|Beloved with the wreath on our front door|
To pick up where I left off on my last post, where our plans for Monday had to change due to Terri's Emergency Room visit (read her blog post about that here, Your Friend from Florida), Beloved and I thought of several things to do but we had to temper our choices with the weather forecast of rain all day. Plus, how could we really enjoy ourselves when we knew Terri and Joe were at the hospital?? She texted me the news she was being admitted. It was shaping up to be an odd morning.
We decided to go to the beach and have lunch at our favorite place. The venture would cost us about half an hour travel each way, free parking (on weekdays), and whatever we ordered from the menu. If the rain kept us from walking the beach, it would be okay.
|cactus on the beach sand dunes|
Coming from a high, dry, semi-arid climate, we are surprised to see big clumps of cactus at a humid ocean beach.
|the pier at Jacksonville Beach|
Both Hurricane Matthew (2016) and Hurricane Irma (2017) brought damage to the city pier. It has been closed since 2016 but we have heard on local TV that it will open this April. On this trip to the beach, we wanted to see the progress that's been made. I don't think the entire pier will be open in April, but at least half of it looks to be restored.
We were blessed with pockets of sunshine on that day, more than what we had expected. Look closely in the center of this picture to see the coastal fog hugging the shore and the white waves as they crash in.
|me, under the pier|
As I have done in the past, I asked Beloved to take a picture of me beside something so we can illustrate the size of structures.
This was of interest to Beloved, since he is a seasoned fly fisherman. This man was decked out in his waders and casting a line. Beloved has been too busy with other ventures to try fishing since we got to Florida.
|another view of the pier|
|my sandaled foot, to show the size of the sea life|
Do you know what this is? It's a jellyfish that washed ashore. Very interesting. I made a little joke that I "could see right through him." I think he was dead. We just left him alone, to let nature do what it does.
I carefully walked as close to these guys as I could without disturbing them, and then used the zoom feature on my camera to take the picture. We wondered why they were all clumped together like this, facing the same direction. Upon closer inspection we saw that they were napping with their chests facing the sunlight! See how their heads are tucked to their back? Most of them were standing on two feet, but a few were on just one leg -- a good balancing act!
|"The Old Man and the Sea"|
He isn't really that old, but the title is kinda cute for this picture. He's taking in all the contrasts between the vast ocean and his favorite fishing spot in all the world, Eleven Mile Canyon in Colorado. It's very, very different.
|clam diggers and sandals|
We were dressed appropriately for the wind and intermittent rain showers. The temperature was in the upper 60s, which was comfortable. The wind was blowing, so a windbreaker jacket and hat felt good.
But can I just say, it's also very relaxing to be able to walk the beach without wearing more 'self-conscious' clothing.
The tide had washed up just a whole lot of shells. We always carry plastic grocery sacks in the car so we're prepared to collect shells at the beach. We harvested a lot on this day!
|Joe's Crab Shack, Jacksonville Beach|
The beach walk gave us a healthy appetite for lunch. Joe's Crab Shack is my favorite place when we visit this beach. I'm losing count how many times Beloved and I have enjoyed a meal here.
I tend to be a creature of habit when it comes to restaurants. The Southern Stuffed Shrimp is my favorite while Beloved always gets the clam strips. We share our food with each other. (I think that's romantic)
Nine succulent pieces of stuffed shrimp with broccoli steamed to perfection and to drink, Sweet Tea, of course!
|view from our booth|
When the weather is drier and not so windy, we like to eat outside on the deck, but on this day we got the perfect inside table beside a window. I love to just stare at the water and look for ships on the horizon while waiting for the food to arrive.
|crossing the intracoastal waterway on the way home|
After lunch we walked the beach for a long distance and then decided it was time to head for home.
|my love note to my husband|
Happy Valentine's Day