After traveling to Colorado and then New Jersey for the holidays, we brought in the new year in Florida… Arcadia, Florida. If you haven't heard of Arcadia, don't worry. Neither had I, up until the point when the Bussin' rally was scheduled to be held there. And that's how we brought in our 2011 – at a bus rally.
Bussin' is an event for folks who have done their own conversions or are planning to. (By conversion, I mean taking a bus and converting it into a condo on wheels.) The rally was great, for several reasons. For one, it was nice to make new contacts, and friends, in the bus world. There aren't a whole lot of bus bus people out there, so it's nice to have an event that brings many of them together to talk shop, share stories and learn from each other's experiences. It was also a great place to catch up with friends. Our friends and fellow nomads Sean and Louise attended the event in their Neoplan bus, and we were thrilled to be able to spend more time with them. In fact we brought in the new year with them in their portable hot tub! It was also great to meet up with other Flxible bus owners to get ideas for my own bus project. (Details on my project HERE)
Above is an amazingly restored Flxible bus that's owned by our friend Dave.
The Annual FotoFusion event was held again in West Palm Beach, so that was the next destination for us. I taught three classes there, and got to catch up with a lot of other instructors and friends I haven't seen in a while. That's one of the great things about events like that – they bring together friends you make from all over the country and saturate them in one little town.
It was also a happy coincidence that my friend and photographer, Greg Gorman, had a gallery opening in Fort Lauderdale, right as we were passing through! Greg is a phenomenal photographer, and has shot all the big names in Hollywood. If you've never seen his work, you've got to check it out HERE.
That's me and Greg at his opening.
As far south as we could go
After Fort Lauderdale, travels continued south. That was the goal… spend the coldest part of the winter (well for most of the country) in the most southern area we could get to. That being the Keys. A few months ago we were up in Maine, near the start of good old Route 1 and finally, we made it to the end, in Key West.
The first stop on the way down was Key Largo, which is known for its underwater park and amazing scuba opportunities. We didn't don the wet suits though. Instead, we did a glass-bottom boat tour that gets you underwater views of the John Pennekamp Coral Reef. (we also found a glass-bottom BAR in Key Largo. Go figure!)
That's me in the lower-right. All photos were taken by Karen.
We stayed parked in Sugarloaf Key to have access to the lower Keys and got to explore Key West and Bahia Honda State Park, which is just north of Big Pine Key. The state park probably had some of the nicest beaches in the continental U.S. And Key West… well, what can you say? There's nothing not to like! For more on our stay in the Keys, check out Karen's post HERE.
We met up with some friends and fellow bus owners from Texas at Capt. Tony's.