Archive for February, 2010

Oh, the eating we do in the name of Retro Roadmap research! One place where I could not resist getting an ice cream sundae that was almost as big as my head was Jaxon’s Ice Cream in Dania Beach, Florida.

Jaxon's Ice Cream Parlor SignI was a little surprised to see Jaxon’s in a roadside shopping plaza on Route 1 South, since the photos I had seen had that Gay ’90’s vintage look. Founder Monroe Udell has been serving up ice cream – made on the premises – on this location since 1956 and the shopping strip has grown along with his business.

Opening Day 1956

We had just had lunch a little earlier and were in no way hungry, but we had to go in. And of course we said yes to free popcorn. And when we saw the menu with all of the ice cream delights listed, well, we just knew we had to order something sweet – all in the name of research, you see. Yep that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Jaxon's Menu(they also serve food, hence the ketchup and mustard in this photo,

but if we ate here there’s no way we would’ve had room for ice cream!)

While our ice cream creations were being concocted I had a chance to wander around and amaze at all of the stuff that Jaxon’s has accumulated over the years. According to their website they have “one of the nation’s largest collections of rural American memorabilia, including a world class automobile license plate collection.” and I will take their word for it. Have a look at the style that Jaxon’s calls “Early American Disaster”:


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If we weren’t so lucky to have friends to stay with in Venice Florida, you betcha we’d be staying at The Island Breeze Inn on the Tamiami Trail.

We’ve driven past this place a number of times and it just looked so friendly and well kept that I crossed my fingers, pulled into the parking lot, and hoped it was as sweet as it looked. I am pleased to report  that it was. Retro road traveling folks, I don’t have to tell you that finding a vintage motel that isn’t a scary flop house, well, they’re few and far between in my experience. So hooray for the cute little yellow motel!

Island Breeze Motel Sign

The Island Breeze was built in 1951, and like many older non-chain motels and hotels it has seen its good and bad days. I am happy to report that this cute little vintage motel has been under new management for the past 5 years and in that time has been able to exorcise all of the previous undesirables, and turn it into a place that is a recommended lodging by its neighbor, Venice Regional Medical Center.

The motel entrance is flanked by two semi-circular rooms – one is the office and the other is the on-site manager’s quarters, always a good sign.  The office was cheery with knick-knacks galore, a pot of coffee brewing, and comfy chairs to sit in. Those of us who look closely for evidence of the original motel interior will be pleased to see the yellow tile windowsills. Pam, who later was kind enough to show me around the place, was busy on the phone booking multiple rooms for a multiple night stay. Another good sign!

Island Breeze Inn Entrance

click here to read more about this retro vacation lodging!

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I don’t know what the weather has been like where you are today, but we have rain over snow here in PA, my car stalled out on the way home from work, and we’ve got another lousy snow storm headed our way. With all that I thought it was the right time to share with everyone some absolutely fabulous vintage vacation  photos from the collection of Aladdin Color that are are available for all of us to drool over at RetroStockPix.com.

Thunderbird Motel Lake George NY - Neon Sign 1967 - Retrostockpix.com RetroRoadmap.comI chatted with Eric Bard- the man behind Retro Stock Pix and whose father began Aladdin Color in 1957. He was kind enough to answer a few questions for me, so I could share the info and the wonderful photos available to purchase on his site.
click here to read more and see some fab vintage photos!

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For some reason I love getting oranges right from the grove when we visit Florida. It makes me think of that time not too long ago when you couldn’t get fruit year ’round, and Florida citrus was a special treat- especially in the dead of winter. My favorite orange destination is Nokomis Groves – celebrating their 61st year in business!

Orange Memorabilia

Still family owned and operated, the fact that the store is only open during the season -which appears to be November to April according to the Citrus Calendar -reminds me of the farm stands that crop up (ha!) on the roadsides here in PA during the summer. And we all know that nothing tastes better than fruits and vegetables in season. And this isn’t some slick gift shop, but more like an indoor citrus stand where real work happens just on the other side of the table.

Sorting Stations
We’ve become partial to their honeybells, sometimes called Minneola Tangelos, with their outie belly buttons and their sweet flavor. Our pals T&P always make sure to load up on them before heading back up north!

Taking Some Home (more…)

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It’s easy to rationalize a souvenir purchase when it’s actually something useful, so Retro Roadhusband and I have gotten into the habit of picking up a Tervis Tumbler or two any time we’re in the Osprey FL area. Never heard of a Tervis Tumbler? Well neither had we, until we visited our pals T&P who told us all about these insulated drinking glasses with their HQ right down the road from their Florida place.

Retro Tervis Tumblers(Tervis = the last 3 letters of the 2 inventors’ last names, CotTER and DaVIS)

At first I was dubious about what was so great about these tumblers, but had to admit I liked the almost deco looking concentric ring design and the fact that I could get them with palm trees and flamingos on them (to name but two of their gajillion designs):

Two Tervis Tumblers
It doesn’t hurt that drinking out of our tumblers at home bring us fond memories of sitting outside in T&P’s Florida back yard on a warm morning, drinking fresh squeezed orange juice from the grove down the road, in the middle of what is technically winter.  But here are a few things that I think make Tervis Tumblers noteworthy on the Retro Roadmap scale of coolness:

+ The company has been in business since 1946 and had been owned by the same family since the 1950’s
+ The tumblers are all hand assembled and made in the USA (except for a few emblem designs)
+ They are guaranteed for life- no matter how long you’ve had your tumbler! “Should your Tervis Tumbler become defective in any way, simply send it to Tervis for free replacement, even if it has been over 40 years since you purchased it! No proof of purchase required – If it says Tervis on the bottom, that’s proof enough for us!” what a cool customer friendly policy, huh?
+ Microwave, Freezer & Dishwasher Safe
+ Keeps Hot Drinks Hotter & Cold Drinks Colder Longer

And they also come in Retro Roadmap friendly designs like this:

Tiki Tervis Tumblers (Mai Tai, anyone?)

One last thing of note is that the company headquarters, has  a distinctive entrance that I thought was going to look like a  “Giant Plastic Tumbler”, according to Roadside America . Well I took a drive out there to see this myself, and was a little disappointed that it was not a clear plastic cylinder, but a somewhat conservative looking stucco entrance. I mean c’mon, where’s the straw I was expecting to see sticking out of the top?
Tall Tervis Tumbler

After my initial disappointment at this roadside “programmatic architecture” I realized it kinda reminded me of the Guggenheim Museum, and again had those lovely deco concentric rings that I’m so fond of. And art deco always reminds me of that deco mecca just a few hours away, Miami Beach.

We could buy our tumblers at many a fine retail store, so I’m sure you can check them out near you, but if you’re in the Osprey FL area stop by their company store, and tell ’em Retro Roadmap sentcha!

Tervis Tumblers Factory Store

Tervis Tumbler
928 South Tamiami Trail
Osprey, FL 34229
(941) 966-2114

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I knew I had to get this post up soon, not only because next Thursday February 25th The Bahi Hut in Sarasota FL is celebrating its 55th Anniversary, but also so I could get this jingle out of my head (courtesy of a link on The Bahi Hut’s Facebook Page)

(Click the lyrics to hear what I’m talking about)

The Bahi Hut,
the Bahi Hut
the Bahi Hut
is the spot.

The intimate
spot to meet
all your friends-
the Bahi Hut!

The friendly cocktail lounge at the Golden Host
With the island charm, you love the most.

On Sarasota’s famous North Trail you got,
the intimate – spot to meet
the Bahi Hut!

The Spot To Be

Now that you’ve got that slightly off-kilter ditty running through your head like I do, let’s see what awaits behind the door with a giant spoon handle, shall we?
Grab The Spoon (more…)

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One of my favorite places to load up on Retro Roadmap worthy souvenirs when we’re in Florida is Nifty Nic Nacs in Venice FL. They have a huge selection of all sorts of vintage themed memorabilia with  wonderful vacation postcard graphics, new old post cards, funky coasters, signs, magnets and more that bring back the feel of when Florida was the vacation spot to be!

Vintage Florida Grapic Zipper PouchesLocated on Venice Avenue the shop is coming up on it’s 7th anniversary in the adorable downtown section of Venice Florida, which is located on the gulf coast side of the state. Friendly owner Jeff O’Berry is a 5th generation Florida native, and had some wonderful places to suggest that we feature on Retro Roadmap, many of which his grandmother would bring visitors to when they were in the Sunshine State. I’ve got them on my list for sure, and can’t wait to head south again, especially after all the snow that welcomed us when we got home to chilly Philly.

IMG_1107 (more…)

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Just got hipped to this vintage cruise ship exhibit in New York City by my pal Kiki and had to share:

DecoDence: Legendary Interiors and Illustrious Travelers Aboard the SS Normandie
The South Street Seaport Museum, New York February 2010 through January 2011

The S.S. Normandie was the epitome of Art Deco-era style and sophistication – the largest, fastest and most glamorous of the so-called “floating palaces” of the early and mid-20th century.Her innovative, award-winning hull design was rivaled only by her unprecedented interior luxuries.


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Hey gang, we’re still in Florida -which is 20 degrees colder than it usually is, we’re told, but positively tropical compared to the feet of snow that await us when we go home tomorrow.
We’ve been to many a Retro Roadmap worthy Florida vintage vacation spot, eaten too much roadfood and imbibed more than our fair share of tiki drinks in order to give you swell folks an idea of where to go when in the Sunshine State to get your retro Florida vacation fix.

Speaking of sunshine I think I just see it peeking through the louvered glass windows in our hotel room (or maybe it’s the gloomy clouds reflecting off of the yellow tiles in there) but it looks like it’s time for us to hit the road again for one last swing around before we head back to yet another snowstorm.

Here are a few random photos from this week, of retro and vintage Florida places to look forward to hearing about as soon as we get home!

IMG_1236Retro Roadhusband and The Big Spoon – let’s go inside and see what’s coming up on Retro Roadmap, shall we?


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Got some great Retro Roadmap worthy tips from Jeff at Nifty Nic Nacs Venice FL (and some cool loot too!)

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