Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Valentine's Day 2018

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 hereYour 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.

beach rules

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.

looking north
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.

a fisherman
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

We could see how far the reconstruction has gone. In the past on other piers, we have been able to see fish in the water, including sharks, which is why I no longer go any deeper than my big toe!

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.

sea gulls

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.

sea shells

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)

my plate
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


  1. Awww what a lovely couple, always brings such joy to my heart, smiles.---I missed that post about Terri, will have to go back and read it. My folks live in Ocala, have for over 40+ years.

    A very Happy Valentines Day, Barbara and Tom. smiles

  2. Wonderful beach walk. Those are my favorite kind of walks. Sorry to hear about Terri. I'll head over and see what's up. Happy Valentine's Day to you!

  3. A walk on the beach sounds delightful right now - I'm glad you enjoyed yours. Shrimp is my favorite...I would have loved to have sampled yours.

  4. Well, sounds like you two made lemonade out of lemons for your day. Pretty scenery, beautiful beach, good food and time together. Blessings abundant!

  5. I'm so glad you were able to salvage the day and have an enjoyable trip to the beach and your fav restaurant! We are looking forward to the 27th!!

  6. Nice post!!

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  7. Beautiful day at the beach! Thank you for sharing it with us. I'm glad you didn't touch the jellyfish...even though he appeared dead, he could possibly still sting you. Best to give them a wide berth! I used to collect shark's teeth on Neptune Beach, just south of Jax Beach. My Aunt and Uncle/cousins lived there and I used to visit when I was a child each summer. I had quite a nice little collection. I think I still have it somewhere in a drawer... It was fun to collect the teeth, and so glad not to see the owner of those teeth! LOL.