Well, Friday was a busy day. Started by going to Shell World (used to be Shell Man years ago) in Key Largo. They have the best collection of shells and other beachy things around. The drive down was quite the challenge, torrential rains half the way down and I was lucky. While down in the Keys, Palm Beach Island got three inches of rain. And typical of Florida, the rain came and left and then the sun came out. Shell World didn’t have what I was looking for (a bag of the same size, type of shells), but that was OK. I can always spend money. I traveled down to the Keys on I95. The stretch of I95 between Palm Beach County and Miami is one of the most dangerous roads in the country right up there with the Schuylkill Expressway. It’s not the road itself that causes it to be dangerous as much as the drivers. Also, they have taken the HOV lane and made it an HOV/tolled Express Lane. They have also taken one of the normal traveling lanes and added that lane to the HOV/Express Lane. And it only accepts Sun Pass. I don’t know how they were able to do this and Pennsylvania can’t toll I80 (not that I think they should be able to toll I80. If they want a toll road, they shouldn’t be able to take a road I already paid to be built and restrict it.) The worst part is they also took part of the regular traveling lanes and made them narrower to make room for the barrier. Coming back up to Palm Beach County, I decided to use the Florida Turnpike. It used to be annoying with these toll booths every so often that you had to plunk fifty cents into. Now they have these overhead sensors that read Sun Pass, if you have it. If you don’t have Sun Pass, they take your license plate number and bill you. Not sure how this is going to work, but it was a lot easier than slowing down periodically.
Then I went to David Culpepper’s marine salvage on the corner of 16th Street and Dixie Highway in West Palm. David has the most extensive collection of nautical items I’ve seen anywhere. Mostly vintage as well as a bunch of the touristy kind of new stuff like hand carved pelicans and funny signs. The picture below is just one of his rooms with old ship lights.
And finally, they have the parts you can build yourself a boat. Complete with cannon.
I then went to Adam and Eve Architectural Salvage. I love architectural salvage yards, Adam and Eve is like Construction Junction gone wild. What’s funny is they have some really cool vintage Florida planters, building pieces made from coral rock, etc which if you could find in Pittsburgh, they would be very expensive. But a hot water radiator for my house in their place was $400 ($60 at Construction Junction). Florida is so busy tearing down old hotels and classic buildings that they have a plethora of old iron railings, marble balusters, and so much more. I could load a semi with stuff, but I think my neighbors would have a problem with Ed’s Architectural Salvage.
Well, I’m now in Tampa visiting Jeff that owns The Inn on the Mexican War Streets and my curse continues. HIm and Karl own a condo on the water here. If it doesn’t get warmer soon, I may as well just head back up north and start shoveling snow. It’s going down into the 30′s tonight. I’m wearing the one pair of jeans I was wearing when I left Pittsburgh last Sunday and a flannel shirt. Not very tropical attire. One of the best parts of visiting Jeff is he’s a chef. He taught culinary all his life and that is definitely a fringe benefit visiting him. Meals are always a treat.
Take care and keep warm,