The end of the line! Can you believe it?! I’ve blogged all this time without getting lazy and giving up, 20 weeks it’s been! Ok enough with the self accolades, still need to get through this post…
Our first stop in Florida was Jacksonville to visit the friends we made while hiking in Washington. Remember them? Sisters Meagan and LA had just clung to the side of a mountain and hiked over slippery snowpack, having a near death experience, and came out the other side slightly rattled but very friendly and keen to chat! They also encouraged us to turn back and not take the same route they had. So we swapped details and kept in touch. We arrived on their doorstep last Saturday.
Look what we were greeted with (well, we were greeted by the girls but when we went upstairs to our room look at was on the bed):
We grabbed lunch, browsed some shops and then did a tour of the excellent local brewery scene. Check out all the photos I took:
Yep. That’s it. We were having far too much fun and I completely forgot to get photos except for a few blurry food shots on my phone. Who have I become?!
The next day we had delicious bagels for lunch at Jacksonville Beach (Jax Beach) before grabbing some bikes to ride around to different breweries and bars. Unfortunately the sunny Floridian weather was nonexistent, but nothing could dampen our spirits.
I love riding a bike. It’s such an amazing, freeing feeling. Add some loud off key singing and a few beers to that and I’m pretty much the happiest gal around.
We went to a brewery called The Green Room. It had a giant Jenga and giant Connect Four, as well as ping pong. What a place. Andrew beat me at ping pong though. Ugh.
When the bar closed we rode on to the Mellow Mushroom for some of the most amazing pizza I’ve had in my life. We also posed for a fierce bike gang shot:
We got home at 2am on a Monday morning. So great!
It was such an incredibly fun and relaxing weekend. We all admitted we were a bit nervous ahead of time given we were practically strangers, but it really could not have gone better. This is what travelling is all about. The people.
We had delicious biscuits (the American kind, like scones) for breakfast on our last morning ahead of a sad farewell with Meagan, who had to go to work.
We went with LA to check out Alpine Grove Park. It was a beautiful area along the river with giant trees covered in Spanish Moss, an 1800’s citrus plantation home and manatees lazing about in the water. Manatees! Like dugongs.
After we saw the manatees it started to pour with rain, just to make our goodbye with LA super dramatic and Hollywood-like. We promised we’d be back, next time for a week in March, and hit the road.
It rained heavily our first day and a half in Fort Lauderdale, which was fine because we had to do boring things like clean out our suitcases, cull and re-pack, buy toiletries, clear out the car and get haircuts (well, just me, my first hair cut since December last year).
On our second morning I woke early, saw the sun was out and immediately leapt out of bed to make breakfast. I woke Andrew with a steaming hot coffee, a grin and a loud declaration of “THE SUN IS FINALLY OUT!”, which I’m sure he appreciated.
We jumped in the car and made a beeline for Fort Lauderdale beach.
Now this is how I pictured Florida.
It was early and relatively nice and quiet.
As it got hotter the water became almost too warm to cool down in. Something I’m not used to!
We left to go and have lunch and do some more chores (boo).
That evening we watched the sun set on our final evening from the rooftop of our Airbnb apartment building. With beers of course.
We talked about our trip and the series of fortunate events (and wise decisions) that had led up to that moment.
Bye America, see you next year!