Dec 192011

We had a chilly Sunday morning in central Florida, and we were up early to get ready for a family reunion in Pinellas Park, about 85 miles west of the Orlando Thousand Trails campground.

Terry had made up some goodies for the reunion the night before, and as we were loading everything into the Explorer, I heard a noise overhead, and looked up to see this!

Blimp 3

It was the MetLife blimp, actually one of three the company flies, and according to their website, it was Snoopy 1. The blimp has a cruising speed of 40 miles per hour, and it was zipping right along. I got a few quick pictures as it was overhead, and soon it was moving on past the campground.


Blimp 2


Blimp over campgraound 2

With that bit of excitement over, we started our drive to Pinellas Park, which is west of Tampa, near St. Petersburg. My nephew Steve Russell and his wife Denise were hosting the gamily gathering, and we had a wonderful time visiting with Steve and his brothers Harold and Louie, his sister Cheryl, and their families. There were so many kids, grandkids, spouses, and kids’ spouses that I just can’t remember everybody’s names.

In this picture, from the left are my grand niece LaDonna, her husband Buddy, my nephews Steve and Harold, yours truly, my niece Cheryl (LaDonna’s mother), my nephew Louie, and his wife Colleen. I sure hope I got everybody’s names right! 🙂 That’s a whole lotta Russells! But we’re sure a pretty bunch, huh?

Family group

My parents and all of my siblings have been gone for a long time. I had lost contact with this branch of my family after my brother Jack died, and had not seen any of them in about 25 years. A couple of years ago we reconnected when I was doing genealogy research, and when we were in Florida last winter they had a reunion for us. This was our second time to get together, and I really enjoyed our visit.Thanks, everybody, for making us feel so welcome!

On the trip home, we passed the Airstream Ranch, a collection of vintage Airstream trailers that an RV dealer stuck nose-first into the ground along Interstate 4, reminiscent of the famous Cadillac Ranch along Interstate 40, near Amarillo, Texas.We had a story about the Airstream Ranch in an issue of the Gypsy Journal last year.


Back at the campground, it was cold inside the motorhome, so we turned on a portable electric space heater to take off the chill, and spent the evening just relaxing, We leave here a week from today, and I’m not sure where we’ll go before we come back on January 3rd for another two week stay. I guess we’ll figure out where sometime between now and then.

In the meantime, we have several friends we want to touch base with, and I have a new book I need to get finished!

Thought For The Day – Some folks seem to have descended from the chimpanzee later than others.

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Nick Russell

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  2 Responses to “A Whole Lotta Russells!”

  1. Looks like you had fun with the family. Loved the airstream photo and the excellent shots of the blimp!

  2. I always liked the Peace River TT @ Wachula.

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