed the picnic and parking areas and then came out onto the boardwalk along and above the beach (#4). Here, the views were spectacular, and we took a good many pictures. First, here is picture looking northeast of Guy and Fred and the Atlantic Ocean. Next there is a picture of a man-made rock outcropping, placed here to alter the erosion pattern of the beach. These rocks have been here for quite some time, and you can see them in the aerial view of Gumbo Limbo above. Next, we have a picture of Fred and I looking southeast across the Atlantic. Finally, I took a picture of the boardwalk ahead of us, which was closed due to damage from Hurricane Wilma last year- damage that has still not been repaired.

It was getting later in the day, so we retraced our steps through the natural area back to the car and headed south again on A1A back to Deerfield Beach. There, just opposite the place where we ate (please see the image above) there is a one-way street that goes over along the beach, and so we took that south, since we'd not been able to drive north on it. They have done a great job here in Deerfield Beach with their public beach areas, and there are a good many pictures of this area in some of the other Florida trip pages. The stop we made, though, was down at the south end of this beach area.

In this area of Deerfield Beach, there are these odd piles of rocks that you can see in the aerial view at left, and in most of the pictures we took here. I can only assume that they were placed here to stop or alter the erosion patterns of the beach, although it is also possible that they had a problem with people trying to drive on what they might have thought was hard-packed sand next to the water, but which is not at all like the sand at, say, Daytona Beach. In any event, the rocks are fun to climb up on, as I have done before and since, although one mustn't attempt to do so when the lifeguard is on duty, as we found out when we stopped here.

Here are three pictures looking north back towards Deerfield Beach: Guy and myself, Fred and Guy and Fred and myself. Finally, here is a shot looking south towards Hillsboro of Fred and Guy.

We continued back south, and when we got to the bridge over the Hillsboro Inlet, we stopped at the new little park that has been created there, that has views of the Hillsboro Inlet and Lighthouse. The two pictures below were taken there, and to look at the full-size image, just click on the thumbnail.

That was all the touring for today. It being Tuesday, it was all-you-can-eat shrimp night at Catfish Dewey's, a dinner for which Ty and Scott joined us.


March 8: Knocking About

On Wednesday, we made a buffet breakfast out of all the stuff Guy had bought a few days earlier, and then we went down to Sebastian Beach to see how many family were around and to sit on the beach and play some backgammon. Fred is still learning, so we're not yet to the point where we can play for money, but it is always fun and Guy enjoyed watching. We also took a walk along the beach for a short ways. This beach view that Fred took, looking north with his zoom, compresses the four miles between here and the pier at Lauderdale-by-the-Sea very greatly. The Best Western you can see is at the beginning of the Galt Ocean Mile, about two miles away, there's about a mile of buildings beyond that, and then there is Lauderdale-by-the-Sea. We lay around on the beach a while, but the sun was a little weak and it was cool, so we went back to the condo for a bit of lunch.

We walked along Las Olas towards town, and had some lunch at an overpriced deli-type affair. Then we just strolled around the weekday downtown activity, stopping alongside one office building that had put in a very nice arrangement of impatiens and other foliage, which made an excellent backdrop for a picture of Fred and Guy. Nearby was the Florida Commerce Bank Building, another downtown building that had put some effort into some pleasing landscaping alongside it where the drive-thru tellers are. There was an interesting, artistic picture of a simple vase and plant near the entrance to another building (see inset picture at left), and when we walked up to the intersection of Federal Highway and Broward Boulevard, Fred took a picture of the large new condominium development on that corner. One of the reasons for taking this picture was that the color scheme used on the outside of the complex would be a definite candidate for the color scheme that Riverview Gardens might use the next time our own complex is painted. I've never liked the color it is now.


March 8: A Walk to Everglades Inlet

One of the things we like to do on a Wednesday or a Saturday is to walk down the beach to the north side of Everglades Inlet. There, you can sit on the breakwater and watch the boats go in and out of Lake Mabel and the Intracoastal. Although on these particular days, the attraction is not just the pleasure boats but rather the cruise ships that depart for their cruises on these two days. So that's what we did with Guy. We drove over to the beach and parked at Bahia Mar (red star) and then walked leisurely down the beach to the Inlet.

To inagurate the description of the walk, we stopped for the obligatory record of just where we were (to see the full-size image, click on the thumbnail):

It was a beautiful day for a walk down the beach; there are pictures of Guy and I walking along the shore here and here.

As we were walking along, Guy and I were in deep conversation (as we usually are), and so we entirely missed some really amazing things on the beach. Fortunately, Fred had his camera handy and was able to capture (1) a woman decomposing in the sand, (2) some of Tippi Hedren's friends and (3) a lost child.

When we got to the Inlet, I put my shoes back on to climb up on the rocks, and all three of us sat up there soaking up the warming sun and waiting for the cruise ships to depart. Fred took a number of pictures here, some of which can be viewed by clicking on the thumbnails below:

While we were waiting for the cruise ships to come out the Inlet, we noticed that the Goodyear blimp was lazing around overhead, and we couldn't figure out what the attraction was, until pictures taken by Fred's zoom lens revealed that it was just advertising- for something called Gorvi Ions.


Of course, what we are waiting for here is to see one or two of the large cruise ships depart Port Everglades, and we didn't have to wait very long. Let's begin with a movie of the Sun Princess leaving Port Everglades that you can watch using the player at left, and follow it up with a couple of pictures by Fred- the Sun Princess passing the breakwater and the Sun Princess heading out to sea. In between ships, I got a picture of Guy at Everglades Inlet.

When ships leave Port Everglades, they steam directly out into the Atlantic from the Inlet about a mile or two, and then they always make a starboard turn, go south for a ways, and then turn to port and head off in whatever direction they wish. So when one ship follows another, you can sometimes get shots where one ship has made its starboard turn and another is, seemingly, headed right for it. And sometimes, there are three or four ships, all in a line that zig-zags; it's quite a sight. The next (and last) ship departing today was the Regal Empress, and we have a couple of pictures of her and then one of both her and the Sun Princess.

To see the full-size pictures, just click on the thumbnails below:

The weather was so nice that we stayed at the Inlet for quite a while after the ships had left, and only started back as the sun was going down. By the time we got back to the parking area, Fred was just in time to catch a great shot of sunset at Bahia Mar. A beautiful end to a perfect day in paradise.


March 10: A Day to Ourselves

Guy's visits are always too short, and this one was no exception. The flights to Green Bay are not very convenient, and to make it home by early evening, Guy had to leave Fort Lauderdale fairly early in the morning. So right after breakfast, he got packed up and we took him to the airport.

The rest of the day we just hung out. Just after dropping Guy off, we rode our bikes over to Sebastian Beach to watch the scenery, and here's Fred sitting on the sea wall by the beach. We rode a up to the end of the beach, and then back to the condo, where I did my stint on the exercise bike and watched some taped shows I'd brought with me. A little later, we made from frozen margaritas and took them down to the dock and just sat and relaxed. Fred did a bit of picture-taking. The water taxi stops right next door to our condo to accomodate people shopping and eating along Las Olas; we must see one of the taxis twenty or thirty times a day. Just a bit later, right before we went in, he got a nice shot of sunset over the New River.

On Friday nights, we like to head over to Bill's Filling Station for "bear night," when there is usually a good crowd. I played some pool and we had a few drinks before heading up the street to Peter Pan for dinner. Then we went back to the condo for a while before going out much later to the Ramrod. More pool and more people-watching.


March 11: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?


On Saturday, we slept in, as we'd been out quite late (early) Friday night. It was a relaxing day; we did a short bike ride, spent some time at the beach, did some shopping and some exercise-cycling/Internet surfing. We'd invited Ty and Scott over for dinner, and I was going to fix a spaghetti supper- hence the shopping. After we got cleaned up, I started putting dinner together in the kitchen, a couple of pictures of which you can see here and here.

Ty and Scott came over about six-thirty, and I made frozen drinks for everyone. Here is Fred chatting with Ty and Scott just before dinner, and here is a picture of the living room and table set for dinner. We were all talking about a trip Ty and Scott wanted to make to Asheville, North Carolina, sometime soon. They'd heard that it was an up-and-coming area, particularly for "family," and that quite a few guys were buying homes there. Ty thought it might be another Fort Lauderdale in the making, and he wanted to go up there to scout around. I suggested that whenever they decided to go, I could meet them there and look at the situation with them, and then go visit my sister who lives only a few hours away. We didn't settle on anything, but you can watch a movie of our conversation using the player at right.

We had a really nice dinner and then we played some cards afterward. When Ty and Scott had left, we cleaned up and then went out for our last night in Fort Lauderdale.


March 12: Our Last Day in Fort Lauderdale

Sunday was our last day in town, and we began it with a bike ride up the coast along A1A to Lauderdale-by-the-Sea (the intersection of Commercial Avenue and the beach). Here, taken at the Lauderdale-by-the-Sea pier, are pictures of Fred and myself. We biked back to the condo and got cleaned up for lunch. As we walked out the door, Fred took another picture of downtown Fort Lauderdale.

For lunch, we decided to walk over to Storks, a restaurant that we've been to before up in Wilton Manors, but which has just opened in a new condo building just a block away on the Himmarshee Canal. A lot of things have gone in and out of this space, and we hope Storks will stay. It offers sandwiches and teas and breads and desserts, and it stays open late. We usually share a wrap of some kind, a couple of desserts and some tea.

We took a number of pictures at and around Storks, and you can view the full-sized copies by clicking on any of the thumbnails below:

We wanted to see Ty and Scott one more time before we left for home, so we decided to meet them at the "Gay Expo" being held in Holiday Park (where we go to throw the frisbee). The Expo was basically a commercial fair where individual vendors could market items that have a "family" connection, or other businesses, not themselves predominantly gay, could market their goods and services to this particular niche. So there were individuals selling t-shirts and hats, banks marketing joint accounts, mortgage firms pushing their willingness to finance purchases in gay areas or by gay couples and so on. We wandered around for about two hours, looking at everything and everyone. You can take a look at the pictures we took by clicking on the thumbnails below:

We had a great time on this trip, as we usually do, and a large part of the fun was due to the fact that Guy spent some of the time with us. We look forward to next year, when we hope Guy can join us again.


Flora From Our Florida Trip


I have gathered some of the pictures that Fred took of some of the flora in and around Fort Lauderdale below. To view the full-sized pictures, please click on the thumbnails:


March 14-15, 2006: My Niece Jeffie Visits Dallas
January 25 - February 1, 2006: A Visit to Florida
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