Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Florida Visit Photographic Frenzied Finale

In this entry I am going to post the cellphone pictures I took on my 6-day trip to Florida to see my dad that ended yesterday..

I chose as my lead images the pictures above and four more sequentially below that I took on, under, and near the Daytona Beach pier looking southward on Jan. 10, 2009 on a sunny, warm day (it was around 73F) with an exceptionally low tide.

There was something about this view that overwhelmed me with emotion, of thoughts and feelings from my own lost Jersey shore youth, and even a deeper sense of deja vu, of the sense I had lived other lives in the presence of the ocean.

The old wooden boardwalk planks of the pier ... the pastel light orange color of the old restaurant and arcade situated on the pier ... the beachside hotels stretching toward a southern infinity in the bright sunshine in an endless blue sky fleeced with flattened fair weather cumulus clouds, the vast expanse of flat, wet sand at low tide, and the eternity of the ocean on a day as tranquil as this ... it was all overwhelming.

The ocean itself seemed to have receded outward an unusually great distance, and the lack of significant waves made it seem even farther away. Not to worry, though, this wasn't ocean draw back ahead of an impending tsunami. Rather, there was a full Moon that night and it was Lowest Astronomical Tide (part of the "spring tide" when the Moon-Earth-and-Sun are collinear; the opposite is "neap tide").

Two little girls running under the Daytona Beach Pier, Jan. 10, 2009.

And since I tend to think in science fictional terms, I recalled that Cape Canaveral along this "Space Coast" of Florida -- where humanity made its first tenative leap off this planet -- is located about 40 miles south of this spot, and I couldn't help but ponder some stranger thoughts.

The Ocean Walk Shoppes complex of restaurants, shops, and theatre as seen from the beach, Daytona Beach, Fla., Jan. 10, 2009.

Namely, are there other Earth-like worlds with planet-girdling oceans of liquid water (most likely), and do any have human-like civilizations similar to ours under a solitary star (possibly, but if so, there may only be a one, two, or three per galaxy per tens of millions of years so that direct communication between them is essentially not possible), and if so, what would their beach side resorts look like. (Also, would the sea gulls be as aggressive on those worlds as on ours??)

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The remaining pictures are posted in chronological order. I took approx. 95 such pictures, although in the end I posted 57, as well as one that another person took. There are also three unrelated internet ones. So this entry has a grand total of 61 pictures, a record for any single entry on any of the three blogs (including this one) I have had.

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Jan. 7, 2009, Wednesday, traveling to Florida...

I didn't arrive in Florida until nearly 930PM, but I'm still counting this as the first day on the trip for purposes of this entry.

On the tarmac at Washington Reagan National (DCA) Airport, Jan. 7, 2009. I took a USAirways flight to Daytona Beach, Fla., via Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT). It was a rainy, cold day with a low overcast, so even though we did the upriver take off and I had a seat on the right side to get the view of D.C., I saw almost nothing as we were almost instantly in the clouds.

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Flying just above the clouds, ascending toward 31,000 feet. It was a bumpy flight and cloudy all the way to central North Carolina, where it finally cleared up.

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The C4 gate at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. As I noted in my Jan. 9, 2009 entry, the first flight to Daytona Beach International Airport (DAB) was cancelled along with a number of other flights due to very turbulent conditions. The lady above was asking the USAirways check in personnel "Will there be wind shears?"

Only on the internets.

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Jan. 8, 2009, Thursday, my second (and first full) day in Florida ...

Outside my dad's house near the center of Flagler Beach, Fla., located about 20 miles north of Datyona Beach, and a rather boring place, esp. in the winter season, Jan. 8, 2009.

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A grove of sable palms outside my dad's house, Flagler Beach, Fla., Jan. 8, 2009. The sable palm or sable palmetto (also known as the cabbage palm) is the state tree of Florida. It can withstand cold weather that other palms cannot, and it grows across the entire state.

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The interior of my dad's small ground-level apartment.

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Boredom sets in ... No car, no computer or other internet access, and really nothing to do in Flagler Beach, Fla., esp. in January ...

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Yours Truly, Regulus, later this evening at Rossi's, Flagler Beach, Fla., Jan. 8, 2009, while my dad sang karaoke (see previous entry). It was a windy, cloudless, dry day with temps around 62F and low dew points. It has been quite dry in central Florida in the past two months.

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Jan. 9, 2009, Friday, my third day in Florida ...

**See images from previous two entries for additional pictures taken on this day **

The view from the rooftop deck at Finn's (previously Finnegan's), overlooking "downtown" Flagler Beach, Fla., Jan. 9, 2009. Again the weather was sunny, breezy, dry, and coolish for central Florida (lower 60s F).

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My dad and I had a late lunch at Finn's rooftop deck, Flagler Beach, Fla., Jan. 9, 2009.

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An old light fixture at the corner of N. Central Ave. and 2nd Street, Flagler Beach, Fla., Jan. 9, 2009 ...

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Jan. 10, 2009, Saturday, my fourth day in Florida ...

**I already posted some of my beach walk pictures in the first five images above.**

This picture was taken on the drive to Daytona Beach. My dad drove me to the Daytona Beach Pier at the start of my planned 18 mile walk back to Flagler Beach. In the end, I only made it about 12 miles.

This water tower -- located at the southern edge of Flagler Beach near the Volusia County line -- figured into my walk. Located about 4 miles south of where my dad lives, it is about 14 miles north of the Daytona Beach Pier. I was actually able to see it as a white speck from the pier and as I was walking north along the beach.

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The Plaza Resort & Spa in Daytona Beach, Fla., Jan. 10, 2009, seen from A1A side. Pastel and other light hued colors define the buildings along the Florida Atlantic coastline

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Fountains by the Daytona Beach Pier, Jan. 10, 2009.

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The view to the north from the Daytona Beach Pier just before I started my walk. I called my friend LP from here, Jan. 10, 2009.

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Looking toward the ocean from the Daytona Beach Pier, Jan. 10, 2009. I didn't pay the $1.50 to walk onto the pier as a non-fisherman. However, there was a snack bar and I got some food. I also got a piece of pizza from a place at the edge of the beach. I couldn't eat it at first as the sea gulls were so damn aggressive, flocking around like in that Hitchcock movie.

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Lifeguard stand, Daytona Beach, Fla., Jan. 10, 2009 as I was walking north. The ocean water temp. was about 62F -- warm enough for someone from the Jersey shore or Long Island or New England to go for a swim.

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Yours truly, Regulus, Daytona Beach, Florida (this was actually taken a bit earlier on the pier), Jan. 10, 2009

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This was a wounded bird I came across in Ormond Beach (the town north of Daytona Beach) in the surf. It is not a seagull but I'm not sure what type of bird it is. One of its wings was broken.

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Another Regulus pondering the ocean and life and eternity view, Ormond Beach, Fla., Jan. 10, 2009

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My shadow on the beach ...

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Seagulls and other birds (terns?) at the edge of the surf as the Sun was sinking in the west and shadows were enveloping the beach, Ormond Beach, Fla., Jan. 10, 2009

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Ocean at dusk ... there was a wind from the southeast and the waves had started to build, Ormond-By-The-Sea (the unincorporated town north of Ormond Beach and the last town south of Flagler Beach), Fla., Jan. 10, 2009

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The Full Moon rose radiantly over the ocean as the Sun set in the west. I was having real trouble walking by this point after 12 miles on the beach. When I did the 18 mile walk in Myrtle Beach, S.C., in summer 2004, I had many more hours of light and I stopped for a while. My dad parked about 7 miles south of where he lives and met me in Ormond-By-The-Sea on the beach (walking south), Jan. 10, 2009.

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Another moonrise over the ocean with a lady standing atop the steps leading off the beach, Jan. 10, 2009

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Jan. 11, 2009, Sunday, my fifth day in Florida ...

The next day was warm and windy with showers moving in. This was back in Flagler Beach, Fla. I went into the ocean part way. I was in my cargo pants shorts, not a bathing suit, and had to put my wallet and cellphone in my sneakers farther up the beach. The water was chilly but you got used to it.

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A view north up the beach from Flagler Beach toward the pier, Jan. 11, 2009.

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Thought this was funny ... This church is in Flagler Beach, Fla., near where my dad lives.

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Mr. Sirius's downstairs rec room. Just kidding ...

Actually, this is the Black Cloud Saloon located about 8 miles away in Bunnell, Fla., where I went with my dad, his friend Jimmy and Jimmy's girlfriend Chris Ann, with whom I got along very well. There was "Harryoke" at the Black Cloud -- karaoke by the local karaoke impresario Harry.

Mr. Sirius Detour ...

As I noted in my entry from Jan. 9, I have decided to restart am my Mr. Sirius themed blog where I can dump all my ruminations on him.

You see, Gentle Reader, I have decided to never be over him. At least for now. That way, I won't have lost anything, even though I have, or rather, never had anything to begin with except sadness and foolishness on my part.

However, I think my new blog will be a by-invitation-only blog, and then I will invite no one. Ha ha.

Oh, yes ...

... on a wholly unrelated note, may I request of a certain dear friend of mine that he avoid to the extent possible bar chats with strangers who bear a curious resemblance these days to Donny Osmond. Or at least a much younger, more muscular, gay one.

This request includes the case in which said Donny Osmond may initiate said confab. Thank you.

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Anyway, back to my pictures ...

Here a group performs "The Electric Slide" ... The patrons at "Harryoke" were an odd mixture of New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts retired Jewish and Italian couples transplanted to Florida, some dressed up more as Texas cowboy than anything else.

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Chris Ann took this picture. This was as my dad performed "Copa Cabana."

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The Black Cloud Saloon patrons, Bunnell, Fla., Jan. 11, 2009

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The Black Cloud Saloon bar. Yes, that's a picture of John Wayne, along with (not readily visible in my crummy cellphone camera) rifles and an assortment of liquor. Welcome to the South. As for smoking, while it is still allowed in much of Florida, it turns out that in Flagler County if food is served in any restaurant way (as opposed to "bar food" only), smoking is NOT allowed.

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More boredom.

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Jan. 12, 2009, Monday, my sixth (and second to last) day in Florida ...

The weather actually turned showery wet on my last full day in Florida. The area has been in a dry spell.

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My dad playing the keyboard, Flagler Beach, Fla., Jan. 12, 2009

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I paid the $1.50 to go to the end of the Flagler Beach Pier.

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The southview from the Flagler Beach Pier, Jan. 12, 2009.

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The northview from the Flagler Beach pier, Jan. 12, 2009.

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The Treasure Box at A Beachside Laundromat with its high-tech mechanical claw. This place used to be the A1A Laundromat in its old location.

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The laundromat dogs, Scooby (right side) and another dog (whose name I can't recall), Flagler Beach, Fla., Jan. 12, 2009

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Rainy dusk, Jan. 12, 2009

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Jan. 13, 2009, Tuesday, my seventh and last day in Florida and my return trip to D.C. ...

The Daytona International Speedway, located next to the airport.

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The first leg of the flight from DAB back to CLT. This is the Charlotte, NC skyline seen through the haze, Jan. 13, 2009.

The only thing more depressing than the "Old" American South is the "New" American South ... Atlanta ... Raleigh/Durham ... Charlotte ... with their enervating sprawl of overpriced (but rapidly deflating) McMansions in cul-de-sac suburban purgatories, soulless malls and more malls (strip ones and giant ones), endless miles of busy highways, and rightwing mega-church after rightwing mega-church raking in the dough in multi-billion dollar business ventures all while paying no taxes, and everybody voting Republican and thinking Bush is God.

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On the tarmac at Charlotte Douglas Int'l Airport. I was seated in seat 6A of flight 975 to DCA. The jet was an A319 and the big engine pod was my companion.

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I had a cup of tea with sugar and Land O'Lakes "mini moo" creamer. This ad on the seatback tray startled me. It was for the A&E TV series "The Beast" with Patrick Swayze and Travis Fimmel, who looks all neat and male model pretty here but in other internet images appears all shaggy headed. Swayze is sick with pancreatic cancer. Fimmel, who is Australian, looks like a real jerk, but that's just based on an impression.

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On the flight into DCA, Jan. 13, 2009. This is Lake Anna approx. 20 miles to the west. There was a middle to high cloud deck with a sharp line of clearing about 40 to 50 miles to the west. Lake Anna is located about 25 miles southwest of Fredericksburg, Va.

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This is the tidal Potomac River as seen over Charles and/or Prince George's County, Md., looking westward toward Virginia.

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On final approach into DCA, Jan. 13, 2009. This is Washington, D.C., with the Key Bridge over the Potomac River and the Kennedy Center and Washington Monument just visible at the edge of the window. In the foreground is Georgetown University.

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This is the lovely downriver approach into DCA flying just west of the National Mall with the Washington Monument and U.S. Capitol building visible, Jan. 13, 2009.

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DCA final approach looking down the axis of the National Mall with the Lincoln Memorial in the foreground, Jan. 13, 2009.

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On an unrelated note, the other day while in Florida I was watching an episode of "The Beverly Hillbillies." It was an episode where they go to Washington, D.C., and stay in a fictitious hotel that would have to be 40+ stories high and located right ON East Capitol Street looking down the axis of the National Mall to get a view such as this one:

Needless to say, there is no such hotel.

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Last vacation image: my building, the Hampton Court, Washington, D.C., Jan. 13, 2009 as I arrived home. I saw my building from the jet on final approach into DCA.

And that concludes the pictures from my Florida visit.

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This weekend is the kick off to the big Obama inauguration here in D.C. that culminates on Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009 at noon EST, the End of the Bush Disaster Era.

Oh, yes, there is basically no chance of snow here in D.C. The Universe would sooner collapse on itself than it would snow here. However, I'm not going to start complaining about this right now.

I am posting as a final image the new "official portrait" for President-Elect Obama that was taken yesterday (Jan. 13, 2009). This is the first ever official presidential picture taken with a digital camera.

My next entry probably won't be until this weekend or maybe Monday. I actually have a bunch of stuff to do for work. My student loans have disbursed and hopefully I should have my refund in the next several days. The semester starts in two weeks.

--Regulus

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Can I just say, I love the church sign? *laughter*

Glad you're back safe!!

krzysztof said...

impressive!

Regulus said...

Quill -- Glad you liked it!

Kristof -- Thank you for the compliment.

Anonymous said...

Well, That part of Florida looks like a pleasant enough place. All the ocean & beach pictures make it seem expansive & not at all crowded. There are worse places to be, I'm sure.

I'd like to know what the church sign said before they changed it. I wonder if it was something offensive? Like "turn or Burn".

Bryan said...

Thank you. Wonderful post, great pictures and narration. That must have taken forever!

Regulus said...

Hi Rita and Bryan -- Thank you for your comments. I apologize that I have not been more diligent in updating this blog. I plan to do so tonight or tomorrow at the latest. I was busy with my other one and otherwise just being lazy.

Rita -- That was probably the most offensive church sign I ever saw, and (I think you will agree with me) it speaks to the sickness at the heart of fundamentalist protestantism.

Bryan -- Thank you the comment and the emails. I think if G. and I came up to Trenton and I saw you (and, again, I don't know if that is going to happen next month), it would involve you and me going to lunch. You do do lunch at times, don't you??

Bryan said...

Yes, I could possibly do lunch with you. You'll have to warn me ahead of time so I can look my spiffiest! (that will still be scary)

Where will spaceship G+R land? I would need coordinates and such. There really isn't a good place to eat in Downtown Trenton. (as far as I know)

There's a cafeteria at work, but the food is crap. There's a Subway in town, It's completely disgusting, but I ate the food anyway.

Email me. I would like to meet you.

Regulus said...

Before you get too discombobulated, remember it's just a big maybe. I don't know yet.

Bryan said...

Yes, I do get discombobulated easily. Email me details if they become more concrete.

I'll have to bring my pink afro wig and cat-suit so we can dance the tango along the Delaware!

Anonymous said...

great pictures, im from mexico cancun and i lived there in daytona, thanks for makeme remember that beautiful place.

next time you should go on summer it's better