Florida – September 2008

Day 21 – Jax – visiting old friends

Sunday 12th October

The only things we had planned for today involved meeting people. Sandy had arranged that we’d hook up with AnnMarie this morning, Patti was to swing by this afternoon and we had tentative plans to see Dave & Jennifer this evening. It should be a fairly relaxing day.

As we were getting the kids ready, I noticed that one of Joey’s socks had a blood stain on the ankle and that it was stuck to his foot. He’d apparently had a burst blister from wearing his swimming shoes. Neither of us remembers him complaining about it. What with his first nose-bleed the other day and now his first burst blister, it begs the question as to what else are we going to see from him this trip. It’s a good job we have a paediatrician on hand here in Jacksonville.

We pottered around the condo for most of the morning waiting for a call from AnnMarie to let us know she was leaving the house to make her way to the St. John’s mall, where we were planning to meet for breakfast at a place called Mimi’s Cafe. We eventually thought we’d just make our way over there already but she called when we were getting into the car in the end.

We eventually met up with AnnMarie and her two youngest, Narayan & Kavitha at Mimi’s Cafe. Being closer to St. John’s Mall, they had arrived some ten minutes earlier already. It was great to see them all again and, once again, a real shock to see the size of Kavitha after so many years. AnnMarie and Narayan had visited us in England last year so Narayan hadn’t really changed that much since last we saw him.

Mimi’s Cafe is a very nice looking and tastefully decorated restaurant. Like many restaurants here in the US, there are all manner of objects hanging on the walls everywhere and this always gives a very nice feel to the place – and it was surprisingly very competitively priced against the likes of Waffle House, Denny’s, Golden Coral, etc. – even though AnnMarie was good enough to pick up the tab. We may very well come here again for breakfast. So, we sat through what turned out to be a very nice breakfast indeed as we caught up with each other. Satya arrived shortly after we were sat and it was good to see him again too. He’s going to organise a lunch appointment for later on in the week so that I can see some of my ex-colleagues from CSX that are now working for BCBS.

We spent the remainder of the morning and some of the afternoon with AnnMarie and the kids wandering around the new St. John’s Mall complex, which is a very large and very nice outdoor shopping centre. Patti had told us that she would meet us at the condo at shortly after noon but based on her track record, we were quietly confident that we wouldn’t see her until late afternoon or even early evening. AnnMarie took us to her new place of work, one of the shops at the mall, and then to a nearby ice-cream parlour, which everybody enjoyed thoroughly. Sandy had arranged to buy some Ugg boots on behalf of some of her baby-club friends back in the UK so we made our way to Dillard’s to buy them. We also had a look through their bedding section. The bed we have was bought here in Florida and we find it difficult to get fitted sheets that are the correct size for it so we’re going to see if we can pick up some whilst here. At the moment, we’re just window-shopping to compare prices. We’ll end up buying some later on this week once we’d figured out where the best deals are to be had.

We said our good-byes to AnnMarie and the kids and have arranged to spend Tuesday with them all again. We were back at the condo by around two in the afternoon but Patti, somewhat predictably, didn’t show up for another couple of hours. Patti and Ben ended up staying with us for the remainder of the evening and we sat around the table talking about real estate and everything and nothing.

It was a very relaxing day in the grand scheme of things but I was still too tired to write up this blog until the following morning. It turns out that there are quite a few people following our progress via this blog. I can hardly believe that we only have a week or so left of this holiday. I hope we can squeeze all the things in that we still want to without turning it into a rushed week from which we’ll need another holiday.