Key Largo Get Away – Part 1

Key Largo Evening-2

It’s been a stressful few weeks. We have been making trips to Florida to help out with Laura’s mother. While I’ve been able to make the trip to Ireland, Laura hasn’t had a vacation. So, on this latest trek down to Florida we decided to extend trip a few days and head down to Key Largo for an escape.

We drove down on a Monday. The drive from Fort Pierce to the Keys is not the most exciting stretch, until you reach the end of the Turnpike. There, US 1 takes over, and the two-lane route leads over wetlands and mangroves. While beautiful, the area is fenced, and there is nowhere to stop. Eventually we reached the bridge crossing Blackwater Sound and arrived at Key Largo. Continue reading “Key Largo Get Away – Part 1”

The Big Business of Piracy

Vero Pirate Fest-25

We were running errands up in Vero when I spotted the following sign along US 1:

Family Friendly Piracy

Hmmm….”3 Days of Family Friendly Piracy.” Sounds a bit…oxymoronic to me. Truth be told, I’ve always thought that the Disney ride “Pirates of the Caribbean” was a bit weird, long before the movie series even came out. I’m not a prude, but a ride celebrating raping and pillaging just didn’t seem quite right. Sure, the real violence has been sanitized into something suitable for kids, but given historical realities and real incidents of piracy off the African coast, I’m often left scratching my head over the popularity of pirates.

We had some free time away from household duties, so we decided to check out the Vero Beach Pirate Fest. Continue reading “The Big Business of Piracy”

Pubs and Music

Fitzpatrick's Pub-003

On our way back from Ireland Stephen asked me what my favorite thing was about the trip. I had to say that it was the pubs and music that impressed me most. I loved the atmosphere and life that radiates from those places. While they all seem similar and familiar, each is unique. If I could do one thing over, it would be to spend more time in the pubs listening to traditional music. Granted, we did quite a bit of that anyway. Continue reading “Pubs and Music”

Taylor Invasion of Ireland – The Rundown

Doolin Countryside-003

As promised, here’s the brief day-by-day rundown of our trip to Ireland. I’m only going to include the time that I was there. My brothers went out a couple of weeks early and saw sights up in Dublin, Belfast and further north. I came out for the last part of the trip.

Stephen has shared his photos from that part of the trip, and I guess I could snag their journals. However, I’ll leave it to them to tell that part of the tale. Continue reading “Taylor Invasion of Ireland – The Rundown”

Taylor Invasion of Ireland

Taylor Brothers find a home

It’s a story that’s been told to us many times by our father. Nearly 240 years ago our ancestor, William Taylor, Sr., loaded his family onto a ship called The Earl of Donegal and sailed for Charleston, SC. They left Belfast in 1767 and landed in Charleston in 1768. William was given a land grant for 350 acres in Laurens County. He donated a few of those acres for Rocky Springs Presbyterian Church.

The first home I can remember was on a farm that had once been part of that land grant. As children we scrambled over the rocks and stream that gave the the church its name. We would wander through the old cemetery and see generations of Taylor ancestors, starting with my great-grandfather and going back from there. With so many of our ancestors close at hand, it’s no wonder that our family developed a keen sense of genealogy. Continue reading “Taylor Invasion of Ireland”

Busy Spring Update

The past couple of weeks have been a blur. I realize that I haven’t posted anything in that time, which is unusual for me. While lots has happened, it’s been in bits and pieces that didn’t seem like they needed, or weren’t quite read for an entire blog post. Those events include the following: Rambling … Continue reading Busy Spring Update

Spring Break in Florida – Part Four, Air Boating in Blue Cypress Swamp

Blue Cypress Swamp Air Boating-6

The Blue Cypress Conversation Area is a large lake/swamp area west of Vero Beach near the community of Fellsmere. We’ve visited this spot before, taking a short walk along the banks of the lake. We had made note of the air boats along the banks on that trip, and said we needed to come back and take a tour. Amy decided to take Friday off, so we decided it was the perfect time to take one.

Turns out this is a popular time of year for air boating. We couldn’t get reservations on our first choice, but there was space available with Florida Airboat Excursions. At the appointed time we drove on over. Continue reading “Spring Break in Florida – Part Four, Air Boating in Blue Cypress Swamp”

Spring Break in Florida – Part Three, Indrio School

Indrio School B&W

I’ve been coming down here now for over a quarter of a century. Each time we exit I-95 and take Indrio Road over to Old Dixie Road. The speed limit drops drastically on Indrio Road as it passes through the community surrounding Taylor Dairy. Live oaks drape over the road and while enchanted looking, they cause something of a bottleneck on this major route to the Interstate.

There have been some attempts to widen the road, but it would destroy the beautiful trees. Alas, time and disease may do what thwarted plans were not able to do. The trees are dying, and it may be just a matter of time. Continue reading “Spring Break in Florida – Part Three, Indrio School”

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