Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I was honored with being asked to talk about my fair city today so if you're new here, WELCOME!

If you're a returning friend, you'll probably notice that you've seen most of these photos before, so feel free to just smile and nod :) and it's always a pleasure to have friends stop by.

Thanks to the BlogTrotting website for hosting me today!!

Before I jump right into introducing you to where I currently live, I thought I would explain the process that brought me to talk about Jacksonville.

It all began so simply.

One day I started a blog.

Then I started taking pictures for my blog.

Then I started taking a lot of pictures for my blog.

Then I realized that I wanted to take better pictures on my blog so I got a better camera.

Once I got the better camera I realized that I needed to get out of my house and start finding things to take pictures of...

It's a slippery slope when you start blogging :)

But that's how I started really discovering the city where I was living.

I started exploring Jacksonville and seeing the interesting, the usual and the fun in the everyday here on the First Coast of Florida.

Sometimes it all starts out with a lonely man hole cover.

Florida, stamped right into the metal.

We walk over them all the time, but I find them to be quite lovely.  But what may only seem beautiful to me, may not to you.  That's OK, I've got more :)

So maybe the beaches are more to your liking.  We have some gorgeous beaches along the First Coast.  Jacksonville is considered the first coast in Florida.  Coming down along the East Coast of the United States, Jacksonville is the first major city when you get into Florida.  The beaches here are so nice and not too crowded.

You need to wear shoes or flip flops in the sand though, as it's incredibly hot!!  You might get away with not wearing shoes, but you'd need to be able to run a full sprint to the water and then don't be surprised if steam rises from your feet once they touched the water.

Downtown Jacksonville is actually pretty small for the million people that call Jacksonville home, but it packs a punch with the beautiful blue glass buildings. The  blue Main Street Bridge is the perfect roadway to lead people into the lovely blue downtown.

You can see downtown Jacksonville from the giant water fountain across the river.

There's so much to see in Jacksonville and it's not always the usual.  Here are a few of my favorite things!

Manatee Mailboxes.  The ones that get all dressed up for the holidays are my favorites though.

I so love Live Oak trees with their twisty branches that come down to the ground.  This boy was enjoying a beautiful spring afternoon in Mom's Park when I snapped this photo.  (you can click to enlarge the photo)

Jacksonville is one of the lucky cities that has the Spanish Moss hanging from the trees, too.   The moss turns an ordinary tree into something spectacular.

We are a big city, but one that certainly knows how to act like a small town.  This particular Moose Lodge holds a dinner at least once a month. 

We even have our own dinosaur.  The last time I posted his photo someone told me that he was part of a mini golf course called Gooney Golf that was in many states.  Now he's the outdoor attention getter for a strip mall.  (I blogged about it here)

Jacksonville has quite a bit of outdoor sculpture.  This one is a very recent installation (2009) called Showing the Way by the artist Brower Hatcher.  It was erected in honor of US Rep. Tillie Kidd Fowler and the three orbs represent the levels of energy of her spirit.  Family, Community and Country.  (I blogged about it here)

Seriously, one of the coolest things happens in Jacksonville on Saturdays April through December.  It's called the Riverside Arts Market (RAM) and it's under this giant overpass so it's shaded from the sunshine.  I love going here.  There are artists, musicians, farmers market, food vendors and entertainment like the board above describes.  It's great!  If you need a gift for someone, there are local artists there each week featuring jewelry, clothing, photographs, pottery, food, sculpture and much more. 

We are home to the NFL team the Jacksonville Jaguars.  In and around the area you can find several of these painted jaguars.  They are so cool.  This one is in Neptune Beach.

Even though Jacksonville is hot as blazes in the summertime, we do have a spring, it's short, but it's spring. The flowers grow fast as can be before it gets too hot.  They have just two to three weeks before spring is officially over here.    I spent a lot of time in the spring getting photos of as many plants as possible before they go away for another year.  These sunflowers were growing across the street from the place where I paid my utility bill.

The Dames Point Bridge is one of the seven main bridges in Jacksonville, although I read that we have nearly a thousand bridges in the city.  With Jacksonville being only twelve feet above sea level, you can probably understand why we have so many bridges.   I call the Dames Point Bridge the Bow Tie Bridge because the span look like men's bow ties.

The last thing I want to share about Jacksonville is the reason why my husband and I chose to move here.  We wanted to be close the Mayo Clinic, one of the leading transplant hospitals in the United States.  They do heart, lung, liver, pancreas and kidney transplants.  My husband needed and received a liver transplant so we relocated to be close to Momma Mayo as we lovingly call her.  We now help others in our situation, attend support groups weekly and help make the stress, fear and uncertainty of going through a transplant a little less scary. 

Thanks so much for joing me in a quick trip around Jacksonville, FL.  I hope to have you back again.

Have a wonderful week!


Ann in the UP said...

Nice tour, and I didn't even need to face the heat! Thanks.

I might be willing to suffer to experience the RAM, though. Looks like a fun time.

Lisa Ceaser said...

Love the post! And the pictures of course.

brainella said...

You know, for all that I've live relatively close to Jacksonville, I've never been there. Great pictures and summary of the city.

Heather said...

Great tour! Jacksonville is lovely, and the spanish moss on the trees is so picturesque!

What a wonderful thing you and your husband are doing with the organ donation program. I am a nurse, and have been involved with many organ donations (both donors and recipients) in my career. It astounds me that there are still so many taboos and misconceptions about the program. I hope that someday we're able to correct them.

Thanks for the peek at your part of the world!

Keetha Denise Broyles said...

Great tour and gorgeous photos!

ruthi said...

Wow... Florida is indeed an exciting place.

April said...

Thank you for giving us a unique tour of Jacksonville. I love your photos. Sometimes it's not what you're taking a picture of that ends up being more interesting! Keep cool! It's hot and humid up here in Ohio too!

mep said...

I had a great time in Jacksonville for a bowl game several years ago! The waterfront area is so nice.

I love your photographs. I am at the point where I am contemplating getting a better camera so I can take better pictures. Any recommendations?

CaraBee said...

I've only visited Florida once, and that was really more of a layover in Miami. Hardly a satisfying stay. I'll have to get back and spend a little more time!

Beautiful photos!!

Thanks for being a part of BlogTrotting!!

Just Breathe said...

Congratulations on being featured.
You did a great post about your city. Sounds like a great place.

Amy said...

A friend of mine who used to live in Indianapolis relocated to Jacksonville a few years ago. They really like it. Love the manatee mailboxes. They remind me of those geese that people dress up.

qandlequeen said...

I'll say it again, I love reading your blog as it reminds me of my first few months as a new bride just before my daughter was born when I lived in Jacksonville. Of course I love reading about other things here too, but every so often you'll show something that sparks a memory and that's pretty cool. AND like Mrs. 4444's said, you're a wonderful commenter. Thank you!

Eternal Lizdom said...

Great post! I was in Jacksonville once in my life- my aunt went to med school of some sort down there and my mom and grandparents and I gathered for her gradutation. That's back when I was about 5 years old. I don't remember anything about Jacksville itself- I remember my aunt's condo, trying to shave my legs with her razor, going to Disney for a day with my mom, and feeding the ducks.

BLOGitse said...

Thanks for sharing this tour!
I'd love to visit that arts market...
SS greetings from Guggenheim, Bilbao, Spain where we were last weekend...

Karen & Gerard Zemek said...

It's a really beautiful place there! I like the blue glass buildings, the low branched trees and the colorful jaguars all over the city! That big fountain looks very refreshing too. Thanks for the tour of Jacksonville! The arts show looks interesting too. You did a great job with this post!

Stopping by from Saturday Samplings.

Mrs4444 said...

You're a great ambassador for your beautiful city. I loved this post! :)