Arrival …

The lovely Gayle and I flew into Jacksonville, the largest city in the contiguous United States. By area that is, and of course, that depends on where the lines are drawn on the map. The metropolitan area has a population of about 1.6 million people.  That’s considerably more than Miami proper with a mere 400,000 but if you throw in the rest of the conurbation – Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach you’ve drawn a line around 5.5 million people. So which gets to be state capital, Jacksonville or Miami? Neither, it’s Tallahassee with a smaller population than either.

Anyway you will be pleased to know that Jacksonville has recovered well from the Great Fire of 1901 which started as a kitchen fire , spread to Spanish Moss in a mattress factory. In just eight hours, it swept through 146 city blocks, destroyed over 2,000 buildings, left about 10,000 homeless and killed seven.

During the silent movie era it was the centre of the film industry but then Hollywood came along.

Hurricane Matthew made itself felt in 2016.

We didn’t stay long in case something bad happened. It seems ill-fated.

The truth is we were picked up by friends and whisked away to the beautiful St Simons Island over the border in Georgia. They have a really fabulous house backing on to a lake.

Whilst having breakfast the next morning we could see this guy without getting up from the table!

I guess a swim is not on the agenda.

As beautiful as the house is all the light switches are up side down. How odd.

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