Friday, February 24, 2017

Fall in Fernandina

Last fall, I took a wonderful trip down to Florida to visit family and just to enjoy some peace and quiet! I've never done anything like it before, but I was inspired by a friend who makes it a priority to carve time out to recharge her batteries. It seems contrary at first glance, though in reality I found that it definitely refocused me and I was a better mama when I returned! My first stop was Blackshear to see my beloved Granny. She, my aunt Belinda and I went to lunch together, then Granny and I spent the afternoon rocking on the front porch and enjoying good conversation.

This is the Pierce County courthouse, where my grandparents were married back in 1955.
I had to get on the road, though, and head down to Jacksonville for dinner with my Aunt Kim and Uncle Tim, their two adult children and respective fiances. The funny thing was, I thought I'd picked some obscure weekend in October to make my trip but I was completely oblivious to the football season. Turns out it was the Florida-Georgia game weekend. In Jacksonville. Grr. I guess living in Athens isn't enough to keep me informed! Anyway, traffic wasn't as terrible as I'd anticipated, and I had some great company in the form of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone on audiobook. Following a fun dinner with some of the Floyd crew, I headed back north to Fernandina to stay the night with Uncle Mike and Aunt Ede.

First thing in the morning, I drove downtown, straight for T-Ray's. Y'all, I was not counting calories on this trip. (Not that I ever do anyway.) But that Scrambler was amazing! Bisuit, scrambled eggs, sausage, gravy, cheese ... My arteries are still sluggish from it.

My view from T-Ray's porch.
The first thing I did after breakfast was park Claire and start walking! I couldn't have asked for a more gorgeous weekend to be outside exploring. So naturally I went to the library.

We used to walk from Granny's house to the library all the time. I loved the black and white tiled sidewalks and the concrete goldfish containers along the way.
I basically spent the entire morning walking wherever my feet took me, along the streets and over to the harbor, across the railroad tracks and back. Not having gotten enough of books at the library, I meandered my way through a downtown book store, too, picking up a couple of souvenirs while I was at it.

Seriously, the weather was fabulous!
 I ended up eating a late (much lighter!) lunch at The Patio Place.

 I found the bench at the marina inscribed with Uncle Francis's name, and sat there for a while, writing and daydreaming and watching a lone sailboat out on the water. (At that time the docks were still closed from the hurricane so it was otherwise deserted.)

About that time, I got a call from my great aunt, Joni, letting me know she was home and I could come by whenever. I spent a couple of hours with her and Uncle Ken, listening to their stories and telling my own. When dinner rolled around, I met up with Mike and Ede along with Ken and Joni at Moon River Pizza. Joni couldn't resist teasing Mike with her Florida Gators jacket!

The drive home the next morning was livened considerably by Rosamund Pike's incredibly well-done audio version of P&P.

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