On Tuesday morning, I said goodbye to Jenn and Cindy (her mom) and headed for Ormond Beach.
I traveled from 512 to Roseland. When I made the left to Roseland -- which would take me to US 1 -- an eagle soared overhead.
The ride along US 1 was uneventful partly because I had been on that route just a few weeks ago. In addition, it was an overcast day.
No complaints here... at least it was not raining.
I took 1 to Granada which got me over to A1a. From there, I reached Keith and Cathy Mickel's recently purchased condominium.
Their new place was on the left; the Atlantic Ocean was to my right.
Calling them from the parking lot, I walked over to their building and balcony area. There, Keith greeted me from the second floor.
He strolled downstairs and helped me lug my stuff up to their place.
Although not very large, their condo had a pretty view of the water. I was proud of them for scaling down so much from their previous 4/2 home (with pool) into a 2/2 condo.
Following hearty hugs and kisses, I put my stuff down in the spare bedroom. Cathy was scrubbing down the guest bathroom when she greeted me. She had caught some horrible rash. I was mad at her for messing with cleansing products.
We caught up on our lives, and they gave me a tour of their place.
Now for the background.
Keith and Cathy essentially provided me with a home during my junior and senior year. At the time, my parents were getting divorced, and I was tired of being summoned as mediator, so I abandoned ship.
Luckily, Meredith (their daughter and one of my best friends from high school) convinced them to let me stay, so I did.
I have remained close to them ever since.
Not to say that we do not lose contact from time to time, but we always seem to reconnect and begin as if we had never lost touch. The same is true for their only daughter, Meredith.
We, too, lose contact and reconnect.
Following a tour, we headed for a nice walk along the beach where we found all sorts of goodies including this interesting piece.
Keith also found a glass jar filled with a milky, off-yellow liquid.
He picked it up and threw it in the trash on our way off the beach. Of course, he asked me if I wanted to open up the jar and smell its contents.
Uh, no thanks!
Then, we crossed a neighborhood to see an amazing sunset over the Halifax River. I wish I could offer you a picture of it; regrettably, I left my phone at their place. (I could kick myself.)
If you get the chance, drive along John Anderson Drive (in the area) for gorgeous views of the river and salt marshes in that part of the state.
Upon our return, Cathy began to make homemade sauce and pasta.
I was starving because I had not eaten since breakfast. (See how quickly I had forgotten about life on the road.)
Luckily, Cathy made a robust meal.
I woofed down plenty of meat sauce, and pasta, and homemade garlic bread (not the bread, but the garlic topping) and red wine.
For dessert, we had brownies and ice cream.
All was divine.
As the evening wore on, Keith pointed out the moon. We watched its journey as the night fell.
Meanwhile, we continued our discussions.
Everything from their cruising lifestyle to saving money to living beneath one's means to the voting results.
Around 10ish, we retired for the night, but not before setting my alarm.
Keith wanted me to witness the sunrise on Wednesday morning.
Awakening just after 6 a.m., I was able to see the sun ascend over the Atlantic.
The slight chill in the air made my chai taste that much richer.
Rather than waking Cathy up, I made myself right at home by preparing breakfast: soft boiled eggs with an English muffin.
Later that morning, she and I headed over to the grocery store to pick-up dinner fixings: baked chicken and root vegetables.
When we returned, I had a small lunch of leftovers; then, she and I walked along the beach to catch up on our other life (the one we lead as the eldest of four).
We have that in common. Thus, she shared more intimately how her sister's were doing as did I.
A sister to sister bond is complex.
Not everyone gets how full-bodied and tragic it can be.
As eldest sisters (with parents from working class backgrounds) we watch our zinfandel siblings try so desperately to be pinor noirs.
We internalize their struggle and love them all the more.
Apparently, we walked an awful long time.
Keith is hungry, and so are we.
Cathy begins the chicken work while I prep the vegetables.
Later, I make arrangements for my next stop: Fernandina Beach.
After our meal, we relax with the boob tube and the moonlight.
Tomorrow, I leave for Amelia Island.
Until next time.