This week I had the pleasure of heading to Jacksonville, Florida to help my friend Joy kick off her new business and enjoy some "girl time" that we haven't had since we were in high school together. It was a FANTASTIC trip, and I am already looking forward to going back!
I drove in Thursday after spending all of Wednesday night at the hospital with my Dad. He insisted that I still go to Jax the next day, but I got a later start than expected, and nearly turned around a few times as I got updates from the hospital. It made me in quite a rush once I arrived in Jacksonville, but we were able to get to the party and get all set up before the guests arrived. The party was terrific and I so enjoyed meeting all of Joy's friends. No wonder she loves living out there!
After the party we headed out to dinner just the two of us. We decided on Mexican food as neither of our hubbies are big fans of Mexican so we do not get to eat it much when we are with them! A burrito and a margarita later and we were both just beyond exhausted.
Friday we got up early and got ready to head to the beach. It was a BEAUTIFUL day and I was excited to get some sun and just relax, but I had NO idea what a treat I was in for as I pulled into "Dolphin Plaza." It was quite a walk from the parking lot to the beach, but it was worth every step! Absolutely GORGEOUS! We found our "spot" and settled in. We had stopped at McDonald's on the way there, and as we settled in the stalking began...
After finishing lunch - and resisting sharing my french fries with my new little friend - I settled back to "assume the position" for optimum tanning when I heard Joy say "Ahh, there they are." Within minutes we began to see them... dozens and dozens of dolphins playing in the waves. I was awe struck.
We have dolphins here, but nothing like THIS! For nearly three hours I barely put the camera down. Joy and I just talked and laughed and pointed at dolphins. It was a perfect Friday. The dolphins just played and played - this one even coming COMPLETELY out of the water:
Off to our right we could see Jacksonville Beach:
Looks like a postcard doesnt it? But I loved that where we were at Dolphin Plaza, we had the place to ourselves:
We also saw an array of awesome ships while we sat there - including the Cruise Ship right as we walked up, but I didn't get a shot of that. This one was cool though - we think maybe it was bringing in cars from over seas:
Plus the whole POD of dolphins playing in front of it made for a cool shot.
Then of course there was the reminder that we were near the bases:
And even the Shrimp Boats headed out for their daily catch:
With all of the excitement and activity going on we did not realize we were getting TOTALLY sunburned as we talked and laughed and took zillions of pictures. Before leaving though I had promised my little stalker a french fry, which of course started a bit of a feeding frenzy. It brought back memories of growing up on Pensacola Beach and feeding the seagulls with my Dad.
We headed home to get cleaned up for dinner and a Girls Night Out. I called my friend Mary who I haven't seen in years and we all headed to St Augustine to the Conch House Restaurant. Even though it POURED down rain, it was great fun and good to enjoy each others company over calamari, shrimp dip, gator tail, and shrimp linguini.
All in all it was an absolutely FANTASTIC weekend, and one I hope to repeat in the very near future - minus the sunburn! Thank you to Joy and her hubby for letting me stay with them for the weekend!