Saturday, July 6, 2013
A Quick Walk in Jacksonville
My sister-in-law and the new baby had a doctor's appointment yesterday, and my niece Jane and my mom tagged along. My brother went to work. So I was free to kill a few hours on my own in Jacksonville, a city I barely know.
First I went to a neighborhood park, a big, grassy field with its own cypress swamp. I shot photos of butterflies, dragonflies and red-winged blackbirds. The birds scolded me fiercely, probably protecting a nest.
Then I got adventurous and drove to an area north of downtown, and worked my way back into downtown itself. I got out and walked around a bit. Jacksonville is pretty, but downtown has the same empty, sun-blasted feeling that Tampa has -- especially on a summer afternoon. There were virtually no pedestrians out. (Granted, I didn't go to the Riverwalk or to Jacksonville Landing, which might have had a few people wandering around.) Definitely not like London, which is a good 20 degrees cooler!
Jane has moved on from showing me Mario to sharing her favorite Disney Channel TV show, "Phineas & Ferb." She loves this show, about two inventive boys on their summer vacation, and she often finishes an episode, goes right back to the beginning and watches it again. The scary thing is, I'm starting to like it. It's pretty clever and it doesn't talk down to the kids. The next time you need to entertain a 7-year-old, I recommend it.
Jane's been complaining for the last few days about being tired and getting chilly in the air conditioning. We took her temperature yesterday afternoon and it was 102 degrees! Aside from fatigue, she doesn't really show any symptoms, so it's probably just some mild virus that latched onto her at summer camp. Hopefully this won't have negative implications for the baby -- or the rest of my trip.
(Photos: Monarch butterfly, Nathan Krestul Park. Middle, Old Morocco Building, Newnan Street. Bottom, toad mural by Shawn Thurston, Adams Street.)