Florida. The Art-Deco Heaven.

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So the travels have begun with a long (very long) drive to Florida from Galveston Island. In Joe’s little car with no A/C. So much for my start back to life on wheels after five and a half years of car-free living. Florida is a place that I have been in and out of a few times for equestrian related things in my long ago past but I never really got to see it and never have I been to Hollywood or Miami where I’ve been able to go this Spring/Summer.

We started here to pick up the RV that Joe and I will begin our American Road Travels in, as well as to visit, while there, some of his family.

I was also getting to see Florida with the new eye’s of a traveling tourist rather than work or mission.

And I’m in love.

Art-Deco ANYTHING is my favorite…my love…my choice in all. And so of course the houses, the cute little motels all over the place…even the frickin trailer parks have grabbed my heart here.

Joe thankfully is all about the get out on foot travel and that we have done. But the sun shines very bright and the heat itself isn’t felt long before the sun exhaustion is…so we also end each day rather tired…simply worn out. Even our feet hurt, but we’ve had so much incredible joy walking for hours and hours among these buildings, these houses (many mid-century as well so a double whammy of perfect love.)

The water here is blue blue blue and the way much is built for walkable living….the artistic community…the food trucks and oh. my. gosh the most amazing food and restaurants and so unbelievably cheap but GOOD….ok, the list grows of why I have played with the idea of just staying here. In any case….I will forever have Florida on the map to come back to…and we haven’t even done the Keys yet! Not even Hemingway’s house yet! There is so much more to do!

On this trip I have lost about half of my pictures sadly but as I said, there is still more time and so I hope to be able to recapture some of those as well as much more new.

I have been utterly fascinated with Cuban food (Can’t wait for an actual trip to Cuba) and the fact that Florida is SO preserved! The historic Art-Deco entire cities and the houses are in great shape, and for such a hurricane hit state, too. I mean, coming from Galveston, this is a big deal. I truly think that Galveston should check out the preservations processes here.

Another item I have been absolutely in love with and just can’t get over is all the greenspace and trees and grass area’s and the lay out of places, such as Miami beach. Ok ok, I am comparing Galveston a lot but seriously…the beach, the park space, the baordwalks, the restaurants, shops, hotels and the houses are laid out in such perfection that this is truly a city to take note and example of. PEOPLE. Especially in the size of space and amount of people…this state really knew how to build for the people and for growth while keeping comfort and beauty.

Hollywood is very much a mix of Burbank, California and Galvesto Island, Texas in a way.

The one thing I see a lack of and am pretty surprised at is the bike community, but much of it is car-free still. Where I am staying, in Hollywood, I am smack dab in the heart of Down Town and there are about a hundred restaurants at my feet. I’ve eaten three meals out daily and have yet to be able to have bee to all of them. And the gelato is not helping bikini season at 500. There are parks and grocery store and library all in walking distance and the beach is less than a mile and a half away but an easy walk or a hop on the trolley (bus style…again, Galveston take note for the bringing back of the island trolley) take care of that, too.

http://www.cntraveler.com/galleries/2015-02-20/10-great-art-deco-cities-you-might-not-know-about/1 Doesn’t even name Miami in this top 10 list but it is apparently the largest area of Art-Deco in America. On the list I have been to 5 out of 10 and it is a pretty good list that I hope to finish the next five of but in the meantime I am super happy that I decided to come to Florida and see a state that I seriously never had given thought to…and was very very wrong to have done so. Especially in my love of certain types of architecture. Not to mention food. And art…and….oy. Florida.

I will talk much more but in the mean time…here is a thousand words in each picture of simply gorgeous Art-Deco architecture.

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Florida. Livable Community.

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So my travels have begun with Florida. Florida is a place that I have been in and out of a few times for equestrian related things in my long ago past but I never really got to see it and never have I been to Hollywood or Miami where I’ve been able to go this Spring/Summer. Btw, anybody know any ideas on natural safe sunblock? I can’t stand slathering cancer causing chemicals on my skin only to prevent cancer but even staying covered up my skin is needing it here.
I am meeting family and playing tourist and living the food, art, walkability, of the community.

I am still surprised not to see much of a biking community here (In Hollywood area mostly) though the traffic, round abouts roads and such are a little scary. Though Miami Beach and St. Augustine, Florida are listed on Wikipedia as car-free communities in the world. And I have found Hollywood and Miami Beach to be incredibly walkable with a decent pubic transport. The grocery is easier and closer to get to than Galveston for me and the sidewalks and safe neigborhoods give me no reason to see why you couldn’t live car-free here.

The Street list’s Miami as a car-free place to retire.
But not everybody likes the Heat either.
I am a huge fan of both mid-century and art-deco architecture and living by the water. The water ways here are so awesome and the way it is but and laid out is just really…well thought I think. There are more yachts then boats and the amount of sailboats has me swooning.

I have lost some of my pictures from this trip but will take some more. Frankly I can’t get enough. It is so sunny and pretty here and the entire state seems to well thought out. From living young or retired to vacation and tourism to shops, Entertainment and restaurants and parks and greespace and on the water life and fun.

The food is very affordable. I have been really surprised, though Joe keeps reminding me that I live on what we call “Island Prices” back in Galveston. In one other comparison is how different the menu’s are from restaurant to restaurant and in a two bock radius there are no less than forty restaurants. The island really offers very little in type and then on top of that the problem there is that each place has the same menu…and usually even the same cooks who have rotated around to each place. Small town living. Sigh. I am not trying to bash but there it is.I love it. Sometimes I want to fix it. Like a bad relationship.

Joe and I have loved it here and got really interested in the thought of investing in a home here. We are still looking into that and I am still trying to figure out why so many homes are in foreclosure but also something about not being forced to move once you are? Not sure so if anybody can shed some light that would be great. Aside from foreclosure we are finding beautiful homes for half the price they would be on the island. Not bad at all…and swoon…many mid-century or art-deco ! And pools!

I’ve been a bit surprised by having read that a lot of people say that there is no diversity here….as in no Asian or Indian, very little African-American or black and mostly Spanish. I have found a wide variety of Spanish from all kinds of places (Cuba being only one) and a lot of Jamaican and Thai and even Indian (maybe not as much in restaurants is all.) Though Spanish is probably the heaviest of all of those it seems pretty even with white. Of course for me I change and travel to a lot of places and each place will be heavier in one or two than another so it doesn’t freak me out or even bother me. It just seems to be a heavy topic when looking things up about Florida on the www and an observation.

And how I love the Cuban’s for the food….my heart belongs to the Cubano sandwich.
BTW, a really cute recommended movie is the Chef , but be ready to be hungry is you watch it. It’s on Netflix.
I AM very pleasantly surprised at the huge artistic community that Florida offers, especially in the Hollywood area. There are Artwalks here and not far there is a (soon to be visited) Artist Lofts of Artspace. The parks and greenspace really blows me away…and the tree’s ! It’s very family friendly here but seemes a very bend of young and single, older and retired, lower and very upper class, family and children, business and art. I am still hunting out some live local music spots that aren’t about and for the tourists.

We haven’t headed to the keys yet and are actually planning to come back in winter for that and head up to Chicago before snow weather happens. But there is still so much more to see in Florida and cant do it all in one trip.

The trailer home parks and tiny old motels still fascinate me. The historic preservation . Especially in a hurricane hit state.
The colors…oh my…the colors.

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Florida Living. Food. Library. Coffee. Trees.

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I have lived in Galveston for six years and one of the things that brought me there was the architecture (more of the industrial and Down Town than the Victorian), and now it’s onto other travels and adventures and my first place, Hollywood, Florida, has really offered me a lot on the architectural front.

Not only that but the preservation that amazes me and the mid-century and art-deco that are my favorites. The city lay out (Hollywood, Miami especially which include the greenspaces, parks, trees, restaurants and shops, outside seating, bike boardwalks at the beach, a large spread of beach (and wash off systems and public bathrooms at the beach, which if Galveston took a lesson means that people will actually come off the beach to shop and eat at restaurants), the fact that they have recycling bins at the beach (eh hem, Galveston, stop making me compare.) And they have a more set up trash system at the beach which I see working for keeping it clean and making people care more than what I have seen in Galveston.

The boating, houses on water ways and the waterway/canals are so awesome and everything…traffic to boats to parks to beach to Down Town all seem to blend so easily. The bright and clean look of it here strikes me (on stucco and in the humid weather), and the art, and the recycling at the beaches, show that the city and the people put a lot into the beauty of Florida. There is seriously no dirty here. Everything is shiny, colorful and bright, and clean.

There is much to explore, and here I am absorbing it all.

The street art, artistic community of Hollywood, Florida, and the parks built for art are really awesome. The Art Park has an event just about every night and is only a bock away from where I stay, it’s beautiful with the most amazing huge trees by day, great picnic and reading. Classic Car shows, a Food Truck night, food and wine festivals, an Artwalk and more, every night. They have an entire gallery and stage building built just for glass blowing and have live shows as well as “make your own”. The city obviously puts a lot of money and focus into the artistic community and it’s a great blend of retired, young adult, families, and artists, and business. There are also a lot of art galleries and studios around here, too.

I’ve lost some of my pics but will try and replace/retake.

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Travel Life. RVLife. Bruises, Bumps, And Bugs.

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Bruises, Bumps, And Bugs.

Such is the way of traveling life so far.

During preparing our Mammoth for the road after it’s sleep and the getting used to a different location. The elbows and head received plenty of bump, as did the legs, knees from scrubbing, and more. Add on then moving out of our loft, climbing three stores of stairs up and down, carrying books and a grandfather clock, the bruises only added up. My legs by the end of it (which bruise easily anyway) are far from sexy in a pair of shorts, yet the Florida and Texas summer, even at end, had me not caring in the least.

Since being settled in a spot on the river, I’ve been unpacking, organizing, and continuously bumping into anything that could possibly be bumped into. I believe some bruises are simply from sitting at my hard picnic table when I write, others still even from how I lay one leg over or across another. My legs always have bruises easily…touch them and they bruise. Bags of groceries bumping into them from car to RV, bruise.

I suspect many have come from my hikes, swims, bike riding, and other adventures as well. But if it’s hot, I am still wearing shorts.

Joe got some nasty looks, that kitten, when stopping at a gas station once. That is how terrible they really do look.

It was like this around horses, and so I guess in my RV life this will be something to live with now, too. The days of dresses and skirts and shorts perhaps be gone.

As far as bumps, there is the bumping of my head. Joe and I are tall people, scooching back to sit in bed and read means a bump on the overhead cabinets. When I bend over the dashboard front area doing any number of things, even taking off my shoes, and forget to pay attention when I stand back up, my head will be bumped where the front TV is. It isn’t small, for us, in here so much as different, change to adapt to, awkward. My elbows bump less since my first days, thankfully. For awhile my arms hurt so bad and tingled so much I nearly broke down for the hospital. The bumps left by the bugs after walking through tall grasses or sitting out at night or going for a run very early are another kind of bump to help my legs look even better. Mean little red ones.

The bugs out here! Oh My! I’ve Googled more than I ever thought I could. Some I still cannot identify. But between the bugs and the birds it’s become a game. I take pictures when I can, because to look and study them later in such a way because they are still fascinating (from afar) is much easier to do than in the moment of being flown at, buzzed around, or climbed upon…as I squeal and wave my hands about. But the spiders webs in the early morning…such incredible and calm beauty from such a creature many of us find ugly. The amount of different spiders is so vast I can hardly keep up. The little electric green one so far wins for the “Oh, so you are interesting” comment and close study I gave it. I laugh because of how much Joe hates spiders….send a man to war, but don’t lock him in a room of spiders. He didn’t spend much time here before leaving out, so I wonder how well he will do when he comes back and we hike and kayak together. I’ve found the ‘shell’ of other odd bugs and played with close angles of my camera. I’ve found many others that have me Googling to identify, and wondering if they might be poisonous, stinging, or biting. I take a study of my bites after my showers to be sure all is well. This makes me wonder “When did I become quite so City?”

There are many things one plans ahead for, thinks about, looks forward to, has a knowledge about. And then there is much you simply learn by doing and failing at no less than once. I have a feeling that RV life, Road Travel, and reaching outside my well known and comfort zones of America, city or nature, have many lessons to teach me.

Florida, Art-Deco in Miami.

 

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So the travels have begun with a long (very long) drive to Florida from Galveston Island. In Joe’s little car with no A/C. So much for my start back to life on wheels after five and a half years of car-free living. Florida is a place that I have been in and out of a few times for equestrian related things in my long ago past but I never really got to see it and never have I been to Hollywood or Miami where I’ve been able to go this Spring/Summer.

We started here to pick up the RV that Joe and I will begin our American Road Travels in, as well as to visit, while there, some of his family.

I was also getting to see Florida with the new eye’s of a traveling tourist rather than work or mission.

And I’m in love.

Art-Deco ANYTHING is my favorite…my love…my choice in all. And so of course the houses, the cute little motels all over the place…even the frickin trailer parks have grabbed my heart here.

Joe thankfully is all about the get out on foot travel and that we have done. But the sun shines very bright and the heat itself isn’t felt long before the sun exhaustion is…so we also end each day rather tired…simply worn out. Even our feet hurt, but we’ve had so much incredible joy walking for hours and hours among these buildings, these houses (many mid-century as well so a double whammy of perfect love.)

We have had some amazing food and found some incredible little streets, nooks and places tucked away in corners. Many times I have’t even broken out my camera but instead enjoyed the moment. The entire trip really was about living in the moment. I hadn’t even taken a photo the first three days in Hollywood. We would stop for a coffee and enjoy people watching, taking a break in the shade and some time off our feet.

My Florida souvenir hunt is for flamingo’s. Even tacky. When I travel I won’t just get a coffee cup from every place I go or whatnot (I’d have a million and am one of those my favorite cup kind of gal’s) what I do is choose something that strkes me about that place….for Florida from movies it’s “Tacky” (no offense) and “Flamingo’s” that had come to mind and so my hunt is for fun Flamingo something…that perfect thing. Any idea’s?

The water here is blue blue blue and the way much is built for walkable living….the artistic community…the food trucks and oh. my. gosh the most amazing food and restaurants and so unbelievably cheap but GOOD….ok, the list grows of why I have played with the idea of just staying here. In any case….I will forever have Florida on the map to come back to…and we haven’t even done the Keys yet! Not even Hemingway’s house yet! There is so much more to do!

On this trip I have lost about half of my pictures sadly but as I said, there is still more time and so I hope to be able to recapture some of those as well as much more new.

I have been utterly fascinated with Cuban food (Can’t wait for an actual trip to Cuba) and the fact that Florida is SO preserved! The historic Art-Deco entire cities and the houses are in great shape, and for such a hurricane hit state, too. I mean, coming from Galveston, this is a big deal. I truly think that Galveston should check out the preservations processes here.

Another item I have been absolutely in love with and just can’t get over is all the greenspace and trees and grass area’s and the lay out of places, such as Miami beach. Ok ok, I am comparing Galveston a lot but seriously…the beach, the park space, the baordwalks, the restaurants, shops, hotels and the houses are laid out in such perfection that this is truly a city to take note and example of. PEOPLE. Especially in the size of space and amount of people…this state really knew how to build for the people and for growth while keeping comfort and beauty.

Hollywood is very much a mix of Burbank, California and Galvesto Island, Texas in a way.

The one thing I see a lack of and am pretty surprised at is the bike community, but much of it is car-free still. Where I am staying, in Hollywood, I am smack dab in the heart of Down Town and there are about a hundred restaurants at my feet. I’ve eaten three meals out daily and have yet to be able to have bee to all of them. And the gelato is not helping bikini season at 500. There are parks and grocery store and library all in walking distance and the beach is less than a mile and a half away but an easy walk or a hop on the trolley (bus style…again, Galveston take note for the bringing back of the island trolley) take care of that, too.

CNTraveler Doesn’t even name Miami in this top 10 list but it is apparently the largest area of Art-Deco in America. On the list I have been to 5 out of 10 and it is a pretty good list that I hope to finish the next five of but in the meantime I am super happy that I decided to come to Florida and see a state that I seriously never had given thought to…and was very very wrong to have done so. Especially in my love of certain types of architecture. Not to mention food. And art…and….oy. Florida.

I will talk much more but in the mean time…here is a thousand words in each picture of simply gorgeous Art-Deco architecture.

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Houston Tripping. Back down I45S at the end of the day.

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Joe and I have been enjoying some Houston time this past Winter and Spring.
We realized that though we were soon to set off on travels all over the country, we hadn’t quite taken advantage of what was right here on our doorstep. He was not from the area and knew not much about it and I had grown up here but not too much yet experienced Houston as an adult. So in this time we took to the streets of the big city, the city that boomed beginning with the time that I was born. We have now been several trips and yet to have experienced even a quarter of what it has to offer. But in our travels and time and years we will be back for much more…until then, here is some of our fun.

At the end of each day we’ve yet to want to stay and are always pleased when we headed home, I-45 Southbound. It has been a pleasure to have Houston right at our feet when living in Galveston.

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Florida Achitecture.

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I have lived in Galveston for six years and one of the things that brought me there was the architecture (more of the industrial and Down Town than the Victorian), and now it’s onto other travels and adventures and my first place, Hollywood, Florida, has really offered me a lot on the architectural front.

Not only that but the preservation that amazes me and the mid-century and art-deco that are my favorites. The city lay out (Hollywood, Miami especially which include the greenspaces, parks, trees, restaurants and shops, outside seating, bike boardwalks at the beach, a large spread of beach (and wash off systems and public bathrooms at the beach, which if Galveston took a lesson means that people will actually come off the beach to shop and eat at restaurants), the fact that they have recycling bins at the beach (eh hem, Galveston, stop making me compare.) And they have a more set up trash system at the beach which I see working for keeping it clean and making people care more than what I have seen in Galveston.

The boating, houses on water ways and the waterway/canals are so awesome and everything…traffic to boats to parks to beach to Down Town all seem to blend so easily. The bright and clean look of it here strikes me (on stucco and in the humid weather), and the art, and the recycling at the beaches, show that the city and the people put a lot into the beauty of Florida. There is seriously no dirty here. Everything is shiny, colorful and bright, and clean.

There is much to explore, and here I am absorbing it all.

The street art, artistic community of Hollywood, Florida, and the parks built for art are really awesome. The Art Park has an event just about every night and is only a bock away from where I stay, it’s beautiful with the most amazing huge trees by day, great picnic and reading. Classic Car shows, a Food Truck night, food and wine festivals, an Artwalk and more, every night. They have an entire gallery and stage building built just for glass blowing and have live shows as well as “make your own”. The city obviously puts a lot of money and focus into the artistic community and it’s a great blend of retired, young adult, families, and artists, and business. There are also a lot of art galleries and studios around here, too.

I’ve lost some of my pics but will try and replace/retake.

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