Pool-side solar observing at the Grandview Gardens in West Palm Beach, Florida.
(All photos by Author).
Long time followers of this space will know that we’re no stranger to the Florida Space Coast. This is the hallowed Graceland to which all Space Tweeps must eventually return to. This past week saw the second week of the great Astroguyz American Road trip, as we departed West Palm Beach for a journey up through Cocoa Beach and onward to Jekyll Island and Liberty County, Georgia.
Our stay over on Florida’s trendy West Palm Beach included a sojourn at the quiet and friendly Grandview Gardens. Located a foot stroll away from the action packed City Centre, this was a fine place to take in some pool-side solar observing (see above).
We also enjoyed an outstanding night of jazz scat courtesy of Jesse Jones Jr. at the Arts Garage in nearby Del Ray Beach. While we’re not stranger to the night-life of Atlantic Avenue, the “Garage” (an actual converted parking garage!) was new to us!
A few hours north saw us on Cocoa Beach, an undiscovered gem of the Florida Space Coast. We cooled our heels at the International Palms Resort, with a great suite right on the beach with outstanding sunrise (and Full moonrise) views. This made for a great chance for some moonrise photography;
An early sunrise also made for a great chance for a beach run and a chance to nab the close conjunction of Saturn and Venus through the clouds, the closest naked eye conjunction of two planets for 2012:
Venus & Saturn as seen from the International Palms Resort in Cocoa Beach, Florida.
I would recommend the International Palms as a great place to get a room on launch day; you have an unobstructed view of the Cape Canaveral launch pads right from your room balcony!
But the best was yet to come. A minor milestone was achieved when Astroguyz crossed out of the state of Florida (a first since February 2011!) for a stop on Jekyll Island. The former playground of the uber-rich, Jekyll Island is now home to some grand old houses as well as a fascinating Georgia Sea Turtle Center;
The author contemplates mega-species of yore at the Georgie Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island…
A stay at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel is like a journey back into elegance and history with modern day convenience. The first trans-Atlantic phone call occurred from here in 1915 and its just plain fascinating to see how the early captains of American industry such as Pulitzer & J.P Morgan “roughed it” in style on Jekyll. We recommend the pumpkin bisque & vegetable lasagna at the Club’s Grand Dining Room as a fine Spaghetti Nite delight!
“Roughing it” on Jekyll Island old-school style!
But it was the down home hospitality and friendliness Hinesville, Georgia in Liberty county that we found just couldn’t be beat. Liberty county has nature trails, a charming and revitalized town down, and spans an amazing niche of American Revolutionary and Civil War history and more. The Midway Colonial Museum offers a fascinating look at the history of Liberty County.
A confirmed sundial sighting at the Colonial Museum in Midway, Georgia!
And what’s next? Watch this space as we journey in search of dark skies and some of the best kept observing secrets in the American southeast!