A1A Beach Ride

A1A - Flagler Beach Motel street art 2Traveling Florida’s shoreline, particularly in northeast Florida along the Atlantic Ocean from St. Augustine to Daytona Beach Shores, is a relaxing ride.

A1A signVisit Florida has excellent information on Florida’s scenic highways at https://VisitFlorida.com.  “One of the most historic, relaxing, and beautiful parts of Florida can be found along the A1A Scenic and Historic Coastal Byway on the northeast coast of the Sunshine State. This National Scenic Byway is made up of three individual state scenic highways; Scenic and Historic A1A, A1A River and Sea Trail, and A1A Ocean Shore.”

A1A is a parallel highway to Interstate 95 and U.S. 1, for the most part.  Driving this scenic route is a nice opportunity to take in some of the fresh beach air and also not worry about traffic, of course depending on when you go.  You’ll encounter a significant increase in traffic as you get closer to Daytona Beach as that is a very popular place during major race events and summer beach activities.

A1A near Flagler BeachWhile some ocean views are blocked by sand berms and condominiums there remain excellent views at periodic intervals.

Here are some of the sites along the way.

Flagler Beach 2

Flagler Beach 3

A1A at Flagler Beach
Flagler Beach during a cloudy, rainy day in spring is still a nice place to be without crowds.
A1A beach near Flagler Beach
Easy access from A1A onto the beach.
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Water was a little rougher than normal due to weather.  
A1A at Flagler Beach - hurricane damage behind Funky Pelican
Although the various beaches have recovered from hurricanes in 2017 some of the buildings like this one still have repairs being done from the storm surge that destroyed some of the structures along A1A.
A1A at Flagler Beach - Funky Pelican
Interesting chalk board for guests to write their comments at the Funky Pelican on Flagler Beach at the pier.  funkypelican.com
Flager Beach Pier
Flagler Beach pier was open but not many people used it during the week and during wet, windy weather.  
Flagler Beach Restaurant
There are sufficient restaurants at Flagler Beach but during peak times they become crowded.  
Whaam Burger Street Art at Flagler Beach
How about a delicious burger from the colorful Whaam Burger restaurant?
A1A at Flagler Beach - Finns Restaurant Street Art
Finns Flagler Restaurant is another popular location. 

There are interesting pieces of street art on the restaurant walls along this corridor.  A person sure gets the beach and inviting feeling while traveling through the area.

A1A Street Art near Flagler Beach

A1A street art near Flagler Beach - Finns RestaurantA1A motel streat art south of Flagler BeachA1A Street Art at Flagler Beach businessA1A - Flagler Beach Motel street artA1A at Flagler Beach - Motel Street Art

Once you leave Flagler Beach you will still see a few restaurants but mostly nice, peaceful scenery.  I’ll save a few more photos for another post about the Daytona Beach area.

With Love,

Ron

#floridascenichighways

 

 

 

 

Mother

 

Bernice Gray Painting - Pondering Life
“Pondering Life” by Bernice Gray

Mothers deserve being honored every day of the year.  It’s certainly befitting to at least recognize them one day of the year though.

Mothers Day 2018 in the U.S.A. is May 13.  I want to highlight this post with paintings from Bernice Gray, my mother-in-law.  She loved painting and decorating, although she had little formal training.  What you see is from the heart.

I often reflect on the love and guidance of my mother and mother-in-law, as well as my oldest sister. They are now enjoying the fruits of their belief and love in the presence of God.  But they are not gone!  They carry on through the love and life they provided to our family and all who knew them.

Matt's drawing of gone home
“Heaven’s Gates” representation by Matt Tittle – honoring Mother Audrey Tittle and Sister Shirley Vail (who preceded Mom)

 

I am truly blessed by these precious women who have passed from our physical presence, but yet remain.  Each one has left a lasting legacy of love through there countless children and grandchildren.

I am truly blessed by my wife who taught our children exceeding love and guided them through all walks of life – showing God’s Love.

There were many times I was away on military assignment.  She kept the home fires burning and carried on, without complaint.  Our children now have children of their own and we remain blessed and thankful to see our grandchildren being loved and taught by their mothers.

 

Bernice Gray - Pathway
“Pathway” by Bernice Gray

You see! Love births love and is passed on. These dear mothers are called “blessed.” 

 

Guess what?

We all have a mother.  Not had – but have.  I believe once a mother, always a mother.  Some things never change, no matter where one lives; only how we recognize them.

Mothers Day 2018 in the United Kingdom was March 11.  I suppose every country has its own day to recognize mothers.  What I thought interesting for the UK was “Mothering Sunday is a celebration held to honor mothers and other maternal figures.”  https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/life/927758/Mothers-Day-2018-when-is-what-date-UK-why-does-date-change.

“Now, in 2018, it is used for children and adults alike to give presents to their hardworking mums – often cards with chocolates and flowers.  Mother’s Day was originally a day for Christians to visit their ‘mother’ church back home during the holy month of Lent. Workers would be given the day off to return home and worship with their loved ones and have family reunion. It is thought that the return to the ‘mother’ church led to the tradition of young domestic servants and apprentices being given the day off to visit their mother and family.”

Bernice Gray - Peace
“Peace” by Bernice Gray

Mothers Day in Mexico is May 10.  “The first official Mothers’ Day celebration in Mexico was held on May 10, 1922. The celebration soon took on religious undertones, with images of the Madonna and Child being displayed on Mother’s Day. The day has gained widespread popularity over the years. It is also celebrated in other countries worldwide.” (Google.com)

Bernice Gray Painting - Stream back home
“Stream Back Home” by Bernice Gray
Bernice Gray Painting - Dusk Aglow
“Dusk Aglow” by Bernice Gray
Bernice Gray - Dusk over snowy pines
“Dusk over Snowy Pines” by Bernice Gray

We all celebrate special occasions in various ways but let’s make sure Mother is shown love and appreciation.  I propose every day, not just one day.  Mother is Love!

Bernice Gray Paiinting - Abandoned but not forgotten
“Abandoned” by Bernice Gray

With Love, Ron

 

National Teacher Day and Week

Apple graphic from Photoshop stock-3

Okay, I’m curious.  How do we support the National Teacher Day and Week?  Is it emphasized in the U.S.A. alone or does our international community have the emphasis as well?

Homeschool workAlso, what about those who choose to homeschool their children?  Aren’t they also “real” teachers too?

Shouldn’t we recognize all teachers on National Teacher Appreciation Day and Week?  I think it should be an international effort too.

Students on stage for recognition

According to the the National Day Calendar at https://nationaldaycalendar.com/2018/05/07/may-8-2018-national-teacher-appreciation educational leaders began discussions for a day to honor teachers in 1944.

In 1953, Eleanor Roosevelt persuaded the U.S. 81st Congress to proclaim National Teachers’ Day. Congress declared March 7, 1980, as National Teacher Day. The National Education Association (NEA) continued to observe Teacher Day on the first Tuesday in March until 1985 when the National PTA (Parent-Teacher Association) established Teacher Appreciation Week as the first full week of May.  The NEA Representative Assembly then voted to make the Tuesday of that week National Teacher Day.

5144799768_36d629a940_o

Apparently this is just an emphasis in the U.S.A. this week.  Do other countries have similar appreciation events? 

Also, if you’ll notice on the  National Day Calendar website there are other emphases this week as well, such as: National Have A Coke Day, National Coconut Cream Pie Day and National Student Nurse Day.  Maybe we can thank a teacher by giving him or her a coconut cream pie slice along with a coke.  We can also consult a student nurse whether this is a good combination.

I’ll choose to express appreciation to all the teachers around the world, as we conclude the National Teacher Appreciation Week, for their call-to-duty to teach and instruct our youth AND adults.  I think back over the years of the teachers who helped guide me and I am thankful.  Most provided due diligence and showed how they care.  I just wish I had been more attentive though.

Homeschool work-2I also want to recognize our homeschool teachers.  They don’t receive sufficient credit for the excellent, dedicated work they do.  No doubt it is a tough assignment trying to keep our youth on track with the various distractions around – and trying to balance getting all the things needing to get done at home while trying to teach and instruct at the same time.  Plus, what kind of salary do they receive, or assistance to buy materials? 

Reading imageHow did I miss the Home School Appreciation Day on April 27 or week (24-27)?  Maybe there wasn’t enough promotion on the news, even though the homeschoolers are in the minority.  But! They are important too.  http://homeschoolteacherappreciationday.com/

Here are two links for homeschool Moms that express some of the activities and concerns of these mothers/teachers.

https://homeschoolingthesweets.wordpress.com/2018/05/07/teacher-appreciation-week/

https://mywordsoup.wordpress.com/2018/05/09/tribute-to-the-homeschooling-mother/

Cam with booksWe should not stop recognizing teachers when the week’s emphasis is over on May 11.  Let’s make this an occurrence throughout the year.

I applaud each teacher who has dedicated his or her life to serve others – whether in the public, private or home sector.  I just wish governments and communities would recognize your value and provide the pay commensurate with your responsibilities.  To me – I think your responsibilities are in the top category of professions and you should be paid accordingly.   Let’s ensure quality teachers receive quality salaries and appreciation.  The direction of our society depends on it.  

#TeacherAppreciationDay or #NationalTeachersDay

How alert are we on the road?

Pre-K Bike-a-thon 051We all travel, don’t we?  How alert are we when moving about?

Do we check local traffic laws when we travel?  I have traveled to many countries and one of the main concerns I had in traveling the local roads was making sure I didn’t hit a bicyclist or pedestrian.

I’ve heard of some troublesome situations for motorists traveling from another country.  Plus, imagine the ongoing guilt feeling even if we are in the right.

But it’s not only while traveling abroad.  The challenge is even in our home towns.

May is bicycle safety month in Florida so I thought I would provide an emphasis on this subject.

Alert Today_National Bike Month_Web (1)

CTSTFL-bicyclist-tip-card-300x180In Florida, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) works diligently to help ensure our vulnerable road users (like bicyclists and those walking) are protected.  There are ongoing campaigns to emphasize road safety.

 

I’ll use some of their information to highlight this month’s emphasis on bike safety.

Alert Today_National Bike Month_Web, SpanishThis is important for those who live in Florida as well as the U.S.A.  It’s equally important for those visiting from other countries to understand the traffic rules to help protect ourselves, resulting in a pleasant experience.

I also think it is important to understand when we travel to and through tourist destinations there are many just like us mixing with the locals on the roads.  Some know where they are going and some do not.  We MUST recognize this diversity on the roads for a safer travel experience.

DSC_4993Many times when we travel through construction zones our GPS or electronic devices may not be dependable, whether on the major highways or local roads.  This creates an additional distraction causing us to not be as vigilant for other vehicles, bicyclists or pedestrians.  I suggest we review a map of the area before traveling so we will know if the GPS is accurate or not; and have an alternate route planned to help ease the confusion.  

DCIM100GOPROG0056781.
Cyclists rides correctly on the right side in the U.S.  Think how far your mirror sticks out too.  

During my last trip to Europe I was once again reminded to be extra careful and alert for bicyclists.  I believe when we travel to other countries we realize the importance of being watchful because of uncertainty on the roadways; however, I’m confident we are not as observant around our familiar roadways at home.

DCIM100GOPROG0079765.
Bicyclist uses the bike lane properly and rides with the traffic.  Drivers must still ensure at least three foot distance while passing a bicycle.  

My personal opinion is there are more bicyclists in Europe than in the U.S. – for varying reasons – and local drivers are more accustomed to them, along with a better attitude toward cyclists.  Maybe most U.S. drivers  prefer using motorized vehicles and aren’t as tolerant for bicyclists.

So, what are we to do?

It’s spring now and there is an increase of bicyclists as the trend builds throughout the summer.  Be alert cyclists not following the rules.  They often don’t ride in the same direction as traffic when riding on the road.  You are required to ride WITH the traffic, not against it.  You may use the sidewalk in most areas provided you give an audible warning to a pedestrian when approaching him or her.

Although Florida Statutes allow riding on the sidewalk, there are some local municipalities that have more stringent requirements.  For instance, in St. Augustine, particularly around the downtown area, bicyclists are not supposed to ride on sidewalks.  This is likely true in many congested areas where a lot of people are walking around.

Bicyclist rides against traffic
Bicyclist falls almost in front of an oncoming  vehicle after crossing a major road illegally.

 

Bicyclist rides against traffic, after fall
Bicyclist picks up his bicycle after falling nearly in front of this vehicle. We all must expect the unexpected.

It’s up to law enforcement to determine respective violations and cite them, or not.  In Jacksonville,  you may be fined if you ride a bicycle on the sidewalk in an unsafe manner or if there is a bike lane in the road and you choose to not use it.  However, I’m sure most law enforcement officers prefer to not write these citations.

This link provides more information about FDOT efforts to improve traffic safety – particularly for bicyclists and pedestrians.   https://www.alerttodayflorida.com/index.html 

Here are some key findings from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (based on their latest statistics reported):  https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812382

• There were 818 pedalcyclist (bicyclist) deaths in 2015, which accounted for 2.3 percent of all traffic fatalities during the year.

• Seventy percent of pedalcyclists who died in motor vehicle crashes in 2015 died in crashes in urban areas.

• Over the 10-year period from 2006 to 2015, the average age of pedalcyclists killed in motor vehicle crashes increased from 41 to 45.

• The pedalcyclist fatality rate per million people was almost 6 times higer for males than females in 2015.

• Alcohol involvement – either for the motor vehicle operator or for the pedalcyclist – was reported in 37 percent of all fatal pedalcyclist crashes in 2015.

• More than 27 percent of the pedalcyclists who died in 2015 had blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) of .01 g/dL or greater.

CTSTFL-bicyclist-tip-card-300x180Pre-K Bike-a-thon 012There are numerous bicycle education and training courses as well as events in Florida.  I’m curious if other states and countries have a robust plan to help the most vulnerable travelers.  When do other states and countries begin reinforcing safe habits to bicyclists – as a child, youth or adult?

FDOT works through various local, state and national partners to survey and conduct research as well as safety campaigns to reinforce road safety.

Bike to SchoolOne of FDOT’s Alert Today Florida campaigns involves reinforcing bike safety as children ride to school.  I applaud the National Football League Jacksonville Jaguars in teaming each year with FDOT’s Alert Today Florida emphasis.  I was part of this emphasis in 2017.  Mark Brunell, former Jaguars quarterback, and Donovin Darius, former Jaguars defensive safety, along with The ROAR cheerleaders and the Jaguars Mascot Jaxson de  Ville, were key celebrities to highlight safe biking to school.

Ronnie and Levi
Do you remember the commercials years ago with the “crash dummies Larry and Vince?”  Recent efforts involved using these outfits to emphasize buckling up and other road safety procedures.  
Ron as Larry the Crash Smarty
I had the privilege, or duty, to interact with young people and adults to reinforce driver, bicycle and pedestrian safety. Youth particularly enjoyed the interaction – although some were apprehensive and didn’t know for sure if the “dummy” was real or just fake.  You should have seen them jump when I moved! 

Since May is the emphasis month this year for bicycling, there was a first-ever Bicycle Safety 365 Challenge at select schools.  The Bicycle Safety 365 Challenge in Jacksonville was a four-week pilot program that provides in-class bicycle safety lessons to all sixth grade students at Fletcher, Kernan and Mayport Middle Schools.

Each week, a different bicycle safety lesson was taught in class with teachers hosting safety activities for exciting learning opportunities.  Schools had the opportunity to earn points during the week. The school with the most points by the end of the fourth week wins a “Bike to School Day” event with the Jacksonville Jaguars!

For their participation, each school was awarded new Alert Today Florida bicycle racks as a way of encouraging active transportation to schools, students, and families.  You can click on this link to see which school won the competition and will have a Bike-to-School Day event with the Jacksonville Jaguars on May 9.   https://www.alerttodayflorida.com/jaguarsafety.html

Bike to School 8
Alert Today Florida efforts to provide and “fit” children with bicycle helmets.  

I challenge cities, states and countries to examine how we emphasize and reinforce travel safety wherever we go – at home and abroad.  There must be a major emphasis worldwide to help save lives of our most vulnerable roadway users. 

This link has video clips for safe biking.  https://www.alerttodayflorida.com/bikesafevideos.html

Other safety tips may be viewed at http://trafficsafetyteam.org/traffic-safety-campaigns/bicycle-safety/.  

Motorists:

  • Share the road with bicyclists.
  • Stop before turning right on red.
  • Passing bicyclists too closely is dangerous and illegal.
  • Focus on the road.  Avoid aggressive driving.
  • Obey the traffic laws, signals and speed limits.

Sharro example-2

Do you know what a Sharrow is? Throughout Florida there are road markings in the middle of a lane showing a bicycle with two arrow lines above it. This is a Sharrow!

Sharrow-web

  • SHARROW is a shared-lane marking indicating where a cyclist has the right to ride.
  • Give cyclists 3 feet of space when passing.
  • Under Florida Law, bicycles have the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicles.
  • Focus on the road and obey the traffic laws, signals and speed limits

Safe travels everyone!

Ron

 

What’s unique about a sunrise?

First, I want to say THANK YOU for being a friend and partner as I finally reached 100 followers. It seems like a long time getting there.  I think to receive friendship one must be a friend and I appreciate each of you around the world. It shows we can be friends no matter where we call home, and even with different views of life.

I have been trying to post a blog for the past few days about some recent short trips but haven’t taken sufficient quiet time to gather my thoughts and photos.

So, I’ll post some sunrise photos in the interim and pose this question. What is unique about each sunrise – or – are they all the same?

How do clouds affect the sunrise and sunset? Have you noticed how the glow casts beautiful colors to clouds that have formed. True light brings beauty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Does it matter how high you fly or is the sunrise just a glorious? (Photo: Melissa Sweet)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is the beauty from our own perception? This photo was taken while flying into Atlanta, Georgia. Just imagine the beautiful sunrises and sets we miss daily by not taking the time to absorb them wherever we are. (Photo: Melissa Sweet)
Sunset at Daytona Beach Shores. Compare the difference between the sunrise and the sunset. 

(Unless otherwise noted photos by Ronlin Photography)

Ocean divide – sunset or rise

As we gaze across the sea at each other’s world, what do you see? Thousands of miles of natural barrier without the vessels to merge our physicality.

There are no barriers even across oceans so wide – that our thoughts can’t merge – for the benefit of humankind.

Way across the Atlantic from west to east I see, and yet wonder if you’re looking back at me.

 

From my very breezy abode at Florida’s Daytona Beach Shores, anticipation builds as the sun casts its glow; and yet I wonder what you see from abroad.

Although there are clouds that darken the sky, hiding the rays; I know the sun is there ready to break through another day.

 

 

 

 

 

I see the rays over the clouds and no darkness hides the light. Even in the darkest of night the sun still shines as bright.


 

 

 

 

While the wind howls and the sand blinds our eyes, the sun arises, not to my surprise.


And still I wonder what you see, across the barrier so far?

Is the glow diminishing and easing out of sight? While others see it rising – to stir surrounding life.

With anticipation we see the glow peek, and say hello to the morning break.


While you may be far, we are still here. Although the waves crash around – there is peace above, as –

The sun shines bright to light our day – and chases the dark so far away.

So remember each day there is sunset and rise. We can still see the world as one and choose to shine.

With Heavenly Love, Ron