Tuesday, March 27, 2012

florida ~ then and now

This wasn't our first road trip through Florida.  We did this once a long time ago...before we had a family!

We went on a missions trip to Haiti, Dominican Republic and Guadeloupe.  When the rest of the team flew home from Miami...we decided to stay in Florida and do some sight-seeing.  Our rental car was a Ford Pinto that was none too reliable.  It's one rental car that we never forget about!  Our rental car this time was a Chevy Cruz...most dependable and comfortable.  By this time next year I will have long forgotten what kind of a car we drove.

Way back then...we spent some time at Disney World.   Though we flew home out of Orlando last week...we had no time for Mickey and Minnie this time around.  And had we gone...I know we would not have arrived by 9:07 AM (as shown on the clock in the photo above)!

All those many years ago, we spent some time with Uncle Neil, Aunt Fran and my three cousins in the Clearwater area.  They were most gracious hosts...and it was so good to meet the cousins who lived in this far away place.

It was the one and only time I ever met Philip (centre front).  Later that year...he passed away quite suddenly after a short battle with Leukemia.  He was twelve years old.  What a blow that was to his family...and what it privilege it was to have met him. 

Though most of our road trip looked quite different than the one in 1973...we again passed through the Clearwater area.  Did I mention toll highways and bridges galore?

We met my uncle and aunt for lunch...along with Cousin John.  And after lunch, we drove out to see where Uncle Neil and Aunt Fran now lived. 

Their lovely new home is right next door to where they lived last time we were there.  They have switched up their car since then as well.

I laughed when I saw the photo of hubby in an orange grove in 1973.  We had to stop beside the road while he checked out citrus farming way back then.

Some things never change.  This time we stopped by a papaya farm...a tomato farm...and a field where corn was being harvested.  A farmer is still a farmer...even on vacation!

It was likely our last road trip through Florida.  I can say with confidence that we won't be going again in four decades time!  Our good memories will have to do.


  1. I have enjoyed 'tripping' along with you, Judy..thank you for sharing some oldies too:)

  2. You are the master of an understatement. I love reading what you write. How very cool to be visiting your uncle and aunt and cousin again in their corner. You and Elmer haven't changed much. I'd recognize you anywhere.

    (Leukemia. It's a monster. It was then; it was when my nephew became ill; it was far less so when a student became ill and now lives a happy, full life healed on this side of glory.)

  3. I love these photos. I visited the USA, Chicago, in 1973 when I was 16. I went with my family and stayed with friends. This was the first of many trip to USA....we love it!

  4. THis was a trip down memory lane for me...we lived on Davis Island in Tampa right off Clearwater Drive, I went to Christ the King Catholic School...I believe the hospital my dad worked for was St Alexis...we were so happy there...I remember Christmas Card Lane down Clearwater Drive, going to Ybor City on Saturdays, the Childrens Day Parade the Gasperilla Parade...oh my...thank you...

  5. I love the changes..yes, there are so many things that change from the outside but not the inside.
    A trip back memory lane brings back refreshing smiles.

  6. What fun that you have some before and after photos! I've enjoyed your trip with you...

  7. NO probably you wont' go in four decades again. What if we get called down for a book signing though?

    Oh I loved how you recalled the then trip with the now trip.

    I had a little cousin that passed away of Leukaemia so unexpectedly shortly before I was born. I still remember growing up with the sadness at family gatherings concerning that 2 year old that was sent home from the hospital because there was nothing they could do.

    I looked a long time at the one in the middle. I am happy his parents survived in their marriage. It must have been terrible.

  8. You have such a neat way of documenting trips and it looks like you have always done this. Love the old photos!
    It's kind of sobering to think that our 30 or 40 year second opportunities will not be had a third time, isnt' it? This is a good age to be though.

  9. It was so sad to read about Philip! What a tragedy for your cousins to lose such a dear son.

    I am often surprised to return to places I think I will never see again ...never say never! There may be a Florida trip again in your future...but perhaps by airplane next time! I really enjoyed reading about your wonderful trip so far..looking forward to more!

  10. Love the reminiscing and the old photos - brings back so many memories. I too had an aunt and uncle living in Florida when growing up, with a cousin that we never got to know too well. Your journying and journalling are fun to read about!

  11. Hi Judy, I've been doing a bit of catch up on your travel adventures. That "overseas highway" - wow - I wouldn't want to be on that thing in a storm! But what fun on a sunny day, and what amazing views.

    It was fun to see your photos from your first visit...brings back memories of cars and fashions of the time.

  12. I do so appreciate seeing your trip. Your pictures are as close as I will ever get to those locations. They look lovely as do all of you. Thanks.

  13. So glad you enjoyed your trip to Florida. It was neat looking back with you!

  14. You both look so young. I remember how amazing it was to see oranges growing on trees on our trip to Disneyland in 1978. Glad you enjoyed this second trip and that you were able to visit your aunt and uncle!

  15. Glad that you two Canadians found Florida to still be in visiting shape again. The whole state had people whispering that Elmer and Judy were coming by for a second "look-see" and to break out their best welcome and good manners.

  16. I like to read that your Farmer is true to his calling - even after 40 years he can still find interesting things growing in Florida.
    You two were so young!

  17. This is a great post! It is so much fun to see the two of you then and the two of you now. You guys look so good! I also enjoyed seeing your uncle and aunt, then and now. My heart broke for them when I read that they had to go through the death of a son in their journey of life. I enjoyed reading this post(I always do).

  18. What a fun trip down memory lane. So sad about your young cousin. A good reminder about the fragility of life. As much as your hubby was intrigued by the oranges, so glad you chose milk over o.j.


'The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.'
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson