Monday, December 22, 2008

First Big Outing

The weather here in Jacksonville has been awesome. It has been in the mid-to-upper 70s since we arrived last Friday. Today was a cold spell with a high in the 50s. Tomorrow in the 60s then the rest of the week in the 70s again. We can handle that.

With a clear, crisp day we decided to take an outing to Jacksonville Landing (click here). This was Guinness' first big outing. We were interesting in seeing how he would react to the new sights, sounds and, generally, another new environment. And, boy, was it different.

It being Monday, and with traffic very light due to holiday vacations, there were very few people downtown and on the Landing. We parked close by and packed Guinness into his carrier with a blanket to keep him warm. He doesn't take to the cold very well, yet. We don't blame him.

The Landing's boardwalk goes along the the St. Johns River and has many attractions along the way. Lots of office building contribute to the people out around lunch time. Guinness wanted to greet everyone who came along and most who came along wanted to greet Guinness, too. They cooed over him and thought he was so adorable.

His first experience was with a half dozen seagulls sitting on the river railing waiting for handouts. They were quite used to humans and did not fly away as most do. Guinness was entranced by these big birds. Within a minute or so, several dozen pigeons showed up on the railing to vie for any handouts. This really amazed Guinness. All was well until something spooked the pigeons and they all flew of at once followed by the gulls. Scared the beejeezus out of Guinness, but he watch them till they were out of sight.

The rest of the outing was all sniffing, watching, and a bit of whining. He was obviously overwhelmed and we decide to cut the walk short. Not too much all at once. He slept all the way back to the trailer and then some afterward. More adventures to come.

Jacksonville is a beautiful city in the downtown area. We were pleasantly surprised with the ease that we could get around. It is a very clean city, but of course, we have not seen the whole area yet.

Naval Air Station Jacksonville (NAS JAX) is the Navy's largest air station. It is a hub-bub of activity and is organized very well. Lots of excitement with today's announcement that an aircraft carrier may be home ported at Mayport Navy Base on the other side of Jacksonville. All of the carrier's aircraft will be housed at NAS JAX.

Tonight an the next few days, until after Christmas, will be low-keyed for us. After that, we will take day trips and see some friends who live close by. Hope everyone has their Christmas shopping done. We already have our little present.

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