Thursday, September 13, 2007


Pilot Dave is "Mickey Mouse"!!!!!

Sound is NOT!

Dave, our pilot from the balloon ride yesterday, is a former Disney employee, and has flown the old Disney hot air balloons (picture Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck as balloons) for the Disney folk in such places as Red Square in Russia.....and numbers of other overseas locations. He is the consummate professional.

That was one of the reasons we felt so comfortable with him while aloft. For him to set the basket down on a driveway was an amazing feat....particularly when you realise the balloon is basically without a "steering mechanism"....

Thanks again Dave for the expertise, etc.


NOTE: Dave is owner of Celebration Aviation of Tampa....(Note the Celebration theme, reminiscent of Disney!)


Wednesday, September 12, 2007


A 10 - Plus a WOW!

What a fine flight! Duchess and I enjoyed every minute.....We met in Tampa, drove out to New Tampa and set up in a small park adjacent to a grade school. Once laid out the balloon was inflated...first by gas-powered fans, and then the giant flame was lit.
Once the balloon were inflated (there were three of them) we were almost ready. The red balloon was 1st off.
Air America, our balloon, in its red-white and blue with stars design.
They won't wipe the smile off the Duchess and I for weeks!
We're off. Looking back at the third balloon still on the ground as we rise ever-so-gracefully into the air.
In front of us the red balloon is above the homes and trees and the morning haze still visible on the ground.
In the picture below I am looking straight down at the top of a tree where, if you look closely, you'll see an egret sitting in the top branches. It is at the top edge of the tree in bright white. (HINT: Click on the photo for an enlarged picture)
In the morning sunlight we were chasing our own shadow as we slowly drifted over the woods and meadows below. Our altitude ranged a good bit as the pilot sought different air each level the wind was from a slightly different direction.
The red balloon drifted low over a cow pasture, and the sound of his burner sent the entire herd off to the right at what was, I thought, a quite respectable speed for cows!
We landed North of Route 54 in a field area where a construction trailer sat. We stopped about 30 feet short of the trailer, surprising the occupants considerably. Next up....the tear-down process. Our crew and pilot made short work of it.
The flight was wonderful, the pilot talented, and the entire trip a joy. Of course, it ended with a nice lunch of meat-cheese-salsa-cookies, and a Mimosa to spread the sunshine joy of such a trip in Florida.

Great fun and a BIG Thank You to Pilot Dave, and his entire crew for a great time. Check out Celebration Aviation if you wish to try a really neat balloon ride.


p.s. Another GIANT Thank You to Duchess.....This flight was a present from her to me!


Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Tomorrow, We FLY!

Ballooning over Florida.....

To say I am excited is to understate the situation!

At 6am tomorrow, we meet the folks with the basket and the balloon....

Our Launch is to be determined by the weather. Winds, after all, direct where we can and shall go for our flight.

My cameras are charged....Digital and Video......

My heart is ready.....I'll post as we go, and as I can!



Wednesday, September 05, 2007


I Could Get High On This!!!!

Not in the Motorhome, but in the same vein of flying, next Wednesday morning Duchess and I "fly".....

In a balloon!
To say we are excited is understatement. We are flying with a Tampa company, Celebration Aviation, Inc. Their web site IS RIGHT HERE!

I'll be posting lots of pics and my impressions.

Thanks My Love!!! (Duchess gave me the flight as a present!)



Butterfly Review - Part 2

The butterfly crew were all about us, and in this pic you need to find them a blow up of the pic I counted 8!
This fellow has large stripes....I say yellow, Duchess sez orange. Whatever they are, they are lovely.
In my first post, as I reviewed it, the mosaic blue fellow was a bit grainy, so I cleaned the pic...refocused, and voila!
Great fun!



Butterfly Review....Part 1

Let me see.....A butterfly story with the first pic being a moth? O.K. The moths are included in the butterfly conservatory on Mackinac Island. The brown hues were lovely.
This fellow had an "eye" on his tail making him look large and fearsome to predators
Gold is a lovely color for butterflies.
Flourescent green stripes adorned this ones wings.
A mosaic blue fellow landed on a table near me.

The multitude of colors and sizes was astounding!



Tuesday, September 04, 2007


C. J. Cat Goes Along!

When Duchess and I travel, we are always accompanied by our little white Siamese (mostly) C. J. While he is not real good as a watch/attack cat, he is friendly, demanding, underfoot, loud, and always right where we are.
In the coach C. J. is usually under the bucket chair, or on the floor behind the motor. When we park he takes to the dash. Sometimes on the dash itself, and sometimes atop the TV.
When we draw the curtains for night and sleep, the curtains are usually parted and open a crack in the morning as C. J. has been on cat patrol outside the curtains.

This just-completed trip was close to four weeks, and we had a quite interesting occurrence when we got home. C. J. was suddenly scared of the house. He'd walk only by walls and furniture, not across the middle of the floor as usual. He also stayed mostly under something...the dining table, an end table, etc.The symptoms went away after three-four days. We are guessing he had acclimated to the smaller coach and the house seemed "large" to him on our return.



Monday, September 03, 2007


New Posts Coming.....BUT, There are Two Computers Involved, and.....

I actually carry a laptop on our RV trips....a Sony VAIO........(40 gig HD, but I have a quite-nice 250 gig external HD because I do lots of graphics (I'll explain later)....

Duchess has her own HP laptop.......16 by 9 screen....smaller than mine, but great for her games, etc.

I am operating this from at-home and my desktop (I built it from scratch...the last one I built as they are so cheap today as to exclude the reason for building your own!). No brand involved! But I have lots of toys.....from multi-plug USB to scanner (HP Scanjet 4370) to DVD, CD, ZIP 250, etc. I operate a Linksys wireless in the house which we use for three of our 4 operable computers (the laptops and our desktops-one each) I operate this desktop as a direct-connect to the Linksys.

(NOTE: some inquire about our multiple computers......I only listed the ones we are CURRENTLY using!.... I also have a third desktop, and under my desk is an antique which uses the CP/M operating system. Can anyone else out there tell me what the thing is????? I doubt it as it probably predates most of my readers!) Hint: look up the word KayPro and see what you find!

Ya Gotta Love Puters! I do!!!

I will be on the Sony yet today and posting some things to wrap our recent trip.....

Butterflies, Our Cat (C.J.), and Thoughts on our trip and vehicle repairs...

Stand by to receive!


p.s. Duchess has me on a "no-buy-no-computer-without approval" plan....Wonder why?