Thanksgiving is a national holiday in the United States, celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. It originated as a harvest festival. and was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World in October 1621. This feast lasted three days, and—as accounted by attendee Edward Winslow — it was attended by 90 Native Americans and 53 Pilgrims. The New England colonists were accustomed to regularly celebrating “thanksgivings”—days of prayer thanking God for blessings such as military victory or the end of a drought.

Thanksgiving has been celebrated nationally on and off since 1789, with a proclamation by George Washington after a request by Congress. Thomas Jefferson chose not to observe the holiday, and its celebration was intermittent until the presidency of Abraham Lincoln, when Thanksgiving became a federal holiday in 1863, during the American civil war. Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens,” to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November. Under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the date was changed to the fourth Thursday in November, an innovation that endures to this day. Together with Christmas and the New Year, Thanksgiving is a part of the broader fall–winter holiday season in the U.S.

It’s a very quiet day on the roads here in Florida. The weather is pleasant, this is the ‘Sunshine State’ after all. The wildlife and tourists are out and about.



God Bless America (revised)

Whilst plodding along the beach this morning, together with countless other early risers I thought how clean and plastic rubbish free the beaches, parks, countryside and most towns are here. Americans, in general appear to love their country, most seem to respect the environment and natural world they live in.

I watched a major sporting event on the TV yesterday, there must have been 100,000 people in the stadium and before the race commenced it appeared that almost everyone in and around the stadium watched and took part in the pre-race programme. This included prayers, a rendition of the national anthem, support for the veterans and an Air Force flypast. Everyone, big and small you could see are respecting these values and traditions. Most of, if not all, sporting events are a family occasion.

Of course, there are a lot of things that are wrong and can be improved upon or negated in America, the gun laws, crime and homelessness in some cities for example. We all have our own view’s, in this area. The funny thing is stories reported in the UK media do not seem to exist here and in the 14 days I’ve been in the US to my knowledge Trump has not been on the TV or in the papers.

I make these observations now because my fellow traveller lives in a town on the south coast of England and he was telling me that the entrance to his allotment is approached down an alley between houses on a school route. This alley is regularly strewn with cans, empty pop bottles, sweet wrappers and crisp packets that the kids just discard without a care for anything or anybody.  The mess is cleaned up by the council once in a while, however, it does’n take long before ……………………… he blames the parents just as much as the kids.

Upon reading this, I wonder if it’s worth publishing these thoughts. Do the general public really care in enough numbers to make a difference, have we gone done the Celebrity, Strictly, PC and me-me culture too far.

Here are some images from the last couple of days – click on an image to enlarge it….




The Gulf and Hurricane Michael

The Gulf of Mexico, Mississippi – A bit chilly for mid November in southern Mississippi. Woke up to clear skies and a crispness in the air just right for an early morning stroll (6.30am) along the beach from the bayou near the Silver Slipper Casino towards Bay St Louis. Then off west to Florida for a bit more sun. That’s onto the i10 at Diamondhead, Mississippi heading east into Alabama then into Florida at Pensacola.

A few Images from this mornings walk.

Hurricane Michael was the third-most intense Atlantic hurricane to make landfall in the contiguous United States. It was the strongest storm on record in the Florida Panhandle, and was the fourth-strongest landfalling hurricane, in terms of wind speed.

Michael originated from a broad low pressure area that formed in the southwestern Caribbean Sea on October 2. The disturbance became a tropical depression on October 7, after nearly a week of slow development. By the next day, Michael had intensified into a hurricane near the western tip of Cuba, as it moved northward. The hurricane strengthened rapidly in the Gulf of Mexico, reaching major hurricane status on October 9, peaking as a high-end Category 4 hurricane. Approaching the Florida Panhandle, Michael attained peak winds of 155 mph (250 km/h) as it made landfall near Mexico Beach, Florida, on October 10, becoming the first to do so in the region as a category 4 hurricane and making landfall as the strongest storm of the season.

A Few Images from the Car this afternoon – Click to Enlarge