Sunday, June 10, 2007

Seeing the Beauty Around Us

SavvyThinker has me thinking about what I would show you if you visited us in NE Florida...

My cousin is back for a visit mainly to see about teaching in the school system in our area. She is from Maine so this will be a huge change for her. So what will I show her of the NE Florida area?

We love the beaches at St. Augustine. You can drive on the beach, park your car, lay in the sun, frolic in the surf, order a lunch to go (or bring a picnic) and drink your favorite beverage too. We have the advantage of being able to use my cousin's condo facilities when not in residence during the summer months. We rarely go over to the beach so when we do it is a special treat to show it off.

Jacksonville is not a tourist destination. It does have some very cool things to see and do if you consider the entire "First Coast" area. Here's a great place to check out Jacksonville's beauty.

Jacksonville has a great sports history with the University of Florida in Gainesville and the University of Georgia Bulldogs. Jacksonville hosts their annual rival football game. Often, to the dismay of some, "The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party." The Jacksonville Jaguars have been fairly successful (compared to past new NFL franchises) and we have the beautiful new stadium. We host the annual ACC Football Gator Bowl Classic each year which is exciting depending on which teams make it - a great college football event. Jacksonville also has the very fast growing University of North Florida, also a great school with a growing reputation as an excellent college. Some of you die hard sports fans may even remember our very own Jacksonville University Dolphins who made it to the NCAA Division I basketball championship some years back. We also host college division 1 men's basketball elimination rounds held here.
What else? Two top 10 national ranked public schools; Stanton and Paxon along with Douglas Anderson and a private school juggernaut, Bolles.
Stunning museum? Try Cummer Art Museum.
The Jacksonville Suns double AA baseball team (Los Angeles Dodgers).
More on Jacksonville.........
Here's some history about Jacksonville from the HelloJacksonville web site.
More than 6000 years ago, the area was inhabited by the Timucuan Indians. In 1562 the first European expedition was conducted by French Huguenot explorer Jean Ribalt along the St Johns River and established Fort Caroline on a high bluff. The Spanish arrived in 1565 and occupied Florida; in 1763, it ceded Florida to England. In the 1800’s Florida became a winter escape for wealthy northerners, and by 1860 there were weekly steamboat trips between Savannah, Charleston and Jacksonville. Indigo, sugar and citrus crops were produced on drained marshlands. The county was named in 1822 for the first territorial governor of Florida, William Pope DuVal, and the city was named after the future 7th U.S. President, Andrew Jackson. The Civil War and the Spanish-American War of 1898 brought destruction to the area, and changed owners several times; however, the arrival of the railroad in 1895 brought a great economic boom. The Great Fire of 1901 destroyed the business district, but with the city’s reconstruction in the early 1900’s, the motion picture industry, seeking a warmer climate, established over 30 studios. Revitalization again brought prosperity.

During WWII, Naval Air Station Jacksonville was established and was used as a training center. It is located near the Port of Jacksonville at the mouth of the St Johns River. In 1992 it combined operations with the Naval Air Station and is now called Naval Station Mayport. It’s the third largest naval facility in the continental United States.

We have lived in Florida for over 25 years now, but Maine & Missouri is where our childhood memories are from. We love our home States, but what is not to love about Northeast Florida? It's not Miami or Orlando but it does carry its own unique appeal...


amy said...

HI there...We are from Daytona originally but I have never been to the beaches at St Augustine..Can you believe it?

LID 4/23/07

kris said...

I so prefer ST A's beaches too. Jax just... I don't know. Jax is Jax I guess. Lots of memories though... and of course I have family there, so it's a place I visit often.

The Allen Family said...

We've been to Florida many times, but never to St. Augustine. The winters here in MI are horrendous so I envy all you Florida people!
I love Florida because I love hot weather! I can't wait until all of us Precious Pandas can have a reunion there, maybe Disney?
At this point, I think we have at least 9-10 months left to wait, I am okay with that. Although, we are not getting any younger! Our twins just turned 25!
I think it will be great if we are in China together! I truly think that it is downhill from here!

rubyiscoming said...

very cool reminder of what's "hot" in jax....i always take folks to Mayport to Safe Harbor Seafood for a fresh shrimp taco - mmmm.....and I love (obviously) the beaches of Amelia Island - some mornings, you don't even see a soul for miles of beautiful dunes and beaches.

(P.S. Thanks for the Annie youtube - brightened my Mon. a.m.!)

redmaryjanes said...

That's a cool post. I love it down there!

Elisa, Jarrod & Thomas said...

It looks great, I would love to see it myself one day!

Karin said...

Our son went to Jacksonville Bolles for his junior and senior years. We were up there 3 nights a week for basketball at the time.