Nothing makes us happier than having the opportunity to spend time with our kids. When they were small, I quit my engineering job to spend every day with them. Running a daycare in our home was supposed to be for earning money, but really, it gave me the opportunity to hang out all day, every day with my small humans. While it is obvious that Kenny, Lindsay, and Erica share DNA with Bill and me, they have their very own personalities, drives, and interests. Marveling at their development is something that I continue to be enthralled by, even more so now that they are in their twenties. And spending a few days with Lindsay would give us a chance to again listen to her ideas, hopes, dreams, and plans, all of which seem to develop at a whirlwind rate.
Lindsay has developed a reputation for bringing strong winds with her when she visits. Last year, when she visited us in the Bahamas for Thanksgiving, the winds blew almost fifty knots each of her four days with us. This year was a bit less, but still packed with 25 knot winds from the north. Dinghy rides were soakers, so she quickly agreed to dress up in my spare tattered rain pants. Once ashore, we ditched the silly foullies (sailors’ name for foul weather clothing) and enjoyed our dry breezy days.
St Augustine was a great place to play for 4 days, with all of its rich history. For starters, Bill insisted on a Cuban sandwich for lunch, and Lindsay, almost a vegetarian, politely split one with me as well. I’ll bet that’s her last Cuban sandwich! Next, we toured Flagler College, which has taken over the old Ponce de Leon Hotel and I’m sure has some connections to Hogwarts Castle as well. Pirates were everywhere, roaming the streets, drinking in outdoor bars, hanging out at the piers, riding motorcycles even! Why I didn’t take a single photo of their fantastic costumes is beyond me.
Later that day, we headed across the river to go to a tiny restaurant Bill and I discovered the day before. They serve only grilled cheese sandwiches and craft beer, but their selection of both are outstanding! We were eager to show Lindsay this quaint spot and enjoy the live music that was scheduled to start at 9. Lindsay had been up since 3 am to catch her flight, so she was a great sport to try and stay awake till then. Well, 9 turned into 9:30, then 10, then 10:20! Finally the music started, but I don’t know who called it music. A single guy sat on a bar stool banging on a toy keyboard and screeching into the microphone. We thought this was a joke, a 3 minute joke, and waited for the next number. Introduction to the next one was “this is a song about masterbation!” At this point, we looked around the room to see if anyone was “into” this type of performance. Most looked equally shocked and were wide eyed and confused. The girls playing pool nailed it: “My ears are BLEEDING!” We agreed, and we left. Sorry Lindsay!
The oldest masonry fort in the US, Castillo de San Marcos, was interesting to explore. You could almost feel the throngs of people building, standing guard, and seeking refuge there.
Across the harbor, the climb up to the lighthouse gave us a spectacular view of the old city and the protected harbor where Alembic swung on her mooring. Actually, the harbor protection was not adequate a month ago, when Hurricane Matthew slammed the coast and put many boats here up on land. Amazingly, most of those boats are now floating again and the docks and moorings are back in service.
Keeping up with Lindsay was a challenge when we rented beach bikes and bombed around the surf’s edge and into some jungle paths. In between bike touring, we stopped at the Chowder Fest for some live music and tasty chowder samples.
Shh, don’t tell Logan, but Lindsay did sneak in a few runs. She was supposed to be taking a brief break from her marathon training, but she broke down a few times. Once was when we sailed Alembic up the river fifteen miles to Nocatee Preserve. While strolling, Bill and I were eaten alive by bugs, but at Lindsay’s pace, those pesky critters couldn’t catch her! Finding a high school track adjacent to the trails, Lindsay added a few sprints to her workout.
On our final day, we toured Jacksonville, had salads on a riverfront balcony, and made plans for Christmas together with Erica, Kenny, and Jenna. While we all love these balmy southern temps, we also look forward to chilly days on the snow. Thanks for taking a break from med school to hang with your parents! We love you!!