July 4, 2007: Ron Mathis' 4th of July Party
May 29 - June 5, 2007: A Trip to Fort Lauderdale
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June 26 - July 3, 2007
A Trip to Fort Lauderdale



An Afternoon Bike Ride (June 27th)

I flew down to Fort Lauderdale for another week-long visit on Tuesday, June 26th, timing my visit to span another weekend that Fred would be at his mother's in DeLeon. I prevailed on Greg to take me to the airport, as he was between cruises. The flight flight down was pleasant and uneventful, and I arrived late in the afternoon on Tuesday. While I usually run these trips from a Tuesday to a following Wednesday, this time I was going to be here just a week, since I had to be back in time for Ron and Jay's Fourth of July party. So this time, rather than take the bus into town, I went ahead and picked up my rental car directly. I didn't do much that night except fix some dinner and futz around in the condo.

Wednesday was just a relaxing day, but it did include a short bike ride over to Fort Lauderdale beach. It was kind of cloudy today, so I didn't go very far. I went along SE 4th Street and up to Las Olas, and then eastward towards the beach. When I got to the Las Olas Bridge over the Intracoastal, I found that the bridge was up, so I detoured over into the Las Olas Isles neighborhood, and found a vantage point where I could get a good view of the Las Olas Bridge opened to let boat traffic through. On weekdays, the bridge opens pretty much on demand, whenever the tender sees some traffic coming that is too high to pass under. In this picture, the boat could have gone under without the bridge being raised, but here you can see that the boat antennae are too tall to make it under.

I waited until the bridge was almost down before I headed back around to Las Olas- mostly to give the accumulated traffic enough time to get across so I wouldn't have to contend with it. Then I just went on over to the beach and turned north. It is always interesting to watch the people at the beach, although today there weren't so many as usual, due to the fact that it was a bit cloudy and that also it was midweek in the summertime.

On previous album pages, I've included pictures of the construction progress for a couple of the newest buildings on the beach- both located just a few blocks north of the Sebastian Avenue beach. Each time I come down here and ride my bike along this stretch of beach, I like to record the progress of each building. Perhaps when they are closer to completion, I might aggregate all the pictures of each one together, but, for now, here is the construction progress on the W Fort Lauderdale (a hotel/condo building) and the Trump Fort Lauderdale, which I think is going to be entirely condos.

Today, I continued riding up to Lauderdale-by-the-Sea and back, which makes it about a 15-mile ride, all told.


Dinner at Ron Drew's (June 30th)

My friend from Dallas, John Evans, came up to Fort Lauderdale Saturday morning from Miami. He had been there doing some work for MADD the previous week, and I'd invited him to come up to Fort Lauderdale and stay with me Saturday night. On Saturday morning, we did some walking around the Riverwalk, and in the afternoon we headed over to Ron Drew's house for the afternoon and dinner.

Ron and Jay have met some new friends who live up towards Palm Beach, and they and their friend, Dan were also their guests for the afternoon. It had been raining quite a bit earlier, so we'd stayed in the enclosed patio playing cards. Here, you can see John, Murphy and Miguel, Murphy and Miguel being Ron and Jay's new friends. Miguel is an elementary school teacher, and Murphy designs cover photos and art for videos and DVDs. We had an enjoyable time playing Uno and swimming in the pool when the rain quit for a while, and Ron and Jay did a really nice dinner. I did take one movie of the party guests just so you could get a better idea of what they were like; you can watch that movie with the player at right. It was a very enjoyable afternoon and evening.


John and I Go to Gumbo Limbo (July 1st)


John had a mid-afternoon flight back to Dallas, so we got up early on Sunday, went and had some breakfast, and then drove up along A1A to the Gumbo Limbo Natural Preserve just north of Boca Raton. Fred and I have been here a couple of times- once by ourselves and once with Guy, and I thought that John, being "into" tropical fish and such, would like to see it.

When we got there, I first took John out to the sea turtle tanks. As I thought he would be, he was intrigued by the sea turtles, and he took quite a lot of photos of them. There were numerous times when we could see the turtles up close; each is marked to indicate its sex. There are four major tanks; the other three have sharks, rays and other fish, but the pictures we got there were not really good enough to include in this album (except for some John took that you'll find below).

Inside the nature museum, there were a whole wall of fish tanks and John, having three or four large ones himself, was very interested in all the fish that they had. While I like looking at them, I don't know much about them, but I did find some good opportunities to photograph some of the colorful sea animals.

There are lots of other exhibits in the museum- some live and some not. There are snakes and small forest critters, insects and all kinds of stuff. I would have taken John outside to the nature walk and off to the tower where Fred and I have been, but there wasn't time. I had to settle for a picture of John and the sea turtle sculpture out in front of the building.

As I said, John was very interested in all of the sea life he saw, and he took a great many pictures- far too many to include here. I have looked through his pictures and put thumbnails for five of the best and most representative of them below. If you want to see any of the full-size pictures, just click on the appropriate thumbnails:


A Morning Bike Ride (July 3rd)

It's Tuesday morning- my last day here for this trip. I thought I would bike over to the beach, since it was a nice day for a change (it had been off and on rain for this trip). My ride was a short one- just over to Las Olas and the beach, and then up A1A for about five or six miles and back again. The route was the same as the map at the beginning of this album page.

I didn't take many pictures- just a couple of views of the beach crowd that I took from the promenade near the intersection of Las Olas and A1A. You can look at those pictures here and here.

This trip was all too short. I left on the early evening flight and, when I got back to Dallas, Fred was at the airport to meet me. Although it was Tuesday, the next day was a holiday and since we were going to Ron Mathis's house for Independence Day, Fred had come down to my house.

July 4, 2007: Ron Mathis' 4th of July Party
May 29 - June 5, 2007: A Trip to Fort Lauderdale
Return to Index for 2007