June 30, 2009

Odds N' Ends at the Dawn of July

Fireworks, Florida style. Watching in awe are (L to R) Natalie Scott, Gregory Scott and Kat. Thanks to friends John and Debbie for dinner and a show. (click photo to enlarge)

FLORIDA: Okay, after visiting friends in Sarasota, I'll admit my long-held belief that Florida has nothing of interest is as misguided an idea as I've ever had (and there have been plenty, believe me). We were greeted by an outrageous lightning storm, toured the Ringling Museum, drank Key West brew, road-tripped to Anna Maria Island, ate alligator and Salty Dogs . . . and had the best steak of my life at Bern's in Tampa (thanks to my loving family for a killer Father's Day gift!).

The world's biggest miniature circus -- yes, I appreciate the irony.

The humidity was thick, but not as bad as New Orleans. Another landmark moment: we finally ate at a Steak n Shake, that vaunted cathedral of cholesterol revered by Midwest railfans. The next evening, while driving home from San Jose we stopped at an In-N-Out, thereby completing the holy grail for burger aficionados.

Florida is F-L-A-T . . . but she's a beauty when the sun gets low.

In other news . . .

HEMMINGS MOTOR NEWS REVIEWS R66R: A large envelope arrived Friday with pages from the August 2009 issue of Hemmings Motor News, a major car collector magazine . . . and a review of Route 66 Railway! Editor Jim Donnelly gives the book 3 of 4 stars ("Worth Reading") and adds that more car photos would have easily earned the "artful" book a fourth star. (They are a car magazine, after all . . .) Donnelly noted that "the vaunted tale of Route 66 has been told on paper and celluloid innumerable times, but not like this." Check out Hemmings' website at http://www.hemmings.com/.

UPCOMING EVENTS: Plans are in the works for book signings at Route 66 Days in Flagstaff, Arizona, and the Route 66 Rendezvous in San Bernardino, Calif. Both events will be in September . . . more details as they shape up.

RAILROADS OF CALIFORNIA BOOK: Author-photographer Brian Solomon has released his latest book, Railroads of California. It's a beautiful hardcover featuring photos of classic and contemporary trains across the Golden State. His writing and photography are at their usual top-notch form, and I'm pleased that he used a few of my photos. It's available at online retailers like Amazon and Karen's Books, plus hobby shops, etc.

MORE BOOK STUFF: Planning has begun for a second R66R printing, with a mid-July meeting at LARHF to plot things out. The trip to Southern California will also include a brief road trip to shoot material for the next book idea (God help us). No details yet since the idea is still evolving . . . stay tuned.


DS said...

So we need a verdict…Steak n Shake or In-N-Out?

Elrond L said...

Ohhhh boy, I can't escape this one, can I? Okay . . . it's In-N-Out. Steak n Shake has more choices, tho. [How's that for backpedaling?]