Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What a weekend!

Memorial Day weekend.  For you blokes, Memorial Day is the day we colonials set aside to remember all who died defending the homeland, beginning with running off the Red Coats forward to one of our local boys being killed by a drunk driver in Minnesota a month ago (but that's another story).  

As per usual, my buddy Punch come up to visit, for it is also the weekend of the Jacksonville Jazz Festival and the Florida Folk Festival and, the Grand Prix of Monaco, the Indianapolis 500 and the Coke 600.  In short, the perfect weekend for two gearhead music lovers to hang out, drink martinis, smoke cigars and be entertained by world-class music and auto racing.  Having stocked the larder with booze, beer and steaks, we were prepared for anything... we thought.

Saturday morning and a beautiful day for a stroll on the downtown river walk.  The Jazz Festival occurs in the streets of downtown so a quick visit to the local trendy arts/farmer's market seemed in order.

Along the way we stopped in to take a look-see at a make-shift sculpture exhibit that included works by some of our friends.

The exhibit was intended to be whimsical and fun and it succeeded on both counts.  The giant bird's nest speaks for itself but the Styrofoam wall is a pretty good story.  It seems the artist spent late nights over several months gathering styrofoam packaging from around his neighborhood and assembled all of the pieces into this really fun and interesting piece.  We quizzed him over whether he was going to take it apart and take the individual pieces back to where he found them, late at night of course. He's considering it.

Next stop was the Jazz Festival downtown.  There are several stages placed around downtown and you simply walk to the acts you wish to see.  The festival is free and again, good fun.  Saw Bella Fleck and Marcus Roberts do a great eclectic set followed by jazz giant Sonny Rollins.  Beautiful day.  Everything is rosie.  That night we went to a street festival in another part of town.  Punch probably has some flicks over at his place.. here.
 Plans were to go back to the Jazz Festival on Sunday but were informed by mayoral proclamation on TV that all Sunday and Monday activities had been cancelled do to the approaching tropical storm, Beryl.  What?  Beryl??  What kind of name is that for a storm anyway?

We decided to ride down to Mayport near the ocean Sunday morning to check it out and found all of the shrimp boats in port and battening down.  Threatening skies and wind gusts at about 30-40 knots.

Spoke to the skipper of the Miss Rosa and asked how bad it was off shore.  He said, "Bad enough for me to be here and not there."  "So there's a real blow coming?" I asked.  He just nodded and went on about his business.

The crew and captain, doing all of the work, rolling out another tire to fender the boat against the dock.  You can see from the palms that the wind is picking up.

Leaning into the wind.  There is no weather that will deter fishermen and surfers.

A spot of sunshine highlights the inland fleet snug in their berths.  About six o'clock that afternoon the wind started in earnest.  It was a beautiful sight to see, the storm blowing in off of the river.  Sustained gusts of 65-70 knots.  Rain coming down in sheets.  Trees leaning, small branches and other debris falling on the roof like the rain.  About ten o'clock we lost power and it stayed off for the next 12 hours or so.  It's surprising how much you hear when there is nothing electric moving or making noise.  Just got cable/internet/tv/phone on about an hour ago.  All-in-all, a weekend to remember.


14 comments:

  1. Glad you had an enjoyable Memorial Day weekend. Hearing Bela Fleck and Sonny Rollins for free while moseying around downtown -- doesn't get any better than that.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I picked Monday to travel through Jacksonville, but by then Beryl had passed through for the most part. Sorry your jazz festival was shortened. And - like everyone on the news said - at least you got lots of rain.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Miss Rosa could use some make-up. In the picture of the cap'n & crew was that old fat guy the greenhorn? Or is that how shrimpers roll--make the oldest guy do the heaviest work? Hey at least Beryl is a politically correct gender neutral name. No comment on the blow job Beryl gave your week end though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are two classes of shrimpers, the 1% and the rest. Miss Rosa is one of the rest. The fat old man doing all of the work is the captain. I assume the other two are family.

      Delete
  4. 1. Bela Fleck is flat-out wonderful.
    2. Jazz, booze and steaks? How are we not hanging out??
    3. Hope the wind didn't blow you away. Saw the news and thought of you and all you other coastal types. :-) Minneapolis got a steady down pour (and flooded basements, I'm sure) Saturday night with winds up to 60 mph. We're against that sort of thing, for the record...

    Pearl

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bela Fleck is flat-out wonderful but so is his partner, Marcus Roberts, a home town boy who is a phenom jazz pianist. But the music is pretty eclectic. Not exactly pat your foot stuff.

      Delete
  5. The Miss Rosa fishing photo is sublime. Or subliminal. I just found myself at the docks fishing. I hope you didn't smoke your cigars near Miss Rosa.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Mo. I love taking photos in special weather conditions. Smoked the cigars in the lee of my porch with the storm blowing around us. Sublime.

      Delete
  6. My cousin and I are planning a guys only weekend road trip down to Florida sometime in August. Naturally since it is still a ways off making concrete plans are impossible but I will bring it up again as the time draws closer and if you are free think about having a beer with us at some restaurant in your area.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know just the place. Would love to see you.

      Delete
  7. Good to see you could enjoy the weekend, even with the hurricane Beryl-ing down on you.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Biggest and most important question: How did you keep the booze cold?

    Thanks for your comment on my doggy post: only you . . only you. I should be cross, but you made me laugh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ample supply of ice in cooler. I was hoping it would make you laugh.

      Delete
  9. Glad you are back among the electrified. Great series of photos, and what sounded like a great weekend until the blackness hit, at least. I have a friend named Beryl, hehehe.

    ReplyDelete

Sorry about the comment thingy folks. Too much spam.