Saturday, 12 September 2015 19:33

2005- Trip to Orlando

When I was younger, I would sometimes have bouts of depression. As I got older, I realized that there was a pattern to my depression. I realized that I usually felt depressed in the dead of winter when the days were short and there was not as much light. I realized that I must suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. This is what caused us to start planning most of our vacations in the winter months. We love the San Francisco Bay Area in the summer because there is so much to do. There are still things to do in the winter but when the days are short and dark, I really don't feel like doing much at all. I found that if I go somewhere sunny for a few days around February, March or April, it really helps me get through the winter doldrums. 

 

We had already planned to go to Europe at the end of the summer in 2005 but in February, that seemed like a long way off. I was craving some sunshine and knew I needed to get away. I looked on Priceline at packages and came across one that included airfare to Orlando, Floridan and hotel for a very reasonable price. Milton and I discussed it and decided we could keep the price down if we avoided Disney World, Universal Studios and other theme parks. We would just go for the sun essentially. 

 

We had a great time. The flight to and from Florida takes all day and was pretty exhausting  since we started out from home and from the hotel there about 3:30 am going and coming. We had a pretty nice little extended stay kind of rm that had a little kitchenette for $41/night from priceline. You know I always like a good deal when we travel. We got a Grand Am from Budget for $151 for the whole time. 

 

On our first full day it did rain and I was pretty dissapointed since the whole point of going was to get away from the rain. I guess we brought it with us. We drove over to Tampa/Saint Petersberg which is about 70 miles from Orlando and is on the Gulf Coast. We went to the Salavador Dali museum there which was pretty interesting. Dali has become so commercialized in some ways but seeing his actual paintings really renewed my respect for his art. We took a tour there that told about his life and explained a lot of things about his art that I didn't realize. 

 

On the second day the sun came out and we drove over to Daytona Beach on the Atlantic Coast which is about 50 miles from Orlando. Within just a couple hundred miles, you have four major cities and so if we lived there, I think there would be plenty of things to do. On the way to Daytona Beach we stopped and looked at a house in Deltona. We did not like the particular houses we looked at but it gave us an idea of prices. 

 

As we approached Daytona Beach, we started noticing a LOT of people on motorcycles. There were people on motorcycles everywhere. As we got closer to the beach itself, it became wall to wall motorcycles. 

 

I had never seen so many motorcycles. They were having a HUGE street party... or practically city-wide party although for several blocks there were bands and a street faire thing going on with bands and a lot of partying. We walked through for several blocks and enjoyed it. We also visited the beach itself and this is a pic of me... notice the BLUE, CLEAR sky! It was like SUMMMMER!!

 

The sand was as white as the sand in Cancun. It was a bit windy though and I am wearing a jacket in the pic. Daytona Beach was a much bigger city than I had expected. It looked pretty intact for having been hit by three hurricanes in the last year. 

 

When we got back to Orlando, we rested a little bit and then headed out to explore downtown Orlando's Church Street which is kind of a hip little area downtown with a lot of club activity and 20 & 30 somethings. We wandered around downtown Orlando and looked at condo developments. It reminded me of L.A. or S.F. thirty years ago... it's urban downtown living is just starting to emerge. If we were to retire in Florida as little old men, urban, downtown living might be more appealing than living in the suburbs. We would also feel safer in a hurricane in a highrise probably that isn't going to blow away. I think we might have gone to Universal Studios City Walk that night too. It was free and we were only doing free things pretty much.

 

I think it might have been the next day that we decided to go back to Tampa to see Ybor City. On the way we stopped at Disney's Celebration and looked at a couple of condo's there. Celebration was very interesting. It is really a beautiful, pristine little town. It was only built about eight years ago but they have used classic architectural styles and apparently have very strict HOA rules. You would certainly feel safe there. Milton says that he thinks Stepford Wives was filmed there. It was actually very pleasant-- very Norman Rockwell. It was interesting that you see happy looking people everywhere but no rowdy teenagers. We wondered what they had done with them. I couldn't imagine any driving down these streets with their subwoofers thumping. It was such a perfect little town. Maybe these people were robots? I don't know but I wouldn't mind joining them and living in such a pleasant looking place. 

 

On our way to Ybor city, we stopped and looked at several housing developments. Houses run about $150,000 or so less than they do in the Bay Area. We would have to live in Modesto or Fresno to get similar prices and maybe even then, it would be hard to find houses as nice probably. Apparently a lot of the homes are sold as "vacation homes." People buy them as investments and then rent them to tourists for $200.00/night that come to Orlando to visit Disneyland. The real estate market seemed very hot in the area- there was a lot of building but in some areas, you had to enter a lottery to actually get a house because they were going so fast. 

 

We also looked at some manufactured homes. We saw some as low as $64,000 but they had walls that looked like plastic and we couldn't have lived in them. You had to spend about $150,000 before all the walls looked like sheetrock. We saw some pretty nice manufactured homes and even saw one that was two stories. That was weird. The ones we really liked though were in the $150-200,000 range and by the time you bought the land and moved it, I couldn't see any advantage over buying a regular house. You could get a great regularly build, brand new house with a yard and about 1600 square feet for $220,000 so am not sure why anyone would bother with the manufactured ones. I wouldn't want to live in one with the hurricanes anyway... regular houses all seemed to be made of cinder blocks and those wouldn't blow away. 

 

When we finally got to Ybor city, we were pretty tired after looking at houses all day and we just stayed a few minutes and turned around and headed back to Orlando. 

 

On our final day, we went out and looked at more houses early in the day and then just relaxed until we left for the airport. We had a great time. Ever since we got back we have been working on our Europe vacation for September. We bought our airline tickets to London and have booked hotels in London, Paris, Venice, Florence, Rome and Athens. We have also booked flights from Rome to Athens and Athens back to London. We have been immersing ourselves in books on Europe and art galleries and sites.

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1957-1958 1st Grade- Click to read story.
Click to read "Introduction."
Where I was born- Click for story.
The Psychedelic Experience- Click to read story.
Black Men in Oils- Click to read story
2001 Trip to Cancun- Click to read story.
Forbidden Dreams of Love- Click for story.
1967- Summer of Love- Click to read story.
2015- 2nd Gay Cruise- Click to read story.
Grandview- Click for story
1974- First Trip to Europe- Click to read story.
Escondido 1960's- Click for story
1973- Psych Tech Program- Click for story.
1982-1993 Waller Street- Click to read story.
2014- Road trip to San Diego- Click for story.
Earthquake! Click to read story.
My Dad's Family- Click for story.
2005 Darlene Visit for Gay Pride- Click for story.
My Mother- Click for more photos.
Women in Oils- Click for story
2001 Trip to Cancun- Click to read story.
Palouse- Click for story
Photos of Dad & His Family- Click for story.
Me in my 20's in 1970's- Click for story.
4th Grade- Click for story.
Me in first grade- Click for story.
2015- 2nd Gay Cruise- Click for story.
1970's Promiscuity- Click for story.
1973 "You have to be hurt..." Click to read the story.
1974- On Larkin Street- Click for story.
Summer of Love- Click to read story.
Cockettes & Angels of Light- Click for story
1958-1959- 3rd Grade- Click to read story.
Me in 3rd grade- Click for story.
5th Grade in Abilene Tx- Click for story
Amber- Click to read story.
Gay Disco 70's- Click for story
1964- Luv Please- Click for story.
Beatle haircut- Click for story.
Darlene Marries Chuck- Click for story.
Second Gay Cruise- Click for story.
2005- Darlene Visits for Gay Pride- Click to read story.

Article

01. Introduction

03- Dads Family

03- Photos of my Father and his family

04- My Mother's Family

04- Photos of my Mom

04- Video of my Mom

04- Walling Family Reunions

04-Audio Files of My Mom

04. Billie

04. Ole

04.1. Forbidden Dreams of Love

04.2. Flames of Forbidden Love

04.3 Mom Writing Her Life Story

05- Jim Tarbert

05. Roger

1950's Grandview to Toppenish

1957-1958 1st Grade

1958-1959- Third Grade

1959- Palouse

1961- 4th Grade- Last time I wore a dress

1962- Abilene

1963- Escondido- Early 60's

1964- Darlene Marries Chuck

1964- My Beatle Haircut

1964-The Luv Please

1965 or 1966- Steve Castle

1965- In Foster Care

1966 Living with Darlene & Chuck in Seattle

1967- Juvenile Hall

1976- I Praise Thee (poem to Stanley)

1976- My Second Lover, Stanley Dunne

1976- Paul McCartney and Wings

1976-1330 Bush Street #9J

1977- 1667 Haight Street

1977- Trip to San Diego with Mary Jo

1977-1980- Tumultuous Relationship with John Perry

1978- 525 Haight Street

1979- September- Dad is Murdered

1980's- AIDS- Death and Dying

1980- Winter- First Trip to New York

1980- Word, Sound and Power

1981- Milton- Falling in Love

1982-1993 465 Waller Street

1982-1994 Computers to MacNursing

1984- 33rd Birthday

1985- Graduation from Nursing School

1985- Trip to Hawaii (Oahu)

1988- MIdnight Caller

1989- Earthquake!

1991- Aug 10th- Mom Passes Away

1991- Black Males in Oils

1991- Crack of My Life

1993- Move to Vallejo & Our First Home

1995-1. Road Trip to Washington

1995-2. Surprise Trip to Vegas

1995-3. Grandmother Rogers & Aunts Visit Darlene's

1995-4. Amber

1998- Camping at Russian River

2000 -Thoughts about Progressive Christians

2000- Resignation from John George

2001- April- Trip to Cancun

2001- Peace and Justice

2001- September 11th

2002- April-Puerto Vallarta & Blue Bay Getaway

2002- Nov 12th- My Stepfather, George McHenry Passes Away

2003- Trip to D.C. and N.Y.

2004- Feb- Road Trip to Baha Mexico

2004- Walling Family Reunion in Spokane

2005- Christmas Poem

2005- Darlene Visit for Pride Celebration

2005- Trip to Orlando

2005-1. Europe- London

2005-2. Europe- Paris

2005-3. Europe- Venice

2005-4. Europe- Florence

2005-5. Europe- Rome

2005-6. Europe- Athens

2005-7. Knee Surgery & Tongue Biopsy

2006 Christmas Poem

2006- February 23- Times Herald

2006- Palm Springs White Party

2006- Trip to Seattle

2006-July 8th Solano Peace and Justice Coalition BBQ

2007- Feb- Carnival Destiny- Our First Cruise

2007- Tre and Casey Visit

2008- Aug 15-18 Spokane Visit

2008- Psycho Song

2009- Honored by Vallejo Gay Network

2009- Women in Oils

2010 Christmas Poem

2010- Feb. R.C. Mariner of the Seas Mexican Riviera Cruise

2010- June 24- Badlands

2010- Trip to Seattle

2010-1. Europe- Amsterdam

2010-2. Europe- Paris

2010-3. Europe- Barcelona & Sitges

2010-4. Europe- Madrid

2011-1. Feb. My Fabulous 60th Birthday Weekend

2011-2. April- L.A., Palm Springs & "The White Party"

2011-3. Poem- Girl From Medical Lake

2011-4. Old Man Dancing

2011-5. May- Misty and Alex Visit

2011-6. August- Darlene and Sean's Visit

2011-7. Alex 16-18 & Pics

2012- March- Carnival Splendor Mexican Riviera with Family

2013- Wedding

2014- Christmas Poem

2014- First Gay Cruise

2014- September Road Trip to San Diego

2015- Seasonal Affective Blues

2015- Second Gay Cruise

2015- War on Christmas poem

2015-"Badlands" and Gay Bar Etiquette

2015-September 8. Political History

2016 Do Not Speak for Gay Males

2016- April- Palm Springs RV Adventure

4/4/2016- Not Going Along to Get Along

9/4/15- Liberals vs Conservatives

5th Grade in Abilene Tx- Click for story
My Dad's Family- Click for story.
Amber- Click to read story.
Beatle haircut- Click for story.
Earthquake! Click to read story.
2001 Trip to Cancun- Click to read story.
Second Gay Cruise- Click for story.
1974- On Larkin Street- Click for story.
Gay Disco 70's- Click for story
2014- Road trip to San Diego- Click for story.
4th Grade- Click for story.
Women in Oils- Click for story
Photos of Dad & His Family- Click for story.
Summer of Love- Click to read story.
Me in first grade- Click for story.
2015- 2nd Gay Cruise- Click to read story.
The Psychedelic Experience- Click to read story.
1957-1958 1st Grade- Click to read story.
Grandview- Click for story
Escondido 1960's- Click for story
2005- Darlene Visits for Gay Pride- Click to read story.
1973 "You have to be hurt..." Click to read the story.
1982-1993 Waller Street- Click to read story.
Palouse- Click for story
Me in my 20's in 1970's- Click for story.
Cockettes & Angels of Light- Click for story
1958-1959- 3rd Grade- Click to read story.
2005 Darlene Visit for Gay Pride- Click for story.
2001 Trip to Cancun- Click to read story.
Black Men in Oils- Click to read story
Me in 3rd grade- Click for story.
2015- 2nd Gay Cruise- Click for story.
1970's Promiscuity- Click for story.
1973- Psych Tech Program- Click for story.
My Mother- Click for more photos.
1964- Luv Please- Click for story.
Where I was born- Click for story.
Forbidden Dreams of Love- Click for story.
Click to read "Introduction."
Darlene Marries Chuck- Click for story.
1967- Summer of Love- Click to read story.
1974- First Trip to Europe- Click to read story.