Florida – September 2008

Day 22 – Jax – old friends visiting

Monday 13th October

We all joined Jennifer, Kristen & Dillon for a late breakfast this morning. We thought we’d enjoy Mimi’s Cafe again but when we got there, it was a forty-five minute wait. It was a similar story at another place just across the plaza also. As today was a Sunday, this was going to be a problem for most places since it was that time of the day that the church crowds were emerging from the hundreds of churches in and around Jacksonville. We thought we’d have better luck at the Golden Coral on Southside Boulevard (there aren’t that many churches in that part of town) and indeed this turned out to be the case. Alas, we were too late for the breakfast buffet but we all ate our fill nevertheless.

Jennifer has a membership to the Cosco wholesale shopping warehouse so we spent an hour there shopping for this and that. We managed to find some very nice Sateen bed-linen sets for our king-size bed back home so that was a nice bonus. Sandy also came away with some winter jackets for the kids as well as a few bits and pieces for herself. Jennifer looked very nice in the ‘blue’ jacket but the prevailing ‘female’ consensus was that the ‘green’ jacket looked better on her. Alas, I was outnumbered on this matter and it was the green one that managed to make its way to the checkout.

We’d previously arranged to meet up with Carlos & Kristy sometime this weekend so Sandy called to see what could be arranged. Since the weather was so nice, we all decided that they would come and visit us at the beach and so we went home to get ready for the afternoon. We kept Dillon for what eventually turned out to be the remainder of the day.

Once we had all the bags sorted and packed, we headed down to the beach to secure our pitch. Carlos & Kristy showed up shortly thereafter with their two youngest, Nico & Alex, in tow. The sea was a bit rough but so very inviting that I couldn’t resist the urge to take a dip on several occasions. Jennifer was very skittish about the water but both Joey & Dillon got into the spirit of things. Kristen & Jennifer had been watching from their balcony and called down at one point to point out that Dillon couldn’t in fact yet swim, so we made sure he kept to within knee-deep water level from then on – particularly as the sea was so rough. I was the only one to make ‘full use’ of the sea but everyone had a lot of fun tossing balls, digging holes and, in the case of Alex in particular, jumping around like frogs. It was a very relaxing couple of hours indeed.

By late afternoon, the shadows were getting very long and by the time we started to loose the last bit of appreciable direct sunlight, we all collected our things and walked the few yards back to the condo building and hosed ourselves all down to rid us from the sand. Back at the condo, we made quick work of showering and bathing the kids and getting them into clean clothes and pyjamas.

Carlos and I drove out to the nearby Ruby Tuesday’s restaurant to collect the take-out we ordered and we all relaxed around the table over some nice, hot food. There was some reluctance on the part of Carlos and Kristy to allow me to pick up the tab for the food but I was keen to relieve them of that burden since they were, amongst other things, our guests for the day.

After we’d put the kids to bed, I took Dillon downstairs and dropped him off with Dave & Jennifer. The rest of the evening was spent simply relaxing and chatting with Carlos, Kristy and their very entertaining kids. We had fun looking at today’s camera takings before our guests eventually had to leave. We’ll definitely see them again before we leave Jacksonville next week. It was the end to yet another near perfect day here in paradise. I’m going to savour the relaxing time we have left here. I don’t know when we’ll next get the opportunity to have such fun so I’m going to try to enjoy every last ounce of it whilst it lasts – particularly as it’s not that often that we actually feel like we’re on holiday when we’re on holiday.