TGIF: Party at the 76th Anniversary of Bike Week


A view of new Smyrna Beach

A view of New Smyrna Beach in Volusia County, Florida.

The world’s largest biker party kicks off in Daytona, today through March 19. With so many bikers converging in one place there’s bound to be lots of outrageous fun.

Warm weather and a coastal setting offer the perfect setting. A Daytona tradition since January 24, 1937, the 76th Anniversary is jammed pack with lots to enjoy.

The 10 day festival in Volusia County hosts bike races and hundreds of events for motorcycle enthusiasts.

Florida's tallest lighthouse.

Florida’s tallest lighthouse.

Florida’s tallest lighthouse gets in the act too! Explore the grounds of Ponce de Leon inlet lighthouse and learn the colorful history of Bike Week.

For more information visit, and


TGIF Travels-Christmas Celebration at Tybee Island

Tybee Island Lighthouse.

Tybee Island Lighthouse.

Celebrate a lighthouse Christmas at Tybee Island Lighthouse, Dec 10 and Dec 17. Witness a spectacular view of Christmas lights from atop the lighthouse. Experience Christmas through the eyes of the last Lightkeeper and his family.The warm glow of candlelights and hot cider will remind you of the sweet simplicity of Christmas.

For more information, visit


Preservation 50 Friday: A Lot of Determination

Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse

Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse

Standing guard over what looks like a haunted house, the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse soars behind trees. My mixed feelings about this lighthouse probably is rooted in the fact that I was told to draw it from the parking lot! I then wondered if I should have asked permission in the first place. Still I knew even in the parking lot, I would be able to see most of the lighthouse.

Lighthouses are pretty hard to hide. As one writer stated ” The very nature of a lighthouse is to stand out: by its height, cost, technical complexity, complex construction, techniques, isolation and spectacular appearance.”

Peering at the lighthouse from the parking lot, I felt disconnected. I transferred my feelings to the paper I was drawing on.


Preservation 50 Friday: The Barefoot Mailman

Barefoot mailman statue

Statue of the Barefoot Mailman, James E. Hamilton.

Visit the Hillsboro Lighthouse on ” Barefoot Mailman Remembrance Day” on October 8. Enjoy a scenic boat ride and learn about James E. Hamilton who gave his life delivering mail.

A statue on the lighthouse grounds honors Hamilton who moved from Kentucky to Florida. He traded being a farmer for a career as a Barefoot Mailman. As often is the case, the grass was not greener in his new career. He went missing during one of his 68 mile routes.

For more information, visit


Preservation 50 Friday: Southern Fried Rock at St. Simons Lighthouse

St. Simons Lighthouse, Georgia.

St. Simons Lighthouse, Georgia.

Enjoy a “Little Light Music” at the St. Simons Lighthouse, Georgia. Billed as Southern fried rock and boogie, the “Island Garage Band” jams on Sunday, August 14 at 7 pm.

Concert goers are invited to picnic and relax under the stars while celebrating an evening of music. Individual tickets for the concert are only $12 per person at the gate. Children under 12 and Keepers of the Light are admitted free. A Little Light Music season runs May through September.

For more information, call 912-634-7090 or visit


Preservation 50 Friday: Sunset at St. Simons Island

St Simons Island Lighthouse

St. Simons Island Lighthouse, GA.

Driving along the Georgia coast, I was headed to St. Simons Island. Having already visited Tybee Island Lighthouse, I was excited about finishing the day with one final lighthouse. Having received faulty information from my auto club, I stopped by the Golden Isles Welcome Center on I95.

I listened half heartily to the directions figuring I could easily find it based on a previous visit. After ending up at Jekyll Island and Sea Island, I laughed at my misadventure and poor memory.

Puzzled about want to do, I remembered Google maps on my phone. Keying in my destination, I was guided effortlessly to the lighthouse.

A view of the ocean

A walkway nearby offers a tranquil view of the Atlantic.

Although the lighthouse was closed, I was delighted to be able to walk the grounds. Stopping on the walkway near the ocean I gazed into the distance. I walked around the lighthouse trying to decide on the best vantage point for my painting.

Lighthouse signage

A marker with the history of the lighthouse.

A little tired after a long day, I welcomed the chance to sit down and draw the lighthouse. As the sun was setting, a blaze of light bounced off the lighthouse. It seemed to refresh the lighthouse and me. For now the lighthouse was receiving light instead of giving it.