Monday, February 1, 2010

Quick, but great, trip to Florida

We made a quick trip to Florida last week. I left work a little early on Friday, the 22nd, so we could get to St. Augustine before dark. We stayed with Bill's sister Martha, who bought her own home there just a few months ago. We had not seen it yet, so were excited to do so. It is a cute little 3 bedroom house, right on a golf course. She managed to get a great deal on the house, as it was a Fanny Mae foreclosure. She is still working on fixing it up, but it is looking so nice.

Saturday morning, we headed on down to Cocoa, which was the purpose of our trip. We lived in Merritt Island from 1973 to 1983 and attended The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Cocoa Ward. We made wonderful friends during that time. The ward has been split, and most of the people we knew are now in the Rockledge Ward. Several things came together so that the decision was made to hold a reunion of the ward members from that time.

We drove around Merritt Island and Cocoa Beach in the afternoon. We were able to find the two houses we had lived in. They are both pretty old now, and looking a little run-down. The first we bought in 1973 and it was already 12 or 15 years old at that time. We were actually surprised that the neighborhood looked as good as it did, considering its age. The second house we bought in 1981 when it was brand-new. We only lived in it for two years before moving. That neighborhood actually looked worse than the first. Anyway, it was fun to find the old places. We also found the service stations Bill owned during that time. The one on Merritt Island is still a gas station, but another brand. The one in Cocoa Beach has been torn down and replaced by a surf shop.

We then drove out to the port which has really changed a lot. When we lived there, there were not many cruise ships, but it is a big business now. We ate at a restaurant on the water. The old seafood place we used to go to for lunch all the time was long gone.

After getting a hotel in Rockledge, we headed out to the reunion. It was held at the church building. There were about 57 people that showed up! We had a great time catching up with these great friends. Many who were much older than we were are still around and looking great! Phil Lambson is 89 and already inviting everyone to his 90th birthday party in February 2011. We might make another trip for that! It was also fun to see so many of the youth all grown up with their own families now. Some of them are even grandparents! Time just marches on, doesn't it? We took a camera and then failed to take any pictures. Hopefully, some of the others who did take pictures will post them so I can download them. We had scanned all our old pictures from that time and made a CD. Keith Waters downloaded the CD onto his computer, added some music, and presented a great slide show. That was probably the hit of the evening, as it really brought back the memories of people and events.

Sunday we attended church in the Rockledge Ward and got to see a few more people who had been unable to attend the night before. We enjoyed the whole weekend so much. I don't think we will wait quite so long to visit again.

Sunday afternoon, we drove back up to Martha's, where she had a great dinner waiting for us. Bill's other sister Hazel and husband John, who have a beach house there, came over for dinner. We also have three nieces who attend Flagler College and two of them were able to come. The third was out of town. Stephanie is a senior, majoring in English, and Allison is a sophomore, also majoring in English. It was fun to catch up with them. Allison lives in New York, so we hadn't seen her in a long time. Since Steph lives in Atlanta, we do get to see her once in a while when she is home.

Monday morning, Nicole, the third niece, came out for breakfast, as she had gotten in late Sunday evening. Nicole is also a senior and majoring in Theater. She had been to New York to try out for a grad school. Nicole and Allison are sisters, so it had also been a long time since we had seen Nicole. We so enjoyed seeing all of them.

After Nicole left to go to class, Bill and Martha took off to play some golf. I went out to the Outlet Mall, which is just a couple of miles from the house. I am not much of a shopper, but I enjoyed it for a while. I bought some play clothes for Ashby from Carter's and Gymboree. I also picked up a couple of things for me. Then I went back to the house and curled up with my book for a while. It was a great afternoon!

That evening, we met John and Hazel at a Mexican restaurant in town. It is right across the street from the fort and has a nice view of the river and the bridge. After dinner, we went out to the beach house for a little while. They have done some renovations that we had not seen yet.

Tuesday morning, we headed back to Atlanta. It was a quick trip, but we had a great time!