Archive for January 3rd, 2023

January 3, 2023

Spruce Creek fly-in of Port Orange !!

I was seaching into my vault and found a picture. Going back to my times in Volusia County, Florida, where I went to my Univ studies,got married to a wonderful Frenchie Martine, had my first son and just a ton of wonderful memories…One of these memorable spots had to do with Spruce Creek Fly In community in Port Orange just 27 km or 17 mi south of my former home in Ormond by the Sea, Wonderful countryside on the mainland. Port Orange is on the other side of the Intracoastal waterways so no beach, for that you need to turn into Dunlawton avenue over the bridge into Daytona Beach Shores left or Wilbur by the Sea right. This is my story and theirs ; hope you enjoy it as I, Memories forever !!

I happened to be here because my father did tile pool work for a man FD who was one of the founders of the Sabre reservation system for American Airlines and lived there so my father tag me alone. Because the anecdote of the trip this men neighbor was John Travolta and wife Cynthia which I met!!! Unfortunately rather private encounter and no photos allowed of his Cessna 310 jet lol! What I did get was a ride on our friend Cessna 172 all over the Kennedy Space center and back, with my family so it is nostalgic for me indeed.

Port Orange spruce creek fly in sabre frank cessna 172 and us

Spruce Creek Airport  is a private airport and housing community located in Port Orange, originally constructed during WWII as an outlying field to nearby Naval Air Station DeLand and Daytona Beach. Port Orange was settled by John Milton Hawks who brought freed blacks to work at his sawmill after the US Civil War.  The colony struggled soon after its creation and most colonists left. The area that became known as Freemanville is a legacy of the settlers who stayed in the area, It is also,known for the harbor or port where oranges were shipped all over therefore the name of Port OrangeThe Spruce Creek Fly-in is west of the I95 interstate highway .The best way to get there is get on US 1 (South Ridgewood ave) and turn right into the Dunlawton avenue or SR 421, it then becomes Taylor Road (we did drag racing here during good old college days!!) this is still the SR 421. Then turn left on the Spruce Creek Blvd you have a couple turns remaining but signs lead you to Spruce Creek Fly in.

A bit of the history I like

A Naval Air Operational Training Base, was completed in late 1943 in what is now occupied by Spruce Creek. The base was constructed as a training facility and had three runways crisscrossing as well as an extra runway intersecting it, The Spruce Creek facility was decommissioned and eventually sold in 1957 to the City of Daytona Beach which intended to build an industrial park but never made it to fruition. During the early 60’s, the “Samsula Airport”, as it was then named, was used by the locals as a recreational place to drag race, camp and fish Also famous for bikers to smash other bikes that were not hogs or Harley-Davidson during Bike Week, memories forever !!

Around 1964, it was offered to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Institute, which was looking for a new campus to move its Miami facility. Embry-Riddle eventually moved to the Daytona Municipal airport in 1965 (now International !)after deciding that they did not want the responsibility for maintaining an airport themselves.Embry-Riddle had began in 1925 as the Embry-Riddle Company, founded by Talton Higbee Embry and John Paul Riddle (I met him!) in Cincinnati, Ohio. Embry-Riddle was eventually incorporated into what is now American Airlines, before reforming during the buildup to WWII in Miami,as the Embry-Riddle School of Aviation, and later, the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Institute. In 1970, the school was renamed Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (I arrived in 1977, graduated in 1982).

The thing about Spruce Creek was that “Mac” Conway during the early 1960s, made a survey of surplus military airfields in Florida ,and during the late 60’s and early 70’s, Conway planned and promoted a number of fly-in developments at former military bases in Florida , One of the sites which particularly appealed to Conway was the old Samsula airfield near Daytona Beach. Conway assembled a group of investors, mostly Atlanta pilot-friends, and laid out a plan to pool their money to buy the property and arrange with a Florida developer to implement the project. They incorporated their company and named it “Fly-in Concept”. The city officials approved the plan and in early 1969 signed the purchase contract, and in July, 1970 the site plan was finally approved and the project officially launched. The primary focus of the Fly-in Concept investors was the recreational aspects of a secluded place where they could fly their airplanes to. Their private getaway offered plenty of natural areas and an unspoiled Creek to go fishing. They graded a taxiway from the end of the runway to the creek for easy access, In the late 70’s, Thompson Properties Inc. of Florida, led by Jay Thompson, acquired the 1,400 acres Spruce Creek Airport and immediately started work on updating Conway’s original vision. Today, only a few undeveloped lots remain and the community is literally a thriving private city. Thompson developed the Spruce Creek Country Club together with club house, tennis courts, pool, restaurant, meeting facilities and an 18-hole championship Golf course to complement the airport. Of the original military airfield, one runway remains (5-23) as the others were closed or turned into taxiways over the years. The strip is a wide, modern 4,000 ft x 150 ft asphalt-surfaced military-spec runway economically impossible to duplicate in todays’ terms and unique in the world. It has a GPS approach and landing lights which allow 24-hr access. The Spruce Creek airport can accommodate anything from a Stearman to a Gulfstream II. It has 1,300 homes and 700 hangars sharing a unique life in this private gated village. 24-hr patrolled security complements the safety, privacy and enjoyment of the residents

Some other things to see in Port Orange are the Freemanville Historic Site at 3431 Ridgewood Ave. Cracker Creek at 1795 Taylor Rd. This 20 acre sanctuary is a natural home for a variety of endangered plants and animals that can be seen by boat or by foot , In my univ years we used to race cars alont Taylor Rd !! Riverwalk Park at 3459 S Ridgewood Avenue, The park is split into two sections bordering the Riverside Pavilion on the Halifax River , This is a great park with wonderful views over the intra coastal or Halifax river ! A wonderful place to eat of memorable moments with the family and still going strong !! is the Aunt Catfish’s on the river restaurant at 4009 Halifax Dr.

The city of Port Orange on its history

The Spruce Creek fly in on its history

The Spruce Creek airport:

There you go folks, another nostalgia lane story of yours truly. Yes it has been a long trek on various continents and countries and what not, all worth it, very rich, and always missing these places as a reluctant traveler does always. Hope you enjoy Spruce Creek Fly In at Port Orange as I. They said, to remember is to live again or something like that….

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

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January 3, 2023

Curiosities of Dieppe !!!

The wonderful memorable city of Dieppe is in the département 76 of Seine-Maritime in the region of Normandie. It has been called the city of the four harbors in the Caux country ,about 170 km from Paris,in the deep valley of the Arques. We have come here often, more when living in Versailles; but still nice memories of Dieppe. I found some older personal pictures not in my blog and feel they should as this is my life’s history, Dieppe is in the Côte d’Albâtre or Alabaster coast stretches 130 km from the Seine bay to the Somme bay., Let me tell you some curiosities of Dieppe !!!

The Grand Casino de Dieppe is actually the fifth in time in Dieppe. The first casino was established in 1822 thanks to the Count of Brancas, sub-prefect of the city. In 1857, a new casino with vaults and glass roofs was done, On June 15, 1886, the Moorish casino gave Dieppe its brand image. outdated, it was modified to make way for an Art Deco-style casino. This was destroyed during WWII. After the war, from 1946 to 1961, temporary wooden casinos or Villa Rachel on the seafront served as a replacement casino. In 1961, Villa Rachel was demolished to make way for the current casino. The Casino, has a four star Hotel, bistronomic restaurant, shows and concerts, reception rooms, offers you an entertainment complex conducive to relaxation and well-being to satisfy all your needs 93 slot machines state-of-the-art slot including 9 Video Poker. 3D slots, bonus rounds, moving seats… Bring the Bank to its knees on our Blackjack and Ultimate Poker tables. To vary the pleasures, have fun guessing which number will come out in English Roulette. Bet at your fingertips, in privacy, on our 20 electronic terminals. Play English Roulette on two reels and switch to BlackJack. The casino is located at 3 Boulevard de Verdun facing the sea, Webpage :

dieppe casino PF sep07

The lighthouse – west pier with a concrete tower with dwelling done in1990, The west pier is longer than the east pier facing it. It was indeed extended to better protect the outer harbor during the installation of the ferry terminal there. On the cliff is the military semaphore. It is operational 24/7. He is in charge of monitoring boats off Dieppe. A meteorological station sends the day’s weather data to Météo France, The current marina is located in the basin which before 1994 welcomed car ferries. This Jehan Ango basin is a tidal basin: the water level changes with the tides. Today fitted out for yachting, it also accommodates service boats (tug, lifeboat, pilot boat, etc.) as well as a few fishing boats along the Quai du Carénage. The advantage of the Dieppe marina is to be accessible at all times, both at high tide and at low tide. webpage:

Dieppe kids at pont end quai henri IV jul09

Dieppe port plaisance the boys sep07

Lasting 4 hours to connect England and France, the crossing can be made with or without a vehicle with up to 18 ferry crossings per week , Built in 2005 and 2006, sister ships Côte d’Albâtre and Seven Sisters operate on the Dieppe-Newhaven line. Both vessels operate under the Transmanche Ferries brand. Onboard facilities include a lounge with a stunning bay window with panoramic sea views, a bar, a restaurant, a boutique and a children’s play area. You’ll also find tranquil lounges on board where you can relax and sleep, as well as expansive outdoor decks and 50 en-suite cabins. webpage:

Dieppe pedro at ferry to newhaven uk sep07

The Porte de Dieppe gate, also known as the west port gate or the Tourelles or turrets, was built at the end of the 15C. The so-called Tourelles gate consists of a vaulted passage, flanked by two circular towers crowned by two conical roofs. This gate is the only remaining of the seven old town gates, five of which overlooked the sea. Together with the castle and the rampart wall near the old Tour aux crabes,or Crab tower, it constitutes one of the last vestiges of the town’s fortifications. These were probably built as early as the 11C, and then regularly rebuilt to finally be destroyed in the 19C. Over the centuries, the Tourelles bore several names including Porte du Port d’Ouest and served as a prison, probably from the end of the Middle Ages until 1825, when the prisoners were transferred to the new prison built in Pollet, on the site of the Capuchin convent. The building was sold to a private individual in the middle of the 19C and remained private for a century. La Porte des Tourelles or Dieppe now houses the headquarters of the association responsible for the international kite festival which is held in Dieppe every two years. since 1980. webpage:

Dieppe porte de dieppe kids sep07

Several more webpages to help you plan your trip to wonderful Dieppe; hope it helps

The City of Dieppe :

The Dieppe tourist office :

The Seine Maritime dept 76 tourist office on Dieppe:

The Normandie region tourist board on Dieppe:

There you go folks, a wonderful visit to a nice town of Dieppe, Hope you enjoy the curiosities of Dieppe as I, Dieppe is worth the detour indeed.  And remember, happy travels , good Health, and many cheers to all !!!

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January 3, 2023

The salt marshes of Guérande !!

I will take you south of me , close, toGuérande, one of the best if not the best salt of Franceand a lot more. See my many posts on the city in my blog. Guérande is just over an hour from my home, a fortified town and home of the Salt. I got there as usual by my road warrior instincts, following the N165 direction Nantes and getting off at La Roche Bernard taking direction La Baule , to Guérande on the road D774. Guérande is located in the Loire-Atlantique dept 44 of the Pays de la Loire region. However, old Bretagne and very much feels that way.

The salt marshes of Guérande are an area of salt marshes located on the territory of the towns of Guérande, Batz-sur-Mer, Le Croisic and La Turballe . About 20 km to the north is another salt basin, the Mès marshes, which are associated with those of Guérande as part of the salt basin of the Guérande peninsula. The salt marshes in Guérande are bordered by departmental roads 774 and 245.


The working technique was fixed in the 15C. Embankment and hydraulic works reached their peak between the 14C and 17C; the last saltworks were built at the end of the 18C on either side of the Grand Traict, at Sissable and at the tip of Sinabat, Following the storms of 1877, 1880, 1894 and 1900 which washed away several hundred meters of levees, a “dike union” was created in 1901. The dikes were reinforced by masonry walls. After WWII, the salt producers of the Atlantic coast created cooperatives: the most important was that of the Guérande peninsula. These cooperatives are grouped within the National Federation of Atlantic Salt Producers’ Cooperatives. On average, the Guérande saltworks produce around 10,000 tonnes of salt each year, The production of Guérande salt is a 100% natural know-how The coarse salt, which is harvested from the clayey bottom of the marsh, is naturally gray in color , and it is rich in magnesium and oligo elements. Fleur de sel, on the other hand, is picked from the surface of the marsh, and consists of fine white snow crystals.


In 2002, inauguration of the tourist reception structure “Terre de Sel” , On March 20, 2012, Guérande salt obtained Protected Geographical Indication (IGP) from the European Commission. The fauna and flora of the site are varied with Birds, Marine animals, Insects, Mammals, Amphibians, and lots of Flora.

Several informational webpages to help you plan your trip,which is worth the detour, me think

The city of Guérande on the salt marshes visits:

The house of Salt workers or paludiers in Guérande:

The Terre de Sel org on planning visits :

The official Guerande Salt

The local La Baule-Guérande tourist office on the salt marshes of Guérande:

There you go folks, in wonderful Guérande , see the salt marshes or marais salants , an unique environment worth the detour me think, Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

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