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Stateside

Welcome back to #TravelThursday. Last week I wrote about my arrival in the south of England 37 years ago to the date (November 10TH 1985). Today is the 35TH anniversary to the date (November 17TH 1987) that I left England behind and arrived back home stateside.

I actually don’t remember much about that day. My memories are quite vivid from the Sunday morning 2 years and 1 week earlier when I arrived in England, but when I left England – not so much.

A friend of mine drove me from our (military) dormitory over to Billeting / Lodging at dawn, and there I got on a shuttle that I think took me all the way to the airport. I don’t think I did the whole British Rail trek going to London (like I had when I arrived). I got on my flight at Heathrow, and I was back in the Washington D.C. area a few hours later that afternoon. (I got those 5 hours back that I lost 2 years and 1 week earlier.)

My Dad picked me up at the airport, and we went home, and my cat – Fluffy – went ballistic with joy and happiness. It was a wonderful stateside homecoming.

I got to hang out with my family – dad, mom, brother, and cat – for almost 2 weeks through the Thanksgiving holiday week. Again – I don’t remember much from those 13 days, but I know that it was a good time because I was back home with my family again.

I’m with my family right now – mom, brother, sister-in-law, nieces, and dog. We’re continuing our annual November tradition that goes back almost 20 years – #ThanksChristmasGiving – or #Thanksmas. It’s where we celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas combined in a single week. The Christmas tree and decorations have been up for a couple of weeks, and we are actively engaging in Christmas shopping and gift-wrapping. We’ll open all of the presents by the Christmas tree on Thanksgiving morning. Shortly after that the entire house will be filled with the aroma of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

Next #TravelThursday is in 2 weeks – when I celebrate my 35TH anniversary here in Homestead Florida. Let’s keep traveling together.

All rights reserved (c) 2022 Christopher M. Day, CountUp

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1980s Blogging Career Driving Geography Military Music Radio Travel

London To Fairford England

Welcome back to #TravelThursday. It was exactly 37 years ago this morning – the 10TH of November back in 1985 – that I arrived in a foreign country solo for the first time in my life – as a young 18-year-old.

It was a cold Sunday morning at London’s Heathrow Airport, and I had flown all night from Washington Dulles Airport. Of course I lost 5 hours overnight with the time difference.

I made my way to the British Rail station at the airport. I took that to Reading – where I got off the train. Oops. I wasn’t supposed to get off there. I got confused. I ended-up waiting at that station until the next train arrived. That didn’t take very long. I got on it, and I continued on to Swindon. At the Swindon station I hired a cab to take me to my new home and workplace – RAF Fairford – about 13 miles away.

The cab driver was nice and friendly. He welcomed me to the U.K., and he turned up the radio for us to listen to. I think we were listening to GWR. An eerie song came on that I had never heard before. It was Talking Heads with “Road To Nowhere”. How appropriate for that song to play on the radio as this young 18-year-old teenager was being driven on the left along narrow and curvy farmland roads from Swindon to RAF Fairford.

That was the start of my 2-year and 1-week adventure in the south of England as an 18, 19, and 20-year-old. I got to see a lot of England, Scotland, Wales, France, Belgium, and Netherlands. I wish I had seen more of the European continent, but I’m grateful for the areas that I did get to experience while I was over there.

I’ve attended about 150 concerts and live events in my life (100 since 2000), and the first 17 all occurred during those 2 years in England.

Next #TravelThursday I’ll return home stateside – just like I did exactly 35 years ago. Let’s keep traveling together.

All rights reserved (c) 2022 Christopher M. Day, CountUp

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Blogging Driving Geography Military Nature Photography Travel Weather

Biscayne Bay Tourist Attractions

Welcome back to #TravelThursday. We’re in the dry season now here in South Florida. It started during the middle of last month, and it continues until the middle of May. It’s our 7-month “nice” season here – marked by abundant sunshine, not much rain, cooler temperatures, and lower humidity. We actually experienced a near-record cold day last month on the 19TH of October when a polar-origin cold front slammed through the area and dumped our temperatures down into the lower-60s with wind chills in the 50s from the early-afternoon through the next morning. It was also cloudy, gloomy, and drizzly for the entire day. It very much resembled one of those weird dark, cold, and raw January days that we get once or twice a year (if at all). It was quite the phenomenon to get it so early in the season on the 19TH of October !

So since it’s nice out, and my days remaining here in South Florida are limited – I need to visit some tourist attractions this season and write about them here on #TravelThursday.

I just read a very nice write-up on Biscayne National Park and some renovation work they have recently completed on one of their main walkways to the sea. I haven’t been out there – just 8½ miles away from my home – since May 2016. It’s time to visit again. It’s a nice place to relax and enjoy the scenery of the sea.

It’s been 3½ years since I’ve visited the Charles Deering Estate – also along Biscayne Bay. That’s a fun 2-to-3-hour visit. They do ranger-led boat tours of Biscayne National Park that leave from and return to the Deering Estate. That’s what I did 3½ years ago. I’d like to do it again.

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is also along Biscayne Bay, and I haven’t been there since February 2018. As a U.S. military veteran – I get free admission year-round, so I respect that. I need to drive up the road (about 25 miles from home) and check it out again. There’s a lot of great photo opportunities there.

Vizcaya Museum & Gardens is also along Biscayne Bay, and it’s been 10½ years since my last visit there. I get in for free there too anytime I want. It’s just another 7 miles up the road from Fairchild, so maybe I can visit both Fairchild and Vizcaya on the same day – like maybe during the week when they are less crowded.

Next #TravelThursday we’ll trek across the sea over to England. Let’s keep traveling together.

All rights reserved (c) 2022 Christopher M. Day, CountUp

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Blogging Driving Geography History Military Travel

Miami Military Museum

Welcome back to #TravelThursday. A couple of Fridays ago I visited the Miami Military Museum for the first time ever. It’s located about a mile west of Florida’s Turnpike off SW 152ND Street in South Miami-Dade County Florida next to Zoo Miami. In fact if you reach the parking lot of Zoo Miami – then you’ve gone too far. Make a right-hand turn just before the parking lot at the sign that leads you to the Gold Coast Railroad Museum. (They share the same parking lot.)

At the present time the museum is only open for 3 days per week – Thursday, Friday, and Saturday – from 10 AM to 4 PM. They prefer that you call them in advance to schedule an appointment to visit the museum.

I did that, and I got there at around 10:30 AM on that Friday. The Executive Director of the Museum and one of the museum docents greeted me downstairs. The former proceeded to informally interview me about my military and civil service history. He then picked-up a microphone, and he proceeded to announce my grand arrival military-honors-style through the entire building’s sound system – like I was a V.I.P. That was an extra special nice touch.

After that welcome the museum docent took me upstairs (via elevator), and he guided me through all of the various rooms of displays. The museum has only been open for a couple of years, so they are a work in progress. It looks like they are constantly receiving new items for display, and they are trying to figure out what to do with them all. I had a good conversation with my docent, and he displayed many qualities of a docent that I wish to have when I do what he does elsewhere. He opened-up more as he went along, and he even extended the tour outside around the perimeter of the property. They have big plans for good stuff inside and out !

If I were not moving away and retiring next year then the Miami Military Museum would be a great place for me to serve. It’ll be a great place for me to visit in the future when I come back to Miami-Dade County for visits.

Next #TravelThursday I’ll stay in Miami-Dade County, and I’ll try to figure out what other tourist attractions I wish to visit before I move away from here. Let’s keep traveling together.

All rights reserved (c) 2022 Christopher M. Day, CountUp