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not the NEED to have EVERYTHING.

5.19 This is our second field trip in the last 22 months. We are joined by Abby and beau Michael.

This is a self guided tour, and, as such, it’s like walking through a museum. Below are just a small sampling of the many beautiful glass creations at Chihuly; Enjoy.

Above is a ceiling arrangement. not an easy picture to take. Actually Abby took many of these pictures, feels like old times.

It only took us about an hour to complete the tour when we came upon a video on the art of glass blowing. This should really be at the beginning of the tour, not the end. We never did finish the video since it was time for us to leave the studio and proceed across the street, to experience the actual process itself.
Below is one of the Chihuly work stations, but I sure it’s not where all the big stuff is created.

These two guys below, names I’ve forgotten, will demonstrate how to turn liquid glass into a piece of beauty. These guys, lets call the Blue and Grey, are working with two ovens. Blue is in the first which has a temp of over 2300 degrees and behind him with a grey door you see the second oven with a temp of 2000 degrees. It’s difficult to see clearly, but on that white marble slab are 12-15 glass rods with a strand of red in them.

Above Blue has heated those twelve inch glass rods and rolled them up and around a chunk of molten glass from the back oven. This oven has a constant supply of molten glass available to be worked into a new creation. After about ten minutes he has the colored glass rods in an almost perfectly round design. Back, centuries ago, the iron table top used to be a three or four inch slab of marble, but that was then.
The red molten material in the center are the glass rods. The guys will continue to stretch and twist this material for as long as they feel they need. I think we were expecting to see a flower creation, or vase but not to be. Instead we saw the creation of a glass stalk, as seen below. In the next several days they will be adding to this stalk other things of beauty and stick them to this stalk.

Being seniors we we’re hungry, so we found a grilled cheese joint, which was very good.

Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards

5.18 Friday
Such a beautiful day. Our hopes is that Saturday will be equally as nice.
We’ve been going by signage off the highway advertising Lakeridge; a truly nice experience.

This signage was at the foot of the driveway. As we looked ahead it was like tripping in California.

The outside temperature today was 85, just perfect. What’s hard to believe is that this vineyard began in 1988, by a CPA.

This is the tasting bar, we’ll return back here after the tour is complete and sample their products. They’ve been winning awards since almost their beginning in 1988, I think.

Our tour will begin on the upper level. Actually we’ll traverse the catwalks from above so as not to get in the way of the workers below. Picture looking down at the main level.

In the back of the picture is a 250 gallon drum for aging wines. This system is no longer used and has been replaced with stainless steel drums as we’ll soon see. This is Stuart, he’ll be our guide on this tour.

Above are the newer two-thousand gallon storage drums and below are the  even newer twenty-five thousand gallon drums.

The grapes are harvested, then thrown into these metal grinding machine where they are squished into a juice.

This is the owner of the winery, forgot his name. He started as a CPA and is now into grapes. Below is his father. As the story goes only his father enjoyed the wine that he, the father, produced, but he was the owners inspiration.

The grapes are harvested and collected and the process begins. This is a video we’re looking at showing the bottling process. We’ll see this machine again shortly.

This winery bottles over 2.5 million bottles annually.

Florida’s hot, humid weather is not conducive to using wooden kegs, therefore the stainless steel insulated and individually cooled containers.  Below is the bottling machine that does all the bottling. Just looking at the simple and small bottling machines you’d think this just a family operation. On the contrary; this is the seventh largest winery in the US.

Chiluly St Pete, FL

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Tomorrow, on Friday 18th, we’re going on our first field trip in over a year, if not , almost two years. We’ll be traveling with Abby and beau, Michael, and will visit Chiluly St. Pete. We’ve been to this type of exhibit before in Seattle but, to the best of our knowledge, Abby has not seen something like this before. We’re now residing in Orlando, actually Clermont, at the Orlando Thousand Trails RV Park. We arrived a couple of days ago and are now living with 50 amp juice and it’s a very big RV Park.
A little glitch. We heard back from Abby and Michael, by text, that meeting on Friday was not possible. Plan B would be to reset the trip for Saturday. And as the best laid plans would turn out, Saturday was the day we would go to St. Pete.

May 2018

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Nice to be back again. Since my last entry in April much has happen. For one thing it’s now May and Carla and I are in our twenty-second month here in Florida.
To make matters worse the Web Site has been down for the last three weeks. I guess it wasn’t the Web Site but rather the server. It’s been hair raising logging in each day to a message board stating “this Web Site has been deleted.”
On May 9th I went in for my final chemo. The results of my blood work qualified me to skip the two booster shots I normally have after chemo, so the trip has finally come to an end. On the 29th I go in for a PET Scan and within a few days from then we transport the results to the surgical team in Tampa. If nobody finds any surprises we could be on the road before my birthday in June.
Both Carla and I are so thankful for HIS watching over us these past twelve months. We’ve had an amazing life together, some years were a little more challenging than others, but, all in all, It’s been a Wonderful Life. Once again it’s very nice hitting the keys again.