St. Augustine – On The Road To Florida

St. Augustine – On The Road To Florida

  We rolled down I-95 past St. Augustine, Florida, on Thursday about twelve noon and found our campground just south of there off SR 207. I had picked it out of the Passport America directory and was curious to see how the description jibed with the actual place. As you might expect, things always look better on paper than they do in person. However, in this case, some of the sites were paved and level, a big plus for me. Unfortunately, no one was in the office when we arrived, and still not there when we returned from lunch and the outlet malls up the road at five-fifteen that evening. So, the next morning at eight-thirty I walked over to find that someone was actually in. Turns out the site I had picked was reserved for someone else arriving Friday evening...

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Surviving The Time-Share Pitch

Surviving The Time-Share Pitch

Many of you have probably sat through a time-share presentation. Some of you may have bought a time-share. I imagine a lot of you who bought one are perfectly happy with it. But I’ve mostly heard about those of you who aren’t happy. And who want to get out of their time-share, but can’t. There are even time-share resale brokers out there. So, we weren’t in the market for a time-share, but we agreed to listen to the pitch in exchange for a three-night stay at a two-bedroom condo in Williamsburg, Virginia, for $189 plus tax. A nice deal for roomy comfortable accommodations in that historic area. We had seen this ‘vacation’ offer at a home show in Raleigh. Of course, the pitch at the home show and the reality we found at the actual...

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Tucson – Pima Air Museum Redux

Tucson – Pima Air Museum Redux

  For those of you who are readers of this site, you may remember when we visited the Pima Air and Space Museum on our last trip to Tucson a year ago. Yes, you know who you are. Ellen was having some leg issues then and I had to push her around in a loaner wheelchair outside. Because the ground wasn’t conducive to the narrow wheels, I couldn’t see nearly what I wanted of the many aircraft stationed around outside on part of the eighty acres of the facility. We did, however, get to look around at the displays inside the several large hangars there. So I was determined to revisit the museum and stroll the grounds and see some of the many aircraft I missed last time. Ellen’s leg is much better this year so it was a go. Actually, I wanted to...

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Tucson 2013 – Gem, Mineral and Fossil Show

Tucson 2013 – Gem, Mineral and Fossil Show

  The normally blue skies in Tucson, Arizona, had turned gray by the time we arrived at our first venue of the annual Gem, Mineral and Fossil Show, a group of tents arranged in a gravelly vacant lot on Oracle Street near downtown. The sign declared everything to be of Moroccan origin and my first thought was, ‘How did they lug all this stuff here from Morocco?’ We are talking rocks, you know. It was later suggested that their wares stay in this country and travel to various shows in the southwest so it’s not like they have to shlep it back and forth from north Africa all the time. We next visited a hotel, the Hotel Tucson City Center, which was entirely taken over by vendors, both inside, and out around the pool. This was a much more...

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Phillipsburg, Sint Maarten

Phillipsburg, Sint Maarten

  We arrived at Sint Maarten (that’s the Dutch spelling for their side of the island) shortly after dawn under clear skies. Since our tour wasn’t scheduled until 10:30, we could take our time about breakfast. As I was waiting for Ellen to get ready, I wandered out on our veranda and noticed a barge pushed by tug boats inching up to our aft starboard side.   It looked industrial with a small crane in the middle of an otherwise flat and unremarkable deck, but there was nothing about it to suggest what it was there for. It was soon tied up to the ship, and I made a mental note to stop at Guest Relations to inquire about it. Curiosity, nothing more. After breakfast, I stopped at the main desk on deck three and asked the young lady what the barge...

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