Monday, November 30, 2009

A lazy clean up day at Silver Palms RV Resort in Okeechobee, Fl.

Today we started the day by being entertained by the Sandhill Cranes. The cranes are just in front of the motorhome.



Our campsite at Silver Palms RV Resort.


All for today.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Today we drove the 40 miles on Hwy 70 to Fort Pierce.


Today we took a drive to the Manatee Center at Fort Pierce. Manatee like the warm water. The Manatee Center is located at the exhaust cooling water outlet of a power plant.

The manatee we found was in the marina next to the manatee center.


Manatees (family Trichechidae, genus Trichechus) are large, fully aquatic marine mammals sometimes known as sea cows. They are noted for their rather friendly nature, large size (up to 4 metres) and paddle-like flippers.

Manatees are mainly herbivores, spending most of their time grazing in shallow waters and at depths of 1-2 metres (3-7 ft). Much of the knowledge about manatees is based upon research done in Florida and cannot necessarily be attributed to all types of manatees. Generally, manatees have a mean mass of 400 to 550 kilograms (880 to 1,200 lb), and mean length of 2.8 to 3 metres (9.2 to 9.8 ft), with maximums of 3.6 metres (12 ft) and 1,775 kilograms (3,910 lb) seen (the females tend to be larger and heavier). When born, baby manatees have an average mass of 30 kilograms (66 lb).

On average, most manatees swim at about 5 to 8 kilometres per hour (3.1 to 5.0 mph). However, they have been known to swim at up to 30 kilometres per hour (19 mph) in short bursts.

Then off to see the Atlantic Ocean at Fort Pierce.

The signs have a different look around here.


We found the dog friendly beach.


Look what the tide brings in.


Then on the way home we took Hwy 714. Parts of the highway are on the shady side.


All for today.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Flagler Museum Palm Beach, Florida

Today we drove to the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum in Palm Beach, Florida. We toured the museum then went to Palm Beach for a walk. I saw Bentleys and Rolls-Royce automobiles driving down the road. Definitely a high rent district.

from Wikipedia:

Henry Morrison Flagler Museum 11-27-2009 11-17-56 AM 3264x2448

Flagler Museum, also known as Whitehall, is a 55-room mansion open to the public in Palm Beach, Florida in the United States. The building is listed[4] on the National Register of Historic Places.


Henry Flagler, one of the founders of Standard Oil, built Whitehall for his wife, Mary Lily Kenan.

The site of the home was purchased for $50,000 in 1893 by Flagler; later surveyed for construction in July 1900 and the home completed in time for Flagler and his wife to move in on February 6, 1902.[5] The architects were Carrère and Hastings. It was a winter residence, and Henry gave it to Mary Lily as a wedding present. They would travel to Palm Beach each year in one of their own private railcars, one of which was No. 91.

After the death of Flagler in 1913 and Mary Lily in 1917, the home was bequeathed to her niece Louise Clisby Wise Lewis, who sold the property to investors. They constructed a 300-room ten story addition to the west side of the building, obliterating Mr. Flagler's offices, the housekeeper's apartment, and altering the original kitchen and pantry area.[5]

In 1959, the site was saved from demolition by one of Henry Flagler's granddaughters Jean Flagler Matthews. She established the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum non-profit corporation which purchased the building in 1959, opening it as a museum in 1960. The upper ten stories of the hotel addition were demolished in 1963 in preparing the museum for the public.[5]

Today, Whitehall is a National Historic Landmark and is open to the public as the Flagler Museum, featuring guided tours, changing exhibits, and special programs. The Museum is located at Cocoanut Row and Whitehall Way, Palm Beach.


Henry Morrison Flagler Museum 11-27-2009 12-26-50 PM 3264x2448

Interior of the Main Hall,

When it was completed in 1902, Whitehall was hailed by the New York Herald as "more wonderful than any palace in Europe, grander and more magnificent than any other private dwelling in the world." It was designed in the Beaux Art style; meant to rival the extravagant mansions in Newport, Rhode Island. [6]

Distinct from these northern homes, Whitehall had no outbuildings or subsidiary structures. Nor had it elaborately planned or cultivated gardens. Plants, flowers, trees and shrubs were allowed to grow unaided.[7]

The mansion is built around a large open-air central courtyard and is modeled after palaces in Spain and Italy. Three stories tall with several wings, the mansion has fifty-five fully restored rooms furnished with period pieces. These rooms are large with marble floors, walls and columns, murals on the ceilings, and heavy gilding.[6]

More Photos:

Henry Morrison Flagler Museum 11-27-2009 11-26-45 AM 2448x3264

Painted ceilings in the Grand Hall.

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Henry Morrison Flagler Museum 11-27-2009 11-28-50 AM 2448x3264

the Music Room.

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the Grand Ballroom

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Dining Room.

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the Breakfast Room.

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The Drawing Room.

Then off to Palm Beach




The Breakers Hotel and Resort.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving American Style

Today is American Thanksgiving. We celebrated with a pot luck at the clubhouse in Silver Palms RV Park, Okeechobee, Florida. The park bought the turkey and the rest was pot luck. There was twice as much food as needed, but everything tasted great. Good times.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Lake Okeechobee


Okeechobee is thought to have been formed out of the ocean about 6,000 years ago when the waters receded At its capacity, the lake holds 1 trillion gallons of water and is the headwaters of the Everglades.

The name Okeechobee comes from the Hitchiti words oki (water) and chubi (big), and means "big water". It was previously called Macaco and Mayaimi, the latter the origin of the name of the city Miami, Florida by way of the Miami River.

The floor of the lake is a limestone basin, and the lake varies in depth from 1 to 13 feet (0.3 to 4 m). Its water is somewhat murky from nutrient-enriched runoff from surrounding farmlands. The surface is above sea level. The lake is enclosed by a 20-foot (6 m) high dike built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers after a hurricane in 1928 breached the old dike, flooding surrounding communities and claiming thousands of lives. There are several inflows, including Taylor Creek and the Kissimmee River, and several small outlets, such as the Miami River, the New River on the east, and the Caloosahatchee River (via the Caloosahatchee Canal and Lake Hicpochee) on the southwest.

from Wikipedia


We went on a tour of the northwest side of Okeechobee Lake today

Lake Okeechobee from the North end.



the Indian Prairie Canal


Friday, November 20, 2009

Cape Canaveral to Okeechobee City

Map picture

Today was just a short day of driving to Okeechobee. Teri was not feeling well so we stopped for a few days.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

from Wikipedia

Location and extent

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge is located due east of Titusville on Merritt Island, a peninsula in Brevard County, Florida, and occupies 570 square kilometres (140,000 acres). To the north, it borders on the Canaveral National Seashore; to the south it borders on the Kennedy Space Center (with which it also shares some history), which in turn abuts Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Mosquito Lagoon and the Indian River run through the refuge. Since public access to all these areas is controlled in various ways, the refuge is part of a very substantial area of relatively undisturbed wildlife habitat.


The land occupied by the NWR was acquired by NASA in the early 1960s for the development of the Space Center and its non-operational purposes. Until that time there had been little development in the area because of the high number of salt marsh mosquitoes. Public access is normally permitted, and several state highways run across the refuge; however, the public can be excluded if necessary for NASA's purposes (for example, this is currently done in the days before a space shuttle launch or landing).

Habitats and species

The refuge provides a range of habitats, from saltwater estuaries and freshwater impoundments and marshes, to dunes, hardwood hammocks, and scrub. It is therefore rich in over 1000 species of plants, 117 species of fish, 68 amphibians and reptiles, 330 birds, and 31 mammal species. Of these species, 21 are listed as endangered either by the state of Florida or by the US federal government.

Some Photos:







At the Haulover Canal we stopped to look for Manatee which we did NOT see but we did see a dolphin playing by the boat launch.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Port Canaveral in Cape Canaveral Florida.

Map picture

On the 17th we moved to Jetty Park to camp by the Carnival Cruise Lines Orlando dock and the Atlantic Ocean.

The Melcolm E. McLouth Fishing Pier.


Wildlife as seen from the pier.




Our campsite.


The Beach by the Jetty on the Atlantic Ocean.


Lifeguard on the beach.


Teri on the beach.


Terry on the beach


Sub pens on the military base on the north side of the jetty


The Carnival Cruise Line and the Disney Cruise Line use the docks in this area and regularly come through here. The Carnival cruise line just finished their newest and largest ship called the ‘Carnival Dream’ and there was a big celebration in the park for the 1st cruise of this ship at this port.



As we were waiting for the ‘Carnival Dream’ to exit port we were treated to NASA bringing back one of the solid buster rockets from the Space Shuttle Atlantis launch STS-129 that we watched on the 16th of November.




Monday, November 16, 2009

Kennedy Space Center for the launch of STS-129 Atlantis Space Shuttle.


    Image above: On the front row are Commander Charlie Hobaugh (left) and Pilot Barry Wilmore. On the back row (from left) are astronauts Leland Melvin, Mike Foreman, Robert Satcher and Randy Bresnik, all mission specialists. Image credit: NASA

    Commander Charlie Hobaugh will lead the STS-129 mission to the International Space Station aboard space shuttle Atlantis. Barry Wilmore will serve as the pilot. Mission Specialists are Robert Satcher, Michael Foreman, Randy Bresnik and Leland Melvin. Wilmore, Satcher and Bresnik will be making their first trips to space.

    The mission will return station crew member Nicole Stott to Earth. STS-129 is slated to be the final space shuttle crew rotation flight to or from the space station.

    Atlantis will deliver parts to the space station, including a spare gyroscope. The mission will feature three spacewalks.

    STS-129 is the 31st shuttle mission to the station.



We arrived at the Kennedy Space Center at about 9:30 AM for a 2:21 PM launch. During the day they had presentations by two astronauts of past launches and a large outdoor screen for viewing the action.

PB164941 PB164939

Launch was on time. The ground shock, we could hear the roar of the rockets and Teri could feel the heat.


In just seconds this is all we could see.