22 July 2013

Today We Had a Special Privilege

We are preparing to leave Naval Station Mayport later today, glad to be on the road at last.  I was sitting here with my back to the front of the RV and I heard an unusually loud ship's horn. The first time I sort of ignored it and went on with what I was doing, but then it bellowed out again and I had to turn to see what it was!

What a glorious sight I beheld - the shore line was filled with people with their American flags of all sizes and waving vigorously at one of the US Navy ships that was outbound from the base.  Now, ships come and go without all this hoopla several times a week from this busy Navy base.  But, today was special!

It was one of the guided missile cruisers and it was obviously headed out on deployment.  The Sailors on board were in dress whites and lining the ships railings while family and friends on the shore were waving and wishing them well on their mission in defense of this great country!

I grabbed the closest camera I could find and only got two pics that do not do this event justice, but are better then nothing! I wish I had been better prepared.  It was inspiring to see and I am privileged to have watched it.

I know we all wish them Godspeed and a safe mission and return to their loved ones!
Guided Missile Cruiser from NS Mayport

Wishing for a safe mission and speedy return!

Always at home, no matter where we are!!

20 July 2013

Been WAAAAAY Too Long

Since I posted but will try and make this catch-up quick and sweet!

After the glorious reenactment of the Battle Of Independence of the Conch Republic we started our journey north.
A Conch Republic PT boat aka a center console fishing boat is fully involved in the melee! 

The Conch Republic Air Farce dropped flares (simulated) on opposing forces!

All hands on deck for victory!

The Conch Republic Memorial 
First stop was John Pennykamp State Park in Key Largo for two weeks.  The highlight of our stay was attending the beautiful marriage of our nephew Scott to Mary.
Can't get much closer to the ocean!
It was beautiful ceremony on an equally beautiful ocean side location!  And nice to see a lot of the family there too!

Plus we found a real FL treasure at Pennykamp!  A genuine Key Lime Grove. The only one known to still exist!  Key Limes you may see in the supermarket come from Central America, there is no commercial Key Lime production in the Keys.
Real Key Limes

The Key Lime grove on Key Largo
We had a Key Lime tree in our back yard in Melbourne and the limes were different then those you bought in the supermarket - distinctly better!  The small grove on Pennykamp St Park was started over 70 years ago.  They had to stick a stick of dynamite in the hard cochina rock to blast a hole to set each tree in, after they found enough soil to fill each hole.  That took some time to find!

Today the current trees are fairly healthy, especially considering there lack of attention. They are on a remote section of the park and receive little care. When we return there this Fall I intend to volunteer some time to care for them.  There are about 15 rows with 8 trees in each row.  Except some of the Key Lime trees were replaced over the years with Avocado or Guava trees, but the vast majority are Key Lime trees and the fruit is tasty - especially in a gin & tonic! Can't wait to get back and give them some TLC!

After Pennykamp we headed to Melbourne for a quick and hectic visit to the normal round of doctors/dentist and some time for family.  Our time there passed too quickly and too many things left undone, but we will be back there this Fall.

Next big event was in Jacksonville in early June.  BJ had decided to finally get some foot surgery on her right foot.  She had a hugh bunion that has bothered her for years and it had gotten worse and was keeping her from doing some of the hiking we both love to do.  My brother, Gary, had similar problem and had surgery last year that went so well BJ went to same surgeon here in Jax for same procedure.

We have been here now for 6 weeks while she was in rehab and just a few days ago the doctor released her and was totally satisfied with her rehab/recovery.  She is slowly putting more weight on her foot and limbering it up after 6 weeks in a cast or walking boot.

We are excited about at last hitting the road for some summer travels.  We will be heading to points north and evenutally end up in Norfolk in early August to spend some time the granddaughters!

Then on to New England for the Fall.

We are really excited to get back on the road, the first half of this year as been too stationary!

Always at home, no matter where we are!!