Florida – September 2008

Day 1 – Jax – shopping at Walmart

Tuesday 23rd September

Joey was awake very early this morning – 03:00! Fortunately, Sandy was able to get him off to sleep again so we managed to catch a bit more sleep. All things being equal, the kids have actually done very well with the jet-lag. For us adults, on the other hand, it’s a different story.

I spent most of this morning on the phone to our insurance company trying to find out whether our theme park tickets were covered. If we aren’t able to get someone to find them and send then to us in time, I’m going to have to fork out another £600 to get them replaced. So much for a stress-free holiday!

This fabulous condo is on the 11th floor. Dave and Jennifer’s condo is two floors down and we went down there this morning for breakfast. The weather today is not brilliant. It was still warm enough for t-shirts and shorts, but very windy with rough seas and an overcast sky. Fortunately, the rain from yesterday has abated. When the wind here gets very bad, people will sometimes lose things from their balconies. Jennifer was telling us that there was even one incident when a cat was blown away – quite literally.

By mid-morning, we’d received word that Jenny-Lee had found our theme park tickets. Phew! Now all we had to do was to arrange for them to get here. I spoke to John Ashley by phone and we agreed that he’d arrange to sort this out. Just how quickly something can be ‘overnighted’ from the UK will remain to be seen.

As I drove around the Jacksonville area today, I’ve found that the various landmarks have become very familiar again. Things have changed since we lived here but not that much really. We set off to buy some things for our stay and where better than, of course, Wal-Mart – that oh so very familiar mega-store where pretty much everything can be found in one isle or another. Having suitably filled our shopping trolley, we next set off to find a Waffle House. The menu hasn’t changed and the food was just as we remembered it – bliss!

The kids went down for their mid-day nap and I took the opportunity to call some old friends and neighbours. By late afternoon, the kids were again running riot around the place and we ordered take out from Ruby Tuesday’s – another one of our favourite restaurants.

Carlos & Kristy came around for the evening and we really enjoyed catching up with them both. Being a paediatrician, Carlos was very helpful in answering some of our health-related questions about the kids and he even gave us a sure-fire technique to use for weaning them both off the dummies. We’ll try this when we get back to the UK.

It’s been a very long and tiring day and we were both off to bed just as soon as Carlos & Kristy went home. We’ll see them again before we go.