Thursday, October 30, 2014

Boynton Beach Haunted Pirate Festival -2014

DSC_2447I was asked several times this past weekend if I make money selling my photos. I think I may have even had an offer to buy one. My answer is always the same.

I make plenty of money in my real life. I'm not a good enough photographer to get paid for it. I do it because I truly enjoy the events I attend and the friends I make along the way. If making friends had intrinsic value, then I would be very wealthy indeed.

I didn't post a photo of everyone I knew at the festival here in my blog but I do know every one of the people in these photos.

[click here] to see the whole collection


I've attended the Boynton Beach Haunted Pirate Festival and Mermaid Splash two years running. A show that has grown tremendously in a year. I went from opening to closing and still did not get around to talk to everyone. I really should have attended both days to catch up with everybody I know.

Last year I only knew a handful of folks truly well. Mostly the performers. Over the past year I've spoken to them at different festivals, followed their performances at different venues, concerts, plays, and even bought a book from the only author I know personally. Well as far as I know. Many of my new friends would surprise you with the amount of talent they have. All you need to do to find out about them is walk right up and talk to them.

You would be amazed with what you find behind the feathers, leathers, corsets, hats, and boots. Some of the most generous and caring people I know. They help each other. They help strangers. They perform at children s events, walk-a-thons, and charities. I was told once that an important aspect of a modern day pirate crew is to party with a purpose. That purpose is almost always helping others. 


The Boynton Beach Haunted Pirate Festival is primarily for the children. There is plenty of entertainment for all ages though. My daughter is grown and gone but she loved the many festivals we attended together over the years. For me, this event was more about the friendships I've made this year, great music, live performance, excellent food, and fine shops. All that and to spend the day with people who still know the value of happiness and smiles. 

If you have not met any of these fine folks yourself in and around South Florida, chances are good you spend way too much time in front of your TV. I'm happy to say in my experience, more and more people are getting out of the house and rediscovering live theater in the streets. An art form I have always appreciated now re-gaining some popularity.  Don't be left out. Get off the couch - experience something you will talk about for a while, and maybe make a few new friends. 


Friday, October 24, 2014

Doing the Tourist Thing in Fort Lauderdale


Every once in a great while I like taking in the sights of the town I live in (part time now) and do a little tourist thing. Today's adventure, the Duck Boat Tour at Beach Place.


Beach place is a destination all it's own and since I spent about 7 hours, you could say I certainly made a day of it. I think the sun tan lotion isle at the local drug store pretty much tells the story here. Lots of skin baking in the beach sand right across the street. I was not there for my usual umbrella and beach towel day so I started off with lunch at Lu Lu's Bait Shack.


The Duck Boat is a little pricey but our tour guide very likely was a professional stand up comedian. Even though I've been here since 1978, and think I know everything, there is always more to learn. The tour starts on the streets but then suddenly takes a detour off a boat ramp and right into mansion row.


If the houses of the rich and famous don't appeal to you, then some of the locals may. This group was only to happy to show off the latest boating fashions. There are boats of every size from jet skis to mega yachts (or "Jots" as our guide said in his native Miami accent). The duck boat sails pretty slow since it's dragging a whole set of wheels underneath but it's nice to take it easy in traffic in South Florida once in a while.


Back on land there is still plenty to do. Especially if what you like to do is eat and drink or just enjoy perfect weather along the Fort Lauderdale Beach


Turning around to face east, one of the many cruise boats heading out to sea gave me an idea for my next local adventure. Now is this Oasis of the Seas or Allure of the Seas. I guess I'll just have to take a closer look when I book a cruise.


For more photos of this adventure [click here]

Monday, October 20, 2014

Road to Victory - Military Museum - Stuart FL

P1000509I don't want any excuses about this place being hard to find. You know. Like the ones I was making before I found it. Nor that it's probably not worth seeing. If that's your attitude then drop and give me 20.

The Road to Victory Military Museum is not just a collection but a passion. We were fortunate to meet the owners on our visit.

They are located just past the legs of the Stuart water tower and there is plenty of parking right outside the door.

I will admit the collection is housed in a small building but that will hopefully change. They have a collection of restored military vehicles currently being kept in private garages. A few very well used ones are on display outside the museum. But moving takes money. Something this museum could use more of. But that takes visitors and sponsors.

I was never in World War I or II or actually in the military at all but I do appreciate the ones who served and not just on the 4th of July. I have visited war museums around the country but this one has a unique feature.


They let me hold a gun. I mean they literally took an M1 off the wall and handed it to me. And a paratrooper machine gun and a mortar round and a rifle launched grenade.  But wait..... a Thompson Machine Gun. These are the very weapons my uncles carried into battle in Europe and the Pacific. I even got to try on a tank helmet. I believe that allowed me to connect in some small way to my family members who fought these wars. You can't just grab a weapon off the displays but it was quite unexpected to be able to handle anything at all.


I went expecting a very quick visit. I spent two hours and got an amazing and personal history lesson.

If you want to see the mechanized portion of this museum, it will be on display at the Stuart Air Show - See you there.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Suntrust Sunday Jazz Brunch - Fort Lauderdale FL

Normally I enjoy the Suntrust Jazz Brunch at the main stage. A lot more sunny, a lot more people. Seldom do I venture back to the other two stages but on this visit I decided to see if there was anything happening.


Considering I could hardly navigate the paver brick walkway, I have concluded there is a lot more going on than I realized. Being more tree lined, there were less umbrellas to block the view but as far as head count there were a lot of jazz enthusiasts.


This was the first cool day (South Florida speak for under 90 degrees) in a very long time and the crowds showed that. Generally speaking though this event seems to grow year after year. And a lot of folks headed to the shops and eateries right after the shows.


I left just ahead of the masses and found a nice, quiet table way down on Las Olas. The last one actually. Right after that every place seemed full. Fort Lauderdale - Doing it right the first Sunday of every month for over 20 years.

For more photos [click here]