Well guys I am back from my trip to Jacksonville. Thank you for all your support while my family and I mourned the loss of my grandmother.
I know this is not quite material for a fanpost but this going to be part telling you about the trip and part guide to Jacksonville.
We left Independence at around noon Wednesday and arrived 9 am EST Thursday morning. Thankfully my step-dad is a truck driver so we drove straight through. We would have been there sooner but we got addicted to this coin machine in Kentucky. Got there at 9 am and only slept for a couple of hours.
We decided to go to the beach for a little while. I did not bring my swim trunks but dipped my feet into the water. Ate at this place called the Ocean Grille and I got the Cajun Ranch wings. Not bad at all. There used to be a pizza place that we loved but it is a fish place now.
Came back into town and went to see my brother and his family. Talked and had pizza. Kind of awkward at first because I hadn't see them in 5 years.
Friday morning was the funeral and who would have thought that my grandmother who grew up in the 30's liked Rock and Roll. Despite all the time I had spent with her, I never knew that she liked that kind of music. We went out to eat afterwards and then went back to my grandmothers place. I realized I have more baby pictures than one should ever have.
My mom and step-dad stayed at the house to stay with my Great-Uncle and me, my sister and her boyfriend went back to the room. We were waiting for my sister in-law to get back and hang out but she got in later than we thought.
My brother and his wife picked us up the following morning and we went to Reena's pizza that was across from the Red Roof Inn we were staying in out in Orange Park. Barely ate any pizza but we then met back up with my parents and went to the Flea Market. Got an Armada Starscream while I was there.
My sister, niece, sister in-law, great nephew and my niece's friend went to the mall while the boys went to back to the motel. After hanging out, we went back to the pizzeria and this time I actually downed 3 slices. I know what you are thinking but three slices is a lot for a big pizza.
Sunday we hit up the cemetery to give my grandmother and great grandparents the last respects. I also took a picture of Ronnie Van Zant (Lynard Skynard) memorial. After that we headed back to my grandmothers house and I saw my cousin for the first time in six years. Headed to the lake with my brothers family and then saw my aunt afterwards.
Headed back Monday morning.
OK now for some things you need to know when headed to Jacksonville for Week 1.
- Avoid Fairy Tale Land- That is the nickname for the neighborhood that my grandmother's house is at. It gets the name from having all of the streets named after fairy tales. You shouldn't have to go through the neighborhood itself unless you are looking for trouble. Bad area.
- Grocery stores and Convenience Stores - Your big 2 are Publix and Winn-Dixie. There are some smaller ones but those are where you are going to go to 9 times out of 10. In terms of convenience stores, you got 7-11 and Kangaroo. There are Shell gas stations as well.
- Restaurants- You want BBQ in Jacksonville, go to Sonny's, Pig and Bono's. The Sonny's on Lanes Avenue is my favorite mainly because both my mom and uncle worked there. Want a good burger? Five Guys and Whataburger are where it's at. There is also Krystal's (White Castle) on just about every corner. In terms of good pizza, there is Uncle Charlie's and Renas. Uncle Charlie's is a bit of an institution. Sadly I don't really know any great fancy places. And if you like Chik-Fil-A, you are in luck.
- Malls- Orange Park and the Avenues are where to go.
- Jacksonville loves their team- I learned real quick that Jacksonville is very supportive of their team. Oh and it is also Gator country.