Jul 102013

Shark Teeth 003 We spent the day at Caspersen Beach in Venice Florida, “The Shark teeth capital of the world”. This beach, so far, is our favorite beach. It was an hour drive, but well worth the trip.

We arrived around 8am and did not leave until 3:30pm. A huge parking lot, for beach standards, and FREE. Yes, you read that right. They do not charge for parking. Most beaches we’ve been to, charge between $1 to $2 per hour.

Most people were dredging for these little trinkets. pictured on right, fossilized shark teeth. They can be found along the shore or in the sand. They even embedded them into the cement in the parking lot. They are not easy to find. There are so many shells that they are very hard to find. The larger ones are very rare.

The water was clear, perfect for snorkeling, and we brought our masks and flippers. They have a reef just off the beach that we swam around. Hundreds of fish, we are still trying to identify all of them. I know we saw a grouper, flounder, rays, and sheepheads. Still trying to figure out the 3+ foot long fish that looks like a barracuda, but did not have the sharp teeth. I know the sheepheads, which ranged from 6 inches to over a foot long, loved to follow me around. I was digging for shark teeth and they would swarm by me to eat what sediment I picked up.

We had so much fun that we plan to go back again. Anyone want to join us?

Jul 072013

clearwater 001Today, was a great day.

We left the house in Ft. Myers to travel to Seminole, Florida to go to 11:30am mass at St. Justin Martyr Church. My freshman homeroom and algebra teacher from Bishop Turner High School, was saying the mass. I have not seen him since I graduated in 1978. Father Richard Cahill was one of the reasons that I decided to get a degree in Mathematics. He taught algebra in a problem solving way and challenged the students with other problems for monetary reward. It instilled a love for math, even to this day.

After mass, we took him out to Red Lobster and talked for hours about his life after Turner and what I did with my life. He’s been in the Clearwater area for about ten years. He moved here to take care of his mother, who died a couple of years ago at the age of 99. He still has an Uncle in a monastery in George who is 102. I can see Fr. Cahill may be around for a number of years. I was surprised to hear that I was the first former student to visit him. Now that people know where he can be found, many more may show up.

After lunch, Marge and I when to the beach at Indian Rocks Beach in Clearwater. I wondered why they named it that. We did not see any rocks along the beach. It was nice to cool off in the water. A little rain came down, then formed into a thunderstorm far out in the Gulf. The time difference between the lightning strikes and thunder were over 30 seconds. We saw some more storms building so we decided to head home.

clearwater 005We took a detour to Caspersen Beach in Venice, Florida. This area is suppose to be one of the best places to find fossilized sharks teeth. We saw a people sifting through the sands, but we did not find any. We plan to go back to do our own search with snorkel and shovel in hand.

It is a lovely beach with a lot of wild life, we saw at least 50 turtle nests marked off on the beach as well as crabs scampering around, birds hunting for food, and baby shells burying themselves back into the sands when the waves lapped onto the beach exposing them to the prey. We have to get back there and spend more time.

Jun 172013

We were on the road before 8am today and on the Beach by 8:30. We went to Bowditch Point in Ft Myers Beach. Our favorite spot. The beach is usually sparse and there is a lot of wild life. They marked off a Turtle nest on the beach. Waiting for the new hatch-lings to head for the gulf. Marge saw 3 rays near the shore. Marge and I were also picking up live sand dollars in the water. We returned them, we only collect dead ones. My fingers and toes still have a yellow tint to them. We only stayed till noon, when the temperature got into the 90s. This was actually the first time, that I can remember, where there were minimal waves and very very light breezes.

Jun 162013

I know, I’ve been slacking! I screwed up the site, when I moved it to the new server. Well I finally fixed it. We met a couple from England today at the Bowman Island Restaurant near Charleston, SC. I gave them Marge’s card with this web site address. I told them it was not working. So, I decided to fix it and I did. I will be posting more of our trip later on.

Jun 132013

We left State College around 12:30 and headed for Norfolk, VA. We had rain on and off for most of the Trip. The traffic was light and we were making very good time. Just before 7pm on Interstate 64, the traffic came to a complete crawl, right at the Busch Garden exit. I decided to get off the Interstate to take the side roads, but found out that All the roads were slow. We got on US Route 60 south, but the traffic was not moving any faster. As we made are way south, we found out why. The storm that the news was talking about hit the area pretty hard. No tornadoes, just very strong winds and rain. We saw many leaves off trees and a few trees toppled in people yards. As traffic started to pick up again, we saw two locations were trees fell onto route 60 and were freshly cut to clear the road. It took use 30 minutes to go 6 miles. It was starting to get dark, and we could see areas near Norfolk, that still had power out. Many of the street lights were not on. We finally got to our hotel in Chesapeake, VA around 8:30pm. We packed some food, so we made some sandwiches and got to bed early. I set the alarm for 5:30, so we could get an early start. It was an interesting start to the trip.

Jun 272012

We traveled from Buffalo, NY to Las Vegas, NV on June 26, but it took us a while to get there. The flight to Newark Airport was delayed, which meant we would miss our connecting flight to Las Vegas. We were suppose to leave Buffalo at 4pm EDT and arrive in Vegas at 9pm PDT. But, we did not arrive until after 1:30am PDT. Orbitz was Great, they automatically re-booked us on a later flight and we did not have to do anything. We did not get to sleep until 3am PDT or 6am EDT.

So, what did we do the first morning in Las Vegas? We went shopping at Trader Joe’s and then had lunch in the Desert. We needed to stock up for Jessica’s cabin in the Petrified Forest. We drove to Red Rock Canyon, for a picnic lunch with the food we just bought. Our stop was Red Rock Spring, which really is not a real spring, but a ancient spring with no water. There are picnic tables and trails, so we spent a little time there hiking and photographing the area in the 106 degree heat.

While the Girls took a nap, I headed to the rooftop pool. The sun was so hot, I almost burned the soles of my feet walking from the lounge chair to the pool. That evening we explored the strip and Fremont Street. Our favorite Casino has been the Venetian, with the indoor shopping and canal. We walked along the streets of Venice and stopped into a couple of galleries and stores.

Leaving this Casino, we headed to the strip to try to see the Treasure Island show, but we got there as it was already underway and the crowds packed the street to fill every viewing area. We decided to head to the Mirage for the Volcano. We got there in plenty of time and had a great spot. The next stop was the Bellagio for the fountain show. The strip was packed with people, but we got there just as it started.

We drove to Rio and then to the Fremont experience. The Streets of Las Vegas were packed, but the Casinos were not. Rio has a great show in the Casino every hour and they toss beads to everyone, no skin was shown to get them. There was a band playing on Fremont street and Marge loved the artist who would carve a person’s face out of modeling clay. She’s still wondering how to harden it when it was done. We finished the evening watching the last light show on the ceiling of Fremont Street.

Las Vegas has gotten less family friendly, and added more and larger Casinos to the Strip since we last visited about seven years ago. We did not venture into any of the newer Casinos, because they looked Boxy and Theme-less. It still was an experience and a great first day of our trip.

Jun 272012

My Father has been a volunteer fireman for Doyle #1 fire district in Cheektowaga, NY for over 50 years. On June 24, 2012, he allowed me tag along with my Mother to the Town of Cheektowaga’s Firefighter appreciation day at Town Park. My Father and I filmed some of the day that I edited and is shown with the song “Red Solo Cup” by Toby Keith. It seemed appropriate.

Jun 242012

Buffalo: The start of our  cross country 6 week trek.

This trip was planned because of 3 events.

  1. The wedding of Marge’s niece, Saralyn Rose Smith. Looking forward to seeing relatives. Living out of state you only get to see relatives because of weddings or funerals, so we are looking forward to this.
  2. Stephen finished his 1st year of graduate school and needs a break, so we are going to spend a couple of weeks with him to unwind after a Hellish year. LSU crammed 2-yeard of master degree courses into 1 year.
  3. Jessica was picked as one of 12 out of 53 applicants to be the Arist-in-Residence at the Petrified Forest National Park in Northeast Arizona.

We arrived in Buffalo, Friday night after stopping in Ellicotville for dinner at the Barn.

Yesterday was the Wedding of Saralyn Rose Smith and Joseph Crawford Jr. We had a great time hanging out with the Cooper family, Marge’s sister Kathy’s family, for dinner. We don’t get to see the Mergs, Brian and Valerie, Michael, and Kathy a lot, but I’ve been following them on Facebook. The dancing lasted past the bewitching hour and everyone was exhausted.

After the wedding at St Peter & Paul’s church in Willamsville, a church that was founded by St. John Neumann, we visited Glenn Falls (https://www.facebook.com/GlenParkWilliamsville). This was where Marge and I took our wedding pictures 28 years ago. It is still a favorite for photos. There were 4 wedding parties there during our visit. I’m editing some video and will be posting soon.

more to come….