Archive for ‘Florida’

December 29, 2019

My last house in USA!

So now that I took time to remember one nice shopping experience in Florida many years ago, why not bring back and in more details my last house in Florida and the USA. Time to let 2019 go away and start 2020 with nice memories of my globettrotter life that has taken me to lived in 6 countries , work in 5, citizen of 4 and visiting 81! Hope you enjoy this story dear to me. For info I have an early single life in New Jersey with posts here.

My last home in the United States was in Miramar, Broward county, Florida. We had a nice home there. Let me tell you a bit about the State of Florida.

Florida is located in the southeast of the United States, on the so-called Gulf Coast. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. it is the third most populous state in the country. With an area of 151,940 km2, Florida ranks 22nd among the United States. Florida’s coastline stretches some 1,930 km. Considering the bays and headlands, the cumulative length reaches around 13,600 km. No other US state, except Alaska, has a longer coastline. Florida is made up in the east of a peninsula of approximately 630 km long and in the west of a narrow coastal strip of approximately 330 km long in the shape of panhandle. It is subdivided into 67 counties which exercise various local prerogatives. The political capital is Tallahassee, but the most populated agglomeration is Miami.

Since its discovery in 1513 by the Spanish Juan Ponce de León who baptized it “la Pascua Florida” (“Easter flowers” in reference to Palm Sunday). He landed on the eastern coast of the peninsula between April 2 and 8, 1513, probably near the site of the current city of Saint Augustine which in turn is founded in 1565 by Pedro Menendez de Aviles. The Pánfilo de Narváez expedition recognized the west coast of Florida, but the Spaniard died in a Native American attack in 1528. On May 30, 1539, Hernando de Soto landed near the current Bradenton south of Tampa Bay and explore the interior.

St Augustine

Florida has been an issue for the European colonial powers before integrate the United States in 1845. In May 1865, the northern general Edward M. McCook was charged with regaining control of Florida. He challenged Colonel George Washington Scott, hoisted the flag of the United States on the state capitol in Tallahassee and read the proclamation of slave emancipation on May 12. The Civil War is over in Florida, which is officially reinstated in the Union on July 25, 1868.

Florida is becoming a major issue because of its proximity to the communist island of Cuba. It welcomes thousands of Cuban refugees. Miami gradually became one of the main economic centers of Latin America.

The official tourist webpage for Florida : Visit Florida official tourist webpage

And a bit on my last county of Broward

Broward County Its county seat is Fort Lauderdale. It was founded on April 30, 1915. It was intended to be named Everglades County, but then-Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives Ion Farris amended the bill that established the county to be named in honor of Napoleon Bonaparte Broward, Governor of Florida from 1905 to 1909. In 1915, Palm Beach County and Dade County (now Miami-Dade county) contributed nearly equal portions of land to create Broward County.  Adjacent counties are to the north Palm Beach, south Miami Dade, west Collier, and northwest Hendry.

Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport serves as the primary airport of the Broward County area. The airport is bounded by the cities Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood and Dania Beach;  three miles (5 km) southwest of downtown Fort Lauderdale  and 21 miles (34 km) north of Miami. The airport is near cruise line terminals at Port Everglades and is popular among tourists bound for the Caribbean. Public transportation available are the Broward County Transit, Tri-Rail, Sun Trolley, and the major roads passing by it are the Interstate 95, I-75 ,I-595 (Port Everglades Expressway), Florida’s Turnpike (SR 91) Florida’s Turnpike Homestead Extension (SR 821) ,and Toll State Road 869 (Sawgrass Expressway).

Broward county tourist office : https://www.sunny.org/

Cities of Broward county:  Official Broward county on cities

Then, my city my last in the USA.

Miramar  is in Broward county, my last town in the USA, and it was name after the city of Miramar in Havana, Cuba (also near where I was born). The city has adjacent towns such as Pembroke Pines,(for shopping) ;Hollywood (for the beach), West Park ,and  Miami Gardens. To the extreme west you find the Everglades!.

Miramar (English is seaview) was founded by A.L. Mailman to serve as a “bedroom community” for nearby Miami and Fort Lauderdale. He bought the original property he was to develop from H.D. Perry, Sr. in 1953.  The city was incorporated on May 26, 1955 bordered by the following cities,Pembroke Pines to the northwest and north,Hollywood to the  northeast, east West Park, and south Hialeah, Hialeah Gardens, and a bit of Miami Lakes. My sons went to school here at Silver Lakes Elementary School, memorable last school in the USA and they fondly remember it as well as their teachers! We lived at Silver Lakes Division west of I-75 interstate road on Sapphire Bay sub division our last spot in the USA and very fondly remembered it.

Miramar

This was our homeowners association in Silver Lakes with the different sub divisions: Silver Lakes Homeowners Association

And the city of Miramar FL : have it on parks we enjoyed a lot: City of Miramar on parks

And this is where we lived last/ Description of sub division Sapphire Bay of Silver Lakes: Sapphire Bay is a neighborhood in Miramar, Florida. Sapphire Bay mostly features midsize homes that are competitively priced. This is a well-established community that continues to attract interest from buyers looking in the Miramar area. More info on property values , map, and  living ideas is here: Neighborhoods on Sapphire Bay Miramar

Miramar

Miramar

miramar

There , now you got all you need on Florida,and heck even me lol!!! Love the Sunshine State. 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. Now ,the French reason (my dear late wife Martine) is gone, but we still very much attach to France thanks to her courage and determination. Never to be forgotten. Enjoy the State of Florida.

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

 

 

 

December 29, 2019

Dolphin Mall, Miami USA!

So let’s make a 360 degree turn and get you back to the Americas and the good grand Florida USA or more specific Miami Florida. And the shopping of Dolphin Mall!!!

I enjoy life’s pleasure and do not mind going shopping with the family or friends as long as there are nice places to have a drink and or eat and the Dolphin Mall was one of my favorite hangouts when lived closed by. I used to live lastly in Florida at Silver Lakes, Miramar, Broward County but worked in Miami, Miami-Dade County. The relationship goes way back and enjoy my 18 years living in Florida! After all , graduated from University there, got married there, and my 3 boys were born there! And even thus was already French there since 2000 , finally left permanently to France in 2003…

Miami

Now let me tell you a bit on this wonderful shopping center / Mall. The Dolphin Mall!

Dolphin Mall (11401 N.W. 12 Street) a shopping center in actually today’s Sweetwater, Miami-Dade County,  west of the city of Miami. Bordering the now call Ronald Reagan Turnpike toll road on the west , and the junction with the Dolphin Expressway or State Road 836  that takes you all the way to the McArthur Causeway into Miami Beach at  5th Street and right into the Beach!! You really need to pinpoints the places there as there are about 7 different towns with the name Miami on it including the most famous Miami Beach.  The mall opened on March 2001.

Miami

The Dolphin Mall is accessible by public transportation via bus line 7. If you go to the Dolphin Mall on weekends, take bus 238 from Miami Airport. It will take you directly and non-stop to the Dolphin Mall.  Here is the Metrobus network I have on 238 westbound from airport to the mall: Miami Dade County gov transportation bus schedules

Of course the above is for info only, I always drove a car there… 8,500 free parking spaces including a state of the art parking garage, featuring a convenient race track layout for easy-access shopping. The Dolphin Mall is located from Miami Airport (10.5 km) Coral Gables (13.5 km) Coconut Grove (15.1 km) ,and Little Havana (16.8 km).  And last check the hours are open 7 days a week. Opening hours may vary from week to week. In general, the shopping center opens at 10h or 11h and closes at 20h (8 pm).

Dolphin Mall has more than 250 stores and a wide selection of discounted brands making it one of the most popular and busiest malls in Miami area.  Dolphin Mall is the largest mall in Miami , and the second-largest mall in Miami-Dade County.

Dolphin Mall is separated into three major universes:

Ramblas: built in the form of a village square with restaurants and entertainment

Playa: designed to remind South Beach, there are stores for clothing, accessories and home decor.

Moda: which refers to Collins Avenue and Bal Harbor with its chic and refined atmosphere

Miami

Dolphin Mall brings together shops for clothes, video games, toys, cosmetics, etc., as well as restaurants, a 19-screen cinema, a children’s play center, an arcade and a bowling alley.  Experience life with an exciting mix of entertainment venues such as CineBistro, Dave and Buster’s and Bowlero Miami. Crave life with more than 30 diverse dining options in the Food Court, and 19 sit-down restaurants including Texas de Brazil Churrascaria, P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, Brio Tuscan Grille, El Gran Inka Peruvian Gastrobar, Buffalo Wild Wings , Milanezza Argentinian Restaurant & Bar and The Cheesecake Factory. Live life to the fullest here.

My favorites there were the JC Penney store,( no longer there) , and Burlington, plus the cinema, the outdoor live music events under the Florida sky, just sublime. come to shop or come to party is all here. Gap, Banana Republic, the Borders Book store, FYE Entertainment (no longer there 2009 picture) , Sbarro’s,  The Cheesecake Factory, and TGIFridays, for food eating, a great place for the whole family.

Miami

Miami

The official Dolphin Mall webpage is here: Shop Dolphin Mall

Tourist office of Miami and the Beaches on the Dolphin Mall

And there you go, come under the sun and do some serious shopping in a grand location. Things have change a lot since i left it, by looking at the webpage but according to local family still a place to be. Hope you enjoy the shopping at Dolphin Mall Miami or is it Sweetwater...

The text is from 2019 the photos are from 2009 last visit !

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

 

 

 

 

December 20, 2019

The market , Daytona Beach!

Ok so let’s swing around and go over the pond or ocean the Atlantic for memories of old that never fade away! As said we love the markets and this is not just a new found thing, we go way back as a family our first experience happened in Daytona Beach Florida USA

This is a sentimental post for us but will tell you a bit about the flea market at Daytona Beach.

Wow I read that the Daytona Flea Market is ranked one of the top five markets in the USA and top 10 in the world! The market boasts hundreds of vendors, a top notch farmer’s market, specialty stores, antiques, and two indoor shopping malls!!! It has grown indeed over the years

I have been coming here since living in nearby Ormond by the Sea and going to college in Daytona Beach, the city I got married and my oldest son was born at Halifax Hospital, and baptized at St Brendan’s Catholic Church in Ormond by the Sea!  Memories galore of a wonderful place of fast speed and fast oh well everything in season. I have done some older post on this stories but not on the market.

My experiences here goes back to 1977! And ended in 2003 when I left Florida for France! Already a French citizen to brag lol! However, all my adult young history was base around here first alone, then with my parents, then with my wife and later my older boy and then visited with the whole gang before departing Florida. A one stop shopping and cultural experience recommended to all.

Hardly a photo left but here I am with my paternal grandfather of Tenerife!And my parents.

daytona beach flea pipo mima y abuelo manolo

The Daytona Flea Market is another that makes a proper event out of the market. At least once a month it offers either an arts and crafts fair or the Classic Car Cruise-In. Daytona Flea Market features stalls stretching over 3 miles and there is plenty of shopping to be had. It is worth getting to this market earlier on in the day, for ease of parking as well as sourcing the best items.

Note that Daytona Flea Market is not the place to hit for specific antiques, but instead is a haven for all things second-hand and curious. Sellers are there to clear their tables, so barter away for some awesome bargains! Located at 1425 Tomoka Farms Rd, Daytona Beach, FL and open Friday, Saturday, Sunday from 9 am to 5pm or 9h to 17h year round.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Official Daytona flea Market

City of Daytona Beach on the flea market

Tourist office of Florida on the Daytona Flea Market

Hope you enjoy the post and do stop by! for me it is wonderful memories and thank for sharing them in my blog.

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

 

 

December 13, 2019

My cars, a love affair!

Well if you read my blog, you know I love cars and considered myself proudly the road warrior especially in USA, France and Spain. The car is my second home and why?

Well it all started back many  years ago when I first took my driver’s license in the good old Garden State of New Jersey USA. I remember taking my Dad’s car an old Ford LTD and driving it into New York City to see a game of the New York Yankees baseball team!

Yes on the way in I got there alright but on the return I end up near Philadelphia on the Garden State Parkway when finally I ask a State Trooper police to tell me I was near the big city and way over pass mine much nearer New York City in Perth Amboy, NJ! That was the thrill of youth that still rings on me.

Too bad do not took the time to take pictures of those old cars darn it!!! Well it turn out amongt so many pictures did have a few so here they are found them!!

From that first Ford LTD wagon, I went if I can recall that far back… to a Chevy Monte Carlo (purchase in NJ taken to FL) ,and the rest were purchase in Central/South Florida. A Chevy Lumina minivan, Fiat 131, Chevy Malibu, Suzuki Vitara, and of course my favorite was the Ford Mustang (pic). The car craze helped by living for several years in Ormond By The Sea near Ormond Beach and just over Daytona Beach ,home of NASCAR!

daytona beach

Found it!! daytona beach chevy monte carlo 1977

ormond beach

Found it, my Fiat 131 at Ormond Beach house garage me and Dad!

miramar

found it my Chevy Malibu in garage at Miramar!

ormond beach

Ormond Beach

Not to mention I did try to drive out a Delta Airlines L-1011(Lockheed)  airplane out of Hartfield Atlanta International Airport in my crazy younger days but forgot to ask the hangar door to open ::)

atlanta

And I went over permanently to France and my European adventures began in earnest in 2003. That year I purchase my first car in France, a Ford Focus Break in Meaux, Seine-et-Marne dept 77.

And took far and beyond into Spain! Then took a liking for Ford, friendly service, good quality automobiles done in Germany (Cologne, and Sarrelouis) and Spain (Almussafes, Valencia), and good deals with friendly salespersons.  So the Ford story continues today. You should see the movie Le Mans 66 !!

I went in and change to a Ford C-Max  ,and later came a Ford Kuga, and then came a plain Ford Focus to quickly change to what is now a Ford Fiesta Titanium model. Pics in order.

pluvigner

Pluvigner

pluvigner

Vannes

The ride on Ford has been great and taking me to Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Italy, Switzerland, England, Spain, and France. The road warrior drives on open highways, freeways, toll roads, and even into big cities like Frankfurt, Trier, Koblenz, and several other towns, London, Rome, Geneva, Amsterdam, Milan, Bologna, Luxembourg all over, Brussels, Bruges, Anvers, and other smaller towns, Spain all over, and France all over.

And it is not over yet as there are plenty of roads to tackle by yours truly. Friends ask me about the traffic in Paris especially now with the traffic jams of the strike. Well proudly will tell you I had none of that. I take the smaller inner streets in Paris and come from outside beltways on the west and along the Seine river, just had a small slow down by place de la Nation due to some anti islamophia demonstration right on the street!!!

If you need help getting around there to any place, let me know will gladly gets you out of the huge traffic jams going on still in Paris and probably into the Christmas break.

I need to tell you as well here in my lovely Morbihan in beautiful Bretagne there are no traffic jams lol five car we get upset lol!!! Enjoy the rides and convenience to go into no man’s land to see the off the beaten path sites. Happy motoring!!!

And even thus did not purchase my first car in France here as the old location is now a monop store in city center Meaux, did visit the new dealer Ford Meaux on the outside of town, this is their webpage. Ford Meaux

And i am going thru my fourth car at the Ford Mustiére of Vannes here: Ford Mustiére Vannes part of Groupe DMD

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

November 10, 2019

My early life in my blog!

So on the Armistice weekend (celebrated Monday November 11) in Europe (the end of the Great War or WWI)  and Veteran’s Day in the USA (for all combine) ,I come to end my nice weekend with the family in my Pluvigner, Morbihan , Bretagne and head back to the CDG Paris area to continue my job mission. These will be many weekends back and forth until May 2020 at the latest.

Just the re start of my finance consultant life into retirement and thereafter. Life on the road is nice but sometimes missed the boys back home even if we also celebrated early this weekend my twin boys 26 yrs old birthday. We went to eat out at favorite family restaurant Tablapizza , then shopping in the Armand Thiery store and others , doing the groceries at Carrefour with them and next day like today went to the cinema Cineville to see the Maléfique : Le Pouvoir du Mal or Maleficent: Mistress of Evil   movie and then more gifts to them and eat out at the old Burger King lol! they love it.

Now reminicent in a sentimental way of my life travels and efforts starting with my dear late mother Gladys and continue with my dear late wife Martine , still going strong out of faith with my 3 boys and Dad. I have to tell you a bit of my early post when I started this blog out of inspiration of many in the famous travel forums and friend in Madrid. Most if not all these early posts have no pictures as used elsewhere but they tell my early steps in life in a chronological manner. Hope you enjoy reading it as I did/do.

So these were my entry into my first blog posts ever!!! It all started back in November 2010!!! wow already 9 years time flies when having fun. Thank you all!!

Well I am finally into a blog after many years posting elsewhere. Hopefully this will allow me to share with my friends and family my travels and favorites pastimes over the years,and to hear back from folks similar stories. It will grow with us,looking forward to it. Posted: November 26 2010

Havana/La Habana it was once the Paris of the Americas, the Pearl of the Antilles, the most chic city of Latin America until the revolution destroyed everything;streets names were changed, city names were change, people left in hordes, and more poverty than ever sets in all under the glorious revolution still there.  Posted: November 28 2010

Madrid .I arrived from Havana, Cuba on December 30th 1971 in a lonely long flight of 16 hours aboard a Britannia four propellers aircraft with a fueling stop in Santa Maria, Azores islands of Portugal. After much political pressure and the help of the Spanish government as Spanish citizens to leave the island dictatorship. I end up in another one Lol! Posted: November 28 2010

Where it all began for me and my family finally arriving in freedom at Perth Amboy , New Jersey ,USA on may 10, 1974. From Madrid ,Spain. After successful avoiding two dictatorships of the left and right, freedom sets in. Posted: November 28 2010

Daytona Beach/Ormond Beach /North Miami/ Hialeah/ Miramar. My first contact with the State of Florida took place in 1973 when I went from New Jersey to visit my Aunt in Miami Lakes; it didnt seem that great, I guess I was already used to the cold weather from Spain and New Jersey. Then in August of 1977 I went to pursue my university studies there, and settled at Daytona Beach. It was instant love, the city was warm, sunny but also cool in winter, nice folks and the beach and the girls was awesome. Posted:  November 29 2010

Versailles. Coming around my life, as a family we decided way back that one day we might end up in France. Being married to a French woman, and all French citizens, the time was just any minute. Life in South Florida has been great, and we were visiting France every year since 1990 together,even sometimes with my parents. The decision was made to come to live in France permanently in August 2003. Posted: November 30 2010

Auray/Brech . Well here I am back and with new photos to share the wonderful world of  France. Today, I will talk a bit about my new area the Pays ‘Auray. Its a agglomaration of several towns into a metropolitan system of cities. The capital and main city is Auray or An Alre in Breton language.  I arrived here in May 30 2011. Posted: June 26 2011

Pluvigner. The town we are now is call Pluvigner, same department of Morbihan 56, in fact only about 11 kms from where we were, but a much bigger home. 255 sq meters of home and 1000 m2 of land!!! The house is great, we will do some adjustment to our convenience but no major works needed. I arrived here on July 2013. Posted: September 8 2013.

Now you know a bit more of me for those new to my blog in a nutshell!!! Again thank you very much for keeping with me these last few years (9) and hopefully many more to come on our roads of our world.

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

 

 

 

October 25, 2019

My trip to the roots where all begun ,Cuba!

Well this was a business trip with my company but took advantage with my assigned driver to see the family still there and nostalgic moments in my life. It all began here for me many many years ago. I left it in 1971. The comments are updated , but the photos are from 2012.

I took a long flight it seems endless from home in Brittany, went by car to Nantes airport;following the road N165 all the way to exit D201 Nantes Atlantique signs about 1h30 minutes. Then took a regional Air France flight to Amsterdam, Schiphol airport, change there to KLM for the flight to La Habana about 10 hours !!! lol!!! and finally arrive in Havana.

I stayed at a Casa Particular as was assigned this by the company in district of Playa, no fancy hotels for me!!! Stories about Cuba abound from all periods; blaming each other but no doubt the previous regime was better for the mayority. Proof over 2 millions have left already and several millions waiting for the opportunity while been politically correct.

havana

We went to eat at EL Palenque, the resto of the Convention palace nearby, great Cuban food, why bother with all those international places if in Cuba eat like a Cuban. Calle 17 y 190, Playa.. Ciudad de La Habana tel  (53 7) 203-8222 .

havana

We had not much time so I took a ride on the Malecon, went over to the old Church of San Francisco de Asisi, the Morro ,Fuerza ,and Cabanas castles.

Havana

havana

havana

havana

havana

We had business lunch at Restaurant 1830 at Calle Calzada esq. a 20, Vedado. Ciudad de La Habana tel(53 7) 55-3090-92 . There was a special treat at a casa paladar on a fifth floor of a house but could not remember the name as it was at night and friends rode me there, we had lobsters supreme with a view of the city.

The next day I ask my assigned driver to talke me to my native town of Punta Brava, just in the borders of the city of La Habana, visiting family aunt and cousins (which by now left Cuba too) , I ate at a typical Cuban casa paladar in pesos nacionales, a dish of roast pork,moros black beans,yucca,tostones in garlic sauce, salad of tomatos and lettuce, plus coffee and four beers for two persons at 10 CUC or about 260 Cuban Pesos Nacionales. Just in Calzada (main street Avenida 51) before turning left to Guatao, the old Carretera Central.

havana

I went further inland to visit another aunt and cousins at Cayo La Rosa, (these still there) off Bauta, this was a huge textile plant (Ariguanabo) of 5000 workers done by Americans now in ruins. The village have not change much, and took a ride with my cousin in an electric moto on the town, crazy but a great and cheap means of transportation there now.  And proud of myself was able to take my local driver there as he did not know how,and I did it with so many years out just on good memory lol!

Of course in each visit i ate with the family and reminiscent of the old days, telling me what a nice guy I was !!!  Finally, it was time to come back again, and took my flight from La Habana Jose Marti International airport, very easily, this time in route to Paris CDG on Air France. The plane was full and cheapy company had me on economy class! but was bump up to Business Class , by asking and it shows the difference, very nice flight of 9 hours to Paris CDG. There change again on AF to Nantes, and took my car from the airport parking for the trip home after paying 54 euros of parking fees. Cheaper than renting a car lol!

havana

havana

I was hoping not to be the last trip like this, but this is October 2019 and not back yet; time is ticking and less family there. Even in the difficulties of that system was the same warm welcome by the family and the faces of the buildings even if change were still recognisable, and I look forward to the future when all can have a pleasant place to visit with family and no government mistreatments and inconveniences.

No webpages just for the memories update in my blog. Hoping you can enjoy a visit there under better circumstances and then tell me about it ok. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

October 25, 2019

A Church at Arroyo Arenas, Cuba!

And coming back to the roots, a bit of my old neighborhood, its been almost 50 years but the memories lingered. I like to tell you briefly as not much info on the internet on one of my sights when my dear late Mom Gladys passed by here taking a friend’s car or the bus line 99! We always made the cross sign passing by the Church of Arroyo Arenas. The blog is also a way to keep my history for eternity I hope and future generations can see it all.

The town of Arroyo Arenas is in the municipality La Lisa, city of La Habana, Cuba. It is located on the banks of the Camino Real (Royal route), today Avenida 51 (avenue 51). It limits to the north with the municipality of Playa, to the south the Cano – Valle Grande – Bello 26 and Morado, to the east with Punta Brava (my native town!) and to the west with San Agustín

Arroyo Arenas was granted in 1672 status of village by the Spanish colonial governor. By 1778 they still subordinated its existence to the city/hall of Havana. In 1780 the local city hall were constituted, corresponding from Arroyo Arenas to Santiago de las Vegas. TheCaptaincy were subordinated to El Cano and Bauta. The first was subordinated the town of: Arroyo Arenas.

Towards the last decade of the 18C, this seat made possible the foundation of the town of Arroyo Arenas, a fact that was recorded in 1790 when a chapel was constituted that apparently was attached to a house or room, separated from common uses. Likewise, in 1794 the first tile house was built in this town and in 1795 the hermitage of Arroyo Arenas was officially erected under the invocation of Jesús Nazareno del Rescate or Jesus Nazarene of the Rescue.

The location of this site on the side of the Camino Real to Vueltabajo was enriched by the migration of Canary island peasant population initially settled in Vueltabajo (the best cigars in the world and my ancestors the Guanches of Tenerife and Grand Canaria) . Its growth as a town is evidenced by the fact that in 1843 the Spanish Army Weapons Command was established there and already in 1846 it had 12 masonry houses, 7 of wood and tiles, 36 of mud and guano, a clothing store, 3 mixed, 2 shoe stores, 2 tobacco shops, 1 carpentry, 1 blacksmith shop and 298 settlers, of which 44 were slaves.

From 1878, according to the new political-administrative division established by the colonial government on that date, the city hall of the towns of El Cano, Marianao and Santiago de las Vegas were created.. To each of them the districts were subordinated to El Cano corresponded Arroyo Arenas, Barandilla, Falcón, Jaimanitas and El Cano proper; Marianao was subordinate to La Lisa, and to Santiago de las Vegas, the districts Bauta, Punta Brava ;and Guatao were subordinated. In the judicial order, all these municipalities were subordinated to Bejucal until 1880.

In the first months of 1955, the construction of a highway that would connect Columbia (army and airport barracks) to the central highway at the exit of Arroyo Arenas was announced. In April 1956 it was finished. The Hermitage and Country Club, were projected to link with the with the Biltmore Riviera, Boulevar del Biltmore and Montecarlo, which would extend to Novia del Mediodia ( roundabout call the noon girlfriend) . These projects were interrupted with the triumph of the Cuban revolution.

The Hermitage is now a National Sanctuary of Jesus Nazareno del Rescate , located at the Central Highway (that goes from one point to the other of the island country) and here it is call Avenida 51 building no. 26455. The same route that passes by my native town. The Church was erected in 1795, under the invocation of Jesus of Nazareno del Rescate. But the church instead of one, has two stairs, the one on the right where the ladies went up distributing alms, and the one on the left that has more steps, 29 in total. In general, here, women and humble men, the true devotees, those that Jesus did not expel from his temple were climbing. Have one photos souvenir of our passing by it.

Arroyo Arenas

No webpage but the memories lingered. Hope you can appreciated and maybe one you can pass by it and make the sign of the Cross too , for me at Arroyo Arenas!

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

 

 

August 23, 2019

Soccer/Football/Balompie!!!

Ok so let me go into something more personal , that is my playing career in soccer/football/balompie covering my time in New Jersey and Florida. I skip my time in Madrid as been a poor boy have no photos or news clips from that time while learning the sport in the Real Madrid organisation.

pluvigner

Hala Madrid!!!!

I am sure this will bring some memories to those that play or played the game, as to me it is just a way to keep my history in my blog for future generations. Hope you enjoy as much as I to write about it now.

I have posted in my blog my earlier history but let me shorten here for the sport’s sake. I came from Madrid Spain to Perth Amboy New Jersey USA in May 1972. I then, became an American ,learned English, got my driving license and graduated from high school.

While at Perth Amboy High School, i hook up with the latin american community there as well as the Portuguese. I played varsity soccer for Perth Amboy with ranking as high as No 1 in Middlesex County as per the News Tribune newspaper of New Brunswick, and No 6 in New Jersey as per the newspaper Star-Ledger of Newark. My position was central or libero defender at the varsity level, having been put there by the coach after playing mid midfielder in the Junior Varsity team for one year.

Perth Amboy

That was our Perth Amboy high school stadium main entrance

Perth Amboy

Perth Amboy

The Perth Amboy soccer program has been on a downhill ever since and today they lose more than win. The current team is feature here: Perth Amboy Public Schools on the soccer team

Perth Amboy

Yearbook picture soccer Varsity team I am in there ::)

I did read up that the amateur team of Perth Amboy Portuguese club of which I played way back has re started the team as mention in the local Portuguese American newspaper El Lusoamericano. More in Portuguese here: Perth Amboy Portuguese soccer

I , then, went on to college/university in Daytona Beach, Florida with ERAU=Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (founder in 1934 of American Airlines and in WWII train American and British pilots becoming a leading aviation university in the world). 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 Augusut 1977 ::)

While hanging around a field that look like a soccer field, kicking my soccer ball around, a grey older men approached me and ask me if I had previous experience playing soccer/football. I told him learned with a team call Real Madrid in Spain lower kids divisions (alevin) , played with ethnic leagues in New Jersey semipro and with the high school, so he immediately sign me up for the team, he was the purchasing manager, named John C Butler, from Leicester ,England and a former player of that city’s team. From then on we had an interesting relationship, one of which ,was getting together at the end of each year to schedule my classes for the next year so my free time was available for the soccer team.

Daytona beach

The school soccer/football team was composed of many international students like England, Holland, Trinidad and Tobago,Iran,Portugal, Venezuela, Spain,etc all playing for the love of the game, no scholarships. We played NCAA div 1 and 2 teams on an open schedule, by the end its was club level as the school ERAU refuse to sponsor a team for lack or simply not wanting to offer funds. We organise the games ourselves with the other schools.  The soccer/football continues at the club level in 1981  playing by mutual agreement with other Universities in FLorida under our new coach who had played for the Seattle Sounders of the old NASL and was from Liberia, but unfortunately forgot his name; this was our last year as a school team.

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 ;Univ of 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!!!

Playing with the Daytona Beach Eagles team in the amateur league in Central Florida as well. I became active in the soccer/football team that was playing in the Daytona Beach YMCA fields. I did obtain sponsorship with Coronado Title Co for a Co-ed  (unisex men and women) indoor soccer team that finish Champion in 1986. I had girls playing for the University of Central Florida which in those years went to be rank no 10 in the NCAA division 1.

Daytona Beach

The current soccer program at ERAU has excellent modern facilities and great support.  The intercollegiate soccer stadium, located behind the ICI Center, is a meticulously maintained soccer facility that has hosted nationally televised playing events. The official webpage is here: ERAU Eagles on soccer

Hope it brings back memories to some, it does enormously for me and now feel good about leaving the legacy here in my blog for my sons and onwards. The football season has started in Europe and I will be soon in Madrid to get first hand news of my Real Madrid!

Remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

July 28, 2019

Gourin and America!!!

So in my road warrior trip I have come into many towns all over the world and especially my belle France. Some have been passing by chance others well known in advance but this one well;;; it is so close yet was so far. Only an hour from my house but this is my first time there! And there, because I have heard the story of the important link between Gourin and the immigration to the USA and Canada.  I like to tell you a bit of this story and many others in subsequents posts in my blog on Gourin an amazing little town. The amazing thing as well was that while walking the city center got to see one of my collegues from work near Vannes, he had moved nearby but a native of  Gourin and was visiting relatives!  So I got good tips lol!!!

Gourin is a town in the department 56 of Morbihan, in the region of Bretagne (Brittany), it belongs to Cornouaille (Cornwall) Morbihannaise. It has the particularity of being 83 km from Vannes, its departamental capital city , and only 40 km from Quimper, the departamental capital of the Finistere, dept 29 . Gourin is also located 15 km from Carhaix-Plouguer, 47 km from Lorient, 71 km from Brest, 74 km from   Saint-Brieuc and 143 km from Rennes. As well as been 71 km from my house! The routes we take are the D102 into the D769 (Lorient-Roscoff road) and the Quimper-Rostrenen-Saint-Brieuc road D1 which takes us right into city center Gourin.

gourin

A bit of history I like

In the 11-12C; Gourin was the seat of a viscount that extended over the parishes of Gourin, Guiscriff, Langonnet, Le Faouet and Leuhan and the Trier of Roudouallec, Le Saint, Lanvénégen and La Trinité. Among the viscounts of Gourin are the names of Cadoret who rose up in 1075 against Duke Hoel et Tanguy I who participated in the First Crusade with his Duke Alain Fergent. The Viscount was attached to the ducal domain from 1265. Gourin then became the seat of a ducal bar which after the act of union of Brittany to France in 1532 will become the seat of a royal seneschal until its removal during the French revolution.

The first lords of Tronjoly were the Kergoet, who lived in the old manor house from 1426 to 1660. The present castle was built in 1768, replacing the old manor. At the beginning of the French revolution, the lords of Tronjoly sheltered refractory priests and chouans (rebels against the revolution) . Under the supervision of the republican authorities, the L’Ollivier were forced in March 1793 to settle at Le Faouët and some members of the family emigrated; among them François Urbain L’Ollivier de Tronjoly, wounded during the landing of Quiberon (Breton immigrants from England coming back to fight the French revolution) on July 16, 1795, was tried and executed in Vannes on August 1, 1795 (as about 795 others) . More of the castle in a separate post and immigration exhibit as well.

An interesting part of the town of Gourin which is fascinating to me even if heard before , it is now the time I decided to visit the town only one hour from my house!!!

In the late 19C and early 20C, especially between 1902 and WWI, Gourin and its region experienced a strong emigration, mainly of young men, to North America, although it began in the 18C. There was a second wave of emigration from the cantons of Gourin and Roudouallec in the 1950s following the visit of the Canadian consul., several y oung Gourinois went to Canada between 1948 and 1953. Many of the Bretons currently living in the United States are from the Gourin region (it is estimated that the Montagne Noire region around Gourin has lost about 4,000 emigrants to the United States between 1945 and 1958). But emigration to this country began around 1885, not all emigrants are young men, but sometimes older people, small farmers, small traders or craftsmen, not having land able to feed them; At the end of the 19C and at the beginning of the 20C, a large group of emigrants from Montagne Noirs ( Black Mountains) settles in the resort area of Lenox, Massachusetts , with women becoming housekeepers, and men as gardeners. By 1928, there were approximately 3,000 inhabitants of Gourin in New York, 400 of whom were directly employed by Michelin (founded in 1901 in New York), the factory of Miltown, in New Jersey, and who recruited Bretons in a privileged manner. Between; only the years 1946 and 1955 emigrants, mainly young, leave the region of Gourin (13.4% of the population), a large part of it to the United States, the Bretons emigrants tend to regroup in colonies, a real “Breton district” being created for example in New York, on the border of Brooklyn and the Bronx, between 49th and 52nd Street; others went south to Louisiana and Florida or west to California. Three agencies of the “Compagnie Générale Transatlantique” also had their headquarters in Gourin and Roudouallec at the time to organize travel to the United States. The return to the country of some of these émigrés, nicknamed “Americans”, sometimes enriched, was a powerful vector of modernization of agriculture and housing as well as changing mentalities; but most remained settled permanently in North America. These emigrants were also sometimes nicknamed “ar lostou ru” (“red tails”) in local Breton, referring to the color of their license plates.

Proof enough of this exchange of the Bretons with America is the fact that they have a replica of the Statue of Liberty, in the central square, (place de la Victoire) testifying to the exodus of the population of Gourin to the American continent.  Air France donated in 1996 to thanks the travellers who went the route from their office in Roudouallec until 1985 ;the initial statue of Liberty! The new  Statue of Liberty of Gourin will be identical to that of the Luxembourg Garden in Paris (in partnership with the Réunion des Musées Nationaux) There is a fund raiser going on to do this .

gourin

gourin

There are other wonderful things to see here but I will tell you I separate posts in my blog soon.

gourin

As to been after lunch, we still got a bit hungry so we stop by at the local bakery pastry and salon de thé shop Le Clec’h at Rue Jacques Rodalle just before the steep street leading to the Statue of Liberty. Nice abricot pastries indeed to keep us at bay until back home! And a nice mayor’s office across too. And do not forget the usual wonderful Saturday morning market at Place Stenfort!

gourin

gourin

gourin

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and you should lots of history here and America at Gourin.

City of Gourin and its heritage things to see

Local tourist office of pays du roi morvan on Gourin

And there you go now me and you have seen  Gourin! A nice find and certaintly been so close a return trip is in order. I had a good impression of the town, lively, clean , good ambiance and wonderful things to see. What can I say, my beautiful Morbihan dept 56!

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

 

 

 

 

 

July 26, 2019

Restaurant: Florida USA!

So back to my newest regular posts on restaurants of memories past in my world trotter travels. This time will take you a cherish place of mine where I lived for 18 years, that is Florida USA! Hope you enjoy the memorable moments and can come and visit them one day. Thanks for reading.

Miami’s original Cuban kitchen , La Carreta (the wagon) was born out of the growing demand for an authentic cultural Cuban hub.  A Cuban family-owned establishment, it continues to be a staple of  old Cuba’s family dining traditions of “grandmother style” food and famous Cuban espresso. To characterize Cuban food in terms of other cuisines, it’s basically a fusion of Spanish, French, African and Caribbean cuisines, drawing many distinctive flavors from each of these, with heavy influences of garlic, citrus, and sugar cane.

As a restaurant, you don’t stick around for more than 40 years and expand into a local chain if you’re not doing something right. And for La Carreta, that something is food. Lots of it. Though you’ll find some Spanish-inspired dishes, you can’t go wrong by sticking to Cuban classics like ropa vieja (shredded beef cooked with onions and Cuban mojo sauce (coming from Tenerife) , served with rice and sweet plantains) and boliche (pot roast stuffed with chorizo). Even when the restaurant is packed, the waiters are great at making you feel like you have all the time in the world to figure out what it is you want to eat. They’ll help you figure that out, too, if you want, they’re full of suggestions, and recommendations. But mainly they’re super-friendly and fast.

Each day, the restaurant offers a selection of three or four specials, and weekday lunch deals include breaded pork chop, shrimp creole, and fried grouper for less than $10. Expect large portions on the plates and a backroom café for strong Cuban coffee, sweet pastries and sugarcane juice. Though most of the ordering happens at the walk-up coffee window, serving up flaky pastelitos and espressos until the wee hours.

Official la Carreta restaurant on locations

miami

We came to them many times and our favorites family location were at the International Mall parking lot outside the mall right next to the Dolphin Expressway (State road 836) coming from Miami Beach at NW 107 ave. you see it from the Expressway. One of my favorite restaurant is here La Carreta, Cuban Cuisine at its best.

Offiical International Mall for orientation

Another location we went is the original restaurant at SW 8th street Miami, this is some reviews: Yelp reviews on original restaurant of La Carreta

Another dandy is TGI Fridays reputation as the best corner bar in town started in Manhattan in 1965 and my fav location was near Sawgrass Mill Mall in Sunrise, Broward County, Florida just north of my old home.  Located near W Sunrise Blvd & Yellow Toucan Rd, proudly bringing you the best local mix of food, fun, and handcrafted cocktails. Many times here with the family!

sunrise

Sunrise

Sawgrass Mills shopping center is huge, I mean huge  ,one of the biggest if not the biggest mall in the USA, and Florida’s largest. https://www.simon.com/mall/sawgrass-mills

Also, tried them while visiting the USA at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport near Gate B19.  http://apps.atl.com/Passenger/ShopDineExplore/ViewStores.aspx?comp_id=130

Atlanta

They were in Paris, France at 8, Rue Du Faubourg Montmartre 9éme,  but departed by 2013 and not back yet. However, they are in Spain and have tried their Madrid branch as well as Prague, Czech Republic.

Official TGIF Sunrise location

Yelp reviews on Sunrise location

Another twist on the above is Applebees!  They are  your go-to restaurant for burgers, chicken, steaks, and the infamous riblets all served in a relaxed family-friendly environment. And don’t forget to checkout  their Neighborhood Drink of the Month special. Applebee was Established in 1980 originally base at Kansas City Missouri, later in 2015 relocated to Glendale, California. The first restaurant opened in November 1980 in Decatur, Georgia.

Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar offers a lively casual dining experience combining simple, craveable American fare, classic drinks and local drafts. Now that’s Eatin’ Good in the Neighborhood. a chain where the the ambiance is more towards sports decorated walls, location been to Sunrise and Doral– Miami. I have gone for the trios and seafood platters with plenty of beers. The webpage of Applebee is not available from France due to the owners refusing to adhere to the European rights of information laws (RGPD).

Offiical Applebees

Yelp reviews of Applebee at NW 41 st Doral

Miami

Another family souvenir is the  Latin American Bayside Cuban Café at 401 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, in the Bayside Marketplace right at the entrance to the Port of Miami.  Awesome food and the Cuban sandwich & coffee are to die for. Great service n friendly staff. Made us go back again everyday while we were there.  For the big eaters this cantine type restaurant is a go and the possibility of choosing from a large selection of salads, meat grills all you can eat. There is a wine cellar and drinks but small selection. However, the location is superb in downtown/city center Miami.

The Latin American Bayside Cuban Café  has a nice location, with a small indoor seating area and bar, and a much larger outdoor patio, so you can overlooki Bayside’s harbor a wonderful tropical escape with boating cruises on Miami harbor by the port of Miami and passing by the home of the famous. Souvenirs stores and great Latin American Cafe,  while enjoying a nice mojito and watching several plates of Cuban food being brought forth from the kitchen. Sure, there are a lot of places to eat Cuban in Miami, but Bayside is quite the restaurant given it’s location and price.

Facebook page of Latin American Cafe Bayside

Yelp reviews on the Latin America Bayside Café

Official Bayside marketplace open air mall at port of Miami

miami

Another hugely favorite of ours is the Columbia Restaurant; we have been to the original in Tampa and also, St Augustine.  Founded in 1905 by Cuban immigrant Casimiro Hernandez, Sr., the Columbia Restaurant is Florida’s oldest restaurant, and the largest Spanish restaurant in the world. It began in Tampa’s Ybor City, (from city area founder Vicente Ybor) as a small 60-seat corner cafe known for its Cuban coffee and authentic Cuban sandwiches, frequented by the local cigar workers. To this day, more than 114 years since it first opened, the Columbia remains in the same family.

tampa

Over the years, Columbia Restaurant has attracted some of the most well known athletes and entertainers from yesteryear to today. From Babe Ruth to Derek Jeter, Lou Piniella, Ken Griffey Jr. and Barry Larkin, from Liberace to Bruce Springsteen, Steven Tyler of Aerosmith and Brian Johnson of ACDC, from Jack Dempsey and Rocky Marciano to Evander Holyfield, from Marilyn Monroe and Liza Minelli to Bo Derek, everyone enjoys the Columbia.  Other recent visitors include George Clooney, Stephen King, Bryant Gumbel, Brooke Shields, and Lauren Hutton.

The restaurant’s wine list contains more than 1,056 wines with an inventory exceeding 50,000 bottles, and Columbia has won several awards for their Spanish wines. The restaurant features performances of flamenco, one of Spain’s traditional dances. another wonderful Florida combination of shopping, food, and games for the whole family!

Official Columbia Restaurant

tampa

tampa

Ybor City is a 10 square block National Landmark Historic District comprised of cobblestone streets and brick buildings that are an architectural fusion with strong Latin influences. The area reeks with history, for example President Teddy Roosevelt stayed there during the Spanish American War as did Sr. Winston Churchill who was reporting on the war for the London Daily Graphic.

Tourist office of Tampa on the Columbia at Ybor City

Ybor City official webpage on the Columbia Restaurant

The exquisite Columbia Restaurant sits in the heart of St. Augustine in the historic district of the nation’s oldest city, which was founded in 1565. St. Augustine is  also home to the Columbia Restaurant , located in the heart of the historic district at the corner of Hypolita and St. George Streets. We used to lived 45 min from it and visited often!!

Tourist office of St Augustine on the Columbia Restaurant

St Augustine

St Augustine

And now two of my favorite French hangouts while living in Florida USA.

The Royal French Bakery, was run by Christian from Lyon, so it was heavens, no longer there but post for the memories.  We had our Büche de Nôel always done here as was not sold to the public for lack of knowledge of it;  ordered by my dear late wife Martine. The Royal French Bakery was South Miami’s go-to boulangerie/patisserie, with all that you’d expect from a French bakery (tarts, macarons, croissants galore), plus salads, sammies and cafe au laits. You can score the flaky, buttery treats in flavors like guava, ham & cheese and almond, to name a few of the goodies we got here over the years. The location was at  7370 SW 57th Ave, South Miami, FL 33143.Just off Sunset Ave or NW 72 St. Now Closed in its place there is La Crêpe Bistro no relation do not know them.  It’s reviews are here on YELP: https://www.yelp.com/biz/la-crepe-bistro-miami

Miami

Pleasant to verify the Croissan’Time Bakery at 1201 N Federal Hwy, Fort Lauderdale, FL is still there! This bistro, bakery, and grocery store opened in 1986 by Bernard Casse, from  Port-Sainte-Marie in the region of Lot & Garonne France and very nice guy!! We came here for everything French even paying more for import taxes. He had started as a bakery in the southwest of France in the 1960’s and arrived in the USA in 1978. He began working in several establishments such as the prestigious La Grenouille, New York, before starting his own business.  In his team there was also Matthieu Cartron, that had worked in France, Saint-Martin, and New York, that came to lent a hand as well as the baker Garry Petigny. All the breads of Croissan’Time  are done on site from scratch. More info at official webpage here:  http://www.croissantime.com/

Yelp reviews on the Croissan’Time

Ft Lauderdale

And to show how the French community of Florida mingles and get to know each other as we had for many years there from 1990 to 2003; Miami Accueil is managed by the Consulat de France de Miami (very helpful understanding group who helped us immensily the transition from USA to France! merci!) and groups all the French residents in its jurisdiction. The group was done to share activities with French families of all sorts including those above. Official Miami Accueil , Consulat de France de Miami

There you go hope not too long, try to be as brief as possible for all these souvenirs of my life ,never to be forgotten and thanks WordPress for allowing me to share it here for my memories and the enjoyment of others. Thank you

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

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