A Travellerspoint blog

Vibrating on the Florida Coast

Miami to Titusville


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & 2005 Migrating by Mercedes & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

We are spending a week in Titusville at a Space-A Condo called Vacation Villas.

January 7, 2005

Our son-in-law didn't leave really early as he was going to get his driver's license renewed. He's been doing it by mail and he looks a lot different now than on his picture. He asked me what was the name of a bird that he had seen a lot of along the road - a big bird with red feathers on the head - dark and about 3 feet tall. I think it was a sandhill crane.

Our daughter took the kids to school, and I finished packing and we left. We left later to avoid the rush hour traffic. Our daughter gave us one of their Sun Passes before we left. She recommended that we take the turnpike because she said I95 was full of construction up around Palm Beach. The Sun Pass automatically pays the turnpike fees. We can't always tell if the thing works, but no one came after us with sirens. Again, as on the way down, I saw lots of vultures circling over the dumps, cattle egrets, an anhinga, and I think I saw a wood stork.

We were doing well when the car started to vibrate. I asked about it, which annoyed Bob because he was concerned too and couldn't reassure me. I said it sounded like a tire - it sounds like that sometimes when the tread on a retread separates. We've had that problem before. So we decided to stop for lunch, and got off the Turnpike at Palm City. We turned into a shopping center and looked at all the tires and they seemed to be fine.

It was about noon, so we decided to have lunch. We walked down to the Pomadore Grill first, but it wasn't open yet and we also considered the Palm City Grill and the Italian Gourmet, but I picked M&Ms which I thought was a good sign since the M&Ms in Oriental is so good (even though I don't think they are connected in any way). We got there about 12:15 and sat down - the place filled up pretty fast. Some people gave up and went to the China Garden which was next door.
M and M's where we ate

M and M's where we ate

menu

menu


I had a soup and sandwich with potato salad for $5.25. I had matzo ball soup - it's been a long time since I had that and it was good.
Cup of chicken soup with matzo ball $2.25

Cup of chicken soup with matzo ball $2.25


And for the sandwich I had an avocado, cheddar, tomato alfalfa on whole wheat.
Sandwich with Alfalfa Sprouts

Sandwich with Alfalfa Sprouts


I had a root beer float, even though they only had chocolate ice cream ($2.95). Because we couldn't see the specials board where we were seated at the front, we didn't know that the soup of the day was split pea until we went back to the bathroom, or Bob would have had that. As it was he had a half a chicken salad sandwich for $3.95.

After lunch (about 1300), all seemed to be well. We crossed the St. Lucie River (which we've never seen from our boat),
St. Lucie River

St. Lucie River


and went to the Fort Pierce City Marina. In 2004 Florida was directly impacted by four major hurricanes during the season – Hurricane Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne
Fort Pierce City Marina

Fort Pierce City Marina


Bob walking by Original Tiki

Bob walking by Original Tiki


WOW. When they said the outer docks were gone, they meant GONE. I figured that the transient docks which stuck way out into the river would be gone, but the docks on the other side where the long term people with bigger boats (mostly sailboats) was gone too. Everything had been taken right back to the seawall. The marina people looked it up for us and told us that WINDWALKER, the CSY that belonged to Kim and Carolyn Olsen which had been on those docks left out of the marina October 1st - after the hurricanes.
Crane in the river

Crane in the river

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All they've got left is the power boat docks inside of the Tiki Bar, and some of those don't look in good shape - the finger piers are all bent up like the boats got underneath.
What is left of Ft. Pierce's Municipal Marina

What is left of Ft. Pierce's Municipal Marina


Then we went over to Harbourtown which is on the other side of the inlet, and they've done quite a bit of work, but the marina appears
mostly intact.
Harbourtown dockmaster office

Harbourtown dockmaster office


Harbourtown docks

Harbourtown docks


Gas dock

Gas dock


The restaurant is pretty much back in business, although one of the docks leading to it from the gas dock is mostly gone.

We got onto I-95 to go on up to Titusville but the car started to do its bouncing around trick again and Bob said he was afraid it was the drive shaft because it stopped when he let up on the accelerator. ACK. Or maybe a wheel bearing. So we got off I-95 early because the problem is worse at high speeds, plus we didn't want the drive shaft to fall off on the interstate.

To get to Vacation Villas, I had two sets of directions - one the printed ones that came from the internet, and one the ones that came in the mail. The internet directions said "I-95 north to Route 50 east. Take Route 50 east till it ends at U.S. 1. Turn left on U.S. 1 to the first traffic light which is Knox McRae Drive. Turn left on Knox McRae Drive and go about 1 mile to the resort on the right."

The other directions said to get off at Exit 215 on 50 East, turn left on Barna and then RIGHT on Knox McRae Drive. I figured that US 1 must be Barna (which it was not), and so I took FL 407 to 405 to US 1, and turned left, and then tried to go right at the first light. But US 1 is right by the water there and
You can't GO right

You can't GO right


I should have been turning left. Eventually we stopped in a McDonalds and called. We got to Knox McRae Drive this time, but we were looking on the left for the condo units and they were on the right, so we overshot them again and had to call again and turn around.

We are in unit 8C - upstairs - again 17 steps. They are absolutely full this week - no empty units.It is a pretty quiet location, at least on the weekend. There is a middle school across the street and catty corner to us. We have two bedrooms - the one with twin beds has a TV
single bedroom and TV

single bedroom and TV


and the one with the queen (where we will sleep) does not.
Living room TV and deck

Living room TV and deck


There are also two bathrooms, and a screened porch looking out over a canal (or maybe you'd call it a ditch)
screened porch looking over the 'ditch'

screened porch looking over the 'ditch'


and there is a heated pool. We can use the yacht club facilities too. But we have to pay to do the wash (it was free in Duck) and the microwave is just about big enough for a bowl and doesn't have much power. We got the stuff upstairs. The cooler (Christmas gift from the kids which ran off the cigarette lighter) worked great and kept everything cold. And then I lay down - worrying about the car is very tiring.

Bob said that we'd have to go to a Mercedes dealer to get anything fixed, so I got out the phone book and phoned the dealer in Melbourne and made an appointment for 7:30 am Tuesday morning, which was the first time I could get. Eventually we had to decide about dinner, and we had one of those incidents where I think we've decided on one thing and Bob thinks we've decided on another. It doesn't help that he doesn't hear me half the time. Anyway, we ended up in Publix and I stood in line to get chicken and he did the rest of the shopping.
heated pool at night

heated pool at night


We came home
Train at the Knox McRae crossing at night

Train at the Knox McRae crossing at night


and he ate chicken and I ate my leftover salad (which was HUGE) from Outback and STILL couldn't finish it all. My tooth is still a little sore after the root canal, but it is mostly better. I went to bed early.

January 8, 2005 Historic Titusville

I got up early and looked out the window to see a couple of people standing behind two cars with the trunk lids open - men in Bermuda shorts with mugs (coffee probably) in their hands. I went back to bed and went back to sleep.

About 9 Bob said that we should get moving, and I should see about renting a car so that we could see something. Yesterday, the lady at the Mercedes place said the Enterprise was across the street would be $30/day. I thought I could do better than that. But the best I could find on the internet was $33/day. I called Enterprise in Titusville direct, and they offered $27/day. Then when we drove over there, Bob saw a sign outside for a two day rental (for the weekend) for $9.99/day with 150 miles allowed per day. So we switched - we got a moss green Hyundai. It is a peppy little car. They tried VERY hard to sell us the insurance, but we resisted. The girl seemed surprised - she said almost all of her customers took the insurance. Bob thinks she gets a commission on the insurance she sells. The car had some marks on it including a key mark across the gas tank flap,
Key mark

Key mark


so I took photos. When we got back to the condo, I tried to get another parking pass from the office, but she said we wouldn't need one.

We decided to see things in Titusville first, so I looked in the phone book, and saw that there was a historic downtown district I called the Chamber of Commerce to try to find out something about the Historic District, and got an answering service and the girl said we'd be able to see where the Historic District was, because it was "a lot of really old buildings".
Historic Downtown District with "a lot of really old buildings

Historic Downtown District with "a lot of really old buildings


The North Brevard Museum was in the historic district and was open Tuesday to Saturday and was free (donations requested), so after we picked up the rental car, we decided to go there first.
Front of the museum

Front of the museum


They had a lot of wedding dresses
Wedding dresses

Wedding dresses


Doll clothes, trunk and dishes

Doll clothes, trunk and dishes


and antique post cards
Palmhurst Hotel (photo from museum)

Palmhurst Hotel (photo from museum)


large_6936285-Brevard_County_Museum_Titusville.jpgTelephone switchboard

Telephone switchboard

School Days-these were the desks I had in school

School Days-these were the desks I had in school


The first U. S. Post Office was not established in what was then known as Sand Point until 1859. Confederate Col. Henry Theodore Titus arrived in the area in 1867. According to stories about the town, "Titusville" might have been known as "Riceville" if Col. Titus had not won a challenge match of dominoes against Capt. Clark Rice to determine which player got to rename the town. Thus the outcome of a domino game resulted in Sand Point becoming Titusville, Florida in 1873. Titusville was incorporated in 1887.
Col. Titus

Col. Titus

his wife

his wife

Indian River at Titusville (Brevard Museum photo)

Indian River at Titusville (Brevard Museum photo)


According to the North Brevard County Museum,
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the Titusville Mayor, John R. Walker, started campaigning for a bridge over the Indian River in Titusville on March 28, 1919. On October 14th that same year, the local property owners voted 204 to 14 in favor of a $175,000 bond issue to finance the construction of the bridge, to make it possible for easy access to Playalinda and Desoto Beaches and a road to the St. Johns River. Construction started in late 1921.
First bridge with hand cranked drawspan

First bridge with hand cranked drawspan


The two lane hand cranked wooden draw bridge, named "Walker Bridge" after the mayor was opened to traffic December 15, and was a toll bridge. It served until WW II. The causeway was dredged in 1940, but steel and concrete were diverted for military purposes which delayed construction.
Tolls

Tolls


It was very interesting talking to the old ladies who were volunteers there. We picked up pamphlets on the six National Register Properties,
Wall hanging showing historic homes

Wall hanging showing historic homes


and 12 buildings in the Historic Downtown. There is also a "Walking Tour" with 8 informational signs

After we went to the North Brevard Museum, we walked up to The Coffee Shop to have lunch, discovering after we got there that it closed at noon on Saturday and it was now 12:40.
Closed doors

Closed doors


So we went across the street to
Caffe' Chocolat

Caffe' Chocolat

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This is a small place which you might think was a candy store. But it is actually Restaurant, Coffee Shop, Gift Gallery, and Chocolate Factory, with On-Line Shopping. I had a
large_3406690-Downtown_Titusville.jpgRoast Beef panani $5.96

Roast Beef panani $5.96


and Bob had a
Chicken salad sandwich ($4.95)

Chicken salad sandwich ($4.95)


He also bought some fudge - he asked for a pound and the girls said that a pound and a quarter was the same price so he got a pound and a quarter. We didn't get a listing of how much anything was, but the total bill was $27.00

The Titusville Marina, and they said they were really lucky and did not have much damage at all from the hurricanes. We didn't see any CSYs except for ENID K which is for sale.

After lunch, we stopped at the Space Walk of Fame which was a little park (right next to a big building which is being constructed nastily blocking all the view) on the Indian River.
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It is appropriate because Cape Kennedy is right across the Indian River
Cape Kennedy

Cape Kennedy


and when a rocket is launched from there, you can view it from the river in Titusville. We parked and got out of the car and walked along the walk
Plaque at the entrance to the Walk

Plaque at the entrance to the Walk


One anomaly is that none of the people that were listed on the big monument at the end were Navy or Marines. They had Department of Defense U.S. Air Force, Gemini Spacecraft McDonald, NASA, Launch Vehicle people etc, but no Navy.
Gemini monument with Bob

Gemini monument with Bob


Its mission statement is "To preserve the history of the United States space program, to honor the men and women who made space flight a reality and the astronauts who flew the missions, and to educate the global community about the history of space exploration and its benefits to humankind." It describes itself as "The first and only Walk in the nation that honors America's astronauts as well as the men and women behind the scenes who helped America lead the world in space exploration and accomplishments."
– The Mercury Monument was dedicated on May 12, 1995 and the Mercury Mission Logos were unveiled May 23, 1997.
– The Gemini Monument groundbreaking was July 19, 1996 and was dedicated on November 7, 1997.
Virgil Grissom - Gemini III

Virgil Grissom - Gemini III

Gemini XII plaque

Gemini XII plaque


– The Apollo Monument groundbreaking was held on July 16, 1999, at precisely 9:32 a.m., exactly 30 years after “Lift Off” of Apollo XI. The groundbreaking kicked off a week long 30th year celebration of the Apollo SI launch and the first moon landing. The Apollo Monument dedication was held two years after our visit in May 2007.
– The Shuttle Monument groundbreaking was held in May 2012 and this was also after our visit
Wally Shira's handprints

Wally Shira's handprints


I hope at some point, they saw fit to add some people from the Navy

The Walking tour was informational signs about Titusville

1- Steamboat Pioneer 1877
Steamboat Pioneer 1877

Steamboat Pioneer 1877


2- J.T.& K.W.& Steamboat Wharf 1885
JT and KW Railroad and Indian River Wharf 1885

JT and KW Railroad and Indian River Wharf 1885


3- Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 38- 1965
I didn't see the Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39 sign - it was hot and I didn't want to get out of the car and walk to it.

4- Scobie Fish & Oyster Company
Scobie Fish and Oyster Company

Scobie Fish and Oyster Company

Indian River near Scobie Fish sign

Indian River near Scobie Fish sign


5- Titus House which has been torn down and replaced by a high rise apartment building.
large_100_4973.JPGHigh rise apartment

High rise apartment


6- Indian River State Bank 1888 & Brady Grocery
Indian RIver State Bank and Brady Grocery Store

Indian RIver State Bank and Brady Grocery Store

Former Indian River Bank

Former Indian River Bank


Brady and Brother Grocery

Brady and Brother Grocery

Sign about Ed Brady and Brother's Grocery

Sign about Ed Brady and Brother's Grocery


7- Titusville HS
I didn't see Titusville HS

8- Wagner's Grocery Store and Wharf 1875
Wager's Grocery Store and Wharf

Wager's Grocery Store and Wharf


We also saw five of the National Register Properties
1- St Gabriel's Episcopal Church (We saw St. Gabriel's later)

2-The Pritchard House
Framed print of Pritchard House in the museum

Framed print of Pritchard House in the museum


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The Pritchard House was built in 1891 and it's architectural style is Queen Anne. Captain Pritchard grew sugarcane and citrus, then he became involved in the real estate business. In 1888, he organized the Indian River State bank and served as its president.

3- The Wagner House
Wagner House

Wagner House


The Wager House was built in 1891 in the Colonial Revival style architecture. In 1875, Perry E. Wager came to Titusville and began operating at this site a grocery store called "The Headquarters." The original structure laid partially in this right-of-way, with a dock extending well out into the Indian River. Wager and his son Ellis published Titusville's first newspaper, the Florida Star, in 1880.

4- Judge Robbins House
Robbins house 1901

Robbins house 1901


The Robbins House was built in 1901 and is the only remaining Dutch Colonial Revival home in Titusville.
Robbins served as superintendent of the Mexican Central Railway for two years. He returned to the U.S. and attended law school. Following graduation, he moved to Florida and was admitted to the Bar in 1886. His familiarity with the railroad industry and his prowess as an attorney attracted the attention of railroad mogul, Henry Flagler, who later retained his services.

5- The Spell House
Dr. Spell House 1911

Dr. Spell House 1911


The Spell House was built around 1911 in the Queen Anne style architecture.
Dr. James Spell was the first licensed pharmacist in the town and operated the Banner Drug store out of downtown Titusville. The home remains in the Spell family.

I also tried to take photos of the 'really old' buildings in the downtown Historic District
Historic photo of Citizens bank in the museum

Historic photo of Citizens bank in the museum

Door of Citizen's Bank

Door of Citizen's Bank


Citizen's Bank is a 1924 Beaux Arts Classical style bank building has a lovely curved staircase and beautiful chandelier in the lobby
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The Walker Apartments

The Walker Apartments


he Walker Apartments were built for the influx of tourists in 1924 in the Spanish style with an arched arcade and a carved sailing ship above the entry. These take up the left side of the street as you go north on Washington Avenue
Sign at arcade entrance

Sign at arcade entrance

Historic storefront on Washington Avenue

Historic storefront on Washington Avenue


This building was built in 1910 for the Titusville Hardware store, it still has the original tin ceiling, heart pine floor and display shelves. Today, there is a children's resale shop in this building.
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large_100_4976.JPGlarge_100_5114.JPGlarge_100_4941.JPG
Then we drove down to the National Police Museum
Entrance

Entrance


which was in the AAA book - admission was $8 @ for military or AARP - police officers free - regular people $12 @ Apparently this used to be in Miami and was moved up here.
Police Hall of Fame

Police Hall of Fame


There are police cars, and motorcycles.
Police cars

Police cars

large_x100_4988.JPGToy or Weapon?

Toy or Weapon?


There are interactive things for kids to do. There's a chapel and a big memorial with all the names of police officers that have lost their lives in the line of duty.
Chapel

Chapel


Outside there's also a K-9 memorial.
K-9 memorial

K-9 memorial


They have helicopter rides in a little black machine ($22 to $150) or you can go an do target practice for $18 by renting a gun and buying ammo.
Helicopter

Helicopter


It is across from the Astronaut Hall of Fame (similar admission charge) which we decided not to visit.
U. S. Astronaut Hall of Fame

U. S. Astronaut Hall of Fame

U. S. Astronaut Hall of Fame

U. S. Astronaut Hall of Fame


We came back to the condo and I downloaded the photos.
Diner

Diner


We went to Steve's Family Diner for dinner.
Steve's menu

Steve's menu


Special's board

Special's board


I had the lasagna special with one side and garlic bread ($6.95 and I had to bring half of it home)
Lasagna, garlic bread and one side

Lasagna, garlic bread and one side


and Bob had the prime rib special ($9.95 with two sides).
prime rib special ($9.95 with two sides)

prime rib special ($9.95 with two sides)


We both succumbed and had rice pudding topped with a lot of whipped cream for dessert which was about $2 I think (the bill was a handwritten scrawl).
rice pudding topped with a lot of whipped cream

rice pudding topped with a lot of whipped cream

Rice pudding after whipped cream is removed

Rice pudding after whipped cream is removed


The dinner before tip was just a little over $20.00
Steve's Diner from the outside

Steve's Diner from the outside

Posted by greatgrandmaR 19:39 Archived in USA

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