About That Lifetime Pass to America’s National Parks!

About That Lifetime Pass to America’s National Parks!

Back on August 24th of last year, I mentioned that I had applied for that awesome Lifetime Senior Pass to our National Parks. The fee had been $20 for quite a few years, but someone made the decision to jack up the cost to $80!

This came to my attention about one week before the change went into effect, and I wanted to make sure I threw down my twenty bucks and got hooked up before the cost skyrocketed.

It did. I did! And about two weeks ago, I finally had my hands on my Lifetime Pass to the coolest parks on the planet. (Yeah, processing it took a long time!)

If you didn’t beat the deadline, let me encourage you to do it anyway. I think our parks are well worth the new and higher fee, but when I was given an opp to take advantage of that much lower rate, I jumped all over it!

If you want to get to the site where you can still get your pass, follow this link.

Hope you’re all doing well and that you’re taking advantage of your opportunities to bust out of that little box where you spend most of your time, and get out into the wild! Just do it!

 

 

Planning a trip to Canaveral National Seashore soon, I am,

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

 

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile

 

 

Happy Birthday to Mike Basile

Happy Birthday to Mike Basile

My big bro Mike would be turning 67 today, but liver disease claimed him back in 2007.

Mike was a very straight-up kind of guy. What you saw was what you got! Loved Jesus, loved his family and tried his dead-level best to keep his two kid brothers in line!

Yeah, that was a tough assignment at times. Especially with yours truly. What can I say?

In the header photo, you can see those three Basile brothers! This was at New Smyrna Beach back in ’64. Yeah, I was on his shoulders.

Makes for a pretty good photo. And it reflects the truth that Mike was as good a big brother as any man could hope for. Looked out for John and me with a steady eye. Whether we wanted him to or not! He loved us. We never doubted it.

He was all about faith and family; a proud veteran and steadfast patriot. My brother Michael Lee Basile.

Happy Birthday, bro! Love you!

 

 

Benjamin Lawrence Basile

 

 

Photo credit Basile Family Fotos

 

 

 

Of Girls and Gulls

Of Girls and Gulls

When I get to the beach, taking photos is a big part of the day. For me, it’s quite possibly the biggest part of any trip to the shore.

When the camera comes out, there are usually plenty of possible subjects around.

Seagulls are photographic gold for me. I love watching them. And it’s just too much fun to capture their high jinks on film.

In this photo, it looks like I’m not the only beach-goer who likes to see what the gulls are up to. She doesn’t have a camera, but she’s capturing the moment on that cerebral film we all carry with us wherever we go.

Get outdoors. Get into the woods, go to the beach, just get out there! And when you go, capture some memories.

 

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile

Bulldog Is NOT On a Disney Cruise Line Ship, but He Just…

Bulldog Is NOT On a Disney Cruise Line Ship, but He Just…

He just caught one passing by on his latest beach outing! Full of happy cruisers of all ages, no doubt! Wonder where Mickey and Minnie’s cabin is on this one!

I have to be frank and say this outing was awful as far as pix are concerned, but I had fun. This is quite likely the only photo from this trip which will ever live off my hard drive… We don’t hit a home run every time we step up to the plate, do we?

Going to watch my Bucs on Monday Night Football from my fave beach hang-out before heading home. That would be Slow and Low Barbecue, of course!

I knew this trip would be a quickie, but I wanted to at least hear it and smell it. The sea, of course! I did. And after dinner and some football I’ll head the wrong way on the Beachline Expressway, get myself home and and try to get one or two light tasks done before the late news rolls around, signaling the start of the bedtime ritual. (Of which Stephen Colbert is an important part!)

And after my eyes fly open sometime around 6:15 tomorrow, I’ll go through another thoroughly mundane day, daydreaming of lazy days spent in the woods or at the shore, scheming some way to rearrange the hours and the dollars coming my way this week into some new configuration that just could result in another outdoor adventure!

When we get the chance to have one of those fabulous forays into the wild or over to the shore, it’s such a cool thing. The longer the stay, the better!

And those three or four hour excursions aren’t so bad. When that’s all I can do, I do it!

Get outdoors, friends! You won’t regret it!

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile

Ben Sneaks Off to the Beach on Thanksgiving Eve!

Ben Sneaks Off to the Beach on Thanksgiving Eve!

I had a ball at the beach today! Didn’t decide to go until about 1:45 this afternoon, so it wasn’t the longest beach outing I’ve had lately, but it was time very well spent.

My schedule and my budget have conspired to keep me away from the shore for the last couple of months and so getting the hell outta Dodge was a priority. Very glad today was the day. Traffic and crowds were not an issue at all. Yay!

I am working more hours these days and so I’m not sure when I’ll be beach-bound again. But I’m determined to get back before Christmas Day.

I took just over 300 photos this time. So far I’ve only worked a grand total of six that I think are blog-worthy! Yeah, not the best outing from the photography standpoint. But the featured photo you see above is a keeper. My new gull friend was riding the wind about 40 feet above Cocoa Beach. Without a care in the world. Just doing what gulls do.

I admire him. Heading back for another few stolen moments of freedom as soon as i can make it happen.

 

Back in landlocked O’do, I am,

“Beachdog Ben” Basile

 

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile

 

 

Fave Fotos–A Shot of the Sunrise Diner at Sunrise!

Fave Fotos–A Shot of the Sunrise Diner at Sunrise!

I posted my review of this fabulous, real-deal diner back on August 20th. I’m putting up another pic of this place today for two reasons: the first is that I’m jonesing for a trip to the beach right now but can’t get away. The second is that it gives me a chance to use the awesome title of “A Shot of the Sunrise Diner at Sunrise” for this post! That’s a damn good reason!

Bulldog’s going to be a land-locked puppy for another few days and then a trip to Cocoa Beach will be happenin’. Until then, memories of some of his fave beach-side spots will just have to do!

 

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile

 

Sunrise Diner in Cocoa Beach is the Real Deal

Sunrise Diner in Cocoa Beach is the Real Deal

I have loved having breakfast at the Sunrise Diner in Cocoa Beach for about five or six years now. It’s my “go to” spot in Brevard Co. for real food at breakfast-time.

You’ll notice as you approach, that’s it one of those diners. You know, one with a simple and undeniably “old school” look. And yes, they have real food. And a real staff. A few of whom have been around for many, many years.

One of the things that sets the Sunrise apart from other places of its type is that you can–and probably should–eat breakfast, lunch and dinner there. Most diners that live up to the name close around 2:30 in the afternoon. Just SOP for these storied establishments. But this one doesn’t stop seating patrons until 9 PM.

To be honest, I have only enjoyed breakfast here; I’m not a good source on those two other times of the day when Americans usually feel like they have to “fill the tank.” But I have eaten there five or six times and always have a first-rate breakfast, receive very good and personable service and don’t ever feel like I’ve had my pocket picked.

The place hasn’t changed in the six years or so that I’ve been going and it looks as though it’s been around much longer than that. Long-time crew member Wendy told me on a recent visit how long it’s been around and I just don’t remember a number; suffice it to say, they’re far from newcomers.

One of the things I like about the Sunrise is that the breakfast sausage featured there are those over-sized patties that are about the size of a sand dollar. That’s the way this pup likes his sausage in the morning and places that have it are few and far between.

I do know that you’ll find quite a bit of seafood on their menu, and Greek fare is featured prominently as well. I tend to get stuck in a rut at many of my fave eateries but that doesn’t mean you should! And though came as a bit of a surprise to me, their beer selection isn’t bad at all.

Let me close by saying that if you’re anywhere near the heart of Cocoa Beach in the future, especially in the AM, you owe it to yourself to stop at the Sunrise Diner. It’s conveniently located on SR 520, aka Cocoa Beach Cswy, just a block from where 520 meets A1A.

Sunrise Diner ~ 365 W. Cocoa Beach Cswy ~ Cocoa Beach, FL 32931 ~ 321 783-5647

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile