This has got to be our longest stay at any marina - a whole six months!
Perhaps it was the friendly liveaboard community that kept us here. Or was it
the WiFi connection to the internet? When we came in to the marina, we did not
think much of Jacksonville, but it certainly grew on us. During our stay, we've
come to enjoy the warm, friendly neighborhoods of the city. In September, the
Sea and Sky Spectacular event on the beach, complete with amphibious assault and
culminating with the Blue Angels, was outstanding, a definite memory maker.
We had some family and friends visited. Eileen met up with an old friend
LeeFah in Orlando. They haven't seen each other for 29 years. Lee Fah and family
were on vacation from Saudi Arabia. She and her family used to live in
Houston, and had recently moved to Saudi for a job with Aramco. We drove with my
sister and her family to Philadelphia.
In Sept, we took a trip to Destin in NW Florida with the Hanshus. On the
way there, we stopped by Plains, Georgia to pay tribute to our 39th president.
We stayed with Steve and Connie in Columbus, Georgia, and visited Fort Benning,
where Jon and Steve had their airborne training before heading off for the
Vietnam War in the seventies.
In November, we drove back to Philadelphia and Boston to visit family. Then
we took off for Paris to help Sophal's aunt to celebrate her 80th birthday. This
was the year of freedom fries and Iraq war, so politics were off limits in our
family gatherings. We have to admit that this time around the French are
much more friendlier (the last time we visited was in 1992). They actually offered
to speak English! And quite good at it too, I might add.