Sandcastles and Pirates on Ft Myers Beach

The 26th Annual American Sand Sculpting Championship drew a big crowd on Ft Myers Beach today.

Courtesy of Ft Myers Beach
Chamber of Commerce
To learn more about the competition visit

This is the longest running and the largest sand  sculpting competition in Florida and draws talented participants from around the world.

Over 1000 tons of sand was turned into more than 30 incredible works of art.  The variety of the subjects were inspiring, whimsical and magical.

As we were leaving, I was kidnapped by a scary pirate who must have escaped Davy Jones Locker!

Thankfully, only a photo was required for the ransom.  The pirate, also known as Mike Quinn, is a resident of Fort Myers Beach and a popular subject of photographs. The location of his hideout and his hidden treasure are unknown but, I have no desire to search for it.  I was quite scared to death and happy to be returned to my pocket in Shirley's purse!

© 2012 Hitty Travel Doll

Privacy Policy

Hitty Takes Tea at the 2012 Ladies International Tea

Hitty Olive carved by Jenny Anderson and Hitty Dee a resin Hitty by Dee Ann Cote

Hitty Olive and Hitty Dee share about the 2012 Ladies International Tea

We were so excited to put on our new dresses and have tea with our adopted human, Shirley, and her friends at the annual Ladies Tea sponsored by the Women's Ministries Department.

Shirley thought the tables were just spectacular (she says that every year) but we had to agree.  The theme of our table was "Red and Yellow Black and White"  based upon the children's Sunday School song:


Jesus Loves the Little Children 
All the Children of the World
Red and Yellow
Black and White
They are Precious in His Sight
Jesus Loves the Little Children 
of the World 

We brought along some of our friends. They once belonged to an elderly woman who had traveled the world for many years beginning in the 1960's.  The beautiful woman sewing is from the Middle East.  She was joined by a man from Lebanon, a mother and children from Austria, a Chinese woman from Hong Kong, an African tribal warrior, Dutch children from Holland and two sweet little ones on their silk pillow.

Every year, the table hostesses choose a theme and decorate their table.  This makes the tea so much fun!  Shirley wishes she was a better photographer.

Our guest speaker this year was the founder of Avenue of Hope, an organization that is reaching out to women in the Bahamas who struggle with addictions and substance abuse.  This ministry is part of Teen Challenge which was started in 1958 in Brooklyn, NY by David Wilkerson.  It is a global organization that has chapters in major cities around the world.  You can learn more at

We made a slideshow of some of the photos.  Hope you enjoy them.

© 2012 Hitty Travel Doll
Privacy Policy

Rachel Field

Rachel Field:  Author, Poet, Playwright and Lyricist

Courtesy Photo:  Rachel Field and her dog Trotty on Sutton Island.
Photo published in The American Girl Magazine Nov 1934.

Rachel Lyman  Field was born September 19, 1894 in New York.  She was educated at Radcliff  College.  In 1935, she married literary agent, Arthur S. Pederson and they had one daughter, Hannah.

At the age of 15 years old, Rachel Field was sent to study art with her cousins on Sutton Island and thus began a life long love of Maine.  She spent almost every summer in the Cranberry Isles and purchased a house on Sutton Island in 1922.  Many of her books are set in Maine including the first three chapters of Hitty, Her First Hundred Years.

Courtesy Photo Paramount Pictures

Rachel Field was a noted novelist, poet, playwright and lyricist. Her English lyrics for Franz Schubert’s Ave Maria were included in the Disney film, Fantasia.

 All This and Heaven Too was made into a major Hollywood movie starring Bette Davis and Charles Boyer as was And Now Tomorrow which starred Alan Ladd, Loretta Young and Susan Hayward

She was the first woman recipient of the Newbery Medal for Children's Literature in 1930 for Hitty, Her First Hundred Years.  Her book, Calico Bush, was a Newbery Honor winner in 1932.

In 1993, Rachel Field's poem,  If Once You Have Slept on an Island, was published as a picture book by Mulberry Books.  It is illustrated by Iris Van Rynbach.  Grace for an Island Meal, illustrated by Cynthia Jabar was published in 2006.

Rachel Field passed away after complications from pneumonia in 1942.  She was 48 years old.

Amazon's Rachel Field Page

Rachel Field on ebay

© 2012 Hitty Travel Doll
Privacy Policy

Car Show and Art Fest in Alva Florida

In Which I attend the Art Show and Car Show in Alva Florida

Alva Florida is a small rural community located on the banks of the Caloosahatchee River. It is one of the oldest settlements in Southwest Florida.  

At the beginning of the 20th century, a Danish sea captain by the name of Peter Nelson laid out a village with plots for schools, parks, churches, and the first library in South Florida.

He named the town Alva after the small white flowers growing along the bank of the river.  

In 1903, the first bridge to cross the Caloosahatchee into Alva was built.  At this time, two hotels existed in the small community.  To learn more about Alva, visit the website

It was a little bit windy and chilly due to Hurricane Sandy which passed by Florida on its way North this week. I wore my knitted outfit with its warm little shawl that was made for me by Gale Lyons.  

My adopted humans were enjoying the car show so much that they almost forgot to take my picture!!

A 1956 Ford Thunderbird

A 1955 Ford Thunderbird

1971 Dodge and 1934 Ford

Ford Galaxy.....Teddy  wants to know, "Have you driven a Ford lately?"

In addition to the car show, live music and Jim Bob's Bar-B-Que, an art show featured pottery, South African jewelry, handmade bags and paintings by local artists. 

Art-Toberfest and Car Show was a charity event.  All proceeds will go to Project Rescue and Free International, organizations involved in rescuing and restoring victims of human trafficking. 

Project Rescue was started in 1997 in Mumbai India.  Free International works to find and rescue victims of modern slavery.  To learn more visit:

© 2012 Hitty Travel Doll

Privacy Policy

Walt Disney World Decorated for Fall

A beautiful fall day in Florida.

The sun was shining.

The weather was perfect.

It was a good day to visit Walt Disney World and use the last day on our Disney pass.  It was a full day starting with the Animal Kingdom.

David and Shirley, my adopted humans, first visited Disney World with their children in 1978 but this is the first time they went by themselves. Hitty Eve and I felt privileged to be included in this special trip!

Hitty Flora and Hitty Eve with the Tree of Life in the Animal Kingdom

Striking a Pose

Minnie Mouse in the lab at the Animal Kingdom

Waiting in line at the Haunted House

We love a parade!

The Disney Princesses

And they lived happily ever after

© 2012 Hitty Travel Doll

Cinderella's Castle and Magic Kingdom ~ Hitty's First Visit

Cinderella's Castle at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World Orlando  

By Hitty Flora of the Sunny State Hittys

How I loved Cinderella's Castle!

My adopted humans, Shirley and David met their daughter and family for two days of fun and I went along. Hitty Amelia came too and we had a wonderful reunion.

As you know, Hitty Amelia went to Indiana to live and I had not seen her since she left.  We had a wonderful time visiting and catching up on our adventures.  Read more about Amelia

Just a few photo highlights of our day

The day began with a check in at our hotel.  I liked how they folded the towels!  I was dressed as Snow White for the day.

It was Robbie's first visit too!

Getting Sprayed with sunscreen.  That's Grandma's shadow watching.

It's a pirate's life for me!

Hitty Amelia in front of Cinderella's Castle just before the fireworks started.

Hitty Amelia and I really wanted to take this home when we saw it in the Disney Store but we were too tall to fit in the door and we forgot to bring our money.

This is how we looked at the beginning of the first day.

This is how Robbie looked near the end.  I could sympathize...I really could.

© 2012 Hitty Travel Doll

Hitty Visits the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando

When I heard that the Wizarding World of Harry Potter was located in Orlando, Florida, I immediately wanted to go!  Imagine my surprise and delight when I learned that my adopted humans, Shirley and David, won free tickets to Universal Studios.

You heard that right---they actually won free tickets and I was allowed to go along.  It turned out to be a family day because their daughter and their two grandsons were visiting and they got to go too.

We got up very early to leave and I have to admit that I was a little disappointed when I learned that we were not traveling by the Hogwarts Express but in a regular Muggles car that couldn't even fly.  Wouldn't it be so much fun to get on your broom and just fly wherever you wanted to go?

Our first view of Hogwarts was impressive!

Luke and Jesse had to stop on the foot bridge so Grandma could take their picture.

We were all thinking. "Hurry up already!  We want to see Hogsmeade and Hogwarts!"

But, you know how Grandmas are so we all just held our tongues and waited patiently.

A view of Hogsmeade

Here I am in front of Zonko’s Joke Shop.  I really wanted to try some Bertie Bott’s Every Flavored Beans but I was afraid I would get the ear wax flavor.  You know I have a wooden stomach but some things are just too disgusting even for me and I have seen and experienced many things in my long life.

We got to see and hear the Sorting Hat

A group of First Years giving an impromptu concert

The Smiling Clerks who collected the tax for the Ministry of Magic

We bought this really cool postcard

The Postmistress of Hogsmeade stamped it with the official Owl Post postmark.

All in all, a very fun day and I am ready to go back!  I'm not sure that my adopted human, David, is though.  Shirley told me that he says the best amusement park ride is the one home.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando isn't an amusement park---it's an exciting adventure.  I think we all had a good time!

© 2012 Hitty Travel Doll