Friday, October 21, 2005

Vacation Day One

I made it back from my vacation in one piece, so I thought I’d share with you some pictures and a few details about the trip. First off I’d like to thank my friend Ken and his wife, Joyce, for being such excellent hosts. I’d rather spend a few days with them than do just about anything in the world. Thanks for making my time with you such a wonderful experience.

Now, what is it with the journalers here in J-Land that attracts major atmospheric disturbances whenever vacation plans are executed? Mrs. Linklater got blown back early from her vacation on The Outer Banks by a major storm that threatened a direct hit and I had to drive home early from South Florida to avoid being trapped in a mass exodus from Hurricane Wilma.

I woke up the first morning of my stay at Kenny’s house to hear that forecast models had now projected Wilma to pass almost directly over Vero Beach, Florida after it made landfall near Ft. Meyers Beach on the west coast of the state. I knew then that I’d probably have to leave early so I’d better enjoy what time I had. Kenny made sure of that. Here’s my story!

This is a picture of Ken’s house just after I’d parked my truck in the driveway. I rang the bell and knocked on the door, but no answer. Maybe they packed up and left when they found I really was coming to see them! Nope, I turned the corner of the house and there was Ken looking just the same as the last time I had seen him about three and a half years ago.

Sitting in the drive was the fishing boat Ken had purchased since my last visit. This boat would serve as the main platform for our entertainment over the next two days and performed its task without flaw.

After catching up with each other about family and mutual friends, we were off to the local Wal Mart to purchase a temporary fishing license for me and to get a few needed supplies for our fishing outing planned for the next morning. In honor of my visit, Kenny pulled out his Pontiac Trans Am for the errand run and actually let me behind the wheel.

I just had to throw this close up shot in. I’d say this car is a nice fit on me, wouldn’t you?

Food was ordered in for that first evening, allowing Joyce, Kenny, and I some time to talk and reminisce about old times. Here’s a shot of my hosts.

The moon was full as we loaded up to depart the next morning and the sky was clear. There was no hint on the horizon of any storm activity at all. I guess what they say about the calm before the storm is true.

The vista that confronted me after I launched the boat just about took my breath away it was so pretty. I had to take a shot of it.

We used the public boat ramp just over the Wabasso Bridge on the Indian River.

After a short stop at a bait house on the water, we headed for our fishing spot for the day. Ken was at the helm and anticipation loomed large.

Ken and I have always had a friendly competition between us when we fish together. We give imaginary awards for all kinds of categories and go way out of our way to try and win each category. These are a few of the categories:

  1. First Fish of the Day
  2. Biggest Fish of the Day
  3. Most Fish of the Day
  4. Biggest Keeper of the Day
  5. Most Keepers of the Day
  6. Biggest inanimate object

This list goes on as we make up new categories along the way. Today, Ken would win the first fish of the day and the biggest keeper of the day with this fish he caught on an artificial lure not five minutes after we started fishing.

It was a while later before I caught my first trout.

To make a long story short, Ken won the tournament for the day hands down. I really didn’t mind getting bested by my best friend, I knew there would be another chance before I left to even up the score.

Around noon we knocked off fishing and headed for what has come to be one of my most favorite beach bar and restaurants that I’ve ever been to. It’s name is Capt. Hiram’s and the food is every bit as good as the fun atmosphere that greets you. Here’s the view as we approached it from the river.

We got the boat beached right in front so that we could keep an eye on it while we dined. I love a place where you can just pull your boat up on the beach to visit.

Ken went in and found us as spot that afforded a good view of the boat and surroundings.

I wondered around with my camera happy with all the unique things I could shoot to show you. Capt. Hiram’s has a formal dining area, if you care for that sort of thing. It also is known as one of the most fun bars to frequent on the local beach scene. The floors of the bar area are sand and most of it is an outdoor establishment. There was a lot of fun put into the décor. Most of the tables are made of old surfboards.

One section is made to look like an excursion boat. Here’s Ken and my self sitting in front of it.

I just had to shoot this boat seating section from another angle to show you how it opens onto the beach.

If you care to spend an entire afternoon or even full days here there are lounge chairs on the beach for your comfort.

The fun starts and ends with the personnel of any establishment and the staff here was no disappointment. Our bartender and waitress for the day was Angie and her infectious laugh and constant smile kept us entertained for hours.

After lunch it was time to find a nice sand beach and do some serious floating and relaxing. We spent a lot of time just lounging in the water and joking around. It was a perfect way to end a perfect day on the water.

As I piloted Ken’s boat back to the launch area, I was reflecting on my friend and our friendship that has spanned the last 27 years.

I don’t know anyone who knows me as well as Ken does and yet he still puts up with me. We seem to have a good time no matter where we are and we always look forward to seeing the other walk through the door. He’s a part of my family, my tribe, if you will.

I’ve invited Ken to write an entry and let me post it for you to read in my journal. Ken reads Docklines… regularly and thinks we have a pretty nice community here in J-Land. He enjoys reading all the comments. He’s not an AOL or AIM member, so he can’t comment himself. I hope he takes me up on my offer.

I’ll leave it here for now at the end of our first day and post again in the next day or two about the rest of the vacation. There’s more pictures to share!


onemoretina said...

    Welcome back, Sam !!  You were missed.  From the looks of it, you had a wonderful time ...  Good for you.  It's always nice to have a change of scenery, isn't it ?
     I have to say, the Grand Am suits you!  So ... how long will it be before we are seeing pictures of you in your new sportscar ???  Tina  

jouell3935 said...

Welcome back!!!! Great pics!!!!!

Congratulations on the nomination!


tillysweetchops said...

Sam this entry transported my olfactory senses to that beach! I could smell the briny air and easy living. Bearing in mind I'm sitting in drizzly old England, I can't work our whether to be delighted or depressed! lol.  Sounds like a splendid time was had by all (with the possible exception of your piscean friend dangling on the hook!)

BIG Congratulations on your VIVI Nomination. I'm sure all your readers will agree that you are a fine and worthy Nominee!!!!!!!!

Best of British luck to you.

Tilly xx

nightmaremom said...

I am still so jealous!  LOL  It's dark and gloomy here and very cold!  They are calling for snow a bit south of me.  I would love to be floating in the gorgeous sunshine!  As usual your pictures are wonderful and your descriptions perfect!  Thanks so much for sharing, I can't wait to hear about the rest of the trip, but will be honest and say I'm glad you got out of there before Wilma!  
Hmmm.. nice car... when do you purchase one of your own?  

nightmaremom said...

OOHhhh.. I got so caught up in your vacation pictures I forgot to send out congrats on your VIVA nomination!  Good Luck :)

astaryth said...

Wow! Great pictures! I want to go on vacation with you!!!!

And, Congratulations on your ViVi Nomination! Woo Hoo!

schnozbeary said...

Welcome back!! Love the pics; especially love that beautimus little car!!! Congrats on the nomination!!! :) Penny

ajoleblon said...

Wonderful pics!  And as usual you made me jealous but I'm glad you had a wonderful time. Congrats on the nomination.

sieblonde said...

Le sigh.  ~Sie

madcobug said...

I can see you had a great time even though it was cut short. Lovely couple you visited with. I really like that car and the boat also. Very pretty place to have lunch and play awhile. The pictures were great and you made the trip sound so interesting. Glad you got out before Wilma hit. Looks like she is a nasty one. Helen

jlocorriere05 said...

Congratulations on your nomination for a Vivi award. Your holiday photos are great as always. Don't know what it is with us journalers and the weather. Two years ago I got caught in Hurricane Isobel in Richmond Va, my trip to New Orleans was cancelled this year because of Katrina so I went to New England where they had rainstorms in New Hampshire which washed houses away!! Luckily I missed it all and stayed dry, I just thought I was a jinx!! Jeannette.

ondinemonet said...


These photos are fantastic!! I especially enjoyed the one of the Wabasso Bridge. Excellent all around! IMPRESSIVE!

Always, Carly :)

belfastcowboy75 said...

Terrific photographic essay, Sam. This is absolutely my favorite way to spend a day--boating, fishing, beaching...and that bar looks fantastic, a lot like the Palm Pavilion where I hung out on my FL vacation last February.

robinngabster said...

Wonderful pictures!!! For a moment I thought that was Tom Selleck in the red car!!! You look very Magnum PI!!!  ;)

Next time will you take me with you???  I can see myself sitting at the surf board table with an umbrella drink in my hand.

globetrotter2u said...

Sam, what fabulous pictures! I am so glad that you had a great visit even though you had to cut it short.
It seems that it was the quality and not the quantity of the vacation that mattered in the long run. You and that red car looked great together, but seriously, I still see you as a tomb raider on the desert...a yellow Humvee would also work for me:)
You would probably have loved this hurricane! Just got back from the fishing pier at Sharky's and the wind 'bout blew me on over! Gave a whole new meaning to that song "Blow the man down!"
The sand was in my face and the birds were all gathered on the east side of the roof to get out of the wind. The best part was watching these huge waves that were rolling in from the gulf sidewise! Man, I'd never seen anything like that before!
Loved your restaurant with the surfboard tables. The restaurants on the west coast need to get their act together or else we younguns are gonna traipse on buttskies on over to the east coast for better fun!
Loved this entry and look forward to hearing from your friend, too:)

deveil said...

man it looks like ya'll had a lot of fun!  Awesome!


mcjerseygiri said...

Wow what gorgeous pictures and such a beautiful beach. I also love the car! I think it's wonderful that you two have a friendship that spans nearly 30 years. I am still close friends with my childhood best friend and we are pushing 40 years. No one knows you like someone who went through so much with you. I am happy you had this wonderful time with your buddy. Thanks for sharing this. :) Nelle

stupidsheetguy said...

Wow, for a minute there, I could smell the salty air! YOu sure know how to share a story my friend. Thanks for the time-out. I had almost as good a vacation here as you did!


jevanslink said...

I think we should have the VIVI awards presentation at that restaurant next year. Works for me.  Mrs. L