Trip Report - A Very Nice Trip to FUN

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by V. Kurt Bellman, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. V. Kurt Bellman

    V. Kurt Bellman Guardian of The Farce, & Dead-Eye Master

    sWell, my son and I now have our "epic road trip" under our belts.

    We left the State Capitol in Harrisburg at the end of swearing-in (at?) day on Tuesday January 3, and took an aging Ford Taurus as our trusty steed to Fort Lauderdale. Since Tuesday had been a whirlwind of activity, we were already kind of running on low, so we decided to ditch our "let's drive straight through the night" plan (for now) and figured we'd go as far as one full tank of gas would take us - which turned out to be Wilson, NC. So we grabbed a few, not nearly enough, hours of shuteye at a nice little Sleep Inn (my choice of hotel bonus plans is "Choice" so ...) there. Breakfast bar was nice enough, so on we trudged.

    My son had never had the "South of the Border" highway billboard experience, so he got it in full daylight southbound. We had no idea what delays would affect our southward progress, so we didn't know whether we'd make Fort Lauderdale Wednesday night or have to bail and sleep somewhere north of there and go straight to the convention center. As it turned out, we arrived at our Fort Lauderdale "home away from home" by 10PM Wednesday night, after making the obligatory stop at the Florida line for free OJ and brochures, and stopping to have a proper BBQ dinner at a old-school 1960's kitsch era roadside BBQ joint on U.S.1 south of Titusville in the space coast region. It was easy to imagine Alan Shepard, John Glenn, and Gus Grissom at the next table discussing their ideas for redesigning the Mercury capsule. My son likes to eat at non-chain sites that he finds online, and this one was a pure gem.

    This is Louis's BBQ Shack, 2191 N. US Hwy 1, Mims, FL 32754.

    (To be continued - life interrupts)
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  3. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    So far sounds like a nice trip but what a tease...
  4. V. Kurt Bellman

    V. Kurt Bellman Guardian of The Farce, & Dead-Eye Master

    There were no astronauts at the next table, but there were two guys in matching dark blue company t-shirts and my ears picked up a reference to my Pennsylvania hometown. So I introduced myself. Both guys live less than five miles from me and were there doing some contract work on beautifying the NASA cemetery, a thing I wish didn't need to exist. We exchanged niceties before my son and I returned to our I-95 hurtle southward.

    It's been a while since I've been to the Broward/Miami-Dade metroplex - easily 30 years, maybe more. Growth, growth, growth. So that's why FL has 29 electoral votes! Here's a tip. South Florida drivers come in two flavors - old and slow like me, and young "whipper snappers" who apparently have a death wish to die intermixed with wrinkled and mangled steel. I have NEVER SEEN such aggressive maneuvers on pavement, and I used to photograph Indy cars as a sideline.

    Our hotel was a Comfort Suites some 17 miles from the site of the FUN show, which made for a 35 minute commute. Oh well, we put Siri to good use, and she knows stuff about how to get around in Broward.
  5. cpm9ball

    cpm9ball Cannot Re-Member

    I've got news for you! Not all old drivers are slow. One thing I've learned after nearly 40 years of driving in Florida is that if you want to avoid the traffic tie-ups due to slowpokes, you must drive faster to stay ahead of them.:):):):)

    Insider, BadThad and green18 like this.
  6. V. Kurt Bellman

    V. Kurt Bellman Guardian of The Farce, & Dead-Eye Master

    I forgot how hard it can be to roll a millennial out of the rack in time for the hotel breakfast and leave enough time to get where he needs to be. I was vertical at 6:00 AM and he'd have still been horizontal at 11, if I'd let him. But we needed to be at FUN by close to 10AM because we were "on a mission from gawd", aka we were there to take the ANA's Exhibit Judges' Familiarization and Certification course, usually taught by Joe Bolling, but being taught at FUN by Brett Irick, the "man of two countries". I call him that because Brett lives a binational life in the Detroit/Windsor Ontario area. I've been trying to get this certification under my belt for years, and my son barely missed the cut when he first took it at ANA Rosemont in August 2015. My usual ANA show duties make it tough to squeeze it in, being Rhonda Scurek's minion and all, so when I saw it offered at FUN, I jumped at the chance. My son wanted a second bite at the apple.

    We would have been on time except Siri directed us to the convention center THROUGH the secure area of Port Everglades, the cruise ship port. That meant getting stuck behind trucks that needed "enhanced attention" clearing security. So we rolled into the presentation room at what looked like 20 minutes late, but they were obviously just getting under way. No harm. No foul.

    The initial course took just shy of two hours, and I was set loose upon the U.S. Coins section, and Nicholas, my boy, was turned loose on the foreign coins section. His specialty is the coinage of the former Soviet bloc nations, especially the USSR itself. Cue the Beatles White Album.
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  7. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    Some folks consider me old as I'm over 63 but I refuse to act it. I don't eat dust, I make it. 80 is normal cruising speed for me but it usually faster.
  8. V. Kurt Bellman

    V. Kurt Bellman Guardian of The Farce, & Dead-Eye Master

    They advise you to start with an overview of the exhibits, like you were a casually interested viewer, which we did. It was obvious to both of us that Nick had a different problem from mine. His was way too much good stuff to sort out, and mine was finding a score decent enough to justify a reward at all. The general quality of U.S. Coins exhibits lately is NOT good. Too many flippers and profit turners, and too few people doing serious collections any more. Or maybe most people think U.S. Coins will be too full of great stuff and they go toward other material. Either way, 'taint happenin'. U.S. Coins exhibiting is a relative wasteland. And it wasn't just there at FUN - it's a trend I've noticed at ANA shows, too.

    In 2016, I went to the decennial International Philatelic Exposition in NYC. At their show, 80% of floor area was exhibits, and only 20% bourse, and the 20 included national postal administration booths. Coins are the opposite. Bourse out the wazoo, but very little in exhibits. Gotta get all that gold and silver bullion into the hands of the "true believer" economic apocalypse-istas, I guess.:rolleyes:

    So after Nick and I had a chance to view the exhibits from the 30,000 foot level, we decided to try to look up friends - Rhonda Scurek, Kim Kiick, and John and Nancy Wilson at the ANA booth, Kathy McFadden at ICTA, Dave Harper at Krause Publications/NN, Charles Morgan from CoinWeek, and as always, David Lisot and his trusty video rig (hot date!) from Bourse visits interspersed. Nick found a few box stock dealers to search for Soviet material, and my first day purchases were limited to the U.S. Mint. A 2016 edge-lettered burnished ASE and the 5-coin ATB clad 2017 proof set. I get one of those each year to keep my Dansco album up to date. No time like the present.

    We browsed way more than we bought on Day 1, but made a list of booth numbers to return to later. No major show is done until I visit the Mac Daddy of exonumia, Paul Cunningham. I'm working on an exhibit, and Paul usually has SOMETHING I can add to it. He did. I did. Day 1 would end with those 3 items purchased - two from the Mint, one from Paul.

    As my son says, I work a "social game" at major shows. It's more fun for me than "getting stuff", and the stuff I do get is kinda "off the beaten track". Guilty.

    We decided to end Day 1 at the "Spider Press" / old BEP engravers' booth for the show souvenir card drawing at 4. My son won #20 of 200 (for the whole show) to add to his ANA Boston 2010 one. These are a rapidly dying art. Engraving for even our currency is going digital. /sigh
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
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  9. V. Kurt Bellman

    V. Kurt Bellman Guardian of The Farce, & Dead-Eye Master

    Ah, but do you do eight lane changes in a quarter mile? One dude passed at about 90 on the right SHOULDER, and 15 seconds later was in the left lane.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
  10. There's actually a third flavor of driver in Miami, an erratic type usually comprised of tourists or people from foreign countries who do not know the rules of the road or where they are going.
    green18 likes this.
  11. V. Kurt Bellman

    V. Kurt Bellman Guardian of The Farce, & Dead-Eye Master

    That's ME! At least Siri knew. That chick has mad skillz!
  12. V. Kurt Bellman

    V. Kurt Bellman Guardian of The Farce, & Dead-Eye Master

    I can't afford those kinds of insurance rates. I'm the guy doing the speed limit plus maybe 2 or 3 mph. Exactly 1 ticket (moving violation) in 45 years of driving.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
  13. tulipone

    tulipone Well-Known Member

    Yup, that's me! SatNav on avoid tolls and fingers crossed.

    Great write up so far and looking forward to the next installments.
  14. cpm9ball

    cpm9ball Cannot Re-Member

    I'm more comfortable at 80-90, myself!

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  15. V. Kurt Bellman

    V. Kurt Bellman Guardian of The Farce, & Dead-Eye Master

    This is typically found on vehicles screwed onto the front of tags from New York or New Jersey - the co-titleists for "I own the road, get out of my way" driving attitude honors.
  16. Cascade

    Cascade The Blind VAMmer

    Sounds like you and the kid had some FUN Kurt. Just be happy you guys didn't run into this spunky lady...

  17. green18

    green18 Sweet on Commemorative Coins Supporter

    It's the Brits you have to watch out for, (@tulipone), they drive on the wrong side of the road......... devil.gif
  18. green18

    green18 Sweet on Commemorative Coins Supporter

    True about New Yok, but dem Jusey guys is worse.......:)
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  19. tulipone

    tulipone Well-Known Member

    Yeah, be aware when we are vacationing there. If you insist on having turn right on red and have few roundabouts then bets are off.

    To be fair, we are there a few times a year and usually have a pretty large roadtrip so are starting to get a hang of it.
    green18 likes this.
  20. V. Kurt Bellman

    V. Kurt Bellman Guardian of The Farce, & Dead-Eye Master

    She was playing highway leapfrog with me every day in Tamarac.
  21. V. Kurt Bellman

    V. Kurt Bellman Guardian of The Farce, & Dead-Eye Master

    Anyway... to continue (my internet went down), after Nick's successful Yelp find for eats the night before, I put him on finding a seafood joint kind of near our hotel. He came up with another winner - Tin Fish in Sunrise,FL. After an appetizer of Conch fritters (not Nick's favorite, but I liked them), I had gator tacos and the slaw for which the place is famous. Nick opted for Fish n' Chips. Must be the 3 months he spent in England with his mum a few years back. The slaw was just the right tartness I like, unlike the too sweet dressing they serve back home. Nick was not into it, so I swapped his for my fries and silently made my MD happier, EXCEPT....

    Day 2 was SUPPOSED TO start with an ICTA task force meeting at 7AM, but as I (7am meetings don't exist for millennials) drove toward the convention center, I felt what I had been dreading. I am apparently dependent on eight (8) prescription drugs which I dutifully parceled out in one of those SMTWTFS boxes, but I could not find them in my luggage or other stuff. I had had no doses since Tuesday and it was now Friday. I started to feel PRECISELY the way I felt right before I had my cerebral hemorrhage back in 2009. This was not good. I told Siri, "Hey Siri, give me directions to a 24 hour CVS." Which she DID!! It was 6:30 AM and Siri led me to the pharmacy a mile or two from my hotel. The pharmacists went online, found my whole prescription history from my PA based CVS, got approval to refill all but one of them from my insurance, and gave me a good cash price for that one. 45 minutes later, I was dosed up, back at the hotel to pick up Nick, ate breakfast there, and took a new route to the convention center.

    Right past Fort Lauderdale Airport.
    On Friday, January 6, 2017.
    Really, I promise.
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