Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Beth and Laura look a lot alike. People that meet them think they are sisters. They used to say they are fake cousins since they call each others parents Aunt and Uncle but that didn't work so now they usually just go with cousins to avoid explanations. (And what beautiful cousins they are!!!)

On Friday I checked out of the hotel and walked to Beth's house where I stayed for the next two nights.

Beth and Laura live in a house with palm trees outside. Downstairs are a two car garage that is half filled with junk so it only holds one car. For some reason I don't know Beth gets to house her car there.

Also downstairs is Beth's bedroom and bath. Up a spiral staircase is the rest of the house: a living room, dining room which also functions as a study for Laura, kitchen, and Laura's bedroom and bath.

They have it nicely furnished with a combination of their furniture. The living room has pictures of bridges: bridges in Venice, New York, San Francisco, and Jacksonville. The Jacksonville bridge picture was painted by a former boy friend of Beth. It is very large and he did a beautiful job.

Friday night Laura, Beth, and I went to the movies to see Girl with a Pearl Earring, a fictitious treatment of a famous painting by Vermeer. Beth and I had both read the book and were anxious to see it. Laura just went along with us to her regret.

The movie just reiterated to me how hard life was in the 1600's. Hard work, cold, no justice, no respect for women. Beth and I enjoyed the movie but Laura thought it was slow-moving and in the end boring.

That night, while Beth slept upstairs on the couch, I slept in her bed. I was so cozy with her down comforter and fake fur throw.

Unfortunately there are some frat boys that live next door to them. The girls think they are nice but not their guests when they have parties. Particularly because they will not allow guests to smoke in their house. This drives the smokers out to Beth and Laura's lawn and then the rest of the party goes out there to be with them. They are loud, very loud. Beth says the girls are the worst; she calls them Brittney wannabes.

So I am sleeping peacefully until about one am when the party gets outside and gets loud. Just yelling and talking and a lot of profanity. Not good.

Saturday Beth and I bought her a surfboard at a pawn shop. Now she looks forward to surfing in the spring with her own board. Right now the water is too cold although there are always a lot of surfers out there wearing body suits. Body suits are expensive so Beth will have to wait.

Then we went to Amelia Island up the coast from Jacksonville. It required taking a ferry across the St. Johns river. Ferries are always fun. They say that sometimes dolphins follow the ferry but not Saturday.

Laura was studying so it was just Beth and I.

We passed a mixture of houses. The newer ones are all the homes of millionaires. The older ones are middle class and will probably be replaced by more high rises in the coming years. We passed the Ritz-Carleton. I looked at the front but will never be able to afford to pass their portal.

Our destination was the town of San Fernandino Beach. I remember this well from the year of 1957. Our family went to Florida every summer to visit our grandmother Webb but we only went to Pensacola.

In 1957 Daddy decided that we would see the rest of Florida. We left my baby sister Janice and my baby brother James at my grandmother Seaton's and Mother, Daddy, June, John, and I left for Florida. Julia was already married so she didn't go. This trip brings back bad memories for Janice and James, because they missed out on a great trip.

We spent our first night at a motel in Waycross, Georgia. How excited I was! I was 13 and this was the first time I had ever spent the night in a motel. All five of us were in the one room. I thought it was the most marvelous place I had ever seen. It seemed so luxurious. I resolved that when I grew up I would have my bedroom look like a motel room.

The next day we drove further east and hit the Atlantic Ocean at Fernandino Beach. We loved the waves, so much bigger than the ones on the Gulf of Mexico at Pensacola.

So now 47 years later, Beth and I were at Fernandino Beach. It has become a tourist town with a restored mainstreet with precious little boutique stores. Since we could get along fine if no one ever bought these wares, I call it an up-scale (very up-scale) Gatlinburg.

Beth and I ate at a place she had eaten before when she went up there with Richard, Carol, and Laura. She had a Turkey with Brie sandwich. I forget what I had.

Then we went to the shop that was the whole object of the trip: a store that sold things with university and sports teams logos. We bought something for Anne as we had planned. They had so many wonderful things. I could not resist a music box for myself. It is a wood box with the Mississippi State logo on the top. When it is opened up, it plays the Mississippi State fight song and a little band with MSU flags rotates on a football field with MSU decorated end zones. So cute.

We also bought a little fudge. Beth said that Richard had bought fudge there. I was surprised until she said that Carol was elsewhere. Carol does a very good job of supervising Richard's diet since his bypass operation.

Back at Beth's on Saturday night we watched the movie Whale Rider. The girl who stars in the picture had been nominated for an Oscar for best leading actress for her performance.

Laura came in during the middle of the movie but did not watch it. That is a good thing or she never would have let Beth or I pick out a movie ever again.

Beth and I enjoyed the movie but if someone had no great interest in New Zealand or Maoridom then I can't imagine that they would be interested in this movie.

Saturday night was a repeat of Friday night with the party next door even though Beth had asked them for some consideration since I was there.

Sunday morning was cool and rainy as Beth took me to the airport. I got to Nashville and it was the same weather.

I had not realized how rejuvenating it is to go for a warm climate vacation in the wintertime. I highly recommend it, especially if you can also visit Beth and Laura.

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