Peter Lyons

Kicking it Jacksonville Style with the Skareckis

June 22, 2008

Well, I'm having an exciting and lovely time here in Jacksonville. I
arrived Saturday night. Sunny had stayed up late to meet me, so I
went into her bedroom to say goodnight. She didn't recognize me with
my shaggy hair, but she played it cool. Eventually we convinced her I
was the same person. Marc and Casey and I chilled out and caught up
Saturday night.

Sunday morning Casey and Sunny made Marc a delicious Father's Day
breakfast, served initially in bed, but quickly followed up with an
invitation to join the rest of us in the dining room. After breakfast
we headed out to the beach. The beach we went to is out across some
packed sand flats, and you can drive your car directly to the tide
line on the beach and just park there, which is a bit odd, but must be
great for the folks there in their RVs. Sadly, the weather was pretty
cloudy and quickly turning to rain with thunder and lightning, so the
beach patrol was soon clearing everybody out of the water. Now the
rain is a bit of a problem given two of the windows in the Skarecki
Volvo don't close, so we had to improvise some shelter by hanging
towels over the windows. Later on we took Sunny to see Indiana Jones
and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull at the San Marco theater - which
serves snacks and beers.

Monday Marc had to leave for a road trip for work. I was working from
home and Sunny and Casey were out and about in the morning. They came
back to pick me up to go out to lunch. Casey had a few navigation
issues that resulted in us crossing the blue bridge four total times.
Eventually we arrived at the Jacksonville Hooters restaurant, on the
banks of the St Johns River. This was a bit of an experience. They
had golf playing on so many TVs set at maximum volume that you got the
combined effect of the tinny, blaring sound plus the delay effect from
TVs around the restaurant made it sound like air raid sirens and that
Tiger Woods was attacking from above. We shouted our conversation to
compensate for the din.

When we arrived back at home, we found the power and water were not
working. Ut oh. Casey offered another trip back into the city so I
could work from the Jacksonville Public Library. So back again over
the bridge we went. I got settled in the library and Casey made calls
to figure out why the power and water were out. Eventually she found
out there was some issue that had caused the house to be "flagged" and
an electrician would need to come out tomorrow and do something to get
the power back on. Casey called me in the evening when the library
was closing to say that she had checked in to the Crowne Plaza with
Sunny for the night. So they came by and picked me up and we went for
a dusk swim in the pool. The view from the balcony of the lights and
bridges along the St Johns River was really pretty. Casey and Sunny
were gushing at how fancy and posh the hotel was. After our swim we
had a late dinner at Al's Pizza in Five Points just prior to closing.
Back at the hotel, again more gushing over the luxurious
accommodations, including Casey's exclamation "The bed doesn't have any
sand in it!".

The next morning Casey put on her fancy interview suit to go in to the
city and get the power straightened out. Sunny pleaded for a quick
swim in the pool before they checked out. I walked across the bridge
back to the library to work. Casey got the power worked out and later
that afternoon after a few technician visits the power and water were
back on.

Tuesday evening we biked to a neighbor's house for a dinner party
featuring gumbo and rum punch. Marc got back from his road trip and
joined us there. It was a late night with lots of rum punch and
discussion of politics out back in the heat and mosquitoes. People
alternated going in to play with Sunny and Maya. After my stint it
was after midnight and I was exhausted so I had to take the early trip
home and the rock stars came back later.

Wednesday was a more mellow day at home with a nice dinner followed by
crowding onto the bed where the TV with HBO is to watch Hairspray,
which Sunny loves. Then we played some dominoes.

Thursday Marc and I took off work to try the beach again. We had much better weather.

Saturday we piled all four of us into Marc's mini cooper and drove up to Savannah. This saved me from a bus ride, which was great. We met up with my folks for Bar-B-Que at Wall's - a small joint in a tiny alley. Then we left the Skareckis to explore Savannah while we hit the road for Hilton Head Island. Sadly it started to rain immediately, which I'm sure put a damper on the Savannah sight seeing.

Check out the rest of the photos, including adorable kitten shots!