The Keys Disease

Looking for a laid-back atmosphere in a frost-free climate with 1,700 islands of coral reef no more than 20 feet above sea level? Oh, and you want to drive there from the continental U.S.? Then head to the archipelago just a few hours south of Miami commonly known as the Florida Keys.

There is only one major road running the length of the Keys, and it is U.S. Route 1. The popular areas from northeast to southwest are Key Largo, Islamorada, Marathon, Big Pine Key, and Key West. About 80,000 people call the Keys home, with a third from Key West alone. All landmarks are referenced by mile markers; Mile Marker 0 is at Key West and Key Largo is around Mile Marker 106. read more >>

Land Yacht Harbor of Melbourne

Land Yacht Harbor of Melbourne (or LYH as the residents call it) is an RV park in the Orlando area of Florida. I use the term RV park loosely, as it is really more of a close-knit snowbird community built around RVers. Airstreamers built the park in the 1970s, and up until a few years ago, only Airstream brands were allowed to stay. They have since relaxed their rules and let in SOBs (Some Other Brands) — their words, not mine — but over 80% of units at LYH are Airstreams. There is another rule: the minimum age is 50. Well, some rules were meant to broken, and I was given special dispensation to spend some time with the “old folks.” I think it helped that I was mentioned in Airstream Life magazine and that I was, in fact, an Airstream owner. I’m so glad they let me in. Seriously, so glad. read more >>

3-2-1 Liftoff!

Imagine a nine-year-old kid who, in 1984, was so fascinated with the first launch of the Discovery space shuttle, he painted it for a summer art class. Fast forward nearly 27 years and imagine that same kid watching the final launch of Discovery–in person–with his very own eyes.

Never would I have imagined being a mere 45 minutes away from Cape Canaveral, home of so many launches to space, during a scheduled launch. Once I found out about the scheduled launch of STS-133 Discovery during my stay in the southeast, I had to see it in person. Little did I know my wait would be 111 days. It was scrubbed five separate times and continually delayed for various reasons. But that’s alright; it gave me time to get my act together. read more >>