Land Cruise!

We are finishing up a land cruise that took us down to look at our property and meet with builders in Yulee FLA.  If the house in Somerset ever sells we plan to build a new house from scratch.  However finding a quality builder is a challenge.  We think we have one and are currently under discussions on design and of course price.  More to come as things develop.  On the house selling front frustration rules.  We have one interested party but the house they are trying to sell is tied up in a divorce with two lawyers involved.  So not holding out any hope of a quick sale there.  Anyway back to the land cruise.  We drove down to Yulee / Amelia Island in our new Crossover.  We recently traded in our Volvo XC-60 for a Lincoln MKX.   Slightly larger than the Volvo and much better ride and gas mileage!  First day was from Somerset to Roanoke Virginia.  12 hours of driving…   long day.  Next day we were in Savannah GA.  We like it there an it is only about two and a half hours to Yulee.  So we got a nice room at the Savannah Marriott Riverfront.  As I am still a platinum member with Marriott they gave us a waterfront room and free parking and a nice breakfast.  We wandered around the waterfront and then found a great place for dinner where they make great individual pizzas.  This place was great, and reasonably priced which is a challenge in this expensive city.  Savannah is full of charm and a big tourist draw, and if you have never been there I can highly recommend that you go and enjoy the city with all its southern charm!  The next morning we drove the 2 and half hours to Yulee and went to Watermens Bluff to check out a house recently built by one of our prospective builders.  We were meeting with this builder the next day at their offices in Jacksonville (Jax) and wated to see their product in person before the meeting.  Good thing we did.  The finish construction quality was crap!  Plane and simple crap.  So seeing the house before meeting with them was a good thing.  In reality after seeing the house I would have canceled the meeting, but since it was Sunday and the meeting was on Monday morning we decided to go through with the meeting and see how they responded to all our disappointing findings.  Well they were surprised but made nothing but excuses, and said they would do better if they built our house.  Well I can tell you that that is not going to happen!  So alternate plan B.  More on Plan B as it develops.    The next day we visited our friends in Jax.  OK unfortunately we could only visit with Victor because Bill was in hospital again.  Fortunately he is better and last time we checked he was home!  All said it was great to catch up with Victor and hear all of what was going on.

On the way home from Victors house we drove through hurricane Hector, which was not  a hurricane or a tropical storm a few hours previously.  Bill and Victor live on the south side of Jax.  Yulee is above the north side of Jax.  So the drive home (our rental in Amelia Island) is about an hours drive.  As we drove northward the rain and wind were unbelievable!  Torrential does not even begin to describe how heavy the rain was.  I was glad we were in an AWD vehicle.  Safe to say we made it without any real issues.  Next morning we saw on the news that this tropical depression had quickly blown up into a category 1 hurricane over Jax and that is what we were driving through.  No warning or anything.  Go figure.  Glad we we were on land and not in Autumn Dream!

After that fun we enjoyed visiting with Beth’s mom and friends and eating some great food on the island.  On the Friday we were back at Watermans Bluff for a Low Country boil!  Once or twice a year the developer throws a community get together.  Since we were there we decided to attend.  It was a great chance to meet our new neighbors and have some good eats.  Here in New England we have clam boils.  This typically consist of soft shell clams, sausage, corn on the cob, onions, chourico ( a local Portuguese sausage), potatos and some times depending on budget lobsters.  All this is thrown in a pot for a few hours and boiled  A low country boil is similar but in place of clams they use shrimp.  In place of chourico they use anduli sausage.  Most of the rest is similar.   They then take everything and dump it on newspapers and you all serve yourself.  It was great!  I think when we move I’ll miss chourico but beyond that no worries!

While we were staying on Amelia Island I had some chance to play with my new lens and you can see some hand held examples of this new toy!  So they would be clearer if I had it on the tripod! For those of you who do not follow us on facebook you probably don’t know I recently purchased a new Nikon 200mm to 500mm lens!  This lens is unbelievable!  In the following shots you can see one of the US Navy’s nuclear subs putting to sea!   We were quite far away from as you can imagine!  But the photos with this lens are stunning!  Also included a few bird photos I believe these are Snowy Egrets!  Of course as there was a Nuclear Sub leaving the port all marine traffic was stopped and had to wait for the sub to clear the port. Note the machine gun on the USCG boat!  Pointy end pointed at any potential intruders!   One of the small yachts waiting so they could avoid the pointy end of the USCG boat was fun to photograph,  Gives you a minor example so you can see how strong this lens is as I zoomed out and in!

Enjoy!   More on the house to come!

 

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