Tuesday, September 8, 2009


We left Columbus driving south to Florida and stayed at a really nice RV park at Mayport Naval Station. We overlooked the St. John's River and had to go just around the corner to the Atlantic Ocean. Just beautiful!! For most days we had good weather and a continual ocean breeze. Walks on the beach, playing in the surf...just perfect!! This is the longest we've stayed in one spot for a long while (almost 2 weeks). The purpose of our visit here is a Class of '66 West Point mini-reunion.

While the majority of the attendees played golf, John and I went kayaking on a marsh on the road to St. Augustine. It was very tranquil. The only sounds were the barking/growling of the mother alligators checking on their babies. The babies had all hatched about 2 weeks ago. They have no fear and do not submerge or race away from the kayaks. (But, they are very hard to see in the water. They are small and look like little bits of wood. No good photos to show you.) Lots of pretty blue herons, cormorants, egrets. Kayaking is fun and we will do it again. I'd like to try it in the ocean!! That would be exciting!!

Our next outing was a Segway tour of St. Augustine. FUN!! But, riding a Segway is not easy. A Segway is a 2 wheeled scooter with a platform that you stand on. To go forward, you lean forward; lean right, go right; lean left, go left. Sounds easy... not!! It is a delicate balance and not easy to stay upright right away. St. Augustine is the oldest city in the USA having been settled by Ponce de Leon. Must admit we didn't really see a lot as we were too busy trying to stay on our Segways, but we put St. Augustine on our list of return visits along with riding Segways and kayaking. And John is stuck with me forever & ever. We kissed until a tree that is entwined with a palm tree. Supposedly if you kiss under it, you are bound to one another into eternity. No way out for him now!!

Also, while in Jacksonville, we got to visit with my niece Natalie and her family. I had never seen Cole who just turned 3 and have seen Megan & Madeleine only a few times before. Cute kids! My niece is into jogging and recently did 10+ miles. Don't know where that gene comes from! This was not our first West Point mini-reunion. We attended one in September 2006 in San Diego. This one went much better. John did not pass up and wind up in the hospital for 3 days!! Much more fun!!

Sunday, September 6, 2009


We stayed at Lake Pines RV park again. Nice place, if only the train tracks were a little farther away!! But, it is not an active track; no trains hourly like at some places. It was good to see Lance and Branden. They had a busy summer with their Mom and her family in Bogota, Columbia. The boys got to see a lot and were treated warmly by their Colombian family. They must have eaten non-stop as they both grew a lot. While we were there, Clara baked me an early birthday cake shaped like a purse and, since it was Labor Day, decorated it in red, white & blue. That's not lipstick on John's lip. It's red icing!!

Partly as an excuse to get the boys to ourselves, we took them to Andersonville National Cemetery and Memorial. If you recall your history, Andersonville was the site of an infamous POW camp during the Civil War operated by the Confederate Army. It was really horrific, but we Northerners should not be smug. Ours weren't much better! (I was surprised to learn that there had been a POW camp for Confederates in Elmira, NY - that is just down the road from where I grew up!) Andersonville was in existence for only 14 months, but, within that time, 13,000 Union prisoners died. One of the prisoners wrote "it takes 7 of its ocupiants to make a Shadow". Some 12,000 of those who died here are buried at the adjoining National Cemetery. The site also serves as a Memorial to American POW's from all wars. The museum was very interesting showing the various places of imprisonment through our many wars. We then went to the adjoining National Cemetery looking for ancestral history. (I did find some Grogans & Connollys, but not sure if they are related.) Plus seeing all those white headstones kind of puts it all in perspective. Finally, kids, dogs and adults had enough of the heat, humidity and GNATS!!