Saturday, January 30, 2010

Cotton Country

Earlier this week I arrived back to TC. I wanted to include this photo from my trip through Alabama though because I'm not used to seeing cotton fields. To me it was unique. It's surreal to me how in less than 24 hours a person can drive through mild temperatures, also through such a variety of landscapes, and then arrive in Michigan's blustery winter weather. It's one of the reasons I love driving. Right after I took this photo and got back into my car, there was some type of morning show with a couple of guys talking about the proper way to cook frog legs. "If you cook 'em too long they'll toughen up on ya!" That's what the one fella said. It struck a funny chord in me since it's so 'southern'.
My family used to take a lot of road trips from Michigan to Florida. As as only child, and as a child who lived during the pre-" DVD player in the car" days, looking outside was my window to the world and my source of entertainment. I loved it. I get the same feeling today when I'm just driving down the road on a trip.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


This is a nice stretch of road near the David Crockett Highway in Tennessee.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Flat Tire

In Tennessee, just south of Nashville (in Brentwood), I got a flat tire. Easy enough to change, I've done it before. However, the car jack in my trunk isn't the best. It's the one that's included in the car but it's small and I've always had my doubts. So there I am, my car is jacked up and the flat tire is removed. Once I took the flat off, a semi drives by right next to me and the wind draft from it makes my car lean forward slightly. As I hurry to turn around and grab the spare tire, another semi drives past and that wind gust is all it took to push my car forward onto the jack and the road. Kind of a bummer. There was a school behind me so I was lucky. I climbed over the fence and through some brush. On the other side of that brush was a girls lacrosse game. There were some stares but my car was right up on the highway, which they could see, so I'm sure they put it all together. The school was open, the tow truck came (I want to thank Kevin from Harpeth Towing-cool guy and super fast, he's the one in the photo) and I was able to drive a couple miles to a tire place to get one brand new tire. The best thing here is that it was day time, it wasn't Sunday when things are closed and it wasn't cold and snowing.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Goofy Golf

This putt-putt establishment called Goofy Golf has been in Fort Walton Beach, FL for a long, long time. It's the type of putt-putt course that has the windmill that you have to shoot through and everything is super colorful. I think it costs $2.50 to play. I hadn't played there since I was a little guy so it was fun getting to go again. The best part was getting to go with my cousins Sarah (left) and Ariel.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Milligan Grocery

In between my Aunt's house in Florida and the interstate I was heading toward in Alabama, is a beautiful stretch of country. It's the type of land that might be taken for granted by those that live there, but looks serene to someone unfamiliar to the area, like myself. The struggle for me is to not get out of my car every 10 minutes to take photos of stuff. I passed this abandoned gas station/ grocery store in the southern backcountry. I turned around and took a few photos. It still had three old gas pumps that had those old rotary numbers for the gallons, price, etc. Structures like this make me think about how at one point there was nothing there. Then this gas station/grocery store is built. People, families and individuals work here, converse here and/ or pass through. Then one day it closes, vines grow and we're left with what we see today. To me that's the real beauty of it, the beauty that's almost impossible to capture, but wonderful to imagine.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Pop Century

A couple of my good friends (Ben & Brent) happened to be in the Orlando area to golf with some buddies. So, as I was driving through, I was able to meet up with them. They said they were staying at the Pop Century Disney hotel. Everything about this hotel is large and colorful.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Return

After much thought, I'm heading to Traverse City, MI. Not a simple nor lightly-taken decision. The hardest decision I've ever had to make. I'll miss Moni as she continues her graduate studies in Miami. The abridged explanation is that Miami's (and everyone else's) job market has been tough and I feel like I can make a better go of things in TC. It will be great to see my family and friends again. I'm intent on staying positive and I'm looking forward to taking photos in and around my hometown.
This is a photo of some orange trees I passed while traveling along a road outside of Orlando.

Friday, January 15, 2010


This is a Cormorant that was along the Anhinga Trail in the Everglades. They make a noise that one would expect from a large animal but they were pretty tame.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Flamingo Visitors Center

This stuffed Hammerhead shark was displayed in the Flamingo Visitors Center, which is part of the Everglades, on the southern tip of Florida.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Happy New Year everyone. Moni and I returned to frigid temperatures in Miami. OK, it was 45 degrees, not quite frigid. We had practice with the cold because we were returning from our trip to Michigan. In Michigan we start to roll the windows down in that weather but it's different in Miami. It was so cold that the manatees have gathered themselves in this nearby river. Warm water is pumped into it from a certain location making it the place to be if you're a manatee. There were a lot of them in the river and this was just one of many. It's the first one I've ever seen in the wild.