About richardcedwards

I have been making photographs of people and places since I was 12 years old. Exploring new places, cultures and meeting people adds a lot of richness to life. Sharing these experiences and photographs with others is my goal with "Where in the World is Riccardo?" on wordpress.com

Eat Local: Luke, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Pâté Of Louisiana Rabbit & Chicken Livers, perfumed with truffles, country bread croutons, Luke, New Orleans, Louisiana

Pâté Of Louisiana Rabbit & Chicken Livers, perfumed with truffles, country bread croutons, Luke, New Orleans, Louisiana

 

After a morning walk of more than 10,000 steps in the French Quarter (see our previous blog post “New Orleans, Louisiana, USA”), we then headed off to eat brunch at Luke (restaurant), just west of the Quarter. We were very glad we had made a reservation, as the restaurant is very popular with the locals and many were enjoying brunch before they headed to the New Orleans Saints NFL playoffs football game later that afternoon.

 

Jumbo Lump Crab Meat, Luke, New Orleans, Louisiana--

Jumbo Lump Crab Meat, Luke, New Orleans, Louisiana

 

“Luke is a Creole-inspired Brasserie located in the heart of New Orleans’ Central Business District on world-famous St. Charles Avenue, steps from the French Quarter neighborhood.  A lively atmosphere surrounds the raw bar offering the freshest seafood and oysters procured daily from the Gulf of Mexico.  Chef Erick Loos is at the helm of the kitchen featuring dishes that highlight local purveyors and farmers’ market ingredients. Behind the bar, a selection of bartender-created specialty cocktails are offered among a carefully-curated list of wines from throughout the world and locally crafted brews… Erik Loos IV is currently the Executive Chef of Luke Restaurant showing homage to the grand old Franco-German brasseries that once reigned in New Orleans.  Since opening in 2007, Luke has been hailed by Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, and The Times Picayune, which applauded Luke for its “disarmingly home-spun culinary touches and broad-shouldered dishes that satisfy something more than just an appetite.” – www.lukeneworleans.com

 

Jumbo Louisiana Shrimp "En Cocotte", roasted jalapeño cheese grits, andouille & green onion sausage, Luke, New Orleans, Louisiana

Jumbo Louisiana Shrimp “En Cocotte”, roasted jalapeño cheese grits, andouille & green onion sausage, Luke, New Orleans, Louisiana

 

Stuffed P&J Oysters, gulf shrimp and blue crab, Luke, New Orleans, Louisiana

Stuffed P&J Oysters, gulf shrimp and blue crab, Luke, New Orleans, Louisiana

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2018 by Richard C. Edwards.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

The National World War II Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Offering a compelling blend of sweeping narrative and poignant personal detail, the National World War II Museum features immersive exhibits, multimedia experiences, and an expansive col

Offering a compelling blend of sweeping narrative and poignant personal detail, the National World War II Museum features immersive exhibits, multimedia experiences, and an expansive collection of artifacts and first-person oral histories, taking visitors inside the story of the war that changed the world, New Orleans, Louisiana

 

The National World War II Museum tells the story of the American experience in the war that changed the world — why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today — so that all generations will understand the price of freedom and be inspired by what they learn.  Offering a compelling blend of sweeping narrative and poignant personal detail, the National World War II Museum features immersive exhibits, multimedia experiences, and an expansive collection of artifacts and first-person oral histories, taking visitors inside the story of the war that changed the world. Beyond the galleries, the Museum’s online collections, virtual field trips, webinars, educational travel programs, and renowned International Conference on World War II offer patrons new ways to connect to history and honor the generation that sacrificed so much to secure our freedom.

Why is the D-Day museum – which became the National World War II Museum — in New Orleans?  Because as President Dwight D. Eisenhower stated to Dr. Stephen E. Ambrose, noted World War II historian, author and professor at the University of New Orleans: “Andrew Jackson Higgins is the man who won the war for us.  Without Higgins designed boats that could land over open beaches the whole strategy of the war would have to be rethought.”  Fact: in September 1943 — the very middle of the war — the American navy totaled 14,072 vessels.  Of these boats 12,964, or 92% of the entire U.S. Navy were designed by Higgins industries; 8,865 were built at Higgins plants in New Orleans.  By wars end 20,094 boats had been built by 30,000 new Orleanians at the seven Higgins plants in New Orleans.  This explains why the National World War II Museum is located in New Orleans.

Founding of the National World War II Museum:  Stephen Ambrose, (1936-2002) PhD, inspired and guided the early development of The National D-Day Museum with his close friend, Gordon H. “Nick” Mueller, PhD, a colleague in the History Department at the University of New Orleans and Vice Chancellor of the University.  Ambrose’s role as founder of the institution that would later become The National WWII Museum was strengthened in many ways by his celebrity as a bestselling historian who was sought after as a speaker and film consultant.

“Ambrose’s work for the Eisenhower Center, specifically his work with D-Day veterans, inspired him to found the National D-Day Museum in New Orleans [with Gordon H. “Nick” Mueller].  Ambrose initiated fundraising by donating $500,000.  He dreamt of a museum that reflected his deep regard for our nation’s citizen soldiers, the workers on the Home Front and the sacrifices and hardships they endured to achieve victory.  He secured large contributions from the federal government, state of Louisiana, Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, and many smaller donations from former students, who answered a plea made by Ambrose in the New Orleans Times-Picayune.  In 2003, Congress designated the museum as ‘America’s National World War II Museum’, acknowledging an expanded scope and mission for the museum.” — Wikipedia

 

An anti-aircraft gun from World War II in the lobby of the The National World War II Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana

An anti-aircraft gun from World War II in the lobby of the The National World War II Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana

 

A small group of us had an insider’s opportunity to visit the museum when we were in New Orleans, starting with breakfast in the museum’s Stage Door Canteen on the premises, followed by a presentation on the founding and operations of the museum by President and CEO, Stephen Watson, plus insights into the exhibits by a senior historian.  Before visiting the exhibitions, we began our immersion in World War II history with a screening of the museum’s award-winning 4-D film, Beyond All Boundaries – produced and narrated by Tom Hanks — in the Solomon Victory Theater.  The movie gave us an overview of the war on every front.  Next we toured the Arsenal of Democracy Galleries where the exhibition gave us insight into the monumental efforts on the Home Front in America and to the beaches of Normandy – focusing on the thousands of men and women who made the Allied Forces victory in World War II possible.  To understand the timeline and decisive strategies and battles of the War in the Pacific, we then toured the Road to Tokyo exhibition in the Campaigns of Courage Pavilion (alternatively, some in our group toured the Road to Berlin exhibition).  We ended our visit to the museum with a curated tour of the U.S. Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center filled with tanks, trucks and WW II Airplanes, along with photographs of all of the nearly 500 U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor recipients for their service in World War II.

 

Throughout his presidency, Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke directly to the public using informal radio speeches or “Fireside Chats”; addressing listeners as “my friends,“ Roosevelt p

Throughout his presidency, Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke directly to the public using informal radio speeches or “Fireside Chats”; addressing listeners as “my friends,“ Roosevelt provided news of Allied military progress and setbacks, inspiring Americans and keeping them united; The National World War II Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana

 

While the message conveyed in this 1942 propaganda poster is that racial unity is necessary for victory, African American workers often experienced discrimination and inequality, The Nat

While the message conveyed in this 1942 propaganda poster is that racial unity is necessary for victory, African American workers often experienced discrimination and inequality, The National World War II Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana

 

As industry began mobilizing for war, many factories continued to refuse to hire African American workers.  Under pressure from civil rights leaders, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 8802 on June 25, 1941.  Hailed as the first federal action to promote equal employment opportunity, the order banned racial discrimination in defense industries.  This allowed many black Americans to move and find jobs in growing industrial areas around the country.  With economic opportunity, however, came conflict.  While some African Americans were welcomed in their new communities, others became victims of racial violence and rioting.

 

Part of the exhibition on World War II in the Pacific Ocean arena, The Road to Tokyo, this ship_s bridge and navigation equipment had introductory movies playing on the window screens,

Part of the exhibition on World War II in the Pacific Ocean arena, The Road to Tokyo, this ship’s bridge and navigation equipment had introductory movies playing on the window screens, The National World War II Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana

 

Guadalcanal, part of the Solomon Islands, was the first major island (land) offensive by the Allied Forces, led by the United States, to stop the Japanese in their march across the Pacif

Guadalcanal, part of the Solomon Islands, was the first major island (land) offensive by the Allied Forces, led by the United States, to stop the Japanese in their march across the Pacific Ocean to the southeast to take Australia – the expected short battle in the summer of 1942 ended up lasting 6 months until February 1943, The National World War II Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana; see our blog post on the Island from our visit there in 2017: “The Guadalcanal WW II Campaign, Guadalcanal Island, Solomon Islands”

 

The battle at Iwo Jima was another milestone battle in Admiral Halsey_s strategy of island hopping across the north Pacific Ocean from Midway to Tokyo

The battle at Iwo Jima was another milestone battle in Admiral Halsey’s strategy of island hopping across the north Pacific Ocean from Midway to Tokyo; the photograph of six United States Marines raising a U.S. flag atop Mount Suribachi, by Joe Rosenthal on February 23, 1945 became one of the iconic images of the war; The National World War II Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana

 

Some of the World War II airplanes in the collection of The National World War II Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana, on display in the U.S. Freedom Pavilion- The Boeing Center, which is the

Some of the World War II airplanes in the collection of The National World War II Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana, on display in the U.S. Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center, which is the now largest building on the museum campus, having opened in 2013 (paid for by a major grant from Boeing Company along with a then larger grant from the U.S. Department of Defense with Congressional approval)

 

The F4U Corsair first entered combat in 1943 and gave Allied naval aviators a winning edge against their opponents.; renowned for its speed, ruggedness and fire power, the Corsair excell

The F4U Corsair first entered combat in 1943 and gave Allied naval aviators a winning edge against their opponents.; renowned for its speed, ruggedness and fire power, the Corsair excelled as both a fighter and an attack aircraft supporting ground forces; the F4U-4 variant, with its more powerful engine, was the ultimate corsair to see service during World War II, The National World War II Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana

 

The Tuskegee Airmen -- the popular name of a group of African American military pilots (fighter and bomber) who formed the 32nd Fighter Group and the 477th Bombardment Group of the Unit

The Tuskegee Airmen — the popular name of a group of African American military pilots (fighter and bomber) who formed the 32nd Fighter Group and the 477th Bombardment Group of the United States Army Air Forces – flew these P-52 Mustangs; when the pilots painted the tails red, the nickname “Red Tails” was coined; The National World War II Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana

 

Dive-bombing requires exquisite maneuverability and accuracy to fly at steep trajectory and hit a moving target; the Douglas SBD Dauntless, the Navy_s primary dive-bomber at the war_

Dive-bombing requires exquisite maneuverability and accuracy to fly at steep trajectory and hit a moving target; the Douglas SBD Dauntless, the Navy’s primary dive-bomber at the war’s start, earned its reputation — and helped earn victory — at the 1942 battle of Midway, sinking four Japanese aircraft carriers; by some accounts, the Dauntless sank more Japanese ships than any other plane; The National World War II Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana

 

The B-17E is the airplane dubbed “My Gal Sal”, famous for having been lost over Greenland and recovered 53 years later, The National World War II Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana

The B-17E is the airplane dubbed “My Gal Sal”, famous for having been lost over Greenland and recovered 53 years later, The National World War II Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana

 

A portion of the two walls of the U.S. Freedom Pavilion- The Boeing Center that displays photographic portraits of all of the nearly 500 U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor recipients for

A portion of the two walls of the U.S. Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center that displays photographic portraits of all of the nearly 500 U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor recipients for their service in World War II, The National World War II Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana

 

General Douglas MacArthur_s fervent wish for the future, at the end of the fighting in the Pacific Theater that ended World War II, The National World War II Museum, New Orleans, Louis

General Douglas MacArthur’s fervent wish for the future, at the end of the fighting in the Pacific Theater that ended World War II, The National World War II Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2018 by Richard C. Edwards.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter Image #1

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter image #1

 

New Orleans, Louisiana ignites the senses with a kaleidoscope of colors, sounds, scents and activity.  The costumed spirit of Mardi Gras, the stellar jazz of Preservation Hall and Candlelight Lounge, the bawdiness of Bourbon Street, and the Cajun and Creole cuisines that in many ways define the Big Easy.  It would be hard to leave without sitting down to a café au lait and beignet at Café du Monde or shopping for artisan ingredients at the French Market.  Visitors who want to see another side of the city can explore New Orleans City Park, the New Orleans Botanical Garden, the many galleries on Julia and Camp Streets, or the historic Southern homes in the Garden.  It is true — eating, drinking and merriment-making is very easy to do in New Orleans (also known as “NOLA”).

 

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter Image #2

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter image #2

 

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter Image #3

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter image #3

 

The French Quarter (Vieux Carré) is the oldest neighborhood in New Orleans.  Despite its name, most of the oldest surviving buildings in the French Quarter date to the days of Spanish rule; many older structures were destroyed by fires in 1788 and 1794.  The original 20 blocks laid out after the city’s founding in 1721 fanned out from the Place d’Armes, now known as Jackson Square.  One of the stand-outs is the iconic St. Louis Cathedral, the oldest continuously active Catholic cathedral in the U.S.  As we walked along the narrow streets of the Vieux Carré, we enjoyed the numerous and quite varied architectural styles.  Well-tended gardens, intricate iron balconies and glimpses of the Mississippi were revealed as we traversed the French Quarter and then walked over to an “eat local” brunch at Luke (restaurant) — see our forthcoming blog post — just west of the Quarter, popular with many locals before they headed to the New Orleans Saints football game later in the afternoon.

 

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter Image #4

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter image #4

 

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter Image #5

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter image #5

 

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter Image #6

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter image #6

 

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter Image #7

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter image #7

 

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter Image #8

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter image #8

 

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter Image #9 – local jazz musicians playing mid-day on the sidewalk

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter image #9 – local jazz musicians playing mid-day on the sidewalk

 

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter Image #10

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter image #10

 

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter Image #11 -- St. Louis Cathedral

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter image #11 — St. Louis Cathedral

 

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter Image #12 -- St. Louis Cathedral

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter image #12 — St. Louis Cathedral

 

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter Image #13 -- St. Louis Cathedral

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter image #13 — St. Louis Cathedral

 

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter Image #14

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter image #14

 

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter Image #15

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter image #15

 

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter Image #16

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter image #16

 

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter Image #17

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter image #17

 

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter Image #18 – a shoeshine man on the street with a Mardi Gras-beads tie

New Orleans, Louisiana, French Quarter image #18 – a shoeshine man on the street with a Mardi Gras-beads tie

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2017 by Richard C. Edwards.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Nassau, Bahamas (2018)

From the top deck of our ship at the pier, a view of Nassau, Bahamas

From the top deck of our ship at the pier, a view of Nassau, Bahamas

 

The Bahamian capital of Nassau blends colonial British heritage with a beach lifestyle in the warm waters south of Florida.  In addition to sunbathing, snorkeling and fishing, most visitors make time for shopping the luxury retailers along Bay Street and pick up a conch shell or straw hat at the Nassau Straw Market.  Crossing the bridge to Paradise Island, visitors can experience the high-rolling restaurants and casinos of the Atlantis resort.  While modern influences are apparent throughout the capital, imposing Fort Charlotte’s dungeons and battlements convey historical tales from pirates to cargo smuggling.  Bahamian culture is best seen in its vibrant art, delicious conch salad or potent Yellow Bird cocktail, with the native “rake-and scrape” music playing in the background.

 

The road from the pier is an extension of East Street in Nassau, Bahamas; many restaurants, bars and cafes line Woodes Roger_s Walk (the street in the foreground), while, a block behin

The road from the pier is an extension of East Street in Nassau, Bahamas; many restaurants, bars and cafes line Woodes Roger’s Walk (the street in the foreground), while, a block behind that, Bay Street is full of souvenir, jewelry and clothing shops

 

A close-up of the restaurants and shops along Woodes Roger_s Walk, fronting Nassau Harbor in Nassau, Bahamas

A close-up of the restaurants and shops along Woodes Roger’s Walk, fronting Nassau Harbor in Nassau, Bahamas

 

As soon as you exit the cruise ship pier, travelers traverse a large outdoor “mall” of small vendor stalls selling local knick-knacks and souvenirs – the highlight is a good sized

As soon as you exit the cruise ship pier, travelers traverse a large outdoor “mall” of small vendor stalls selling local knick-knacks and souvenirs – the highlight is a good sized pavilion where a large number of local women, “Certified Hair Braiders”, offer a large menu of services, Nassau, Bahamas

 

The pier in Nassau harbor is always full of cruise ships (from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Nassau, Bahamas

The pier in Nassau harbor is always full of cruise ships (from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Nassau, Bahamas

 

Once ashore, the intrepid explorer lost no time in making friends with Captain Morgan, creator of his eponymous rum, Nassau, Bahamas

Once ashore, the intrepid explorer lost no time in making friends with Captain Morgan, creator of his eponymous rum, Nassau, Bahamas

 

Dating from 1790, the early British local government legislature met in this building on Bay Street, the site of the main viewing stands for seating at the end of December for watching t

Dating from 1790, the early British local government legislature met in this building on Bay Street, the site of the main viewing stands for seating at the end of December for watching the New Year’s Junkanoo Parade, Nassau, Bahamas

 

New Year’s Junkanoo Parade: Junkanoo began as a celebration of freedom by African slaves in the Bahamas who were given a few days off at Christmastime.  Slaves gathered, played music, danced, and celebrated their brief freedom along with their African roots.  After the abolition of slavery, a few islanders kept the tradition of Junkanoo alive, and today it remains a celebration of freedom.  The Junkanoo Festival begins in the early morning hours of 26 December, with a parade on each island kicking off the day’s events.  The celebration is now repeated on New Years Day, and has evolved into an elaborate display of hand-made costumes and floats, organized by neighborhoods that vie for best presentation.  This National festival of the Bahamas is a joyful expression of Bahamian art and culture.  In Nassau, the parade runs down Bay Street.  You hear the drums, horns, bells, and whistles, as thousands watch and dance along.

 

Next to the Straw Market is the woodcarvers_ lane where local artisans demonstrate their craft and sell loads of carved palm trees, fish, turtles, cars, etc., Nassau, Bahamas

Next to the Straw Market is the woodcarvers’ lane where local artisans demonstrate their craft and sell loads of carved palm trees, fish, turtles, cars, etc., Nassau, Bahamas

 

The stained glass windows were installed with a Church restoration in 1866 at the Christ Church Cathedral (the Anglican-Episcopal Church on George Street in Nassau, Bahamas); the Vestry

The stained glass windows were installed with a Church restoration in 1866 at the Christ Church Cathedral (the Anglican/Episcopal Church on George Street in Nassau, Bahamas); the Vestry of the Cathedral was established in 1723 and is the oldest elected Board in The Bahamas

 

Your blogger was caught by a local pirate and put into the stocks – fortunately, for you, gentle readers, he was rescued by the intrepid explorer who had been duly fortified upon arriv

Your blogger was caught by a local pirate and put into the stocks – fortunately, for you, gentle readers, he was rescued by the intrepid explorer who had been duly fortified upon arrival by Captain Morgan’s spirits, Nassau, Bahamas

 

The iconic Atlantis Paradise Island resort features the Caribbean_s largest open-air marine habitat; the Aquaventure waterpark with waterslides, river rides and 11 swimming pools; 20 r

The iconic Atlantis Paradise Island resort features the Caribbean’s largest open-air marine habitat; the Aquaventure waterpark with waterslides, river rides and 11 swimming pools; 20 restaurants; haute couture shopping; a casino offering 85 games tables and over 700 slot machines; Nassau, Bahamas

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2017 by Richard C. Edwards.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Miami, Florida, USA (2017)

The downtown skyline fronting onto Biscayne Bay (I), Miami, Florida, USA

The downtown skyline fronting onto Biscayne Bay (I), Miami, Florida, USA

 

The allure of Miami, Florida, is undeniable, from chic South Beach with its beautiful beach-goers posing against the pastel hues of Art Deco hotels, to the on-fire arts scene in the Wynwood district, to the vibrant clubs and restaurants of Little Havana.  Couture fashion and luxe home décor shopping is at its finest in the Design District, along with an array of hip cafés.  In the evenings, sway in the warm breeze to the Latin rhythms on a rooftop lounge overlooking the Atlantic.

 

The downtown skyline fronting onto Biscayne Bay (II), Miami, Florida, USA

The downtown skyline fronting onto Biscayne Bay (II), Miami, Florida, USA

 

Condominiums and hotels are cheek-and-jowl all along the Atlantic Ocean waterfront in Miami Beach, Florida, the peninsula on the east side of Biscayne Bay and the city of Miami

Condominiums and hotels are cheek-and-jowl all along the Atlantic Ocean waterfront in Miami Beach, Florida, the peninsula on the east side of Biscayne Bay and the city of Miami

 

Beach chairs and umbrellas for the Grand Beach Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida, where we had a day pass with our family (including 3 grandchildren, ages 3, 3 and 6) to enjoy the beach, swi

Beach chairs and umbrellas for the Grand Beach Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida, where we had a day pass with our family (including 3 grandchildren, ages 3, 3 and 6) to enjoy the beach, swimming pools and restaurants

 

Before midnight on December 31st, boats and yachts line up across from Dodge Island (home of the Port of Miami and the cruise terminals) to have prime viewing of the midnight downtown fi

Before midnight on December 31st, boats and yachts line up across from Dodge Island (home of the Port of Miami and the cruise terminals) to have prime viewing of the midnight downtown fireworks, Miami, Florida, USA

 

The beginning of the fireworks, north of the InterContinental Miami Hotel, just after the midnight countdown when the “Big Orange” (ball) celebrated 25 years of rising to the top of

The beginning of the fireworks, north of the InterContinental Miami Hotel, just after the midnight countdown when the “Big Orange” (ball) celebrated 25 years of rising to the top of the InterContinental Miami for the City of Miami’s New Year’s Eve celebration; Florida, USA

 

More fireworks, welcoming the year 2018, Miami, Florida, USA

More fireworks, welcoming the year 2018, Miami, Florida, USA

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2017 by Richard C. Edwards.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Key West, Florida, USA

The Naval Depot and Storehouse, known as building one at the U. S. Coast guard headquarters in Key West, Florida, was completed in 1861 and during the Civil War served as the headquarter

The Naval Depot and Storehouse, known as building one at the U. S. Coast guard headquarters in Key West, Florida, was completed in 1861 and during the Civil War served as the headquarters for the Union‘s West Indies blockade squadron; It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1973 and remains Key West‘s oldest brick structure

 

The southernmost city in the Continental United States, Key West is closer to Cuba than to Miami.  With a mixture of Cuban and Bahamian culture, Key West provides ample cultural exploration.  Those interested in history can learn about wreckers, fishermen, spongers, cigar makers, and the variety of famous people who called the island home.  Visitors also enjoy golf, shopping, and some of the many cafes, restaurants, and pubs that line the streets.  Our ship docked at a pier at the edge of Mallory Square, the heart of Key West, with restaurants, shops, theater, museums, and live entertainment.  It is best known for its famous sunset celebrations when people from all over the world come to see performers, eat food, and watch the sun set over the Gulf of Mexico.

 

The Key West Museum of Art and History at the Custom House, Key West, Florida, USA

The Key West Museum of Art and History at the Custom House, Key West, Florida, USA

 

The much larger-than-life sculpture in front of the Key West Museum of Art and History at the Custom House represents the U.S. Navy sailor grabbing and kissing a stranger in New York Cit

The much larger-than-life sculpture in front of the Key West Museum of Art and History at the Custom House represents the U.S. Navy sailor grabbing and kissing a stranger in New York City’s Times Square when the end of World War II was announced (August 14, 1945) in photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt’s famous image (V-J Day in Times Square), Key West, Florida, USA

 

The Key West Naval Station was established on April 3, 1823 as a Supply Base for an Anti—Pirate Squadron of the U.S. Navy; it was disestablished on March 31, 1974, having reached a max

The Key West Naval Station was established on April 3, 1823 as a Supply Base for an Anti-Pirate Squadron of the U.S. Navy; it was disestablished on March 31, 1974, having reached a maximum staffing of over 15,000 military and 3,0000 civilians in 1945g, Key West, Florida, USA

 

This house, built in 1890 as quarters for Navy officers, was later used by President Harry S. Truman used for 175 days during his administration of 1945-1953, giving the house the nickna

This house, built in 1890 as quarters for Navy officers at the Key West Naval Station, was later used by American presidents William Howard Taft, Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton; President Harry S. Truman used this house for 175 days during his administration of 1945-1953, giving the house the nickname The Little White House; Key West, Florida, USA

 

“The Little White House, built in 1890 as quarters for Navy officers was later used by American presidents William Howard Taft, Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.  Truman used the facility as a vacation home and functioning White House between 1946 and 1952.  National legislation was drafted and official government business was conducted daily from the site.  Perhaps the most important of these actions occurred on December 5, 1951, when Truman enacted a Civil Rights Executive Order requiring federal contract doors to hire minorities.  The house is considered the birthplace of the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Air Force as a result of the Key West Accords of 1948.  President Eisenhower used the site in 1956 while recuperating from a heart attack.  In 1961, the house was the venue for a summit between President Kennedy and British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan during the Bay of Pigs incident. Kennedy returned in 1962 after the Cuban Missile Crisis.  Secretary of State Colin Powell and foreign leaders held an international summit here in 2001.  The Little White House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.” – A Florida Heritage Landmark sign

Truman’s Little White House: President Harry S. Truman used this house for 175 days during his administration of 1945-1953.  He spent 11 working vacations here and the building became known as the Little White House.  In 1948, the Joint Chiefs of Staff met at this house to create the Department of Defense by merging the Department of War and Department of the Navy.  It also created the CIA, U.S. Air Force and National Security Council.  While here the President discussed the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe, the Truman Doctrine that changed American foreign policy and the recognition of the State of Israel. He wrote his fourth Civil Rights Executive Order requiring federal contractors to hire minorities and he drafted a letter that called for a two-week cease fire in Korea.  The reaction of General Douglas MacArthur to this letter led to his dismissal as Allied Commander.  President Truman made five post-presidential visits to Key West between 1957 and 1969, each time visiting his former Little White House, but staying in a private residence in town.

The Navy base was named the Truman Annex in 1973 following the death of President Truman.  In 1974, this portion of the base closed.  For 12 years the property was abandoned.  In 1986 the Truman Annex, including the Little White House, was sold by the government to developer Pritam Singh.  On January 1, 1987, Mr. Singh transferred this property to the State of Florida in exchange for certain easements and development rights.  It is held in trust by the State for the citizens of the world. Over the next three years Mr. Singh privately funded and directed the restoration of the Little White House building and grounds to reflect the Truman era.  In 1996, President and Mrs. Jimmy Carter used the house for a family gathering.  In 1999, Historic Tours of America entered into agreement with the State of Florida to help continue the restoration and became a major donor and corporate sponsor of this important historic site.  The Truman Little White House is administered by the Florida Department of State, Division of Historical Resources. – source: Florida Department of State

 

One of the more architecturally interesting homes in the Truman Annex (the new name for the former U.S. Navy Base at Key West, Florida, USA), has a widow_s walk on the upper level

One of the more architecturally interesting homes in the Truman Annex (the new name for the former U.S. Navy Base at Key West, Florida, USA), has a widow’s walk on the upper level (dating back to the early days of the country in New England when ship captain’s wives would go up to the top level of the house to a railed or balustraded platform to see incoming ships and the sign that her husband was coming home)

 

The Ernest Hemingway House and Museum, the former home of the Nobel Prize winner, is now a U.S. National Historic Landmark, Key West, Florida, USA

The Ernest Hemingway House and Museum, the former home of the Nobel Prize winner, is now a U.S. National Historic Landmark, Key West, Florida, USA

 

The Ernest Hemingway House and Museum, the former home of the Nobel Prize winner, is now a U.S. National Historic Landmark.  Visitors can enjoy the beautiful grounds while learning of the life and writings of Hemingway.   Descendants of his original five-toed cats can be found throughout the property

 

A side entrance (decorated for the holidays) to one of the best local restaurants, Blue Heaven, where we had an excellent dinner with friends in Key West, Florida, USA

A side entrance (decorated for the holidays) to one of the best local restaurants, Blue Heaven, where we had an excellent dinner with friends in Key West, Florida, USA

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2017 by Richard C. Edwards.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Bimini, Bahamas

Bimini, Bahamas, located just 50 miles (80 kilometers) off the coast of Florida, is a popular vacation spot where lounging on pristine beaches, snorkeling, diving, and sport fishing are

Bimini, Bahamas, located just 50 miles (80 kilometers) off the coast of Florida, is a popular vacation spot where lounging on pristine beaches, snorkeling, diving, and sport fishing are the top activities

 

Just 50 miles (80 kilometers) off the coast of Florida sits Bimini, the closest Bahamian island to the United States, where lounging on pristine beaches, snorkeling, diving, and sport fishing are the top activities.  On North Bimini Island visitors can tour the quaint local shops and seafood restaurants in Alice Town.  On the quieter South Bimini, visitors can stroll the Bimini Nature Trail and find the Fountain of Youth, said to have been discovered by Ponce de Leon in the early 1500s when he sailed to Bimini from his base in then-Spanish Cuba.  Bimini is a one-time favorite haunt of Ernest Hemingway and is where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. found speech-writing inspiration.  The island also has a rich history laced with tales of rum-runners and gun-runners.

 

After passing through a small “Entrance Point” channel separating the South and North Islands, our tender boat motored up the east side of the North Island to reach the Hilton at Res

After passing through a small “Entrance Point” channel separating the South and North Islands, our tender boat motored up the east side of the North Island to reach the Hilton at Resorts World Bimini, Bahamas

 

Approaching the Hilton and its marina, we passed by many homes and bungalows belonging to Resorts World Bimini, Bahamas

Approaching the Hilton and its marina, we passed by many homes and bungalows belonging to Resorts World Bimini, Bahamas

 

The main entrance of the Hilton at Resorts World Bimini, Bahamas

The main entrance of the Hilton at Resorts World Bimini, Bahamas

 

The sprawling beachfront property of Hilton at Resorts World Bimini features three pools, including an adults-only rooftop infinity pool; Serenity Spa and Salon; numerous fine dining and casual restaurant options; a casino with table games and slot machines; and the Bahamas’ largest marina complex.  Bimini Undersea, the hotel’s onsite watersports operator, organizes jet-skiing along the island’s coast, kayaking by Paradise Beach, and snorkeling and scuba diving at the SS Sapona wreck.  Visitors can also book fishing charters or rent a golf cart to explore the resort and neighboring small towns.

 

The Hilton at Resorts World Bimini, Bahamas, fronts onto a channel that provides boat access to both the hotel and some of the Resort_s homes and bungalows

The Hilton at Resorts World Bimini, Bahamas, fronts onto a channel that provides boat access to both the hotel and some of the Resort’s homes and bungalows

 

Our Yacht Club chartered a local boat for a snorkeling trip for a small group of us (8), that also included a chance to land on a nearby cay_s beach and feed the sting rays, Bimini, Ba

Our Yacht Club chartered a local boat for a snorkeling trip for a small group of us (8), that also included a chance to land on a nearby cay’s beach and feed the sting rays, Bimini, Bahamas

 

As part of our morning Yacht Club boat outing, we snorkeled around the SS Sapon, a concrete-hulled cargo steamer that was used as a warehouse for alcohol during the era of Prohibition an

As part of our morning Yacht Club boat outing, we snorkeled around the SS Sapon, a concrete-hulled cargo steamer that was used as a warehouse for alcohol during the era of Prohibition and ran aground near Bimini during a hurricane in 1926, Bimini, Bahamas

 

“SS Sapona was a concrete-hulled cargo steamer that ran aground near Bimini during a hurricane in 1926.  The wreck of the ship is easily visible above the water, and is both a navigational landmark for boaters and a popular dive site.  Sapona was built by the Liberty Ship Building Company of Wilmington, North Carolina as part of a fleet of concrete ships authorized by Woodrow Wilson during World War I, because steel was in short supply.  Like many others in the fleet, the ship was completed after the end of the war, and Sapona was sold for scrap… [and after being used as a casino and later for oil storage was sold] in 1924 [to] Bruce Bethel.  Bethel moved the ship to Bimini, using it as a warehouse for alcohol during the era of Prohibition.  Bethel also intended to use the ship as a floating nightclub, although this plan never came to fruition.  In 1926, the ship ran aground in a hurricane and broke apart.  During World War II, the wreck was used for target practice by the U.S. Army Air Force…  The wreck lies in about 15 feet (4.6 m) of water, the stern broken off and partially submerged by hurricanes that struck in 2004. Little concrete is left on the hull because of the effects of bombing and weathering.  The wreck itself and the surrounding area is a popular site for Scuba divers and snorkelers.” – Wikipedia

 

Paradise Beach (part of the Hilton at Resorts World Bimini) was not very crowded and had loads of room for the few visitors to spread out and relax in the sand, surf and beach, Bimini, B

Paradise Beach (part of the Hilton at Resorts World Bimini) was not very crowded and had loads of room for the few visitors to spread out and relax in the sand, surf and beach, Bimini, Bahamas

 

A friend rented a golf cart and we had a chance to drive around and explore Bailey Town and Alice Town on the North Island – pictured here in Alice Town is the Elk_s Pub and Sports B

A friend rented a golf cart and we had a chance to drive around and explore Bailey Town and Alice Town on the North Island – pictured here in Alice Town is the Elk’s Pub and Sports Bar (Kitchen Conch-Chicken, Fish, Salad, Fries), Bimini, Bahamas

 

At the southwestern tip of North Bimini Island, we discovered this severely weathered beached wreck, Bimini, Bahamas

At the southwestern tip of North Bimini Island, we discovered this severely weathered beached wreck, Bimini, Bahamas

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2017 by Richard C. Edwards.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.