June 20, 2015: Debbie Crawford's Retirement Party
April 26-30, 2015: A Visit to San Antonio
Return to the Index for 2015

May 10-24, 2015
A Trip to Fort Lauderdale



The Trip to Fort Lauderdale

If you've been through more than a year or two of this photo album, you are undoubtedly familiar with our route to Florida. Years ago we used to fly, but that has gotten to be such a hassle (and a good deal more expensive) that now we drive. This allows us to take all kinds of things with us- including, on the last ten trips, Zack, our Snowshoe cat. This trip will be a bit different though, as we intend to drive from Florida up to Washington DC, there to meet up with Prudence and Ron, Karl and Nancy, and Guy for a few days in our Nation's capital. Because of this, we have decided not to bring Zack with us. Although there are pet-friendly hotels in Washington, we thought it would be too hard on Zack, leaving him alone all day in a small hotel room.

The trip is routine; we stop at the same places to eat and to stay- almost without exception. And it's an easy route, too. Getting out of Dallas is easy if a bit congested, sometimes. We usually leave about nine-thirty, and by ten or so are on I-20 heading east towards Shreveport. We usually turn southeast on I-49 about one in the afternoon, reaching Lafayette and I-10 east along about three-thirty. Baton Rouge can be very slow if we don't get through there by four-fifteen or so, and then it is another 90 minutes to get across Louisiana to the Mississippi border.

Mississippi and Alabama are an hour each, so we are heading east from Mobile about six-thirty or seven. This puts us north of Pensacola right about dinnertime about eight. After dinner, we have about two hundred miles to go to get to our usual motel in Madison, Florida, about halfway along I-10 between Tallahassee and I-75. Just west of Pensacola there is a bay the I-10 crosses on a graceful bridge. Usually, it is dark by the time we get to it, but today there was just enough light to photograph it. (Almost all the pictures we took this trip we took with our phones.) Very shortly after, just before we stopped for dinner, Fred got a nice picture of the sunset behind us.

The next day, we usually get away from the hotel about nine or so, we cross I-75 forty-five minutes later, and are stopping for gas just west of Jacksonville by eleven or eleven thirty. Then we take I-295 around Jacksonville to the south, going through Orange Park and picking up I-95 south about forty-five minutes after stopping for gas. Then it is a straight shot, just about 300 miles, down I-95 to Fort Lauderdale, where we usually find ourselves arriving between four-thirty and five-thirty.

Our custom is to unload everything at the condo, get Zack and the laptops all set up, and then retire to the dock for a celebratory frozen drink. Then it is usually dinner at the Floridian. I wish we had transporter technology, but the drive is not a hard one- although sections of it can be boring. We left Dallas on Sunday, May 10th, and arrived in Fort Lauderdale on Monday the 11th.

We have been here to Florida so many times that we have pretty much photographed everything worthwhile anywhere nearby. The pictures we take now are just candid shots around the condo, at the dock or perhaps at an Art Fair or other event that occurs while we are here. So I've begun the practice of just grouping the pictures for these Florida trips by topic.


Around the Condo

As you have undoubtedly noticed, if you've looked at many of our Florida trips, is that the number of pictures we take on each trip has been declining steadily- unless there is some special event like the St. Patrick's Day Parade on our last trip here. We have done just about everything there is to do around here, and lately have just taken the occasional picture or movie of New River boat traffic or ourselves sitting at the dock.

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This trip is the sparsest so far, as far as pictures are concerned. I took one movie of a particularly large yacht passing by the condo (use the player at left to watch it), and with our phones we took some other candid pictures of boats passing by and ourselves down on the dock. There are clickable thumbnails below for these few pictures:


Our Trip is Cut Short

Our plan had been to leave Fort Lauderdale on Monday, May 25th and arrive at our hotel south of Washington on Tuesday, May 26th. We would then meet up with everyone else for a tour on Wednesday the 27th. Everything was all arranged, but on Saturday afternoon, May 23rd, as we were driving back to the condo after lunch with Ron, Jay, Leroy and Rick, we got a call from Lynne Richardson, who had just arrived at the townhouse to take care of the cats. She found a disaster when she came in. Apparently, there had been a slow leak from an upstairs commode supply line which, over the course of many days, was sufficient to cause a section of the downstairs dining room ceiling to collapse.

I contact Al and Kathy Hirschler, and they were kind enough to come over and shut off the water to the upstairs commode, stopping further water from dripping downstairs. They also, helped by Lynne, got the downstairs cleaned up and brought over some fans to begin drying things out. Even though the leak was stopped, I knew that I would need to get right on a more professional clean up and dry out, contact my insurance company, and begin the process of making repairs. So we reluctantly called Prudence to tell her what had happened and cancelled our hotel reservations in Washington.

Early the next morning we started back to Dallas, arriving, as usual, a day later in the afternoon. The clean up and repairs took the next 20 days. There are some pictures of the process on this year's Miscellaneous album page.

June 20, 2015: Debbie Crawford's Retirement Party
April 26-30, 2015: A Visit to San Antonio
Return to the Index for 2015