Archive for ‘Americas’

August 25, 2021

Memories of Chile and Colombia!!

Ok so feeling nostalgic again and so sorry could not find any pictures! These were the times I traveled from Florida USA to the Americas, and pictures are very few if any as in those times I was into post cards collection (4K+ 76 countries). Once I stop the collection, pictures took over on popular travel forums and then explosion over to my blog.

Therefore, just for memories’s sake on my black and white series,no pictures let me tell you a bit about Bogotà, Colombia, and Santiago, Chile Hope you enjoy it as I did bringing back these memorable moments of my early travels in our world.

Bogotà is the capital of Colombia and also that of the department of Cundinamarca. It was founded on August 6, 1538 by the Spaniard Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada , The city is composed of 20 districts, Bogota became the capital of Greater (Gran) Colombia until 1830, when the dissolution of that state gave birth to what are today Ecuador, Venezuela and Colombia, as well later Panama proclaimed independence in 1903.

The presence of numerous museums, theaters and libraries contributes to offering the city a situation of great cultural interest. The city is nicknamed “South American Athens” , Bogotà is located at an altitude of 2,640 meters above sea level, in the Cordillera Oriental of the northern Andes mountains. Guadalupe and Monserrate cerros or hills border the Bogotà savannah to the east. On the Cerro de Guadalupe is erected a small chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe and a statue 15 meters high. On the Cerro de Monserrate is built a basilica, the Basílica del Señor de Monserrate.

Thanks for fellow blogger comments it remind me did went to the Catedral de Sal or salt cathedral in Zipaquirà just outside Bogotà; I was taken there taking a train from Bogotà and then taxi if I recall.  Now there is a bus I am told that takes you here. Memories fading but great ones to share and add to this memorable post. official webpage in Spanish: https://www.catedraldesal.gov.co/ParquedelaSal/Paginas/Mapa.aspx

Ah there you go I went by train de la Sabana at the time and still running!! more in their official webpage: https://www.turistren.com.co/?page_id=147

I always came here by air landing/and out at the El Dorado International Airport, located in Fontibón, webpage: https://eldorado.aero/

I stayed always at the Travelers Suite Obelisco (it was called Gold then) located at Calle 115 ,no 11 A-27 , and always there by car pickup by the attorney for the orphanage financed by singer Shakira ! Webpage : https://www.travelers.com.co/es/obelisco

I of course, ate out a lot but unfortunately do not recall the names as this was from the 90’s until 2001. This is the sad part of not keeping pictures in those days, memories are fading. Hopefully, this post will keep the remainder for me one day to be back and seek them out. Bogotà is one pin in my world map. I ,also, took side business trips to Cali and Medellin, staying in same hotel chain as above.

The Colombia tourist board on Bogotàhttps://colombia.travel/en/blog/tourism-bogota-city-experiencing-culture

The city of Bogotà on its historyhttps://bogota.gov.co/mi-ciudad/historia-de-bogota

And now let me tell you about a lointime country I used to visit regularly almost every month as well as above sometimes in combination trips. This is Santiago de Chile, let me tell you a bit on my memories there.

Santiago de Chile is the capital of Chile, It is located in the Central Valley, It has been the Chilean capital since colonial times. The city boasts of a city center with neoclassical architecture and winding streets, notably dotted with Art Deco and Neo-Gothic styles. Santiago’s urban landscape is formed by independent hills and the city is crossed by the Mapocho River, dotted by elegant parks such as Parque Forestal. The imposing Andes mountain range is visible from many places in the city. Urban activity has caused the development of pollution clouds, especially during the winter months. The city is surrounded by vineyards , such as the Concha y Toro winery that I visited with local friends and nice tastings and a shirt on Sunrise brand which I kept for several years! and Santiago remains a few hours from the mountains and the Pacific Ocean.

The city of Santiago encompasses its agglomeration which forms the Gran Santiago and which is made up of 34 towns such as the 32 towns of the province of Santiago, plus the towns of Puente Alto and San Bernardo, belonging respectively to the provinces of Cordillera and Maipo. The city is dominated by the Andes cordillera and is located at the foot of Aconcagua , nice thermal baths here that was taken to, I remember! (highest peak of the Andes marking the border with Argentina) and to the west, it gradually approaches the cordillera de la Costa which separates Santiago from the Pacific Ocean and the region of Valparaíso. Santiago is located 102 km from Valparaiso, the transport system is called Transantiago, I always came by air and pickup at the airport Arturo Merino Benitez,webpage: https://www.nuevopudahuel.cl/

A bit of history I like tells us that Santiago was founded on February 12, 1541 by the Spaniard Pedro de Valdivia, who gave it the name of Santiago de la Nueva Extremadura in memory of the Spanish apostle Saint James and Extremadura. The founding ceremony of Santiago was held on Huelén Hill (later renamed Santa Lucia de Santiago Hill). One item I like and visit is that Santiago is the birthplace of Chile’s greatest football/soccer teams. And my favorite there was founded on April 19, 1925, the Club Social y Deportivo Colo-Colo has a long tradition and has played regularly among the elite since the creation of the Primera División (first division) in 1933.

On the other hand, only a few historic buildings from the Spanish colonial period remain, because in Santiago, as in the rest of the country, earthquakes regularly strike the country. The existing buildings include the Colorada House (1769), the San Francisco Church (1586), the Santo Domingo Church (1747-1771) and the Posada del Corregidor in (1750). The cathedral in Plaza de Armas has a view to the Palacio de La Moneda, the presidential palace. Also, the colonial Colorada house (1769), which houses the Santiago Museum. There is also the Municipal Theater , built in 1857, Not far from the theater are the manor of Subercaseaux and the National Library of Chile, one of the largest libraries in South America. the National Museum of Fine Arts of Santiago ;and National Museum of Natural History of Chile are fine places to visit.

My favorite hangouts that I can remember were at the Plaza de Armas It is located in the quadrant surrounded by the Catedral and Calle Monjitas , Calle 21 de Mayo and Calle Estado, Calle Compañía and Calle Merced, as well as Paseo Ahumada and Paseo Puente . Under the square is the metro Plaza de Armas for lines 3 and 5.

Another popular walk that I remember now was the Paseo de Ahumada. The Paseo Ahumada is of pedestrian use located between the Plaza de Armas and Avenida del Libertador General Bernardo O’Higgins (Alameda), it is the road with the highest pedestrian flow in Chile! Since the founding of the city of Santiago, the alley that connected the Plaza Mayor with the San Francisco gorge was known as the block of the Ahumada family, because the councilor Juan de Ahumada had his residence there. In this way, it is the only street that has kept the name of one of the Spanish conquerors since its origin. A pleasant moving spot in Santiago to this day.

My apartment was at Avenida Providencia corner with Avenida Ricardo Lyon no 100, below was /is the Paris dept Store branch, at Ave Providencia 2221, right by metro Los Leones line 6, and my office was at Calle San Diego, which I took the metro couple times but mostly went there by car; this is closed long time ago almost after my last visit in 2001.

I remember visiting the shopping mall of Alto Las Condes in Avenida Presidente Kennedy and shop in the Falabella dept store (our client!) ,webpage featuring the store : https://www.altolascondes.cl/tiendas/falabella-0

I have great long distance memories of the Mercado Central visiting and eating in it, This is a wonderful place even if now I am told has become very touristic, still for the ambiance is worth a visit me think, The market is a large metal structure in galvanized iron, the elements of which were melted in England. Completed in 1868, the building was inaugurated on the occasion of the National Exhibition of 1872. Today, the ensemble includes a large number of small premises where you can taste Chilean specialties, or buy handicrafts. See the Chile tourist office video on the Mercado Central : https://santiagochile.com/mercado-central/

Also, the restaurant Ocean Pacific Calle Ricardo Cummings 97 with a glass floor and great seafood, glad remembered it and still there! Watch the video and see what I mean! webpage : https://www.oceanpacifics.cl/

From Santiago I took bus rides into Viña del Mar (passing by the building of the music festival!) and Valparaiso as well as a friend took to eat at his restaurant in the hill by Artilleria o museo naval of Valparaiso by car ! The view to the port was awesome, I was able to visit on brief business trips to Puerto Montt, Arica, Iquique, and Temuco.

The Santiago de Chile tourist office : http://www.santiagocapital.cl/categorias/home/lugares-tipicos/

The city of Santiago de Chile on its history/heritage; https://www.munistgo.cl/historia-2/

The Chile tourist board on Santiago de Chile : https://chile.travel/en/where-to-go/central-area-santiago-and-valparaiso/santiago

There you go folks, nice memories for me and maybe for you. Share your stories on these two countries and be glad you remember. Maybe help me remember more of them. Bogotà and Santiago de Chile are two spot in our world dear to me, part of my travel history, which now glad firmly in my blog.

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

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August 23, 2021

Windjammers Barefoot Cruises, Fantome!

This is a memorable experience that have been kept in my heart for many years when as a young men cruise the Caribbean sea from island to island! Those were the seafaring days of youth and single in Florida! I like to bring back this memorable moment of mine and hope you enjoy it too. Let me tell you a bit more of the Windjammers Barefoot Cruises, Fantome!

I had in my earlier life enjoy cruisings especially the singles kind… This was wonderful cruises to the Caribbean and it was awesome (see post on my sailings). Even now the memories are vivid and nice even in the sadness of it all.  I came many many years back into the Windjammers Barefoot Cruises and was booked a cruise to the Caribbean British Virgin Islands I believe was like in 1987-1988 but can’t recall exactly. I went on to two more cruises into the Roatan , Honduras and Costa Rica areas but the Virgin Islands was tops. 

As I came up with articles to write in my blog; I read the book, and I decided to rend hommage to the folks who took these cruises and especially those that perished at sea on the SV Fantome! Here is a bit of their story.

fantome-cruiseboat-front-saililng

The Windjammer Barefoot Cruises was a leisure cruise line based in Miami Beach, Florida.  Founded in 1947 by Michael Burke, the company scheduled one and two week cruises in the Caribbean and Central America, using a fleet of sailing ships. The ships were former yachts and commercial vessels that were refurbished as cruise vessels, accommodating 60–100 paying passengers and 20–40 officers and crewmembers. The ships were refitted to resemble 19C sailing vessels called windjammers. Caribbean itineraries included the British Virgin Islands, French West Indies, Grenadines, the ABC islands, and the Bahamas. Recent and former Central American itineraries included Costa Rica, Panama, Honduras, and Belize.

fantome-cruiseboat-back-sailing

In September 2007, Windjammer’s entire fleet was suspended from operating any further cruises. All remaining parts of the company that were still operating were shut down in April 2008. Later that year, the company’s assets were auctioned off. The four ships they operated are all laid up and were left in a neglected state of condition. It was a sad ending to a tragic event.

My boat, the Fantome was a 679-ton staysail schooner. Completed in 1927 for the Duke of Westminster,  it was purchased by Windjammer in 1969, and became flagship of the fleet. During its twenty-nine years of service in this regard, Fantome offered cruises in the Caribbean and the Bay of Honduras. She was lost in October 1998, during Hurricane Mitch.

tortola BVI going ashore from fantome 1988

A bit of the story of the Fantome I like

Originally ordered for the Italian navy but before completion was purchased by the Duke of Westminster, who finished her as a yacht  in 1927.  The Duke of Westminster used the Fantome only a few years before it changed hands twice in short order. Ultimately, it was acquired by Irishman A. E. Guinness, heir to the brewing fortune that bore his family’s name.  Guinness had taken her into the Pacific in the late 1930s and when war broke out in Europe in 1939, the Fantome was in Alaskan waters. Reluctant to cruise further or return to Ireland, he elected to lay her up in Seattle (Washington State USA) for the duration of hostilities. At the end of the war she was stranded in Portage Bay for 14 years, barred by  King County from sailing pending the payment of back taxes. In 1969, Windjammer owner and founder Michael Burke flew to Greece to purchase the schooner directly from Aristotle Onassis. He bought it, sight unseen, in exchange for a freighter. Windjammer then set about refurbishing Fantome, which became the flagship of their fleet of six vessels.

On 24 October 1998, Fantome departed the harbor of Omoa in Honduras for a planned 6 day cruise. Hurricane Mitch, then over 1,000 miles (1,600 km) away in the Caribbean Sea, was expected to pose a risk to Jamaica and possibly the Yucatán Peninsula. By dawn on the following day, however, Mitch seemed to change course. Fantome immediately changed course for Belize City, where it disembarked all of its passengers and non-essential crew members. The schooner then departed Belize City, first heading north towards the Gulf of Mexico, in order to outrun the storm!

The plan was to make for the lee side of the island of Roatan (Honduras). In case Mitch made landfall in the Yucatán or Belize, by being on the southern side of the island, it would provide her with enough protection to keep it from getting damaged by large swells and high winds. However, Mitch, now a Category 5 hurricane with winds up to 180 mph (285 km/h), took a jog towards the south, directly towards Roatan. The Fantome made one desperate attempt to flee to safety, now heading east towards the Caribbean. Mitch’s forward motion picked up, though, and Fantome was unable to outrun the storm.  It has been recorded that around 16h30 (4:30 pm) on 27 October 1998, with Mitch having weakened but still at Category 5 intensity, Fantome reported that it was fighting 100-mile-per-hour (160 km/h) winds in 40-foot (12 meters) seas. They were just 40 miles (64 km) south of Mitch’s eyewall. Radio contact was lost with Fantome shortly after that.

On 2 November, 1998 a helicopter dispatched by the British destroyer HMS Sheffield discovered life rafts and vests, labeled “S/V Fantome,” off the eastern coast of Guanaja, Honduras. It was all that was found of the Fantome!  Sadly, all 31 crew members aboard perished, and a memorial service was held for them on December 12, 1998. RIP many of them I have come to know and were good hard working humble folks from many Caribbean islands trying to make a living. They were happy and proud to serve on such a wonderful ship ,the Fantome will be remembered forever so will they. Thanks for the memories; this is my humble tribute to them all.

The story was recorded in the book The Ship and The Storm by Jim Carrier (ISBN 0-07-135526-X). Of course, I have the book, see pic.

book-fantome

There is the webpage Caribbean Compass on the Fantome tragic end: https://www.caribbeancompass.com/fantome.htm

There is a youtube video short and nice on life aboard the Fantome:

This one is for you and me ,friends, for the memories and for those who sailed with me ,before and after on the wonderful Fantome; memories to last a lifetime. If anyone is reading from this experience feel free to leave your comments. Much appreciated. Thank you.

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

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August 5, 2021

The Bretons of America from Gourin!

Ok this as said in previous post is only one hour from my house but this is our first time in town! So much to see in our beautiful Morbihan, lovely Brittany and belle France! We are working on it! This was something that I have heard about a fund raising to repair and build new a statue of Liberty to honor the Bretons from this town who had emigrated to North America. Well we finally came! And of course, this is an update of an older post; hope you enjoy it as I.

It was fantastic and recommended to all especially North Americans , that is USA and Canada. The history is interwined with those of these countries and Brittany, and I just even learned more of this fascinating friendship that has its roots and the immigration between these countries. Gourin is it!!

gourin-chat-tronjoly-flag-of-florida-jul19

All is base at the Château de Tronjoly ( see post) that I have mentioned in my previous post. From city center next to the mayor’s office take the D1E road and right at the cemetery turn right into the chemin du roz to end. Here you arrive at another world.  Here you will see the history of immigration between Gourin, Morbihan, Brittany and Canada and especially the USA! All richly shown and arrange really beautiful a must to visit and we will be back!

gourin-chat-tronjoly-breton-migration-to-na-jul19

There is a special show going on now. Ces Bretons d’Amérique or those Bretons of America. Château Tronjoly will also open its doors to painters Lena Le Caignec, Alix Naudot-Guillerm and Bryan Mitchell Theriot; photographers Frédéric Bourrigaud and Jean-Marc Arthot; the engraver Aurélien Besson; to the sculptor Christian Georget.

gourin-chat-tronjoly-expo-engravings-jul19

The exhibitions will be punctuated by lectures on Aboriginal art and a musical painting on the evening, August 11, 2019 during which the artist Alix Naudot-Guillerm will paint, accompanied by the music of the duo Fragance of love. As every year, the Brittany TransAmerica association will open the exhibition Ces Bretons d’Amérique .The official Bretagne en America webpage: https://bretagnetransamerica.com/

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You will be able to see and read about lointime stories seldom heard nowdays such as one not yet known to me! On  February 14 1778 the cruiser Ranger led by Commodore John Paul Jones arrived in the Bay of Quiberon , it showcase the pride of the USA . The French squadron of admiral de la Motte Picquet (like a street in Paris…) born at Rennes (Ile et Vilaine dept 35) is at wharf in the protected harbor. All of a sudden all the guns from the French ship started firing its canons giving surprises to all those around the bay. This was the first salutation of a foreign country (France) to the birth from the 13 colonies to a new Nation (USA) .Yes very nice anecdote from the Castle of Tronjoly!

gourin-chat-tronjoly-expo-statues-salon-jul19

And known to me but seldom shown for obvious reasons here but love to see it here,such as our  Armand Tuffin , marquis de la Rouërie better know as Coronel Armand (see post) one of the most oustanding volunteers Bretons that fought in the American Independence war. Born at Fougéres, (Ile et Vilaine dept 35 now) ; he sailed from Nantes (loire-atlantique dept 44 now) when help and support was asked by Benjamin Franklin . His boat is sunk by three English naval vessels and he reaches American land swimming!   A few days later he was given a meeting with General George T Washington , head of the American army. Washington is impressed by this young Breton who spoked fluent English and gives him the rank of Coronel in charge of raising a force of adventurers, cavalry and food soldiers that became the legion of Armand or the 3rd Cavarly regiment ! He is considered as the founder of the US cavalry!   What the expo at the Castle of Tronjoly cannot tell you as politically incorrect is that he came back to France in 1791 created the Association Bretonne a group seeking independence from France (the base of the Chouans)  into the old duchy of Bretagne and conspired to toppled Napoléon Ier. He was caught found guilty and beheaded without trial, his body still has not been found. There is a statue of him in Fougéres at the Place des 12 Fusillées. Until now at Gourin!!!

gourin-chat-tronjoly-expo-hist-breton-aide-us-indep-jul19

This is the castle of Tronjoly from the city of Gourin:  http://www.gourin.fr/ch%C3%A2teau-de-tronjoly.html

The local pays du roi morvan tourist office on the castle of Tronjolyhttps://www.tourismepaysroimorvan.com/en/preparing-your-stay/to-see-and-do/art-history-and-culture/chateau-et-parc-de-tronjoly-1052611

More on the current activities of the Castle of Tronjoly. A lodging or Gîte d’Etapes on the road of Santiago de Compostela, and rural lodgings ;arranged in an old farm of the castle are also available. City of Gourin: http://www.gourin.fr/node/134

The city of Gourin, activities hall at the Château Tronjoly: http://www.gourin.fr/node/160

In all a wonderful property, very friendly folks and of course English spoken! Beautifully decorated and display for the enjoyment of all. Do dare to come to the west you will be surprise of the bounties of my lovely Bretagne! Truly enjoy the château de Tronjoly at Gourin , and its expositions.

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

July 28, 2021

A nostalgic look at New Brunswick !!

Well this is another gem taken from the vault of memories not yet written on. After going over updating many older posts in my blog, and what a thrill it has been!! I found this nice picture that reminded me of a town visit several times in my youth back in my days of New Jersey USA! Therefore, let me tell you another of my nostalgic posts this time on New Brunswick!!

As briefly as possible as already written on NJ but just to remind new readers.  New Jersey  State borders on the west by  Pennsylvania and Delaware, on the north by New York State, and on the south east by the Atlantic Ocean. It’s capital city is the historic Trenton and its biggest city is metropolitan Newark. It is one of the smallest State but one of the most densely populated one as well. Sitting in what we call, the Tri-State area of NJ, NY, and CT was my area or Central NJ.

I lived in Perth Amboy, Middlesex County, (see posts). Part of Central Jersey but stuck up near North Jersey and across from New York City.  The capital of the county is New Brunswick! Perth Amboy borders the Arthur Kill, (and my house was by there looking at NYC Staten Island), and features a historic waterfront. Here I spent my Middle School name William C McGinnis; and graduated from Perth Amboy High School (or PAHS) ; the Panthers!!!(see posts)

At New Brunswick, I became an American citizen in December 13 1980 in the municipal courthouse, 25 Kirkpatrick Street!

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New Brunswick is the seat of Middlesex County. It is located 50 km from New York, on the south bank of the Raritan river, about 24 km from the mouth of it.  The site of New Brunswick where the first settlers settled in 1681 was first inhabited by the Amerindian people of the Lenapes. This first colony was called “Prigmore’s Swamp” from 1681 to 1697 then “Indian’s Ferry” from 1691 to 1714. It was not until 1714 that the young colony took the name of “New Brunswick”. New Brunswick was delimited by Royal Charter on December 30, 1730, between other towns in Middlesex County and Somerset County, and was again delimited by Royal Charter on February 12, 1763. The name comes from that of the German city of Brunswick. Brunswick was an influential and powerful city within the Hanseatic League, then the Holy Roman Empire, and was the seat of the Duchy then of the Principality of Hanover whose prince-elector became King George I of Great Britain who reigned between 1714 and 1727.(change name after WWI and now continues as house of Windsor).

In 1776, the Declaration of Independence was first read in public in Philadelphia, after having been promulgated there by the Continental Congress, and was then read for the third time in public in New Brunswick. The 3rd public reading of the Declaration of Independence took place outside a tavern on Albany Street on July 9, 1776. The document was en route from Philadelphia to New York when Col. John A. Neilson stood outside a tavern, atop a table, and read it to the townspeople! A life-size bronze statue commemorating this significant moment in our city’s history is located in Monument Square, in front of the Heldrich Hotel.

The city is also home to most of the Rutgers University campus.The main NJ state university. New Brunswick is remarkable for its Hungarian community. It counted nearly a quarter of the population of Hungarian origin residing in New Jersey.

Things to see in my opinion are: Old Queen’s College, the oldest building on the Rutgers University campus in New Brunswick, built between 1808 and 1825. Rutgers Church, Douglas College. Statue of William of Orange in Voorhees Mall on the Old Queen’s College campus . The home of Henry Guest, alderman of New Brunswick and friend of John Adams and Thomas Paine. The birthplace of Joyce Kilmer. journalist, poet, literary critic, lecturer and editor.

Sadly in these years my hobby was turn into post card collection (4K+ 76 countries) and pictures were not important so now do not have hardly any of this period. Needless, to say have New Brunswick in my blog because know the city, played soccer against their HS and went in summer matches against kids there, visit and played on the Rutgers univ stadium and just about everywhere including obtaining my US citizenship there. Another memorable spot in my world map!

Some webpages for further info on New Brunswick are:

The city of New Brunswick on things to do / seehttps://www.cityofnewbrunswick.org/visitors/index.php

The New Brunswick tourist officehttps://www.newbrunswick.com/

The New Jersey tourist board on New Brunswick: https://visitnj.org/city/new-brunswick

There you go folks , a nostalgic spot in my world map has a post and I feel good about it. New Brunswick was part of my early life in the USA, memories forever. Hope you enjoy the post as I!

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

July 27, 2021

Simply E R A U ,Eagles Soar! My alma mater!

A thrill and lots of good memories to update this older post to you and me. Relieving wonderful moments of youth! There you go folks!  I have said my blog is about travel and anecdotes, well it’s time to come back to a bit of a story on my past. We write about beautiful interesting places we visit and or live/d and I recount my every day living on my series Some news from …. ,but I have souvenirs never to be forgotten either ,such as my university days. Do you have university days stories to tell? I have plenty but let’s keep it clean lol! I will tell you a bit more on my university ERAU, Daytona Beach, Florida, USA. I was living in New Jersey where I grew up, and college time came in, my dream at those tender ages was to go into aviation and from a friend heard about ERAU= Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. One application form and I was accepted right away,this was back in August 1977 !!! And fully graduated honor roll and dean’s listed on April 24, 1982!! Ceremonies at the Peabody Auditorium of Daytona Beach!

Daytona Beach

Now I want to tell you a bit more on the University per se. As brief as possible, here is my story.

Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) is a private university offering associate, bachelor, master’s, and PhD degree programs in arts and sciences, aviation, business, engineering, computer programming, cyber security and security and intelligence,etc. It is the largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, and has campuses in Daytona Beach, Florida and Prescott, Arizona, and about other 22 locations around the world mostly in US military bases.  On December 17, 1925,Talton Higbee Embry and John Paul Riddle founded the Embry-Riddle Company at Lunken Airport in Cincinnati, Ohio. In spring 1926, the company opened the Embry-Riddle School of Aviation. In 1939 Riddle, John Graham McKay and wife Isabel re-established the school in Opa-Locka airport near Miami, Florida. The airport is still there as a general aviation/business airport, webpage: http://www.miami-airport.com/opalocka.asp

John Paul Riddle, I had the pleasure of meeting him! He had admission to both the US Naval Academy and West Point and finally chose the first one. He met later on one of his former flying student now with some wealth Talon Higbee Embry and with a contract from Waco Aircraft both founded the Embry-Riddle Company in 1925! They only had two Jenny airplanes and a dream. They won several air mail routes and eventually Cincinnati got air mail service. By now the service was flawless and by 1927 was the only of two companies that could fly passengers, the other was the Boeing Air Transport Company. On a led by Gen Doolittle the flying school got to be one of the first instrument flight instruction in the USA. The Aeronautic Board of the Dept of Commerce gave the school the endorsement as a safe flight company, only five in the USA in 1929. As the business grew financing was found by W Averell Harriman and Co and Lehman Brothers to create a financial aviation company, Aviation Corporation of Delaware in March 1929. They purchase several smaller companies and this company later became the famous AVCO. By 1930, a new holding company was founded called American Airways (today still goes on as American Airlines)!

In Florida, he came to continue his dreams by purchasing other companies in the aviation industry. In 1939, he founded in association with John G Mckay the Embry-Riddle School of Aviation, leaving the name of the original founder on the name of the school. The school flew even seaplanes on the McArthur Causeway in Miami. The school provided help to Great Britain in WWII, they were exposed directly as continental Europe had surrender to Nazi Germany and needed pilots to defend the island. The British were shipped to Jacksonville (now major naval base at Mayport).  Where I still have Alumni friends who resides there! Webpage: https://www.cnic.navy.mil/regions/cnrse/installations/nas_jacksonville/about/history.html

From there ,they were transported by bus to the now famous fields of Carlstrom, Clewiston (no 5 British flying training school) , Dorr field, and the seaplane base in Miami. ERAU trainers did all the work on them, and later trained American pilots too! they have lease the Old Fritz hotel in Miami as headquarters located at 3240 NW 27 avenue or SR9 (now a courthouse). They trained pilots up to August 6 1945. By the time of the peace treaty more than 26K men and women had graduated their wings by the school.

In 1944 however, they have created the first flight training school in Brazil under the Escola Tecnica de Aviaçao in the neighborhood of Mooca in Sao Paulo, training 3500 Brazilians on how to flight before turning it over to the government. The School was now called the Embry-Riddle International School of Aviation. It signed contracts for training for advance flight to the Free French Republic pilots. By October 1947, the school finally moved to Opa-Locka. The school contracted with the US Air Force to trained pilots there with more than 1500 graduating. Later, it continue training USAF pilots in the ROTC program ( Reserve Officers’ Training Corps). The school grew internationally training pilots from many countries including Cuba, China, Turkey, Belgium, England, Canada, etc. etc. By 1958 the 1000 students came from 21 countries and 44 US States. By 1963, the facilities at Opa Locka were too small for this growth. While the operations in South Florida the school trained over 40K students!

The new president (with John Paul Riddle on the board) became Jack Reed Hunt, he was famous as been the one piloting the first non stop round trip flight across the Atlantic in a US Navy blimp ZPG-2 in March 1957. The route was Massachusetts to Portugal, Africa, Puerto Rico, Cuba, to Florida. He received his presidential medals.  President Hunt (my school president during my time) did immediately the decision to move to bigger place a location needed to be found, candidates were Sebring, Fort Pierce, Plant City, outside Miami in Dade County ,and Daytona Beach. The city of Daytona Beach got going and did all it could to win the prize, and I am so glad they did!! Operation Bootstrap started moving the school ,setting up new campus there and all help from shoestrings by donations and help from the business community there. All was moved by themselves and on trucks. Ormond Beach (where I later lived!) decided against the move so the decision was to set up by the Daytona Beach Regional Airport (now international airport) ,and also next to the Daytona Beach Speedway (NASCAR auto racing) on 185 acres of land. This indeed proved to be a top notch location! The school arrived at Daytona Beach operational on May 19 1965. Only 239 students including the 168 relocated from Opa Locka.

By 1968, we had Cessna 150s, Piper Cherokee, single engine Aero Commanders, twin engine Beech B-18 and some biplane stearmen; by 1968 the school was accredited to the SACS or Southern Association of Schools and Colleges! By 1968 the first dormitory was built to housed 386 students, this was known as Doolittle Dorm 1 (my first dorm)!! three stories high. By 1970, the school was known as the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Institute earning approval by the FAA =Federal Aviation Administration. The info on the Dorm 1 Doolittle now see in school webpage: http://daytonabeach.erau.edu/campus-life/housing/residence-halls/doolittle/index.html

Daytona Beach ERAU dorm bridge 1977-1978 year

By 1972, the school is known as we know it today , Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and the one I came in on August 23 1977 to start classes! I visited many times President Hunt residence on the beach at Ormond by the Sea (now sold and gone a while back). This house we call it the Battleship (was sold now gone) as it look one from the distance, and we had the University Center where the cafeteria was at ,to eat and mingle you know. By my first year 1977, the school already counted with 2 725 students! me included lol!  By 1979, Times Magazine called us the “Harvard of the sky” And before that in 1978, we purchase Prescott college in Prescott Arizona to serve as our western campus. The International Campus was started ,now call the Extended Campus with over 100 locations many online. Now the Daytona Beach and Prescott campuses have both about 5000 students. President Jack Hunt passed away of cancer in January 7 1984 RIP. He said, ” it may be easy to get in to Embry-Riddle, but it is not easy to get out” Amen.

ob pres home erau battleship

As the new team took over the school continues to grow and influence the world of aviation. In 1986 , the school was awarded the management training of the FAA and a specific center was opened in Palm Coast, Florida.  The school has won several prizes in aviation flight competition; these are call NIFA/SAFECON, and remain the provider of about 50% of US Air Force pilots the best flyboys in the world!!!Following a short illness, on April 6 1989, John Paul Riddle passed away at his home in Coral Gables, near Miami he was 87 yrs. old. RIP Sir. His last airplane ride took place on April 10th when following funeral services and a memorial service at the University, his ashes were sprinkled over Biscayne Bay and in the Oak Ridge cemetery at Arcadia, Florida.

Ok not all is goody goody, the Administration announced in July 2014 that Embry-Riddle has been accepted into the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II membership. Embry-Riddle began intercollegiate athletics competition on its Daytona Beach Campus in 1988. Well not really, from the photos you will see that I participated in the NCAA Div 2 soccer program already in 1978-1980 playing against much bigger schools like FIU, Univ of Florida, Univ Central Florida, South Florida Tampa, etc with good results, winning records. However, the school decided to leave sports in 1981 and even with petitions by students the decision remained until starting again in 1988. The unfortunate thingy here is that those who participated before are not been recognized in school records!!! We had , also, baseball, tennis, and golf teams.  And of course, we had intramural sports and I did volleyball and softball ,where I was also the captain. The special school webpage for athletics now: http://erauathletics.com/index.aspx

db ERAU management club softball team pedro in green in front seated 1981

de pedro ERAU soccer unif daytona beach 1980

There is an ERAU alumni network, that has tattled with lack of support for a long time. I was on the first meeting to do an alumni network at the Harley Hotel in Atlanta, GA back in 1984; then another try from Florida at the city hall of Hollywood Fl back in 1994, and finally was the Director of Alumni relations in France until 2017, where we have over 60 French students graduated from my university now working in French aviation/Aerospace industry, some of them quite well designing the wings for the A 380 to test pilot on maiden mission Toulouse-Hamburg, to working on the Arianne rocket etc. I helped organized the Paris Air Show of several years back believe it was 2009 with a dinner organized by me at the prestigious  Aero Club de France ; 6 rue Galilée, Paris 16éme ,but nothing of support so I decided to leave the organizing back in early 2017. The position still vacant!! More on the alumni ERAU : https://alumni.erau.edu/s/867/bp20/home.aspx

Atlanta Hartfield airport people mover ERAU visit 1981

Another organization that does not exist no more and I was very active was the Management Club; I was the Treasurer 1981-82 and helped created the club as a non profit organization with the help of Accounting professor Mr Campbell and created the first scholarship fund to helped students pay for their book with the help of my Finance professor Mr De la Rosa back in 1980.  Both with the help of my/club councilor professor Mr Knabe. Memories forever, and thank you profs!

db pedro speaking mgmt club ERAU daytona inn 1981

I, even kept some pictures from class trips, this one visiting the Hartfield Atlanta International Airport on a thrill bus ride and fun antics in the Days Inn hotel we stayed, location forgotten but the actions did not ::) The planes are Lockheed 1011 from Delta!

Atlanta apt pedro at control Delta L1011 plane atlanta airport 1980 ERAU

Some more facts on Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University :

Embry-Riddle’s aerospace engineering program is the largest in the nation. Embry-Riddle’s engineering physics program is one of the largest of all such ABET-accredited programs in the nation. Aeronautical science (professional pilot) program is the largest in the nation. Student flight teams have won numerous national championships in NIFA SAFECON competitions, more than any other institution in the last decade, and are top performers in the women’s Air Race Classic. The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, and others rank Embry-Riddle highly in the categories of best undergraduate aerospace engineering programs, best undergraduate engineering programs, best bachelor’s degrees in engineering, best colleges in Arizona and Florida, best regional universities (South), and best college astronomy observatories. U.S. News & World Report, Military Times, Military Advanced Education, U.S. Veterans, and G.I. Jobs publications consistently name Embry-Riddle in the categories of best for veterans, top military-friendly school, top veteran-friendly school, best online bachelor’s programs for veterans, best regional universities (South) for military and veterans, best online MBA programs for veterans, and best online non-MBA graduate business programs for veterans. U.S. News & World Report and College Choice list Embry-Riddle’s Worldwide Campus in the categories of best online bachelor’s programs, best online graduate MBA programs, best online graduate non-MBA programs, and best online engineering degree programs.  Embry-Riddle is ranked highly among private colleges for best value, best starting salary, and best return on investment by Forbes, Best Value Colleges, PayScale, SmartAsset, College Choice, and Affordable Colleges Online.   Embry-Riddle’s two Air Force ROTC detachments form the largest university-based Air Force commissioning source in the nation. Embry-Riddle’s Air Force ROTC detachments also produce more commissioned officers and more pilots and other rated officers for the Air Force than any other institution in the nation except the Air Force Academy. Embry-Riddle is the nation’s largest supplier of air traffic controllers with bachelor degrees to the FAA. Seven Embry-Riddle alumni are current or former astronauts. Embry-Riddle was named by U.S. News & World Report as the No. 1 provider of online bachelor’s degrees programs and undergraduate programs for veterans in 2021. ERAU has provided so far 7 astronauts to the Space program over the years.

Some of the reading I did while attending or as an alumni were: The LIFT magazine webpage: https://lift.erau.edu/

And the still call Avion campus newspaper webpage: http://theavion.com/

The text above the information was gathered from memories, yearbook Phoenix from graduation 1982,  and the book “The Sky is Home”, (by former prof John McCollister) and the Alumni directory of 1998 all jealousy guarded by yours truly.

My last visit to ERAU campus in Daytona Beach Fl was back in August, 2009, I visited Florida with the family and did pay a visit to ERAU as to show my boys the thrill of college non existent in France. We got a nice ride from the Alumni office to all of us, memories of young at heart. Memories forever, thanks Chris.

Daytona beach Chris cart tour ERAU 20aug09

There you go folks, an adventure recommended to all, college life is awesome. Those that tried should tell you, a thrill and an experience never to be forgotten. And more when you are an Eagle, of ERAU Daytona Beach FL Campus, Eagles forever!! Hope you enjoy the post as I and if an Eagle do stop by anytime.

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

July 26, 2021

A bit of nostalgia of Florida!!!

Well in these days of pandemic and little travel, I have been looking back updating some older posts. This has brought lots of memories and thrills to relook these family trips that by then were buried in my blog. To my surprise, there were some new opportunities for posts with pictures that I had overlook posting, and this is the time as good as any to do so. Therefore, here are some of my nostalgic moments of our time in Florida, several years, college graduation, marriage, sons to show for it. Hope you enjoy the post as I, and thanks again for reading me since November 2010!!

Let me tell you about some dear towns that were buried in my blog or not mentioned at all on my bit of nostalgia of Florida!!!

Let’s start with Davie in my Broward County,of my nostalgic Florida, situated approximately 24 miles north of Miami.

A bit of history tell us  that prior to European colonization, the Tequesta indians were the native people of what is now Davie. A few campsites and graves have been found in Davie, the oldest dating back 5,000 to 7,000 years in Pine Island Ridge. After Spanish colonization, many of the Tequesta died and the remaining few escaped to Havana with the Spanish when Florida became a British colony (1763 for a few months) or they assimilated into the newly arrived Seminoles indians in the late 18C.

Davie had always a reputation as a “Western” town, with many earlier buildings having “Wild West” architecture. It boasts a significant horse-owning population and once was home to many herds of cattle. One of the nice attractions here is Flamingo Gardens  a 60-acre (24 ha), Tropical Botanic Garden and Everglades Wildlife Sanctuary, aviary and zoo, located at 3750 South Flamingo Road.

The city of Davie on activitieshttps://www.davie-fl.gov/235/Parks-Recreation-Cultural-Arts

However, the main thing my family came here was the Egyptian deco cinema which was and is awesome. I love this Cinemark. It was close to our last home in Miramar Silver Lakes and even visited and saw film while visiting from France in 2009. The popcorn and the frosty coke is awesome. Love it. Also you can hide here in case of a hurricane. This place is very secure. The seats are big and very comfortable. awesome theater… definitely worth coming here over other places. Indeed. Their webpage: http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/45730

davie cinemark paradiso front feb02

Davie inside cinemark for HP movie 22aug09

Next , I take you to Sunrise, an interesting town we were here a lot. Sunrise is of course, also, in Broward County, A bit of history tell us that in 1960, Iowa-born developer Norman Johnson paid $9 million USD for 2,650 acres of land in southwestern Broward County. By 1961, this community of 1.75 square miles ,which Johnson named Sunrise Golf Village . In 1971, the City, by referendum, changed its name to the City of Sunrise. The City is situated approximately six miles west of Fort Lauderdale, and is adjoined by the towns of Weston, Davie, Tamarac, Lauderhill, and Plantation.

The National Car Rental Center ,now the BB&T Center opened its doors in 1998. The arena is the home of the National Hockey League’s Florida Panthers, and hosts top entertainers and events.

The city of Sunrise on things to do/seehttps://www.sunrisefl.gov/visitors

However, the one we came almost every weekend while living in Miramar Silver Lakes was Sawgrass Mills shopping center. This huge  2.7-million-square-foot shopping mecca welcomes approximately 25 million visitors each year, making it the state’s second-biggest tourist attraction after Walt Disney World!! Its 400+ name brand retail stores include Off 5th/Saks Fifth Avenue, Last Call! Neiman Marcus, Kenneth Cole and Nordstrom Rack, etc. This is a huge shopping/eating/entertainment city in a mall! One of our favorite store was Books A Million ,well they were several and some have closed but this one have a picture! The Sawgrass Mills webpage: https://www.simon.com/mall/sawgrass-mills

sunrise books a million sawgrass mills mall my boys Aug09

Our favorite eating place was the family restaurant my dear late wife Martine love was TGIFridays in Sunrise, many memories here,and sadly it has closed.

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And last but not least, will tell you of the closest town to my last in Florida. Pembroke Pines is of course in Broward County, and only 22 miles north of Miami. The surrounding towns to Pembroke Pines are Southwest Ranches, Davie, Cooper City, Hollywood ,Miramar, and the Everglades natural reserve.

Pembroke Pines was officially incorporated on January 16, 1960. The city’s name, Pembroke Pines, is traced back to Sir Edward J. Reed, a member of Britain’s Parliament for the County of Pembroke from 1874 to 1880, who in 1882 formed the Florida Land and Mortgage Company (still the basis of land plots in this part of FL) to purchase from Hamilton Disston a total of 2 million acres of mostly swampland located throughout the southern half of Florida. A road put through one of the tracts came to be known as Pembroke Road. When incorporating the city, Walter Smith Kipnis, who became the city’s first mayor, suggested the name Pembroke Pines because of the pine trees growing near Pembroke Road. (and this road was the diving line in my house between Pembroke Pines and Miramar !).

In 1980, property from Flamingo Road to U.S. 27 was incorporated into Pembroke Pines, doubling the size of the city. This expansion included the property that is currently C.B. Smith Park as well as what was once the Hollywood Sportatorium and the Miami-Hollywood Motorsports Park. Also in 1980, construction began to extend Interstate 75 from U.S. 27 towards Miami, passing through the new western part of the city. By 1984 the expressway reached Pines Boulevard, the main east-west arterial road in the city.

Right at the junction of Pembroke Pines and Miramar my twin boys left the USA to France from Silver Lakes Elementary School , and my oldest left from Silver Trail Middle School.

The roads were by car the king here and we took a lot the Interstate 75 or simply I75 highway as well as the US 27 (along the Everglades) ,Pines Blvd (SR 820) ,Pembroke Rd (SR 824) , and Flamingo Road (SR 823).

The city of Pembroke Pines on activitieshttps://www.ppines.com/279/Arts-Culture

The shopping other than some specific stores were done in Pembroke Pines Mall with some familiar stores such as Dillard’s (my parents favorite and gave me all their gifts from there!) Webpage: https://www.pembrokelakesmall.com/en.html

pembroke pines lakes mall halls aug09

I am sad to see some of our favorite places have closed, so pictures are just for the memories. These were Quiznos sandwiches , Toys R Us, and Blockbuster Videos! However, glad to see WalMart Supercenter still there.

pemborke pines pf quizno aug09

pembroke pines toys r us the boys c2000

pembroke pines blockbuster videos aug09

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There you go folks, a dandy on memory lane. Wonderful times never to be forgotten, Florida is big for us! We must move on and found places just as good or better as now in my belle France; however, the memories of these places will remain in our hearts forever. Hope you enjoy the post as I

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

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July 26, 2021

A bit of nostalgia of New Jersey!!

This is one of the positive effects of the pandemic, not been able to travel much, I am able to relive wonderful moments of my travels. Also, and just as awesome, to find in my vaults pictures of places dear to me that should be in my blog. After all, my blog is a recompilation of my travel, and family history to keep for the future of children and grand childrens to come. Hope you enjoy the posts as I, and thanks for following my rants since November 2010

Now let me turn to my first encounter with the USA at my first American home in New Jersey. I have several posts of the town I lived ,(see posts ) but need to tell you more of the other towns that were like home to me back then , way back now. Very nostalgic post for me indeed.

The first one of these is Woodbridge Township, where we ate, shop, and play for many years.

Woodbridge Township is located in Middlesex County.  The township borders the towns of Carteret, Edison, Perth Amboy (mine) and Sayreville ;also,  Clark, Linden and Rahway in Union County. Its border with the borough of Staten Island in New York City in the Arthur Kill. (kill is bay in old Dutch so they tell me)

There are distinct towns that for the whole of me always figure them as separate towns , and played sports against them separately! ,but are part of  Woodbridge Township. Several of these towns have their own ZIP (postal) codes,, but they are all unincorporated towns and neighborhoods within the Township that, together, make up Woodbridge Township. These are Avenel , Colonia , Fords , Iselin , Port Reading , Sewaren , Woodbridge (the town proper) are unincorporated towns located within Woodbridge Township. Other unincorporated towns and place names located partially or completely within the township include Boynton Beach, Demarest Hill Top, Edgars, Fairfield, Hazelton, Hopelawn, Keasbey, Lynn Woodoaks, Menlo Park Terrace, Ostrander, Saint Stephens, Sand Hills, Shore View, Union and Woodbridge Oaks.

The roads are king here and no experience with public transport other than the airports. The wonderful Garden State Parkway extends 7.5 miles ( about km) through Woodbridge Township, including exits 127 to 131. In addition, the fast and furious, New Jersey Turnpike ( part of Interstate 95 or I95) passes through Woodbridge Township for about 5+ miles ( about 8 km), and is accessible at Exit 11 (which features a 24-lane toll gate). The sublime  U.S. Route 1 and U.S. Route 9 serve the township and merge heading north of the township as the U.S. Route 1/9 together into the Jersey shore ! Other roadways passing through the township are Route 27, Route 35, Route 184, and Route 440. The first cloverleaf interchange in the world, the Woodbridge Cloverleaf, opened in 1929 at the intersection of Route 25 (now U.S. Route 1/9) and Route 4 (now Route 35)!

The Township of Woodbridge is the oldest original township in New Jersey and was granted a royal charter on June 1, 1669, by King Charles II of England. Woodbridge Township was incorporated by the Township Act of 1798 of the New Jersey Legislature on February 21, 1798, as one of the initial 104 townships incorporated in the state under the Township Act. Yes part of old USA!

The Woodbridge Township on things to do/see webpage: https://www.twp.woodbridge.nj.us/31/Discover-Woodbridge

Woodbridge Center is a major two-level shopping mall located at the intersection of U.S. Route 1 and U.S. Route 9.  This was our home turf when shopping and many memories of going here with my dear late mom Gladys. Memories forever!

woodbridge wood center mall feb11

It features 200 retail establishments and 3 anchor stores been our favories JC Penney and Macys. The eating establishments are spread throughout the mall with their own individual seating areas and restrooms. The mall’s location near Staten Island and the benefit of no sales tax on clothes in New Jersey makes this mall,a popular choice for New York shoppers. It is now the third largest of all shopping malls in New Jersey, (when lived they were No 1), and now the 34th largest in the United States.  The mall opened in 1971 with Abraham & Straus, Ohrbach’s, and Stern’s. oh yes Abraham & Strauss was later purchase by Burdines and in turn by Macys. It was my favorite shopping store then.

woodbridge wood center mall applebees feb11

The Woodbridge Center mall webpage: https://www.woodbridgecenter.com/en.html

Moving south into that wonderful Route 1/9 or even closer coastal Route 35 you come into our fav city to go fishing , something I did a lot when young even still at college. I went down with my parents into Point Pleasant Beach and there rented the boat Dauntless. Wonderful family memories, was lucky glad to bring my paternal grandfather Manolo on these trips too back in the early 80’s.

The city has a wonderful beach , one of the best me think, and plenty of family activities. The city page on activities on the boardwalk is run by Jenkinsons; webpage: https://jenkinsons.com/

The city of Point Pleasant Beach things to do/see: https://www.pointpleasantbeachchamber.com/

Other than beach time, we came even in winter to go fishing from here, love it many nice memories of always with my parents and later my paternal grandfather!! Amazing looking for info on the internet the Dauntless boat is still going on by the same family!! The town of Point Pleasant Beach is in Ocean county!

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This is from their webpage: They will clean your catch for a nominal fee. Drinks and snacks available. Music on board for your enjoyment. The cabin is centrally heated and heated handrails for your year round comfort. Clean Ladies and Men’s accommodations. Ample Free Parking at the dock. Bring your Family fishing on the 85′ DAUNTLESS for one of the most enjoyable and memorable trips of your vacation. Sailing Daily All Year 7h30  to 15h30 (7:30am – 3:30pm) Summer Season Only from  7h30 to 01h00 (7:30pm – 1:00am). Their webpage: https://www.dauntlessfishing.com/

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And last but not least on this memorable tour of mine, and hopefully you will get to see these places, wonderful indeed. I arrive at the world famous Atlantic City! We came here as adults for the casinos, there since they opened!

Atlantic City is located in Atlantic County, on the Atlantic coast at about 50 miles or 80 km from Philadelphia, PA. It is built on the island of Absecon and surrounded by lagoons, on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. City famous for its casinos and marina. Well it has a beach and a nice boardwalk but our interests for it were the casinos...

Atlantic city casino pipo c1980

In 1870, a first wooden promenade was built along part of the beach. The idea was popular and the promenade was lengthened and modified several times. It is now the longest in the world. The New Jersey voters accepted the opening of casinos in 1976, and Resorts International became the first legal casino in the eastern United States on May 26, 1978. Other casinos were built shortly thereafter along from the promenade and later in the marina area; they are nine today.

From my time there and was a visiting founder are still the Tropicana, Resorts, Harrah’s, and Ceasar as my favorites hangouts when I was a proud member of Telly Savalas (Kojak tv series), casino Players Club International membership card and spent lots of money there lol !!! Too bad could had use it to travel….

The Atlantic City International Airport but never used it as always came by car . The airport webpage: https://www.sjta.com/acairport/

I came down the Garden State Parkway to exit 38 and then the Atlantic City Expressway toll road as well to the city center North Arkansas Avenue ,and right into the casino parking.   On street parking is not easy and not advise so look for a parking garage if not staying at a casino.

Some of the things happening here other than play and fun in the Casinos were: The streets of Atlantic City were used in the original American version of Monopoly. The city is the setting for Bob Rafelson’s 1972 film The King of Marvin Gardens, starring Jack Nicholson and Bruce Dern. The city is the setting for Louis Malle’s film Atlantic City in 1980. The song Atlantic City by Bruce Springsteen released in 1982 on the album Nebraska is about the city. The episode of season 5 of The Simpsons The Last Temptation of Homer , released in 1993 contains a part set in Atlantic City. Brian De Palma’s film Snakes Eyes, released in 1998, is set in Atlantic City. At the heart of the Boardwalk Empire series is the prohibition era in Atlantic City. The film American Bluff (2013), based on real events, describes the arrival of casinos in the city. Its night time party time!

The city of Atlantic city  :https://www.acnj.gov/page/about-atlantic-city

The Atlantic City tourist office on Casinoshttps://www.atlanticcitynj.com/explore/casinos/

The New Jersey tourist board on Atlantic cityhttps://visitnj.org/city/atlantic-city

There you go folks, a bit of nostalgia of my New Jersey! The efforts of a new country, language, customs and all fruitfully triumph in glory for my parents and I. Memories forever for me now glad told in my blog, my history. Again, thanks for coming along and hope you enjoy it as I. Thanks for reading me since November 2010!!

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

July 1, 2021

Two symbols of Mexico City!

And coming back to the Americas to tell you again about two symbols of Mexico City! In my walks in the city i was lucky to stayed near them and have great memories of it . I like to update this older post with text and links for you and me. Hope you enjoy it as I.

Let me bring you up to the top, high up symbols of Mexico DF or Ciudad Mexico, or simply DF in of course , Mexico. I have several blog posts on Mexico having visited the country in numerous occassions and with family now there in the Yucatàn peninsula area.  I like to bring you up to two symbols of the Mexico lindo y querido I know. The Mexico pretty and loved that I know. These are the Angel de la Independencia tower and the Fountain of Diana Cazadora, both around the Paseo de la Reforma.

The fuente de la Diana Cazadora (eng. Huntress Diana Fountain) or originally La flechadora de las estrellas del norte (eng. the arrow of the stars of the North), is a monument located in the roundabout at Paseo de la Reforma and Calle Río Misisipí and Calle Sevilla, on the border of the neighborhoods of Colonia Cuauhtémoc and Colonia Juàrez, and was begun in 1938.

mex-fuente-de-diana-oct12

The sculpture of the Diana , was started to create when a program of beautification of the city that included the creation of several monumental fountains in roundabouts or representative corners was designed.  The model was then 16 years old, it was called Helvia Martínez Verdayes and worked in the evenings as secretary in the offices of Petroleos Mexicanos, (petroleum of Mexico pemex). It was there that it was proposed to her the model for the sculpture. The young woman accepted and the sculpture was elaborated from April to September of 1942, month in which finally the bronze smelting of the same one was made. During all that time, Helvia Martínez Verdayes posed naked for the sculptor without receiving another pay than the vanity of seeing her body immortalized in one of the most beautiful avenues of the city. The Fountain of the Arrow star of the North was inaugurated on October 10, 1942 and from that moment the affection of the people was won, who began to call it the Diana the huntress fountain.

To take advantage of the celebration of the Olympics of Mexico 1968, it was decided to remove the bronze loincloth of the sculpture, and thus after 25 years, the Diana returned to show its original beauty in 1967. However, in doing so, the statue suffered some damage. To solve the situation, it was decided to melt a new piece without defects to occupy that place, while the one that was damaged was sold by the artist to the regent to avoid that the piece be destroyed. This piece was donated by the politician to the city of  Ixmiquilpan, in Hidalgo, his hometown, where it remains since 1970. For 1974 with the construction of the Interior Circuit (today Bicentennial Circuit) ,the Diana was removed from her place and kept for two years. After the works, in 1976 it was relocated to one side of the extinct cinema Chapultepec, in the Parque Ariel, in that place the singular lady remained forgotten for a space of 16 years. Faced with the pressures of the citizens, the Diana returned in 1992 to the Paseo de la Reforma, but this time at the crossroads of Calle Rio Misisipi and Calle Sevilla, where she remains until today wearing her firm body, wavy hair, eternal beauty and her bow without arrow. Nice story me think.

The Angel de la Independencia or the Independance Angel.  El Ángel de la Independencia is a column located on a roundabout in the end of the Paseo de la Reforma. The column has 36 meters high, and the statue, which weighs 7 tons,  and about 7 meters, for a total of 43 meters. Made with gold leaves.  El Ángel was built in 1910 to celebrate the centenary of the independence of Mexico (September 16 1810 Grito de Dolores) . In 1925, a mausoleum was made at its base containing the remains of the heroes of the Independence of Mexico. The statue of the winged Victory located at its summit is inspired and is a quasi-conforming copy of the statue of the Genius of Liberty located on the column of July, Place de la Bastille in Paris, France.

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Visitors are allowed to enter the monument, view the memorial plaques at the base level, and climb to the top of the tower. Entrance is free. To go up people must get a permit at the Cuauhtémoc borough (delegacion) where you must show ID. Groups of no more than 6 are then allowed into the monument for about 15 minutes. webpage: https://alcaldiacuauhtemoc.mx/descubre/angel-de-la-independencia/

There are 200 stairs, and the climb is arduous. The first approximately 15 stairs, in the base, are wide and comfortable. The stairs in the column itself, approximately 185, are circular, metal, very narrow and without a landing or resting point until one reaches the top. Visitors who are not in good physical shape will find the climb exhausting, and those not comfortable with tight spaces should avoid the climb as there is insufficient room to allow others to bypass. Some areas of the staircase are very dark, and there are only a few slits to let in light. The top balcony, though narrow, offers a commanding view of the wide avenues that surround the column. The return trip down is by way of the same circular staircase.

The Mexico city  visitor information webpage: http://cdmxtravel.com/en/visitor-info

The Mexico city on the Angel de la Independenciahttp://cdmxtravel.com/es/experiencias/mirador-del-angel-de-la-independencia.html

The Mexico city on the Diana Cazadora fountainhttp://cdmxtravel.com/es/lugares/fuente-de-la-diana-cazadora.html

DEFE (DF saying in Spanish) private webpage on the Angel de la Independenciahttps://www.defe.mx/mexico-df/monumentos/angel-independencia

The Chilango private webpage on the Diana the Huntress: https://www.chilango.com/ciudad/la-tormentosa-vida-de-la-diana-cazadora/

There you go folks, two beautiful monuments of Mexico DF or city of Mexico or Ciudad  de Mexico to see! Enjoy your walks. Enjoy the post as I, and looking forward to be back

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

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June 10, 2021

Bahia de La Habana!!!

I found them!! Its not easy to find pictures that are in several modes from paper to usb to cd roms but finally got to these ones. I like to have it in my blog and hope you enjoy it as much as I. This is going back deep back in my life when as a boy lived in Havana or La Habana or San Cristobal de la Habana! I remembered walking a lot around the main points there and was able to visit again as recently as 2012 to see it one more time before it really goes dilipated. I like to tell you my side of the Bay of Havana!

The Bahia de la Habana or Havana Bay is the bay around which stretches Havana, the capital of Cuba. Havana Bay is considered one of the safest bays in the Caribbean and America. It has a strategic geographical and economic location due to its confluence with the Straits of Florida, the Gulf of Mexico and the old channel of the Bahamas. It is navigable only in 120 meters and has 87 percent of the occupied territory, and 63 percent of the productive sector with 71 berths and 50 docks. The bay which actually forms a roadstead extends over 5 km2 communicates with the Caribbean Sea through a channel 1.2 km long and approximately 220 meters wide. There are coves on the outskirts with the 3 main ones being the Marimelena, Guanabacoa and Atarés. There is a wonderful road tunnel inaugurated in 1958 makes it possible to cross the entrance of the bay. This tunnel appeared there between the seven wonders of the French civil engineering. Underneath the bay of Havana for 733 meters, and a depth of 15 meters, was built by the French company Société de Grands Travaux de Marseille. It was inaugurated exactly on May 31 1958.

Havana tunnel almendares apr12

The bay of Havana is bordered by the towns/neighborhoods of Habana Vieja (old Havana), Regla , and La Habana del Este or (East Havana). Since the second half of the 16C, the entrance to the bay has been protected by two fortresses: El Morro to the east and San Salvador de la Punta to the west.

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The constant attacks by corsairs and pirates during the first years of the 16C, as well as the constant expansionist sieges of France, England and Holland, forced the Spanish Crown to establish a defensive system to protect the location of the bay and its port. Then important fortifications arise such as the Castillo de la Chorrera, located at the mouth of the Almendares River; the Castillo de la Punta , the Castillo del Morro , the Castillo de la Real Fuerza and the San Carlos de La Cabaña Fortress, built after the attack and capture of Havana by English troops in August 1762. This system of fortifications was joined by the construction between 1674 and 1797 of the Wall of Havana, which divided the city into two zones. It was from 1561, with the decision to concentrate the Fleet of the Indies in the Port of Havana before its trip to Spain, that the city began a flourishing development and with it the establishment of the first residential nuclei and public buildings to along the coast of the Port.

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My personal take as it was my city…long ago ok. If you start from the Malecon next to the castle of San Salvador de la Punta (for short La Punta) you will see the monument to the medicine students of 1871 killed by Spain under the colonial rule. Continue you see the Monument to Maximo Gomez (hero of independence war vs Spain) , and arrive at the nice park Parque Céspedes. Follow by the smaller park parque Luz Caballero right in the corner on calle Empedrado street you see the remains of the ramparts wall of Havana! And next you see the Castillo de la Real Fuerza de la Habana (for short La Fuerza) , after you turn right into calle Narciso Lopéz to see the El Templete or small temple the spot of the first Catholic Mass in Cuba! You continue along the bay street and you see on your right the nice jardin de la Princesa Diana de Gales (princess Diane of Wales garden) ; quickly follow by the back of the Lonja or bourse commerce stock exchange from colonial times. You quickly see the square or Plaza Francisco de Asis and the wonderful Basilica San Francisco de Asis or St Francis of Assisi. Further to see in my opinion is still bordering the bay on your right hand side the Iglesia de San Francisco de Paula or the Church of St Francis of Paula. Then, further down along the bay you reach to the back of the Estacion Central de Ferrocarriles or Central Train Station of Havana, and further on your right you will end the walk with the Castillo de Atàres or Atares castle.

If you start across the bay at the point you will be at the Castillo delos Tres Reyes del Morro (Morro castle for short). You would go up on the esplanade to reach the Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabaña (for short la Cabaña). Right here by the esplanade they still do the 21h or 9pm cannon shot announcing the closing of the bay of Havana and a bit further You will go up to the Cristo or Christ . Afterward you will reach the town of Casablanca . Here there is a ferry boat that takes back to Havana central or the other town on the bay that of Regla. However I heard this was in disrepair so not sure if still doing the runs.

There is no specific webpage for the Bay of Havana the above taken from my books on my Havana. However, if you follow my guide above on foot you will be delighted to see the beauty or at least recognised the beauty of old in the new Havana. Hope you enjoy the post and see my other posts on Havana in my blog.

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

June 10, 2021

The Mercado Central of Curitiba!!

And here is another find wow! So many wonderful memories of my stayed in Curitiba Brazil and now looking at older posts realised missed much on Curitiba! Well I am now catching up and will tell you a brief entry on the central market or mercado central of Curitiba!!

The Mercado Central of Curitiba was founded in 1958 as a meeting point for residents who enjoy big fairs, whether to buy or to eat. The space offers dozens of stalls with spices, cheeses, fruits, vegetables, sausages, meats and all kinds of good ingredients for a delicious dinner. In addition to the stalls specializing in food products, there is also the offer of clothing, electronics and household items. Good choice to stroll and take time off from the mundane.

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This was spot central when living in Curitiba for 3 months and love it. The very best and great ambiance as well as on the road to my apparthotel Mercure Batel!! Lots of good memories and good friends. The Mercado Central is located at Ave. Sete de Setembro, 1865,and is open Tuesday to Saturday 8h to 18h. Sunday: 8h to 13h with Restaurants open until 15h.

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A bit of history I like

The first public market in the city of Curitiba appeared in 1864, in the old Largo da Ponte, currently Praça Zacarias. In 1873, on the anniversary of the emancipation of Paraná State, on December 19, the cornerstone was laid for the construction of a new headquarters, then located in Largo da Cadeia, now Praça Generoso Marques. On October 11, 1874, the new Municipal Market was opened. In 1890 Largo da Cadeia was renamed Largo do Mercado. In 1912, the building was closed and demolished to make way for the City/Town Hall, and thus the market was provisionally transferred to Largo da Nogueira, currently Praça 19 de Dezembro. In 1915, another transfer, now to a Chalet-style property, in Batel, (my neighborhood living there!) which was where the Plaça Theodoro Bayma is today. At this address it remained until 1937, when it was demolished and the locals were left again without a fixed market for the purchase of food.

The construction of the new Mercado Central of Curitiba was done between May 1956 and July 1958, the project was carried out on a site, in front of the workshops of the former Rede Ferroviária, current Rodoferroviária de Curitiba (bus terminal see post) ,and inaugurated on August 2, 1958. In 2010, it was renovated and expanded, taking over the entire block between Avenida Sete de Setembro and Avenida Presidente Affonso Camargo.

The official mercado central of Curitibahttps://www.mercadomunicipaldecuritiba.com.br/

Now I am happier, wonderful time, great welcome, and great bunch of guys to work with and allow me to know more of Brazil and especially the State of Paranà and the beautiful city of Curitiba. See my other posts on them!

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

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