A Short Stop at The Naples Depot Museum

Driving west across Florida on Route 41, we took the time to stretch our legs at The Naples Depot Museum in Naples, Florida. The museum is a restored Seaboard Air Line Railway passenger station that was built in 1926. Passenger trains used the depot from 1927 until 1971.

Visiting Port of the Islands for Manatees

As we continued on our journey through Florida on US Route 41, we stopped at Port of the Islands, on the edge of the Everglades, for the night. While there, we discovered that Manatee Sightseeing Eco-Tourism Adventure operates out of the resort's marina. We signed-up online and early the next morning we met Captain Rich for our tour.

We Take an Airboat Ride at Everglades Safari Park

One of the things we decided to do on our road trip through Florida was to visit the Everglades. What's the best way to see the Everglades? On an airboat of course! We picked the Everglades Safari Park as our choice for a boat ride.

Airboats at Everglades Safari Park

The Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory, Key West, Florida

We are suckers for butterfly houses so when we discovered that The Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory was only a block from our hotel we had to make a visit. The first thing you need to know about this place is that it is hot, very hot. Even with the air conditioners running I was sweating heavily. And this was in December! But, these are tropical butterflies and birds so we pressed on to view beautiful specimens fluttering around everywhere. They claim to have 50 to 60 different types of butterflies in the room at any one time.

Looking for Iguanas at the Key West Cemetery

At the intersection of Margaret and Angela Streets is the main entrance to the Key West Cemetery. We were told that this is the best place to see iguanas on the island. The cemetery has seen better days and is in major need of maintenance. No matter, we were here for lizards.

Key West Cemetery

Christmas Trip to Key West, Florida - Day 2

We were up at the crack of dawn to make our way over to the pier at the southernmost end of Duval Street for a sunrise over Key West, Florida. This is a great spot with a pier which provides the perfect vantage point. The sunrise was spectacular.

Sunrise at Key West, Florida

Our First Day at Key West

We began to worry as we drove through the middle keys and all the remanents of the devastation that was Hurricane Irma. Luckily, this was short lived anxiety. By the time we arrived in Key West, Florida, all the roads were clear and there were only a few signs that the hurricane had passed through here only a few months earlier. It was time for some vacation Key West style. Our first bit of business after checking in to our hotel was to head over to Mallory Square to partake in the sunset party.

Photos from Universal Orlando Christmas

Our winter road trip had us stopping at Universal Orlando Resort's Theme Parks.  It had been a few years since we had been here and we were eager to see what had changed. This was also the first time we had been here during the Christmas season.

Lowes Sapphire Falls at Christmas

For our visit to Universal Orlando at Christmas time, we decided to stay at the Lowes Sapphire Falls Resort. From check-in to check-out, our stay was very pleasant. It was nicely decorated and unusually quiet. We just wished it was a little cheaper. You really can't go wrong staying at any of the on-site hotels.

Lowes Sapphire Falls - Main Christmas Tree

Getting a Little Nutty at Ellis Brothers Pecans

Riding the backroads of Georgia during pecan harvest time, we stopped at Ellis Brothers Pecans in Vienna, Georgia. Inside their store you can taste all sorts of pecan goodies.  One intersting thing we discovered is just how many different varieties of pecans there are and each one really does have a different taste. This is a fantastic stop for anyone in southern Georgia.

Ellis Brothers Pecans

Checking out Legacy Station

We found ourselves in Lilburn, Georgia, just outside of Atlanta, so we decided to stop in at Legacy Station. The store is located in the back of the Kroger Shopping Center. They have a fine selection of model trains as well as scenic material. Of course with us being O-Gaugers, we picked up a couple of Lionel goodies while we were there.

Legacy Station

Hunting Bargains at the Lionel Warehouse Sale

Once a year Lionel opens up its warehouse for an overstock sale. We drove down to the Concord, North Carolina offices to see if we could score some bargains. The warehouse was packed with people! To there credit, Lionel did a fantastic job at moving shoppers through the cashier lines quickly.

Taking a Hayride on the Craggy Mountain Line

Hayride on the rails? Sounds like fun, doesn't it? Off to Woodfin, North Carolina we went to see just how fun it would be riding the Craggy Mountain Line during their hayride event.

Craggy Mountain Line

Photos of Biltmore Gardens in the Fall

There is something to see in the Biltmore Gardens year round. Here are some photos of a recent Fall trip to the gardens in Asheville, North Carolina.

Touring the Southern Vintage Trailer Friends' Show

We took a ride over to Stonebridge Campgrounds in Maggie Valley, North Carolina for a bit of a different type of show. The Southern Vintage Trailer Friends were holding their "Fall Into Vintage Trailer Rally" and opening up their trailers to the public.

Bridges of Greenville County

While driving to Greenville, South Carolina we always notice a little sign on the road pointing out the direction to a covered bridge. Today we decided to follow that sign to see where it lead us. After a few miles, we were at a small park and Campbell's Covered Bridge.

Campbell's Covered Bridge

Visiting the Cataloochee Valley to see Elk

One of the best spots to watch elk in North Carolina is the Cataloochee Valley. You are almost guaranteed to see these beautiful creatures if you are there at sunrise. Just remember to keep your distance as they are wild animals and, while rare, can inflict great harm on you. Here are a few photos from a recent trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

A visit to the Tennessee Valley Railfest

We piled into the car to make a road trip to the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, located in Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the Tennessee Valley Railfest. Our main interest was to ride their steam locomotives. TVRM would be running Southern Railway 4501 (2-8-2 Mikado) and Southern Railway 630 (2-8-0 Consolidation) during the weekend event.

Southern Railway 630 (2-8-0 Consolidation)

Photos from the Muscadine Balloon Fiesta

We took a road trip out to Tsali Notch Vineyard in Madisonville, TN for the Muscadine Balloon Fiesta. The morning started out soggy and windy which kept the balloons grounded but there was enough happening to be entertained until the evening. Just before sunset, the winds calmed and the skies cleared.

The PEZ Cube on the Tail of the Dragon

We try and take the backroads when traveling as much as possible. Sometimes we get lucky and drive famous stretches such as the Tail of the Dragon, US-129 near Deals Gap, North Carolina. Bonus! Killboy.com is there most days to capture photos of your drive.

Bubba and Peg drive the PEZ Cube on the Tail of the Dragon

Moving a WWII Pullman Troop Sleeper Car

Moving a WWII Pullman Troop Sleeper Car is not something you get to do every day. I was lucky enough to play a small part in directing traffic as Buffalo Creek Vacations, of Clyde, North Carolina, brought in their latest acquisition.

Buffalo Creek Vacations - WWII Pullman Troop Sleeper Car

Checking Out Tuner Evolution in Charlotte, North Carolina

We took a little road trip to Charlotte, North Carolina to snap a few photos of the cars at Tuner Evolution. The Park Expo Center was crazy hot and we were sweating our butts off. The show was much smaller than we expected but the quality of the cars was excellent which made up for all the other issues. We would rate the Tuner Evolution Charlotte show as good but not great.

Tuner Evolution in Charlotte, North Carolina

Solar Eclipse Train on the GSMR

We purchased tickets from the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad (GSMR) to ride their "Solar Eclipse Train" from Bryson City, NC to Dillsboro, NC. Fearing traffic during the day of the solar eclipse, we arrived early. This gave us time to watch them prepare their Baldwin S160 class 2-8-0 steam locomotive #1702 for the day's run.

Steam locomotive #1702

Cataloochee in the Summer

One must see place if you visit Western North Carolina is Cataloochee. Cataloochee is located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is well known for the elk that often roam there. If you get there at sunrise, you are almost guaranteed to see a few.

The fog is normally thick so be careful when driving. We have seen all sorts of critters on our trips but we always come to see the elk.

It's a beautiful area. Share it with friends.

Touring New Belgium Brewing in Asheville, NC

Road trips and beer only go together if you have a designated driver. Luckily, Peg does not like beer so she would assume the driver's seat after this adventure. Off to New Belgium Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina we went for a tour of the facility and a visit to the tasting room.

Playing Games at the Asheville Pinball Museum

Our friend, Kate, was visiting with us so we thought we would show her around our area. We knew that she liked pinball machines and we had the perfect place for her. It just so happens that Asheville has a great little pinball museum!

Road Trip to the North Carolina Arboretum

There are so many places in Western North Carolina to enjoy the outdoors. We all piled into the car early in the morning and headed towards the North Carolina Arboretum to see what they had to offer.

Visiting Saluda, North Carolina

We took a little road trip to Saluda, North Carolina to check out the town.  Saluda is famous for being at the crest of the Saluda Grade, the steepest mainline standard-gauge track in the eastern United States. Rail traffic was suspended in December of 2001 but Norfolk Southern does not plan to abandon the rails and still maintains the line.

PEZamania 27 Photos

PEZamania in Cleveland, Ohio is always a blast. Claiming to be "The World's Largest Gathering of PEZ Collectors", we made it to this year's 27th gathering. Good people, great times, and lots and lots of PEZ for sale.  

Pezamania Pez Convention in Cleveland, Ohio

Pezamania Pez Convention in Cleveland, Ohio

Pezamania Pez Convention in Cleveland, Ohio

Pezamania Pez Convention in Cleveland, Ohio

Fantasy PEZ at Pezamania

Vintage PEZ at Pezamania

Vintage PEZ at Pezamania

Vintage PEZ at Pezamania

Vintage PEZ guns at Pezamania

Vintage Pony-Go-Round PEZ at Pezamania

Vintage PEZ at Pezamania

Pezamania Pez Convention in Cleveland, Ohio

Custom Cut PEZ at Pezamania

Mimic the Monkey Vintage PEZ at Pezamania

Pezamania Pez Convention in Cleveland, Ohio

A bonus for this year, I won 1st Place at the PEZamania War tournament!

War competition at Pezamania

Peg Harmon wins at War during Pezamania