Sunday, January 08, 2006


I was in Jacksonville for three weeks during December. My observations of Jacksonville include the following:

  • There seems to be a disproportionate number of Mustangs per capita in Jacksonville. I think every third car I saw in Jacksonville was a Mustang. There was a white Mustang that parked in our hotel parking lot the whole time Aaron and I were there. It must have belonged to a hotel employee. Anyways, this particular Mustang caught our attention because it had a huge creepy decal on the rear window of a horse with human arms, showing off its beefy biceps. And it said "Don't mess with the 'Stang!". One night we were coming back to the hotel from dinner and the Mustang came peeling into the parking lot. Aaron and I were interested in seeing who drove this particular car, so we took our sweet time getting to the hotel door. And out of the Mustang pops this petite woman in her 30's wearing a mauve business suit and orthopedic shoes. Go figure.
  • Speaking of cars and such, I have never in my life seen so many custom/personalized license plates. You know - the license plates you pay extra for, and have pretty pictures on them. There were a variety of "Save the <insert cause here>!" plates (i.e., Save the turtles, whales, children, and/or other endangered species), a bunch of college/university plates, and a random plate that looked like a series of three paint slashes in an early 1990's color scheme which reminded me of the Golden Girls. If Blance DeVereaux had a car, I'm sure that would have been her license plate of choice.
  • People in Jacksonville have a really hard time spelling the name Aaron. This was observed based upon our daily visits to the Starbucks down the street from our hotel. Aaron almost always orders a venti-double-pump-no-whip-mocha, and this particular Starbucks has adopted the policy of writing the customer's name on the cup if they order somethig from the barista bar. It quickly became the highlight of my morning to see what they wrote on Aaron's cup. We saw: Aron, Erin, Aeron, Aryian, Arean, Arian, and I'm sure there were a few others. The only person who ever got it right was the store manager, who bought us drinks. She was cool. She doesn't really like Jacksonville, and is planning on moving to the Seattle area soon with her boyfriend. Way to go, Brenda!
  • I saw a lot of people wearing beer t-shirts in Jacksonville.
  • While I was in Florida, pretty much the rest of the country was experiencing an extremely cold winter storm front. Jacksonville had daytime had lows in the mid-60's, but usually we were in the 70's range. And yet, people still came to class wearing heavy winter coats and even scarves and gloves in some cases. I was wishing I had brought a pair of shorts with me the whole time I was there. One night I was watching the local news, and the weather man said that it was a perfect night for cozying up next to the fire with a hot cup of cider. WHAT?!?

Jacksonville is basically a series of strip malls and apartment complexes, so I didn't take any pictures within the city limits. However, we did take a day trip to St. Augustine, which was the first settlement in America. It was a very, very pretty city, and was crowded by touristy shops, numerous bed and breakfasts and a Thomas Kincaid gallery (Thomas Kinkaid makes me nauseous, for any of you who are wondering about my stance on his work). Here are a couple pictures taken from the old fort in St. Augustine, which was pretty cool.

We also took a weekend trip to Savannah, GA during this trip. The mere thought of Savannah now gives me the warm fuzzies, so I think it deserves its own post. However, I'm a bit blogged out for now, so I will post about Savannah at a later date.

Next stop: Cincinnati! (which I hear is a lot like Pittsburgh. That's great).


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