History, Luxury and Fishery

Read about our travels to Jacksonville Florida and surrounds

…aka… Working For The Man

USA Music Tour 2015 Day 12

Jacksonville Florida 1 September

First day in Jacksonville for us all.  The team agreed that it should be an impromptu day, one to be enjoyed as unprogrammed, eschewing the strictures required when making the absolute most of a busy music festival.

Our first thought was to explore downtown.  Our attempt to find the bustling city centre ended up at deserted one-way dead-end Convention Centre car park.

Our next move was to locate via the GPS a vibrant coffee precinct.  This ended with us in the middle of a block where the most movement was the gas pump dial activity over the road.

We then googled ‘best coffee in Jacksonville’ (this is just about the most important set of words ever used on the internet – ‘Best coffee in (insert city name here)’.  Third time lucky we found a wonderful place Bold Bean Coffee 869 Stockton St, full of people and looking like a shrine to the Great God of Coffee, a truly serious deliverer of quality beverages.

Coffee Wheel – photo by Jim Jacob

The funny thing is after driving around Jacksonville for an hour, Bold Bean Coffee was six blocks away from our house.  Laugh!

Given a couple of these false starts, we decided to forget about downtown Jacksonville and go to attractions further afield.

The scenery was special on the way.

 

Photo Jim Jacob

 

Photo Jim Jacob

 

Photo Jim Jacob

 

Photo Jim Jacob

 

Kingsley Plantation is a 100-acre allotment on Fort George Island, about forty-five minutes north of Jacksonville.  Established in 1814 by Zephaniah Kingsley who located his family to this sea island location, the main crops from which were sea island cotton, indigo, corn, sugar cane, beans and potatoes.

 

Kingsley Plantation – photo Jim Jacob

 

Kingsley Plantation – photo Jim Jacob

 

Egrets I’ve Had A Few *…Photo Jim Jacob

 

Today was the first day of autumn/fall and it was 90 F (32 C) and extremely humid.  How the slaves could work in conditions like today (or worse still, in the middle of summer), was hard for me to fathom.  After working in the sun all day, here is what they returned to every day.

 

Slave Cabins – Photo Jim Jacob

 

From here, we ventured further north to Amelia Island, with the Atlantic Ocean to our right and numerous waterways to our left, for many a mile.  As we motored along, the large, ostentatious beach-front housing appeared, followed by resort after resort, vivid verdant golf courses and then more original residences and the beautiful and broad Fernandina Beach.  My goodness, there’s some money around these here parts.

We ignored all the above (it looked too opulent for us) and kept moving until we arrived at the very interesting village of Fernandina Beach.

Photo Jim Jacob

 

Photo Jim Jacob

 

It was 2pm, some of us hadn’t eaten since a light breakfast, some of us hadn’t eaten at all.  I parked the car and then, based on advice from a local fisherman that Jenny had engaged, we made a bee line straight for The Palace Bar, the oldest continually operated bar in Florida.

Photo Jim Jacob

 

VERY Cool Dudes – photo Jim Jacob

 

Photo Jim Jacob

 

Where’s Jim? – photo Jim Jacob

 

A lot of history, and full of interesting adornments.  Unfortunately though, dear reader, Westinghouse refrigeration (remember them from the United Airline flight?) has been at it again and the place was breezily freezing.  Also, cigarettes were ablaze.  A shame, we left pretty promptly and did not do it justice.

Jenny went shopping, Jim and I settled eventually on a lunch spot – the Salty Pelican, upstairs with the most pleasant watery views.  Lunch was served at around 4pm, pan-fried swordfish (according to the waiter) or cod (according to the bill, or maybe it was pan-seared cash on delivery) with a crab Parmesan crust.  Sautéed vegetables or coleslaw as a side.  Jim and I had one of each with a glass of Pinot Grigio.  Heaven.  Jenny joined us and followed suit, food wise.

A nice coffee from the best-looking cafe in the precinct and we were ready to return, with one stop over.  The Atlantic Ocean.  Jenny dunked her feet, Jim took some photos…

 

Jenny and The Atlantic Ocean

 

…and it was time to return to our air BnB digs.  Forty minutes back, as the clouds became black and ominous.  Five minutes away from home and it started, buckets of rain without the buckets of tears.

Getting out of the car was a fifteen step journey to the front door.

The rain was HOT.

The air smelled dank.

The lights went out.

The TV sprang to life as if stoked by an invisible force.

The house alarm started.

We were dry.

Tomorrow, the Jacksonville Zoo.

 

 

* OK, they’re probably not egrets, but I just couldn’t help myself

 

Read about our travels to Jacksonville Florida and surrounds

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Author: Rob Dickens

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