Monday, December 24, 2012

Sunshine Holidays

We have moved to Jonathon Dickinson State Park in South Florida near Jupiter for the holidays.  This is the third time we have been here with our friend Mary Lou who has spent ten winters in Jupiter with her husband Jack.  We are sad that Jack is no longer with us but we are looking forward to exploring the area and celebrating Christmas and the New Year with Mary Lou.  We were here on the 21st, the first day of winter and the last day of the world.  We weren't sure the world had not ended when we awoke to temps in the 40's. BBBBRRRRRRRR.  That said, I am looking forward to swimming in the ocean on Christmas Day as it warms up.  This is our sixth holiday season on the road and we have discovered that the idea of a white Christmas is way overblown.   
The beach in Jupiter is beautiful and the water is still very comfortable.  We saw several big rays just off shore but were not able to get any good pictures.
We went to see Peanut Island, the home of the Palm Beach Maritime Museum.  The island was built when the Lake Worth Inlet was dredged in 1918 to allow ships into a harbor.  It has been enlarged over the years as more sand was dug to maintain the shipping channel.  The island was used as a Coast Guard Station for many years.  Those buildings are now part of the museum showing how the Coast Guard sailors lived.
Another part of the museum is a nuclear blast bunker that was built in 1961 for President Kennedy whose winter White House was in Palm Beach. 
The bunker is really just a Quonset hut that was covered with lead to keep radiation out.  It was equipped with only the basics because it was only meant for temporary use.  There were boxes of Civil Defense food and water, several beds and a desk for the president.  Even the toilet was just a cylinder with a seat on it. The food stores were like those that the government had stockpiled all over the country when I was growing up in the 50's and 60's.  
This is a display of Kennedy memorabilia includes a model of his PT 109 that he commanded in WWII.
I got to sit in the president's chair and use the red phone to tell Ruskies to back off.
Here we are with Mary Lou in the bunker.  Even though it was never used the bunker was a top secret location until 1975.  Sailors stationed there were told it was an ammo bunker.
Nanc and Mary Lou with Singer Island in the background.
I got up close with this pelican.
It was a little cool (68) that day so a couple of manatee were in the lagoon on the island.
Aahh, Christmas in Florida.
Love it, love it, love it!!!


Bobbie and Jim said...

I grew up in the town of Lake Worth. My brother spent many a day fishing at Singer Island so I know that area well. In fact, Linda Mossman's grandparents moved to Lake Worth to retire. Nice to read this informative blog...great photos.

Bobbie and Salvatore said...

I LOVE that pelican photo!! Thanks for sharing! Merry Christmas to you both from us!