Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Update from the 904

So far the trip to Florida has been awesome. Here's a brief recap of the goings-on...

We arrived late Saturday and had a nice pizza dinner at Al's Pizza, a hometown favorite. On Sunday, Dad and I helped my Mom's friend Susan set up her new computer. After the task was a completed, a nice dinner at the local Italian restaurant Enza's was enjoyed by all. My dish of choice, the grouper parmigiana, was most excellent. The restaurant was packed, an unusual circumstance in this era of economic retrenchment.

On Monday we all embarked on our trip to the Gainesville/Ocala area. We had a lunch at David's BBQ in Gainesville, a locally popular purveyor of pulled pork sandwiches and other great fare. After that, we went to the UF bookstore where I got some Gator gear and my Dad purchased some cut-rate student priced software. We did some more sightseeing and shopping in Gainesville before heading to Ocala.

In Ocala, we had dinner at the Roadhouse Grill and stayed the night at the Comfort Suites. While perusing the tourist pamphlets we made a grim discovery: our tourist destination of choice, Silver Springs, is no longer open on weekdays! We thus had to change plans; on Tuesday we stopped for pictures of painted horses in Ocala before proceeding to the Appleton Museum of Art. This actually was a very interesting museum with a variety of art. My Mom was excited to find netsukes on display as she is a collector of that particular art form. While no collector myself, I personally found the African collection the most fascinating. After departing the museum and eating lunch at Steak n Shake, we began the return trip home. A sightseeing stop at Flagler Beach made a nice conclusion to the trip. Dinner was at Larry's Giant Subs, another local business steeped in the legend of successful franchising.

This morning Katie and I woke up at 4:15am to make a trip to the airport. Katie had to leave today because she could not get enough leave to take the entire week off. She was able to catch her flight at 6:40am and begin the long, cramped, and tortuous journey back to Idaho. I proceeded to drive home and snooze! After waking from my slumber, I went on a brief run and performed consulting services as part of the Vickery family computer upgrade. We had lunch at Barnacle Bill's a St. Augustine haunt famed for it's datil pepper sauce, among other things. I got the gator tail with Minorcan chowder, both of which were awesome. I also got some of the "Dat'l Do It" hot sauce at the request of Katie's brother Dave... so if you're reading this Dave, be on the lookout for it!

The consulting is going well; the Vickery computing environment mostly modernized. Tomorrow we will head up to Fernandina Beach and Ft. Clinch for some sightseeing.

A few pictures:

Katie, Zach, Ron, and Jan at the Ocala town square; the painted horse is behind us

Mom, Katie, and Dad at the Appleton Museum

Katie at Flagler Beach

[*] For those curious, "The 904" is gangster-speak for the Jacksonville area. Since I'm wont to watch Gangland on the History Channel, this makes it appropriate for me to write and speak in such a manner. Reference:

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