Archive for ‘Florida’

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!!!

July 11, 2019

Las Olas, beaches, Ft Lauderdale!

Ok so lets get back to the fun youthful days and my time in Florida (18 years strong!) . We were west of I75 expressway and we enjoyed a lot coming to the beaches especially in Ft Lauderdale that were straight east of us.

Again, I have written some posts on the city but felled in debt to do one on the beaches of Ft Lauderdale so here it is ,hope you enjoy it as we did.

fort lauderdale

 Las Olas Beach, has a small stretch of sand that attracts beachgoers of all ages. It is a smaller beach right of the chic Las Olas blvd and so beach amenities are not as plentiful as those offered at the bigger  and equally nice Fort Lauderdale Beach Park. However, visitors have access to beach chair and water sports equipment rentals, restrooms and metered parking. Restaurants, bars and shops are also available across the street. Just do not come during college Spring Break time as it gets rowdy and crowded otherwise is a great place to be at the beach.

fort lauderdale

The transportation to the beaches here is king Car but there are nice public transports from the city to the beach and back. The local bus lines 11 and 40 will do the trick. Here is their schedules in Broward county (where Ft Lauderdale is located).

fort lauderdale

The particular buses that comes to the beach are the No. 11 or 40 bus, see their schedules here: http://www.broward.org/BCT/Schedules/Pages/default.aspx

Another option is to take Sun Trolley’s Las Olas sort of like a little train on wheels : https://www.suntrolley.com/routes-schedules-fares/beach-las-olas/

Or the wonderful Water Taxi: https://watertaxi.com/

In the same venue of beaches , if you’re looking for more out of your beach day head over to Fort Lauderdale Beach Park just south of Las Olas blvd. At the bigger Ft Lauderdale Beach you’ll find a calmer and less chaotic version of other well known beaches in Florida, but with the same sugary sands and crystal clear water. There ,you’re more likely to find families relaxing or leisurely walking the waterline . Backing the shoreline, the palm tree-lined promenade bustles with visitors looking to shop and dine in the many establishments along it. All  just south of the wonderful Bahia Mar Resort, at 1100 Seabreeze Boulevard, this picturesque park has everything you need to maximize your fun in the sun time, from sand volleyball courts to a boat ramp to outdoor showers. There are grills for cooking, a basketball court if you get bored with the sand and a kid’s playground to keep the little ones busy. Park Facilities and Amenities available daily from 06h ( 6 a.m.)  to 21h (9 p.m.) include: Boat Ramp – non-motorized, Grills and Picnic Tables, Outdoor Showers, Restrooms,  Basketball Full Court, Children’s Playground, and a Volleyball Court. The above Broward bus schedule look for No 40 that takes you here. More info from the city of Fl Lauderdale here: City of Ft Lauderdale on the beach park

fort lauderdale

Here you will see closed by the Bonnet House , this came to be when in 1919, a wealthy settler gave the 35-acre property (named after the bonnet lily flower that grew on the grounds) as a wedding gift to his daughter . In 1920, began construction of Bonnet House, and later was donated to the city now open to all to marvel at its gardens and architecture along the beach! More info here: https://www.bonnethouse.org/

You will have another memorable spot for us there and lots of walks indeed in the Hugh Taylor Birch State Park located a few blocks north of the above Bonnet House Museum & Gardens. The park is position between the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean makes it a fun locale for all types of folks. Those looking to get a little wet can canoe or kayak in the largest of the park’s coastal dune lakes. Adventurers who want to get their adrenaline pumping can bike along the nearly 2-mile paved park drive. Meanwhile, visitors who prefer to explore by foot can hike the Coastal Hammock Trail, which snakes through a native maritime tropical hardwood hammock ecosystem, one of the last of its kind in the county.(marvellous indeed!). More info here: https://www.floridastateparks.org/HughTaylorBirch

The Town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea welcomes visitors to enjoy its beautiful beach, multitude of sidewalk cafes, frequent live music and enticing public plazas, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea is widely acknowledged to be the South Florida shore diving capital. Snorkelers and divers come from all over to swim from the beach to reefs alive with tropical fish, turtles and even lobsters. And the Sun Trolley Las Olas can take you here too! You are worth coming up to El Prado Park( at 4501 N. Ocean Dr.) , this is the town’s most popular beachfront park and parking facilities just across at El Mar Drive (st)

And to close out let me tell you a bit on my fav Las Olas Blvd. A very chic place in So Florida which fame has relegated behind the more famous SoBe in Miami-Dade county. However, for my tastes this is more private, cosy, and chic a family event. Therefore, let me show you a bit of Las Olas Blvd, Ft Lauderdale, Florida, USA!

fort lauderdale

Las Olas Boulevard  runs from Andrews Avenue in the Central Business District (downtown/city center)  to A1A (road along the beachfront) and Fort Lauderdale Beach. The easternmost section of the boulevard is interlaced with canals and waterfront homes. The commercial stretch, approximately 1-mile (1.6 km) or the Golden Mile ::)  in length, features cool sub-tropical breezeways and courtyards with bars, nightclubs, bridal stores, shops, boutiques, art galleries, restaurants and the historically nice  Riverside Hotel. https://www.riversidehotel.com/

fort lauderdale

The name “Las Olas” means the waves in Spanish. All but the westernmost fourteen blocks are also signed as State Road 842 (SR-842) . Las Olas has its own historic house, a nearby IMAX cinema and movie theater within a short walk. Las Olas Boulevard can be accessed by the water taxi. The boulevard is a popular dining and shopping destination for locals and visitors as it is situated close to Fort Lauderdale beach, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Port Everglades. (cruise ship terminal), and has a wonderful arts museum such as http://www.moaflnsu.org/

The boulevard was constructed in 1917, when Las Olas was just a dirt road that crossed the swampy wetlands to the barrier island at Fort Lauderdale Beach. The boulevard begins at the famous Elbo Room bar where the beach meets the boulevard and ends in the west at the Arts Museum.  A few of the most notable who lived here are: Johnny Weissmuller, actor who played Tarzan and invented the signature yell. Wayne Huizenga, CEO of Waste Management, Inc, Blockbuster Video and AutoNation. Connie Francis, actress and movie star who was featured in the movie, Where the Boys Are which was filmed on Las Olas Blvd at the famed Elbo Room. Lee Majors, actor who played The Six Million Dollar Man and former husband to Farrah Fawcett. Sonny and Cher, singers and actors. Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, television and movie stars. Stars of I Love Lucy fame. Gloria Vanderbilt, designer and socialite. Frank and Ivy Stranahan, founding pioneers of Fort Lauderdale and the first residents of Las Olas Boulevard. Their trading post Stranahan House is located between the boulevard and New River. More info on the house: Official Stranahan House

Official Tourist office of Florida on shopping at Las Olas blvd

fort lauderdale

Some additional webpages to help you plan your trip here and is a must when in Florida are

Official webpage of Las Olas Boulevard

Official tourist office of Ft Lauderdal, SUNNY

Official tourist office of Florida on Ft Lauderdale

This is a wonderful art festival on its 32nd edition! and has grown very nice right at Las Olas well recommended. Art Festival of Las Olas blvd

And there you go , a nice hommage to my last home in the USA. There were very nice 18 yrs in Florida and before that 13 yrs in New Jersey. Memories forever, as do not think will ever go back as France is awesome too, but the visits yes, and the memories forever, after all was married and my 3 boys were born in Florida! Enjoy Fort Lauderdale!!

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

 

 

 

 

 

July 11, 2019

St Augustine, Florida!

So looking back into my blog I sadly realised have not written a post on the city of St Augustine, Florida! It is a shock to me as used to lived for many years just 55 minutes from it and went there even for lunch/dinner, played soccer/football, and just plain sightseeing first with my parents and later with wife and kids. Oh well busy traveling and writing elsewhere and you tend to forget what you had next door lol! Time to remedy that even if photos are scarce on a period where my youthful hormone did not allow for picture taking lol!!! Bear with me please.

St. Augustine is a Florida town in the southeastern United States on the Atlantic coast. This is the county seat of Saint Johns. about 60 km (37 mi) from Jacksonville and 90 km ( 56mi) from Daytona Beach. Today, Saint Augustine is one of Florida’s most popular destinations.

It is considered the docking place of the first European explorer and the oldest city in the United States, following the Spanish maritime explorations of the 16C, the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon, arrive on the future territory of the United States, on March 27, 1513, as well as more widely on the American continent proper (Columbus and Cabot in the previous century had only landed on islands). Founded by the Spaniards on September 8, 1565, under the leadership of Admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, the city is also the oldest establishment of European origin that has remained continuously occupied on the continental United States!

The French tried in vain to come here! The French explorer Jean Ribault, on April 30, 1562, was commissioned by Admiral Coligny and recognized the coast of Florida. He then went north to the St Johns River near Jacksonville. There was raised a column with the arms of Queen Catherine. Further north, Ribault settled on Parris Island by building a home he named Charles fort in honor of King Charles IX. In response, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés came to expel the French from these lands in the name of the King of Spain.

In 1565, during a second French attempt to colonize Florida, Laudonnière took the lead of an expedition of 300 persons. There they built Fort Caroline on the shore of the St. Johns River, which, justifiably, can be considered the origins of Jacksonville (name after American General Andrew Jackson and later President of the USA) . The resumption of the place by the Spaniards ended the war between France and Spain for the control of Florida. It was during this year that the final settlement of the Spanish in Saint Augustine began ,after been massacred by the Spanish in a great battle Fort Matanzas (massacre in spanish).

The Treaty of Paris (1763) ended the Seven Years ‘ War and altered considerably the map of the North American colonies: Spain must cede Florida to the English in exchange for Cuba. The Treaty of Paris (1783) gave Florida back to Spain, without specifying its borders. The United States wants the old pre-1767 limit to be resumed. The Treaty of San Lorenzo ratified this choice in 1795. Florida was ceded to the United States by the Adams-Onís Treaty, signed in 1819, and formed a territory in 1822. The capital is located in Tallahassee, halfway between Saint Augustine and Pensacola. On March 3, 1845, Florida became the 27th state of the United States.

It has wonderful beaches we enjoyed at St Augustine Beach and Anastacia Island. Briefly , vehicles are permitted on  St. Augustine Beach  within designated areas. However, access may be limited dependent on weather, sand, or tides. Traffic is regulated and a ten mile per hour speed limit is strictly enforced.   St. Augustine Beach is located on Anastasia Island where you can enjoy white sand beaches, the St. Johns County Pier, a playground, pavilion, fishing pier, volleyball courts, bait shops, fine restaurants, shopping and more. RV and cabin camping areas are located nearby.  Location: Old A1A Beach Boulevard south of State Road 312 at the St. Johns County Pier, less than five minutes from downtown/city center St. Augustine.  Anastasia State Recreation Park is a protected bird sanctuary and consists of 1,700-acres and five miles of beautiful, sandy beaches. It features swimming, lifeguards, a bath house, hiking, nature trails, a boat ramp, fishing, a volleyball court, beach equipment rentals such as umbrellas and beach chairs, canoes, nature trails, grills and picnic areas, concessions, a covered pavilion, gift shops, playgrounds, and camping. Vehicles are prohibited from driving on the beach in this area.  Location: 1340 A1A South between the St. Augustine Lighthouse and the Surf Station approximately one mile from the Bridge of Lions on Anastasia Island.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip are

City of St Augustine on heritage

Tourist office of St Augustine Ponte Vedra on things to see

Tourist office of St Augustine

Tourist office of Florida on St Augustine

There is a huge amount of things to see in St Augustine and even my favorite over those years are many so will condense as much as possible. My favorites were/are:

Colonial quarter St Augustine , 33 St George St Historic District: Visitors can experience three centuries of St. Augustine’s vivid history through interactive activities and more at the Colonial Quarter.

St Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum , 12 S Castillo Drive Historic District: Explore the world’s largest collection of authentic pirate artifacts in a city that has seen its share of pirates.

Fountain of Youth Archeological Park , 11 Magnolia Avenue Historic District: The Fountain of Youth gives visitors a chance to experience history at this important archaeological site and to drink from the famous springs.

St Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum , 100 Red Cox Road Anastasia Island: Climb 219 steps to the top for breathtaking views of the nation’s oldest city and the Atlantic Ocean.

Oldest Wooden School House 14 St. George Street Historic District : Take a lesson from the Oldest Wooden School House in the country, complete with replica displays and museum on the inside!

Oldest House Museum  14 St. Francis Street: The Oldest House Museum Complex offers guided tours, two museums, a colonial kitchen, ornamental garden and museum store to its visitors.

Oldest Store Museum 167 San Marco Ave.: Step back in time and explore the “modern” wonders of an early 20th century general store.

Ripley’s Red Train Tours  19 San Marco Avenue Historic District:  our the nation’s oldest city and learn its fascinating history while hopping on and off at various attractions, restaurants, and more with Ripley’s Sightseeing Trains.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum  19 San Marco Avenue Historic District: Amazing exhibits and unbelievable artifacts from around the globe make Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! a one-of-a-kind experience.

Mission of Nombre de Dios & Shrine 27 Ocean Avenue : Founding Church mission in St Augustine Walk the scenic grounds dating back to the city’s founding. Discover the role of Christianity in Florida at the Mission Museum. https://missionandshrine.org/

Father O’Reilly House Museum  32 Aviles Street:  Built during the first Spanish Period, the Father O’Reilly House Museum is one of the oldest structures in St. Augustine.

Marineland  Dolphin Adventure: Discover the oceanfront playground that has delighted visitors since 1938. https://marineland.net/

Ximenez-Fatio House Museum 20 Aviles Street Historic District: Welcome to 1800s St. Augustine with a fascinating tour of this beautifully restored colonial house and museum.

Villa Zorayda Museum 83 King Street Historic District: The Villa Zorayda was built in the late 19C to replicate a portion of the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain.

Potter’s Wax Museum 31 Orange Street Historic District: The whole family can enjoy interacting with famous figures from history as well as modern movie stars and more at Potter’s Wax Museum in St. Augustine.

Lightner Museum 75 King Street Historic District: Enjoy the atmosphere and artwork of another age at this elegant Museum, formerly the Alcazar Hotel.

San Sebastian Winery  157 King Street Historic District: Come by for a free wine tasting and fascinating behind-the-scenes tour of how wine is made.

Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine 38 Cathedral Place: America’s first parish and the oldest Catholic Church in the city. Explore this exquisite building and view the Spanish-inspired architecture. Official First Parish on the Cathedral

St Augustine

St Augustine

Flagler College 74 King St.: (played football/soccer against them!) Flagler College built in 1884  is a unique combination of the past and present, and an architectural icon of the city of St. Augustine.

st augustine

Fort Matanzas  8635 A1A South (along the bay next to the Bridge of Lions) This park and historic site offers a glimpse into history as well as scenic trails and shoreside access for fishing and collecting shells. Fort Matanzas

Castillo de San Marcos  1 South Castillo Drive: The oldest masonry fort in the continental U.S. and a National Monument, the Castillo is the focal point of historical St. Augustine. https://www.nps.gov/casa/index.htm

Government House 48 King Street: Located on the Plaza de la Constitucion, the Government House site has served colonial governors in St. Augustine for centuries.

Old Jail 167 San Marco Ave.:  Home of St. Augustine’s most violent criminals from 1891–1953.

Peña-Peck House 143 St. George Street: The Peña-Peck House is a historic house that offers guided tours to visitors and locals.

Pirate & Treasure Museum  12 S Castillo Drive: Explore the world’s largest collection of authentic pirate artifacts in a city that has seen its share of pirates.

Spanish Military Hospital Museum 3 Aviles Street: This museum offers an intriguing look into colonial medicine and early settlement life in St. Augustine, Florida.

St. Augustine Alligator Farm 999 Anastasia Blvd: See wild reptiles, lemurs, Komodo dragons and toucans at the only place in the world to see all 24 species of crocodilians. https://www.alligatorfarm.com/

St. Augustine Aquarium 2045 State Road 16: This family-friendly aquarium offers exciting encounters with a variety of marine life. https://www.saaquarium.com/

St. Augustine Distillery  112 Riberia Street: Explore St. Augustine’s first legal distillery since Prohibition and sample some of the award-winning spirits being crafted there. http://staugustinedistillery.com/

Whetstone Chocolates  149 King Street: Take a chocolate tour at this classic St. Augustine chocolatier, which offers a sweet look behind the candy-making process. http://www.whetstonechocolates.com/

This is a must when visiting FLorida even if most go down to S Florida, the Central North section is awesome. Enjoy St Augustine, and again sorry for the pictures, but feld a must to tell about it in my blog.

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

 

 

 

May 3, 2019

Menceys and Tenerife!

Ok I will once again deviate a bit from my usual posts to tell you about a personal place of mine. I grew up with the traditions and came to live in Spain, and visited Tenerife as an adolescent only to think for it always. As they tell me, the DNA is strong or blood is thicker than water! La sangre es màs espesa que el agua!

I like to tell you a bit about seldom heard history or misplace in the travels of many. This is my rendition of a special place for all of us Islenhos or islanders of Tenerife from whatever we are now! I will tell you about the square, the basilica, and the statues read on….

The Plaza de la Patrona de Canarias is a large square located in the main center of the Marianne Villa of Candelaria  on the island of Tenerife. It is located next to the Basilica of Our Lady of Candelaria (Nuestra Senora de la Candelaria or Notre Dame) ,the patron Saint of the Canary Islands, and is the meeting place for pilgrims and celebrations of the most important festivities of the municipality.

In the place where the square is located, once was the Playa de la Arena beach, the place where the Convent and the old Church of the Virgen de Candelaria were situated. In the center of the beach was the castle of San Pedro, which was built in 1697. This bastion was designed to defend the Church and the Convent of the Virgin of pirate attacks and lootings, the castle was practically destroyed in the storm of November 1826, the same in which the original image of the Virgin of Candelaria was lost. After the start of the construction of the Basilica of Candelaria in 1949 was thought the need to create a wide square that framed the basilica taking advantage of the great natural esplanade of the beach. The foundation works of the square began at the end of 1950. Finally, the Plaza de la Patrona de Canarias is inaugurated on January 31, 1959.

The Plaza de la Patrona de Canarias has two main entrances, the Calle Obispo Pérez Cáceres, which is the pedestrian and commercial street of the town, and the Calle de los Principes which is the vehicular entrance street. One of the attractions of this last street, are a series of mosaics made in volcanic stones, located in a small tunnel  and where the seven Canary Islands are represented next to each other, except Tenerife which is in front of the other islands on the front wall.

The Basílica de Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria ,and the Royal Convent  are located on the south side of the square, on the east side by the sea, is the sculptural ensemble of the Menceyes of Tenerife, meanwhile in the north wing is the Calle Obispo Perez Cáceres and on the west side is the main artery exit of the square .

On one side of this square are the statues of the nine Menceyes that ruled the nine Menceyatos (pre-Spain kingdoms) of Tenerife. Nowadays they are bronze statues, which replaced other volcanic stone sculptures that were moved to another avenue in the 20C. Specifically, it was August 13 ,1993 when the new figures of the Menceyes were inaugurated, the work of the sculptor José Abad. These statues are very appreciated by all the Canaries, because they represent a very essential part of our culture.

These bronze statues represent the nine Guanches kings (Menceyes in Guanche languages or Spanish Castilian -Reyes), and were the descendants of the Mencey Tinerfe the Great, son of Mencey Sunta, who had his court in the Menceyato of Adeje (one hundred years before the conquest by Spain) and ruled the entire island. Hence the name Tenerife or Tinerfe Anichet the land of Tenerife. These were divided into 9 menceyes or kingdoms as Acaimo: Mencey of Tacoma; Anjona: Mencey de Abona.; Añaterve: Mencey de Güímar (the one of my grandparents, that today is the territory of the modern towns of El Rosario, Candelaria (paternal grandparents were born here), Arafo, Güímar (my maternal grandparensts comes from a village south of here call Pajara),and parts of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and San Cristóbal de La Laguna). Bencomo: Mencey of Taoro.(last King 1496)  Beneharo: Mencey of Anaga. Pelinor: Mencey de Adeje. Pelicar: Mencey de Icode. Romen: Mencey of Daute. Tegueste: Mencey of Tegueste.

Candelaria

Candelaria

One of the statues held in his hand the “ Zanata stone “, in particular the Mencey Romén held it. It is a small rock of elongated form with inscriptions supposedly of Guanche origin ,the original  people of the Canary Islands. Currently, the Zanata stone is held at the  Archaeological Museum of Tenerife, city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

Some webpages on the above to help you plan your trip here are

Tourist office of Tenerife on the Plaza in English

Tourist office of Tenerife on the Menceyes -kings

A bit more on our Basilica of Our Lady Virgin of Candelaria . Even thus pictures are not allowed in for good reason.

The Basilica is consecrated to Our Lady  Virgen de la Candelaria (patron Saint of the Canary Islands) whose original image was found in 1390 by two Guanches shepherds. The Basilica of Candelaria was built in the place where the Guanches venerated the Virgin after the conquest; the Cave of Achbinico is situated behind the sanctuary. Today, the Basilica is one of the main Marian shrines and pilgrimages of Spain. Every February 2 (Day of the Virgin of Candelaria) and August 15 (Popular Day of the Virgin of Candelaria chosen by the Bishop) This Basilica welcomes the thousands of pilgrims who arrive at the Villa Mariana, to venerate the Virgin of Candelaria the days of her major feasts.

Candelaria

Basilica Ntra Sra de la Virgen de Candelaria, credit WebTenerife.com

The height that gives it its bell tower of 45 meters makes it a dominant feature on the horizon of the Villa Mariana of Candelaria and its surroundings. The Basilica of the Virgin of Candelaria is one of the greatest examples of neoclassical architecture in Spain. Next to the basilica and attached to it is the Royal Convent of Our Lady of Candelaria, run by the order of the Dominicans, religious order in charge of the sanctuary, in it is the Museum of Sacred Art.

In 1596, King Felipe III declared protector and patron of the Virgin of Candelaria, a position that his successors maintained. The monarch, after ascending to the throne, declared himself patron of the Royal Convent of Our Lady of Candelaria, hence the rank that the sanctuary has since. It is therefore the first Marian shrine in the Canary Islands to receive royalty title from the Spanish monarchy. On January 24, 2011, the temple was elevated to the dignity of Basilica minor  of very good degree by Pope Benedict XVI.

Tourist office of Tenerife on the Basilica

So therefore, go there for more than the beaches, and our mojo, there is more to Tenerife with its history of old and new and its wonderful monuments. Hope you enjoy the post as much as me writing it did. Candelaria, Pajara, Tenerife are with me is in my blood.

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

March 24, 2019

Fort Lauderdale, Miami Beach, this is Florida!

OMG!, I just look back of my blog and realise not written on these wonderful spots since 2011! Times flies, this was my last stronghold in the USA before leaving permanently to France in 2003. I had not been back there since 2009 and now had 3 great days in the area. This is a re blog from November 2015!

This is the South Florida area where I still have lots of family.

It has a lot to offers other than the beaches and night life, but I let you mingle and decide on that with the tourist offices there of MiamiOfficial tourist office of Miami and the beaches

and Fort Lauderdale,  Tourist office of Ft Lauderdale area at Sunny

I was Lucky to have on my way back from Mexico the company ok to attend a finance conference in Fort Lauderdale arriving at Miami airport on American Airlines.  Airport info here! Official Miami International Airport  . I must add nothing compares with Air France ::)

Fort Lauderdale

 

One of my cousin was there to greet me and take me to eat at a local Cuban restaurant now very popular for the last 10 years or so;but there for over 30, Molina’s in the nearby city of Hialeah on which hospital my twin boys were born!!! The place was typical of old Cuba and the food very Cuban, something did not had for yearsss! picadillo ,moros rice, sweet plaintains, and a nice corona beer ::)  More here: Molina’s Ranch restaurant

Hialeah

Afterward ,I was taken to my conference hotel at Fort Lauderdale, the Ritz-Carlton Hotel; right off the ocean drive and very near Las Olas blvd chic area, the hotel info is here: Ritz Carlton hotel FT Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale

 

OF course, the hotel was top luxury, glad was not paying ::) the room well the apartment as it was two rooms with living room and bedroom, TV in both in addition to a smaller one in the bathroom. There had bathtub and shower and lavs for two. The wonderful beachside restaurant was wonderful too. A great place ,location, and friendly prompt service.

The evening had the chance to eat dinner there overlooking the ocean and Fort Lauderdale beach , nice oysters, shrimps, and cocktails mojitos was wonderful right at the bar with a friendly bartender. Needless to say went to bed very late into the morning hours lol!!!

Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale

Once the conference was over, we were invited for dinner as part of it, to the wonderful Brazilian charrusqueria Chima’s right on Las Olas blvd and about 15 minutes walking back to the hotel which me and a group of warriors found out. More on Chima’s here: Chima’s steakhouse at FLL

Fort Lauderdale

Chima’s has a wonderful front terrace to mingle and drink, and then great laidout indoor tables for the feast of bringing those different cuts of meats charrusqueria style (call here steakhouse) all night long with wonderful glasses of red wines. Good company and pleasant evening afterward on the way back and at the hotel bar ::)

The last day got pickup by my cousin again and given a right in the laberinth of roads and tolls the area has become, really change feld big and different already. Saw the new Marlins baseball stadium, the Lincoln Road Miami Beach area, and the bridges before finally depositing me at Miami airport for the trip back home. A nice nostalgic if short trip to what was once call home ::)

Florida Marlins baseball

Lincoln Road Mall Miami Beach

Miami Beach

At Miami before flight had some snacks at La Pausa in concourse J Mia for a mahi mahi sandwich fries and a glass of California Hogue cellars red wine. A nice send offs more here MIA La Pausa Restaurant

The flight back was my first ever ,believe or not, delayed in airport, happening after a heigthening of security tension for the atrocious terrorist acts in Paris, they found two bags checked-in but no passenger so the plane was ask to return to gate!! wait and wait finally departed to Paris. There, as was getting ready to board my last flight to Nantes, once already in the passarelle to the plane we were ask to return back inside as they was a fuel leak on the plane, wait wait, finally took off. Arrive home five hours late missed by twins birthday outing and needed to catch up today lol! Now ready for another long journey tomorrow to Brazil!!!

Hope you enjoy the short trip ,for me a memorable spot always will be. I am thankful of all my previous experiences no matter what it always enrich your mind. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!

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