Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge - Merritt Island, FL
January 2, 2013
After a perfect 10 days in Flagler Beach, I reluctantly waved goodbye to Bill as he walked down the gateway at Daytona Beach International Airport. He is back at home in Tennessee and excited to begin a new semester at school. The weather perfection continues and it appears that I will have 10 more days of perfect Florida winter weather until he returns on January 18. I have lots of plans for things to do which will keep me quite busy, but my highest priority right now is getting this journal up to date.
It seems a lifetime ago, but back on December 27th and 28th, we had a delightful journey from home to here. Up until about two hours before we actually left, we honestly had no idea WHEN we would leave. We have the packing thing down to a science and can be ready to leave for a weekend, a month or six weeks in just a few hours. The problem holding us back was a UPS delivery of medication that I was expecting and that had been delayed thanks to the winter snowstorm blanketing much of the country. I won't go into all the details, but after much haggling with our prescription company, they finally agreed to ship the medication to me in Florida. Normally, a different shipping address is not a problem, but the med was already in transit, so getting all that taken care of was quite the undertaking. However, for all the complaining we all do about that sort of thing, I'm happy to report that the med arrived at my doorstep here in Flagler Beach right when it was supposed to, so kudos to Caremark for working with me to make that happen!! We pulled out of our driveway approximately one hour after I was given the O.K. that the shipping address in Florida was verified.
Our destination for the first evening was Atlanta. Those who have read the blog for awhile know my love for the DeKalb County Farmers Market. I was in need of a coffee resupply (they have a wide variety of blends, flavors, etc and I buy LOTS when I go) along with some other things I love to purchase there. It's always an adventure to wander around looking at their amazing selection of fresh produce and vegetables. I can easily spend a whole morning just taking in the sights and smells. We spent the first evening at the Residence Inn by Marriott Kennesaw/Town Center and made certain we were at the market when it opened Friday morning.
After a very enjoyable hour or so at the market, we headed on south knowing we had approximately 360 miles to cover and as usual, wanted nothing to do with interstate travel. I-75 south was a nightmare of holiday traffic. We exited at Macon and meandered our way southeast through wonderful little central Georgia towns still sporting their Christmas decorations in quaint town squares on roads that had virtually zero traffic. It was pleasant driving and by late afternoon we'd crossed into Florida and soon were at the Residence Inn by Marriott Amelia Island where we were staying Friday night. This left us with an easy drive of less than 100 miles to Flagler Beach on Saturday.
We've had some wonderful times on Amelia Island with friends and on our own, but it had been several years so we were excited to see what had changed. We made our way to the village of Fernandina Beach and found it had not changed at all - still the same quaint little town it always was. Same sleepy boat marina - same ice cream shop!
We did enjoy the Shrimp Expressions exhibit throughout the community. We've seen these exhibits all over the US and love finding new ones. Our own community held it's Bearfoot In the City exhibit in 2001 and I've sought out these unique community treasures ever since. Having no idea Fernandina Beach had one, it was the best of all surprises!! I'm always motivated to find when the exhibit actually ocurred, how the community has supported its preservation and what local charity was the beneficiary of the funds once the painted items were auctioned. I'm still searching for a website telling me where ALL these whimsical fiberglass animals might be found throughout the US!
"Shrimp Expressions" Exhibit
Saturday morning found us heading south along highway A1A after a leisurely stroll along the beach which was two blocks from our hotel on Amelia Island. It took about five minutes for the warmth to sink in and the muscles to relax! We knew this leisurely (for the most part) drive would take us through the Mayport Naval Base area, we'd get to cross the St. John's river on the ferry and we'd head through the highly commercialized Ponte Vedra Beach area, where one of the most familiar stops on the PGA Golf tour is held each year. Skirting the metro Jacksonville area then finds you on a quiet stretch with the Atlantic on your left and the Intercoastal Waterway on your right. Soon passing through St. Augustine and the newly reopened Marineland, we excitedly pulled into our Beach House and home for the month.
Stay tuned for more.............................
Has your community sponsored an animal fiberglass exhibits?
Have you seen one in your own travels?
Tell me about it.
I'm keeping a list. I want to see them all!
Thanks for reading!