Sunday, July 5, 2015

Independence Day Weekend - Jacksonville Beach, Florida

Landed in Jacksonville on Friday, at rush hour, but traffic flowed smoothly.  Arrived at Eileen and Joe’s around 5, and we had a really nice evening together, conversing and reminiscing about our time together at the weekly newspaper where we all worked.  The debriefing was necessary because the place was totally toxic, and became even more so after they left, and really bad right before my departure.

Joe grilled salmon and Eileen made the most delicious baked cauliflower and brussell sprouts, and served them with yellow rice.  The champagne flowed freely and I went to bed on happy cloud of crisp white cotton sheets.

Eileen even understands the pillow thing.  She is my kindred pillow spirit.  So I told them, jokingly, I could definitely live here, with them.  And they laughed, kind of.

Joe flew off to the Ukraine yesterday, and Eileen and I spent the day with friends, Kurt and Missy, and their daughter, Madeline, and her friends, Amber and Brian.  They live in an elegant condo right on the ocean, and it was the perfect spot to watch the carnival on the beach, and then the fireworks later.  We drank beer, sat on the beach, weathered an epic thunderstorm - nature’s own fireworks, played bocce, and ate cajun shrimp, corn, sausage, and potatoes.  The Hare Krishnas were the highlight of my day, since that is something that I'd never see on any of the beaches in Vero.  I was also excited and happy to see people of all sizes and colors on the beach.    Thousands of people rode their patriotically decorated bicycles up and down 1st ave, along the beach, and people watched the passing spectacle from their porches and balconies.
At ten pm, Eileen started to fade, and I was so relieved because I, too, was fading.  She called Uber and we went home and right to bed.

This morning, I took a drive through the neighborhoods in Jacksonville Beach, enjoying the vitality and all the people who were out, after a long day yesterday.

Bicyclists take precedence on the road here, and they were out in droves.  The speed limit is 20 mph, so bikes will get you where you want to go faster.  

People sit on the porches on 1st street and watch the parade of cyclists go by all day.  Yesterday was an amazing patriotic parade of people, old and young, all races and nationalities, and most of them on bikes.  It was refreshing to see that.  

In the grand scheme of figuring out where i should live, I would definitely consider Jacksonville Beach, because of its laid back vibe, diversity, proximity to an international airport, and the change of seasons.

1 comment: