• Date: 2021-12-12 - 2021-12-22

I originally planned for this vacation to start on Sunday, December 12, 2021 and end on either Friday or Saturday, but I was able to extend my time in Central Florida until Wednesday, December 22 since nobody else was using the condo and I didn't have any pressing obligations back in Athens.

During my time at the family condo (Thank you Mom and Leonard) I had time to relax, go to some bars, and visit a bunch of my friends.

This photo gallery is unique because it is the first one where I combine photos shot on my Nikon D7200 DSLR camera with photos shot on my new Samsung S20 Ultra 5G cell phone.  Despite lacking the ability to shoot in raw mode with the cell phone, the images are still impressive.


The dogs immediately loved the direct sun and 78°F temperature.


The condo overlooks the river.  There are tons of sights to be seen.


The house across the river - using 140mm focal length on my crop frame camera.




The view from just outside the condo's back patio


Law enforcement does patrol the water.  Boaters who speed through this area are cited.  I saw this a few times over the duration of the vacation.




Two of the ladies I was introduced to through Paul and Lillian.


On the Monday morning after I arrived at the condo I needed a gym for my morning workout routine, so I went to Sporting Health Club in Crystal River - a local gym owned by Dirk and Holly that I had used in years past when I stayed with Frank.  At the gym I met Paul and Lillian (pictured).  We hung out a few times.  They own Yai Yai in Crystal River.


On Wednesday I drove to Dan Phillips' home in Weeki Wachee.  It's a 40 minute drive south of the condo on US19.  Dan is an electrician who is the founder and operator of WZEU-LP - Z 102.9 The Mermaid.  He showed me his solar panels, transmitter site, and then we had a late lunch at Ceci's Pizza in Brooksville.


Dan's Studio To Transmitter link tower at his residence.  The last time I was at Dan's house in May 2020 I climbed this tower to replace the light bulb at the top.  It's still working.


Dan's transmitter site for WZEU-LP.  I have always been impressed with the professionalism of Dan's equipment racks.  This site even has telemetry for monitoring power failure and ambient temperature.  My transmitter site doesn't have either of those features.


Dan's industrial-strength Uninterruptible Power Supply for his FM transmitter.  This device outputs 240V, and when I disconnected the mains it didn't miss a beat.  So cool!


I need to buy some of these IP thermometers.


The equipment rack next to Dan's is abandoned and dark.  Ingenu was a company that filed for bankruptcy in 2020.  They provided telemetry for IOT smart home appliances.


A view up the tower.  The folded dipole antennas on the left side are long-abandoned 2-way communication systems for ships in the Gulf of Mexico.  The antenna on the right is the WZEU-LP transmission antenna (102.9FM).  The lowest antennas are for 5G cell phone.  It's amazing how little equipment is needed for 5G.


A Beautiful day in Weeki Wachee, Florida.


On Friday I drove to Dunnellon to visit Chuck and Heather.  Chuck graciously helped me clean up the fog on the headlights of my 2006 Honda CR-V using the items pictured above.  The results were impressive.


On Saturday at around 7:00PM I was casually reading on the screened in patio at the condo when I saw Christmas Lights on the river.  Shortly after a parade on the water started.  I had no previous knowledge of this event.  The photos were best from the end of the boat dock.  These photos test the limits of my crop-frame camera.  ISO 6400-8000 was used throughout this shoot.  One day when I win the lottery maybe I'll buy a proper full-frame camera.




















The moon as seen on the dock the night of the parade.




Sporting Health Club in Crystal River


This man dropped off has crab cages every morning and picked them up later in the day.  He was definitely working since he was always in a hurry.  If you want a closeup view of the pelicans, you simply have to crab and they will follow you.  In fact, on the last day I was at the condo I watched the guy yelling obscenities at the pellicans and shooing them away.


On Sunday evening I met Chuck and Heather at the Inglis Dam.  We walked on the trails and visited the abandoned Inglis Lock.


Tons of gators hanging out in the lock.




When we walked to the other side of the lock they followed us.








Warming up at Sporting Health Club on Monday Morning.




Later on Monday I drove to Chuck's house in Dunnellon, and we drove to Tony's house in Dunnellon.  Tony is the founder and operator of WRLE-LP.  This is his transmitter tower - in his back yard.




Tony's dog Cemily that reminds me of Millie as a puppy.


...And then the barking starts and continues incessantly.  This photo is for Chuck - who really doesn't like barking dogs.


Frankie Jr. - One of Frank's old stereos.  Tony now has it in his WRLE-LP Studio.


WRLE-LP Studio




I also passed through Williston, Florida. This one is for Robin Benson because she grew up here.


On the way home I passed by Lake City, Florida.  This photo is for Joe Silva since he grew up here.


While driving North on I-75 part of my front bumper randomly flew off of my car.  It hit my driver-side mirror and slightly damaged it, too.


Stopped at a rest stop that apparently doesn't like handicapped people.  I have no clue what the meaning of this sign is.

The dogs and I returned home to Athens mid-afternoon on Wednesday, December 22, 2021.  It was an excellent vacation!