Archive for May 27th, 2022

May 27, 2022

My Ormond by the Sea!!!

I am on a nostalgic run, and we are getting to summer, I think of my Florida. Not the glitzy marketing spots but the real living in gorgeous Ormond Beach, rather Ormond by the Sea, or North Peninsula in Volusia County. I have written briefly on it in previous posts but rather do one on it wholly in my blog with new older pictures, I have found new older pictures of the house that will include in this my nostalgic post on our house. Hope you enjoy it as I.

ormond beach

It was a lovey period of my life and this was as glamorous as it can, after all this is the Sunshine State and here has its best show, The unincorporated town of Ormond by the Sea bounds up to include the Volusia/Flagler county line on the north, the city of Ormond Beach on the south, the Atlantic Ocean on the east, and the Halifax River on the west. The area has traditionally been called the North Peninsula, although other nicknames such as OBC or OBTS are sometimes used. I graduated from university, and my marriage was in the city island courthouse , and my oldest boy was born in Halifax Hospital of Daytona Beach, Memories forever !!!

Ormond Beach house kitchen to dining and LR c1990s

Ormond Beach house kitchen c1990s

Difficult to recall all so will put emphasis on internet sites having to do with the city from private to government sites including wikipedia, Not wanted to leave anything out, if you want to know more let me know, I am still in touch with my neighbors there !!! And yes we got frost too !!

Ormond Beach house back veranda c1990s

ormond beach

There are two principal roads, in Ormond by the Sea, State Road A1A (also known as Ocean Shore Boulevard), which runs along the Atlantic Ocean,(closest only 150 meters to my house!!) , and John Anderson Drive, which runs along the Halifax River.(about 250 meters from my house!). There are wonderful nature parks here such as the Tomoka State Park where the Timucuan Indians, who in the 16C occupied a large village called Nocoroco, located at the site as well as Bulow Creek State Park , Ormond Memorial Art Museum and Gardens, and my closest the North Peninsula State Park. This is heaven with marshes and ocean breezes to boot ! Love it !! The park comprising approximately 800 acres (3.2 km2) of undeveloped coastal dunes and marsh lands, which were acquired in the mid-1980s through the Conservation & Recreation Lands Program,  later known as the “Preservation 2000” and “Florida Forever” programs. Among other species, the park provides crucial habitat for the Florida Scrub Jay, a threatened federal species of which less than 4,000 breeding pairs are thought to survive. The North Peninsula State Park of OBS :


Another park we frequented and mostly play catch up ball with my sons while overlooking the beach of the Atlantic ocean in Ormond by the Sea was the wonderful Bicentennial County Park facing the ocean we love it! The city of Ormond Beach on the OBS located park :

Ormond beach mima y pipo at house

With its hard, white beach, Ormond Beach became popular for the wealthy seeking relief from northern winters during the Floridian boom in tourism following the American Civil War. The St. Johns and Halifax Railway arrived in 1886, and the first bridge across the Halifax River (also intracoastal waterways) was built in 1887. John Anderson and James Downing Price opened the Ormond Hotel on January 1, 1888. Henry Flagler bought the hotel in 1890 and expanded it to accommodate 600 guests. It would be one in a series of Gilded Age hotels catering to passengers aboard his Florida East Coast Railway, which had purchased the St. Johns & Halifax Railroad , After many years trying to save the hotel, no buyer could be found, and the city decided to razed it in 1992 ,and built condominiums in its place as seen today unfortunately as I voted to save it. One of Flagler’s guests at the Ormond Hotel was his former business partner at the Standard Oil Company, John D. Rockefeller. He arrived in 1914 and after four seasons at the hotel bought an estate called The Casements, that would be Rockefeller’s winter home during the latter part of his life. Sold by his heirs in 1939, it was purchased by the city of Ormond Beach in 1973 and now serves as a cultural center. It is the community’s best-known historical structure, and indeed many wonderful events as well can be tour with proper reservation.


Beginning in 1902, some of the first automobile races were held on the compacted sand from Ormond Beach south to Daytona Beach. Pioneers in the industry, including Ransom Olds with his Pirate Racer, and Alexander Winton, tested their inventions. The American Automobile Association brought timing equipment in 1903 and the area acquired the nickname « The Birthplace of Speed » In 1907 Glenn Curtiss set an unofficial world record of 136.36 miles per hour (219.45 km/h), on a 40-horsepower (30 kW) 269 cu in (4,410 cc) Curtiss V-8 motorcycle. Lee Bible, in the record-breaking, but fatal, White Triplex, was less fortunate. I was driving a Ford Mustang then due to the fact that is the NASCAR and car/bike racing heaven !! I am a lifelong Ford owner !!


Driving on the beach is still permitted on some stretches, and now paying. When my time there it was free ,there goes the times,,, The historic shopping district located along Granada Boulevard from A1A to Orchard Street is home to dozens of locally-owned shops and restaurants along with historic and cultural sites. Yes indeed such as the Casements and my favorite spots in town.

A bit of history on the are drawn from memory and internet as I like it

Among the first Anglo settlers of Ormond by Sea (where I actually lived) in the area was Chauncey A. Bacon, an architect and American Civil War veteran from New Britain, Connecticut, who in 1876 purchased 172 acres (0.70 km2) in present-day Ormond-by-the-Sea and named it the Number Nine Plantation. The Bacons later constructed a larger home, which still stands on John Anderson Drive,(by the Halifax river) from salvaged mahogany logs that washed ashore from the City of Vera Cruz shipwreck.  The property was also planted with a large fruit grove featuring oranges, grapefruit, lemons, loquats and guavas, among others. By the turn of the century, the Bacons had a thriving home business selling brandied figs and their best-selling “Number 9 Guava Jelly.” The business survived until 1968, and the jelly house was demolished to make way for a subdivision in 1984, Again modern times infringement !! Another early settler was Leonard B. Knox, who developed a citrus plantation known as Mound Grove, located along High Bridge Road (by the famous bike loop ride ! ) near its crossing with Bulow Creek. It was Knox’s son Donald who planted the Canary Islands date palms which currently line the road. Part of the property also included a waterside building that operated as Uncle Guy’s Fish Camp between the 1930s and 1950s. The property was subsequently acquired by Dick Cobb, who operated a bar and restaurant out of the building, which became known as “Cobb’s Corner.” (My memorable spot !before closing ), The business closed in 1976, although portions of the structure remained until finally turn down in 2007.

Despite these early settlements, nearly all of present-day Ormond-by-the-Sea remained undeveloped until the 1950s, when the area began to develop in earnest as a retirement community.  Approximately one mile north on A1A, ( Ocean Shores blvd next to ocean) near the intersection of A1A and Spanish Waters Drive, stands a watch tower constructed in 1942 by the Coast Guard Reserve to look out for German U-boats operating off the coast. The tower was restored in 2004 and is one of the last remaining examples of a WWII era observation tower on the Florida coast.

The city of Ormond Beach on the birthplace of Speed

The Florida State tourist board on Ormond Beach

There you go folks, I feel much better to have given the full credit it deserves to this wonderful spot in my life. Again, plenty on Florida in my blog , but this is unique , I say the real Florida most folks don’t come to see and they should, As said, many wonderful memories of the Sunshine State, not to ever forget them. We made a decision to move to France and we do not regretted either as it has been a roller coaster of fun and memories. We still very much attach to France thanks to dear late wife Martine, courage and determination. Never to be forgotten. Hope you enjoy the post and Ormond Beach, Ormond by the Sea as I.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

May 27, 2022

Wines news of France XXII !!

And the days are getting cooler again , well is like a roller coaster ride ups and downs in my neck of the woods, Anyway, always good to bring the best of Wine news of France. First ,thanks to all my readers and/or followers! Spring is in full swing, and looking forward to Summer ! We have done quite a bit of work around the house,and still some more until September , Oh yeah, the wines of France are just super simply awesome and a great tradition. Often imitated, some time equaled ,but never surpass! Let me give some news shall we; hope you enjoy it as I.

Created by a few owners wishing to discover new commercial horizons, the Union des grands crus de Bordeaux is today a war machine in the service of wines. It was decided to create the Union of Grands Crus de Bordeaux (UGCB) by reviving an old association which brought together properties from Barsac, Sauternes, Graves and Médoc, forgetting in passing the right bank. This group of pioneers then brought together, among others, in addition to the Château Haut-Brion, Château d’Yquem and Château Figeac , as the pioneers, Then, other came such as Alexis Lichine & Cie, Groupe Bernard, which notably owns the Domaine de Chevalier in Léognan, and the Château Branaire-Ducru, Given the success of these tastings in Bordeaux, the union decided to export the concept first to Paris, then to London, and Brussels , At the same time, the union saw the number of its members reach 130 properties. The Union is a very beautiful signature and a way of recognizing wine in Bordeaux, The Bordelais is the first AOC vineyard in France with more than 100,000 hectares cultivated and 600 million bottles produced per year ! Voilà !! webpage :

A vintage full of challenges in Bordeaux, 2021 will have been the way for some châteaux to stand out, with cuvées better rated than in 2020. A heterogeneous vintage, and therefore exciting. This is what we could remember from 2021, a trying year for the Bordeaux vineyards, after an absolutely remarkable 2018-2019-2020 trio, If no appellation has been spared, we find within each excellent wines, with side of the reds a freshness with sweet reminiscences of the 1980s and 1990s, and whites which seduced us by their freshness and their purity, Indeed seek them out while the price is still right,,,, Some of my favorites over the years and direct with MR,,,are

Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion “The most intensely energetic wine of the vintage”, Pessac-Léognan
Château Latour “A cashmere texture” Pauillac
Château Ducru-Beaucaillou “Caressing like silk” Saint-Julien
Château Lafite Rothschild “A unique and indefinable character” Pauillac
Château Pichon-Longueville Baron “A beautiful fullness in the mouth” Pauillac
Château Léoville Las Cases “Limpidity and nubile suppleness” Saint-Julien
Château Margaux “A more fresh, succulent and racy style than usual” Margaux
Château Margaux – White Pavilion “A Delicious Creamy” Bordeaux
Château Mouton-Rothschild “Exceptional clarity and limpidity” Pauillac (MR)
Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande “A wine imbued with great serenity” Pauillac
Château Brane-Cantenac “The harmonious sweetness of the maternal voice” Margaux
Château Palmer “Floral, juicy, seductive” Margaux
Château Trotanoy “A beautiful controlled explosion of fruit” Pomerol
Château Cos D’Estournel “A treat on the palate” Saint-Estèphe
Château Léoville Poyferré “The silhouette of a distinguished man” Saint-Julien
Château Cantenac Brown “A sumptuous balance” Margaux
Château Grand Puy Lacoste “Muscular and Powerful” Pauillac
Château Clerc Milon “A poised and elegant palate” Pauillac (MR)

Based on figures from Customs, and the support of the statistics department of the CIVB (Interprofessional Council of Bordeaux wines), the Union of Bordeaux Grands Crus observes export sales data for wines from more than 22.50 euros per bottle (750 ml) – (ex-professional price, Bordeaux merchant). Last year, exports of grands crus from Bordeaux, in this price segment, amounted to 1.366 billion euros (in value), which is a record. The previous one dated from 2012, with 1.201 billion. This corresponds to 16.249 million bottles (in volume), also a record. Asia, with 43% of sales, is progressing, but has been less dynamic than the United States and Europe in recent years. Europe, with 37% of sales, is rebounding. America: 17% of sales, which are showing strong structural growth. Main destinations in 2021. Greater China (Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau) represents 30% of exports by value, United States They represent 15% ,United Kingdom 14.5% , Switzerland 9% , Germany 4% ,Japan 3% , Belgium 2.8% , Singapore 2.4% ,Taiwan 2% ,and South Korea 1.75%, All speed ahead !! En Vino Veritas !!

Let me tell you about a success story in spirits which we have enjoyed as apéritifs and mixing with the boys, This is the Maison Ferrand, producer of Cognac, precursor of gin in France, also distills rum in Jamaica and Barbados. And they aged a few barrels aboard a barge on the Seine Paris. Spirits are on the rise, and the trajectories of some companies in the sector seem as dazzling as a shot of gniaule for breakfast. Thus, those who loved Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson or the adventures of Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean can plunge their eyes closed into the story of Alexandre Gabriel, a contemporary hero. for having contributed to the constitution of the Oxford guide to spirits and cocktails. It is the precursor of the French-style Citadelle gin. At the same time, the category is waking up in the United Kingdom with Plymouth, which is repopularizing this aging spirit. During the confinement, his wife, Debbie, a rather urban American, left the Parisian apartment to join him in Cognaç country. Maison Ferrand also produces rum, in Jamaica and Barbados , They have settled in Jamaica, in the village of Wai-a-Bit, Barbados has also become a research site for Maison Ferrand , The boat on the Seine, well is a Freycinet barge moored at Issy-les-Moulineaux (92), in the arm of the Seine which runs along the Saint-Germain island. A 38.5 meter boat recovered in its juice in Brittany, restored and transformed into a floating aging cellar. He raises cognacs and rums there in the beneficial humidity and the rolling of the boat. Apart from that, Maison Ferrand remains a venerable cognac brand specializing in grand champagne. The house has created 10 Generations, a 100% grand champagne. It has acquired the Château de Bonbonnet, a beautiful 18C castle, in the town of Ars (16), webpage :

Now this is an art of cooking and we love it at this time where we can do barbecues in the patio, The pairing is always part of the art of eating and drinking here in my belle France ; so therefore, what wines for grilled sardines? First a bit about the sardines : if they approach the banks of the coasts of the Mediterranean, Atlantic, and English Channel in spring and summer to spawn and lay eggs, the sardine spends the winter in very cold waters, between 500 and 600 meters deep. And then protects itself with a thick layer of fat. But “good” fat, rich in omega 3 excellent for the human heart and its vessels. The sardine is mainly intended to be grilled whole on a barbecue. But the operation generates strong odors that are particularly unpleasant for the neighborhood,,,. Simply rub the fish with bay leaves first, then pour a few drops of vinegar flavored with thyme and rosemary onto the embers. It will be necessary to wash it down with sunny wines, white, rosé or red, but always assertive enough to stand up to this exuberant dish. The white, we have tried the sauvignon blanc or chardonnay base from the Loire or Bordeaux, A Condrieu, with its beautiful volume and its floral bouquet, will come to soften the salty aspect of the sardines For a rosé, we will stay in the same appellations, To find a red, it is possible to travel in time with Loire Cab Franc or the historical Berlingou ( a grape gift of the duke of Burgundy to his cousin the duke of Brittany in 1460!) Bon appétit!

And my fav event which will love to be there, still planning will have to be with the nice memorable wines of Bergerac & Duras as well as the products of Périgord , They invite us all on Thursday, June 9, 2022 aboard the Péniche Louisiane Belle 12éme Paris Metro line 1 and 4: Gare de Lyon / RER A and D: Gare de Lyon. Embark on the discovery of the Périgord Attitude! Come (re)discover the artisan winegrowers of the 10 AOPs of the Bergerac & Duras vineyard, during a great tasting. At their side, 7 sectors of Périgord come to present their local products for delicious gourmet pairings: Duck / Foie Gras from Périgord, Lamb from Périgord, Walnuts from Périgord, Chestnuts from Périgord ; all Perigord ! Wow ! webpage for info on boat :

There you go folks, another wine episode of my belle France! The wines of France that is, superbe, sublime, wonderful, gorgeous, enjoy without moderation but accompanying a meal, family table just perfect. See you in the vineyards of France.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

May 27, 2022

Basketball and Real Madrid !!

I have to update this older post as the team is again in Europe’s final four, the culmination of a great season that also has them ready for the Liga or league playoffs in Spain. Usually , I write more on the football/soccer team but I and my boys also follow the basketball team. Of course, I introduce them early to the Real Madrid with me a lifelong member of the greatest club in the history of the sport of football and basketball, no one else does it better in Europe. However, what I seems to missed the basketball side of Real Madrid, almost as good as the football/soccer side. Therefore, here is my side of the story on the basketball and Real Madrid !! The update is they reach the final of the Final four and lost to last year’s champion Efes, but nevertheless a wonderful season once again from the best of all time! Efes has 2 we have 10 !!

The team plays in the Liga Endesa as sponsor carries the name or the ACB, that was created in 1983. The team was born in March 22, 1931! I follow the team since the 1970’s at the time of Emiliano Rodriguez, Clifford Luyk, Wayne Brabender, and Juan Antonio Corbalàn! My favorite coaches were Raimundo Saporte,  Pedro Ferrandiz, Lolo Saenz who I kept a personal contact over the years!, and the current one Pablo Laso!

I started watching the games in the early 70’s at the Pabéllon de la Ciudad Deportiva (Sports City) that held games from 1966 to 1986.  Afterward was name the Pabellon Raimundo Soporta. Today there are four buildings towers there name Cuatro Torres business area or CTBA( four towers).For reference these are  the Espace tower at  224 meters; Cristal tower at 249 meters which has a hotel as well, the PwC tower 236 meters ,and the Cepsa tower at 250 meters (highest of Madrid and Spain). This Sportd city is where I started my training with the Real Madrid football/soccer team when lived in Madrid!

Later the team move to Palacio Vista Alegre (that was an old bullfight arena) in 2004-2010 where I came to see them many times with my dear late wife Martine! and the boysAn enthusiastic fan following us all over, And now , the palace is still use for concerts, events etc. Well at least have some older pictures for the memories such as the game derby vs Estudiantes 2009 on pic below.and after crowds before game

Madrid vista alegre Real Madrid 2009

Madrid vista alegre 2009



Finally, the current home is WiZink Center and doing so since 2011! under various names until the current one in 2016. This is at Avenida Felipe II and Plaza Salvador Dali , near metro Goya line 2 and 4 as well as O’Donnell line 6 circular line. Of course, this is a multi use center with many concerts etc but basketball is the official home.See pic in front the Dolmen by Dali !



The basketball section has won many titles over the year been on the same level as the football/soccer team; on the European level these are:

Winner of the European Champion Clubs’ Cup – Euroleague:(10) 1964, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1974, 1978, 1980, 1995, 2015, 2018, 

Winner of ULEB Cup: 2007. 

Winner of the Saporta Cup: 1984, 1989, 1992, 1997. 

Winner of the Korać Cup: 1988.

 Winner of the Intercontinental Cup: 1976, 1977, 1978, 2015. 

Winner of the World Club Championship: 1981

Winner of the Latina Cup: 1952-1953. 

Winner of Torneo Internacional ACB (European Super Clubs): 1984, 1988, 1989.

And on the national level:  Spanish Champion (35): 1957, 1958, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1993, 1994, 2000, 2005, 2007, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019

Winner of the Spanish Cup (28): Under the name Copa del Generalísimo: 1951, 1952, 1954, 1956, 1957, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, Under the name Copa del Rey, King’s Cup: 1977, 1985, 1986, 1989, 1993, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. 2020

Winner of the Spanish Supercup (8): 1985, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2018.2019,2020,2021.

The Euroleague is currently in its Final Four format and we will be playing our arch rivals in Spain that will remain nameless, This would probably be a repeat in the playoffs in the Spanish Endesa league. Well we beat the rivals in another clasico in semi finals but lost the final, overall a great season for us.

The official Real Madrid store other than the stadium our favorite is at Calle del Carmen near Puerta del Sol : webpage :

The official Real Madrid on the basketball section

For my memories and others this is the old Sports City now Four Towers business area from the Madrid tourist office

The former basketball home of the Palacio Vista Alegre , today events center:

The current basketball home of Real Madrid also for many eventsn, Wizink Center:

There you go folks, it’s wonderful to be part of this Real Madrid organisation since early teens years and forever; do come on over and see a game while in Madrid!!! Hala Madrid!!!  See my previous posts on the Real Madrid in my blog, just search! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

%d bloggers like this: