Honeymoon Log

May 8-9, 2005

Today was our first full day of San Francisco. First, however, we had to get to San Francisco. Yesterday was the day of travel, and boy, was it travel. We got up around 8 and got out of the hotel at 8:30. To get the Blazer out of its state of disarray (at least on the outside), we ran it through a car wash. We were short on time, I knew, but I thought that it would be okay to do it.

We got to the airport, and reached the Delta kiosk. Unfortunately, we reached it at 10:53 a.m. Our flight was supposed to leave at 11:20.

We were not on that plane.

Delta’s rules were that inside of 30 minutes no one can check into a flight. Therefore, we were pretty much out of luck. I talked to a nice lady who rebooked us onto another set of flights – six hours and twenty minutes from that point. For at least the third time in our lives, Kelly and I were about to play “Kill time in Jacksonville International”.

Which we did, to varying degrees of success. We ate some airport food and read from the limited selections in the airport library – I mean, bookstore. (An aside: it seems to me to be a bit of a racket to have an offer such as “buy a book, read it on your trip, and return it to us, and get half your money back,” which this particular bookstore had.)

Finally, we were able to board to our first flight – Atlanta. This part of the trip was uneventful, and we made it to Hartsfield-Jackson with no problems. We knew that the second leg of the trip would be much more interesting, however. First off, our new itinerary had us flying into Oakland, not San Francisco. This would require us to figure out a means of getting to our hotel when we touched down. Secondly, our seats were not together for the flight. This turn of events led to what fell short of abject begging – but not by much – to the Delta agents at the counter for the flight. They tried to call up the person who would be sitting by me to see if he’d be willing to switch, but no one came forth, so it looked as though we would be out of luck.

However, Kelly met a nice person on the plane (Kelly’s no Blanche Dubois, but perfect strangers always seem more than willing to help her), who after hearing that he’d get an exit seat (and the extra leg room that it would provide), switched seats with me. So all was well on the second front; however, Oakland International is not SFO. So we still had that problem to overcome.

We got into Oakland, and retrieved our luggage, and found out that there were vans that would take you “door-to-door” anywhere in the bay area. We found one of the vans, and the driver took us (in my opinion slightly recklessly, since it had started raining) to the front door of the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins.

I’m sure that we were a sight. After all, all we had done this day was be in airports or on airplanes, and that’s enough to frazzle about anyone, regardless of changing schedules and airports. But we checked in and essentially collapsed into bed.

This morning, we actually started taking the role of tourists. We started by getting the camcorder set up and ready, and learning how to take video and pictures with it. Then we went out to breakfast. We asked the concierge for a recommendation for a good place for breakfast/lunch, and he suggested a little café called Roxanne’s about three blocks away.

Three blocks in most any town is not a big deal. Half of the time in San Francisco, it really isn’t either. The other half of the time, it’s a monster deal, and makes a tourist glad that they have cable cars (or trolleys, as the case may be). This particular three-block walk thankfully was all downhill towards the restaurant.

Roxanne’s turned out to be a good choice on the part of the concierge. We decided upon breakfast. I had something called the Joey Scramble (why Joey, I’m not sure) that consisted of spinach, onions, tomatoes, provolone, and scrambled eggs. It turned out to be extremely good. Perhaps I was just really needing a protein shot after eating nothing but airline snacks for the previous sixteen hours, but I cleared my plate (except for a few tomatoes and onions). Kelly got scrambled eggs and sausage, which she said was really good. I tried a piece, and agreed; it had a taste that I couldn’t quite put my finger on, but I thought that it was pretty good for sausage.

After eating, we hopped our first cable car (trolley, whatever…) back to the hotel. Well, actually, one block from the hotel. So we learned firsthand just how much walking the streets of San Fran will do for one’s calves. Before heading back to the hotel and planning our next move, we decided to look around our area a bit.

Let me preface this by saying that we are in what could only be described as the pinnacle of the town. We have beautiful buildings all around us, and our view is pretty much top-notch. One thing that caught both of our attentions almost immediately upon sampling our view was an enormous cathedral. Kelly, the inquisitive soul that she is, wanted to see what it looked like, so we headed over there.

Grace Cathedral is the home of the bishop for the Episcopal Church for the state of California, so that should give the reader a bit of an idea already what we were in store for. To say that it is ornate is understating the cathedral entirely. From gigantic stained glass windows picturing heroes of the church and embedded Bible verses, to frescoes on the walls depicting various stages of the cathedral over the years, the church was a visual treat. However, one thing nagged at me during the entirety of being there. The Episcopal church has a theme of unity of all religions running through it, and Grace Cathedral was no exception. So much so, in fact, that it almost seemed as if the church itself was a large shell, with nothing really solid inside to build a foundation on in the first place. Pretty, but essentially a whitewashed tomb. Now, this isn’t intended to be an expose on any particular denomination, so I’ll limit it to that, but let’s just say that I was happy personally when we got on our way. But it was very beautiful.

Across the street from our hotel is the Fairmont, which I had considered booking our stay with. We checked out their lobby, which was very impressive. I’d seen this hotel previously on a TV show, and knew it would have been very nice. There was a small shop on the lobby that we visited – it had area rugs and other niceties that reminded Kelly of Istanbul. Little did we know how much we were going to talk about area rugs today…

We stopped off at the hotel and figured out where we needed to go to catch a trolley to our first big destination – Fisherman’s Wharf. One Powell-Mason trolley later, we were three blocks from our destination. But before we could get to Fisherman’s Wharf, we stopped off at an import dealer, advertising 80% off everything in the store. One man in there overheard us talking and mentioned that he had $5 million in rugs to show us. We went there and were promptly shown a rug originally priced at $11,700, but it could be ours at the low, low price of only $2800. We said we needed to talk about it and tried to leave, but he followed behind, calling out prices as he walked. $1500! $1000! We left, leaving the man with a rug that apparently had an arbitrary price tag on it.

Finally, the familiar sign let us know we’d made it to the wharf. I’m not a seafood lover, but they make crab smell pretty good in Fisherman’s Wharf. The other seafood, on the other hand, does nothing for me. I told Kelly we’d find her some seafood here…she’d been looking forward to chowder in a bread bowl.

The wharf is a bevy of activity – musicians will play, performers walk on broken glass and regale an audience at the same time…you know, the usual. But what we’d first and foremost come for was the boat cruise that would take us to the Golden Gate Bridge and around Alcatraz Island.

I was worried about it raining that afternoon, but my fears turned out to be unfounded. It was just about a perfect day for the trip; it was a bit chilly with the wind, but otherwise it was great. We got a lot of great shots of both landmarks, and a couple of nice shots of San Francisco from the bay. There was a tour guide presentation, but we didn’t listen to it. Kelly basically said, “I’m glad we’re not listening to it”, and I was inclined to agree. I know that the history is fun and all, but the landmarks speak volumes for themselves. It was really amazing to go underneath the bridge and think about the sheer size of it, or the fact that it was constructed when it was generally believed that there was no way it could be done. I’d consider this part of the day my favorite. Kelly agrees with me on this, especially because of seeing the famous sea lions (“arr arr arr”) playing from a close vantage point. “They’re so cute!”

After the tour, we went on Pier 39 and looked at the shops there. We ate at an Italian seafood place called Swiss Louis (Kelly got her chowder), and perused a couple of art galleries, including one for Andrew Wyland, an artist who has connections with Destin, not too far from Kelly’s hometown of Niceville. We got souvenirs for everyone imaginable (including a photograph of the Golden Gate, suitable for framing, for us), and called it a day at the wharf.

Our final stop for the day was Ghirardelli Square, home of the world-famous chocolate shop. The square houses many other attractions, but I admit it; I’m old, and I was getting tired. So we just decided to get some chocolates for souvenirs (and some for us), and get a fudge sundae from their ice cream shop.

It was good stuff, let me tell you. I had a caramel latte, and I went from 0 to 60 in 5.3 seconds with the combination of chocolate and caffeine. Not to mention that it was definitely an incredible sundae.

Even with this boost in energy, the day was winding down. With pretty much everything that we had wanted to do accomplished, we decided to call it a night, and headed back to the hotel. We rode the Powell-Hyde there (and got to see a pretty amazing view of Alcatraz Island framed by the buildings, trolley tracks, and sunset sky along the way). Upon reaching the hotel, we tried to see if we could look at the sunset at the Top of the Mark, but soon realized that we couldn’t get up there that late without adhering to the dress code. That’s okay, though. We’ll get that Wednesday night…

Oh, yeah…and now we both hate seagulls. One dive-bombed us both at Pier 39.

May 10, 2005

Our days and nights got a little mixed up, so we ended up starting our day around 11 this morning. The first order of the day was food, of course, so we headed towards the first destination of the day, the Asian Art Museum, looking for a couple of restaurants that Kelly had been recommended. Unfortunately, those that she found in the area were not open yet; they opened for late lunch. So we stopped at the Taylor Street Coffee Shop (voted “best breakfast” in 2004. Best where, I’m not sure…it just said best.), and got some breakfast. I seriously broke my fast; I had a 3-egg bacon and cheese omelet, hash browns, French toast, and regular toast, and wolfed it all down. Kelly was a little more moderate than I with pancakes, eggs and sausage.

Full stomachs accomplished, we headed toward Market Street – the aptly-named shopping district. Lots of major chains in huge buildings – even a mall – and lots of local shops, some of better repute than others. We were a little dismayed by this, and even more so by the sheer number of homeless/beggars on the streets; there appeared to be one on every corner. I gave some change to one; later I told Kelly that now I could point in that general vicinity and tell any others that I gave my change to the guy with the purple balloon.

We found the art museum, but only after realizing how close it was. Both of us thought that we would have to ride the F line to 8 th street and get off there, then walk a couple of blocks or so north. But we figured out (after waiting at the station about 10 minutes or so) that we were standing at 7 th street! Silly us. Anyway, once we realized this, we started towards the museum area, but to pass it, we had to make our way through the U.N. Plaza. It was very nice – it had a cool fountain and the preamble of the charter of the U.N. on the sidewalk. We came out of the plaza and saw City Hall; it’s much nicer than the ones I’d seen! The art museum was to our right, and so we went in.

The art museum was pretty neat. It used to be a library until 1997 or so, when it was gutted and renovated into its current form. There were exhibits from the major Asian countries, and a couple of minor ones. We had thought that there was a Thai art exhibit showing at the museum, but found out that it was already finished, so that was a bit of a bummer, but there was a lot to see anyway. We took an informal guided tour and walked around a bit ourselves; at the end, I was getting ready to find a place to rest and look rather than walk around and look! The art itself, of course, was wonderful; it’s pretty amazing to look at a piece that’s 1800 years old and in mint condition and just wonder how people in those times were able to craft something like that.

After the museum, we walked down Market Street for a little bit, taking everything in, even stopping at their American Eagle for Kelly to do a bit of shopping. Then we decided to make our way to the other big destination of the day: SBC Park, home of the Giants. We hopped the F line and took it to Embarcadero Square.

Once there, we looked around a little bit, first just to see what was there, but then to find the N line, the line we knew would take us to the ballpark. After a bit of searching, Kelly found it; it was actually underground. We went down and got on board; a couple of minutes later, there it was!

We didn’t have to wait too long to get into the park; we had just enough time to go around the park one time and take it all in. The cove, of course, was a pretty sight, and the external architecture of the park was stunning. But we went ahead and went in when the gates opened a couple of hours before the game started.

We looked around at the various shops and decided what we were going to do for dinner at the park. I tried the pitching game (I won’t tell you how fast I threw – let’s just say baseball isn’t my sport), and Kelly went down the Coca-Cola slide. We got a couple of souvenirs, and I got the Giants official magazine, which included a scorecard – something that I’d always wanted to do was score a ball game. I don’t know why; it just sounded like fun.

The game started somewhat slowly, but picked up steam in the 6 th inning when the Giants got a couple of runs on the board via a home run. The Giants’ starting pitcher did really well – he only gave up one hit in five innings – but they took him out and their bullpen was a walking disaster. They gave up three homers, and the Giants ended up losing 5-2. I would say I could do better, but I had definitive proof from earlier that that wasn’t the case.

Kelly and I agreed – a baseball game is a lot more fun in person than watching on television, and especially when scoring the game yourself. Seeing everything (a major league field itself is pretty impressive), and watching everything unfold is just a lot more fun than seeing it on TV. I’d always felt the same way about football and hockey, but I didn’t expect it for baseball. We ended up calling this our favorite part of the entire trip overall. Kelly put forth the idea that we ought to try to go to more games eventually; maybe even try for a game in every major league ball park. Who knows?

After the game, we rode the N back to the base of California Street, then caught the trolley and rode it all the way to the front door of the hotel. Two things I learned on the trip back: people are always willing to talk about sports, even with total strangers, and people are always willing to give you advice about where to go when you’re on your honeymoon in their town. J The trolley operators were really nice and gave us a lot of ideas on where to eat tomorrow when we’re at Golden Gate Park.

Tomorrow, we’re going to the Exploratorium and the Aquarium, and we may even venture to the west end of Golden Gate Park and let Kelly dip her toes in the Pacific Ocean for the first time. Hopefully, we’ll eat at the Top of the Mark, too!

May 12, 2005

Today was a day that could be described as “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” of San Francisco.

The Good: we went to Golden Gate Park today. To do it, we had to take the Powell-Mason line down to Market, and then take the N line to two blocks south of the park. Before we did, however, we had to eat breakfast, and we did so at the Cable Car Café, which was located very close to Roxanne’s, where we had eaten breakfast the first day. We both had croissants, and split a crepe. It was all very good and filling, and so we were set to go explore the park.

The Bad: changes of plans. We had originally planned on going to the Park primarily for the aquarium and the Academy of Science. However, we found upon going to the park that they had been closed for construction – until 2008. Not being able to wait for 2008 to come, we had to skip it.

The Good, Part 2: the botanical gardens. In a word: gorgeous. There were plants from all regions of the world, and we got lots of great pictures. In addition, we even got a couple of pictures of the local fauna, including a couple of nice ones of a baby fox that Kelly said “makes my day.” We went there before learning of the aquarium. We ended up spending about three hours in the gardens; it was a great experience.

The Good, Part 3: the Japanese tea garden. We had already learned some about tea gardens at the Asian Art museum yesterday, and so it was nice to see in person some of the landscapes that the guide had talked about. The area was designed to create multiple points of serenity, and it fulfilled its goal in my eyes. It included a pagoda that was about 100 feet high, multiple fountains and ponds, and an arched bridge. We took several more pictures. I think that we got about 50 pictures in all today. We also found a couple of souvenirs in their gift shop.

The Good, Part 4: the Pacific Ocean. We decided that we didn’t have enough time to simply walk to the other side of the park. Golden Gate Park is huge, to say the least. So we walked out of the park and caught the N all the way to the end of the line, which was about 100 feet from the beach. We crossed the Great Highway, and there it was.

I’ve seen the Pacific once before, in 2000 in Los Angeles. It was night, so I don’t remember a lot about what the sand looked like or the waves or anything like that. So in a way, it was like seeing it for the first time. Kelly, however, had never seen the Pacific. So, of course, we took our shoes and socks off and waded in. It felt good at first (we’d done a lot of walking), but then an unexpected current came in and got us up to our shins! I hadn’t rolled up my pants that high, so they were soaked. The water was very cold, and when combined with the strong winds, the scene wasn’t very inviting to stick around for a tremendous amount of time. So we took our leave and headed for…

The Good, Part 5: the Beach Chalet. We had been given a good recommendation about the Chalet from one of the trolley operators last night, so we decided that we’d like to give it a try. It turned out to be very good food, and the view (overlooking the Pacific) was spectacular. I had herb chicken and Kelly had the surf and turf, and we split an order of garlic fries (which I think had about two cloves of garlic on them) and a “chocolate sandcastle”, which was a chocolate torte on its side with pieces of chocolate shortbread in the shapes of towers, a caramel moat, and nuts for a bridge across the moat. We also had Diet Coke to drink, which led to:

The Bad, Part 2: paying for refills, and in general, paying for “luxuries” that other more downscale establishments give you. This is something that we noted last night when we found our hotel didn’t offer free wireless Internet, while both of the hotels that we had stayed at leading up to the wedding did. And neither of them were nearly as expensive on a per-night basis (of course, we weren’t in San Francisco, but come on…this is our honeymoon). It’s something that I don’t really understand. And tonight, we paid for five Diet Cokes that were goblet-sized. Once again, our honeymoon, but still…anyway, the food was good, and we thought the day had gone well, until:

The Ugly. We walked back to the end of the N line Muni, and were just waiting patiently for the driver to start the run, when a guy came walking up, mumbling to himself. In one hand, he carried a glass bottle; he appeared to be fondling himself with the other. Already, he was scarier than 99% of the people that we’d encountered on the trip thus far.

“B----. Female dog.” The rest was incomprehensible, but Kelly clung to my arm, and I didn’t blame her one bit. He kept walking around, looking down the vast majority of the time, but I didn’t want to keep looking for fear we’d make eye contact and that he’d decide that was enough to send him over whatever edge he was teetering on.

Suddenly, there was a smashing of glass to our right, and we looked wide-eyed at the wall where the guy’s bottle had been hurled at. It now lay shattered on the ground. “There it is…there’s the seed.” He kept mumbling to himself. Kelly told me later that he mentioned something about “you broke the covenant,” but the rest he kept to himself. In his defense (what little there is), he did not approach anyone waiting at the station, but nevertheless he took the place of the first person I’d seen in San Francisco who genuinely scared me.

He boarded the train and moved to the front of the car; we sat in the back, of course. He kept to himself, still mumbling, and walking around. He kept signaling the driver to stop at the next stop, and we just kept hoping that he’d follow through on it. Finally, he exited the tram, and a visible exhalation could be heard from both of our lips. I told Kelly, “And so, the nightmare ends.”

The whole series of events had taken a lot out of us, so instead of going up to the Top of the Mark, we decided to call it an early night.

Tomorrow, we’re going to the Exploratorium and Chinatown. I’m not sure what else we’re going to be able to get in, considering that we’re actually going to have to get to bed reasonably early in order to get ready to fly to the east coast.

May 12, 2005

For breakfast this morning, we did it up right: the Top of the Mark! Yes, that’s right; we finally managed to eat there. For breakfast, they offered a choice of buffets; we both decided upon the Top of the Mark buffet, which included breakfast meats, eggs (including Eggs Florentine, which I had never tried before) and other niceties. Today’s special was chorizo with roasted potatoes. Chorizo is like a really spicy sausage. I gave it a try; I found I liked the potatoes more than the chorizo, but it was still pretty good. We ate our fill and took lots of pictures and video. The view, of course, is incredible; you can literally see most of the city from the Top of the Mark. Hopefully, we’ll get some good shots from the experience.

Afterwards, we were ready to set out for the day. Today was our first experience with the bus system of San Francisco. We took the 30 from Chinatown to the Palace of the Fine Arts. I must say that without the Muni system and the trolleys, I don’t know how a person would get around San Francisco. It’s relatively large as it stands, and trying to get around as a first-timer would be nigh well impossible. But the transportation systems there are pretty much top-notch. Birmingham could take a page from them.

Anyway, we took the 30 to the end of the line and walked a block and there it was: the Palace. It was fronted by a small pond that had all sorts of birds, turtles, and even a few large fish swimming around. But the most visible feature (other than the palace itself) was all the kids! They were running, sitting, climbing, and just generally having a good time. We decided that this place was a favorite of field trippers everywhere.

The Palace itself was quite beautiful, and we got (hopefully) some good pictures. There was one area underneath one of the domes that was particularly grand. It had carvings of angels surrounding the base of the dome where the columns met the ceiling, and large urns that were situated symmetrically around the area. Seeing some of the pillars and domes juxtaposed with the pond and nature and the surrounding city was a little surreal, but after the botanical gardens I think we were more used to seeing something like this in a metropolitan area.

The Exploratorium was our next stop. It is located in the same area as the Palace, so we simply walked over to it and came to the admissions desk. The ticket man seemed to be interested in the fact that we were from the South, and even had Kelly do her best “Ya’ll come back now, ya hear?” for him. She got a kick out of it, considering that she’s a transplanted military brat and doesn’t have a true Southern accent, but she was more than happy to do it. She’ll get used to it…considering she’s about to call Birmingham home.

Anyway, the Exploratorium was really cool. If you consider yourself a science wonk, or if just seeing cool stuff is your thing, then you need to make it part of your trip. Some of the displays we had seen before, such as several of the optical illusions that were present. There were some different ones, like the echo chambers placed across the room from each other. If you had a person sit in each, they could speak in their normal voices and hear each other perfectly, even though they were 150 feet away. Kelly also liked one display where we sat opposite each other about 30 feet away and saw each other’s face up close through a set of mirrors and lights. She took my picture through it…my mug is now blown up for all to see.

But our favorite display was the “capture a moment” booth. Here, you could pose inside a little area, and a flash would strobe every 30 seconds or so. The shadow in the booth at the moment of the flash would leave a lasting impression for about the next minute. We got it to capture us kissing. It took us a couple of times to get it just right, but we managed. J

Kelly also got a piece of art at the Exploratorium through their special “drawing board”, where a large piece of paper is placed on a board supported by wires hanging from above. The “artist” moves the board around, and then the worker drops a marker into place, letting it drift where the motion of the board takes it. The whole effect is to illustrate the movement of a 2-D pendulum while at the same time creating fun little pieces of art. Kelly got one done in orange and blue (natch) where the blue created a spiral, and the orange was more of a sharp-winged butterfly. I’m not sure it’ll ever hang on the wall in the house, but she said it was fun anyway.

We spent more time at the Exploratorium than we had expected, which was about the run of the mill for our trip, so we were ready to eat and shop at Chinatown. Kelly had really been looking forward to this part of the trip for several reasons: she had heard of a very good restaurant called the Oriental Pearl that she wanted to try, and she had certain souvenirs that she wanted that could really only be found there.

One ride on the 30 back, and we were at the corner of Clay and Stockton, in the heart of it all. We weren’t completely sure where the Oriental Pearl was, so we walked on Clay until we found it a couple of blocks down. It was, as most of the shops and restaurants are in Chinatown, a little hole in the wall for an entrance. But inside, it was very nice.

Kelly wanted to try a set meal, where you have dim sum, soup, a couple of entrees, and some fried rice, so we went with that. She enjoyed the dim sum, which had beef, pork, and shrimp versions. I more enjoyed the hot and sour soup, which was pretty spicy, but you could get used to it. I had three bowls.

The entrees and rice themselves were pretty good. Honestly, I’ve probably had better Chinese food, but the atmosphere and the experience were worth the price of admission, and the food was pretty good. One other bonus: our waiter gave us a tip on one of the souvenirs that Kelly was really looking for. More on that in a bit.

After eating, we toured a couple of the shops. We quickly found that many of them tend to be carbon copies. But there were many different things to look at, including robes and sashes, crystal and jewelry, statues, trinkets of all types, even down to fortune cookies with sayings on them that modesty forbids me to repeat here. I tried to get out of those stores as quickly as I could.

We were able to find the man our waiter had talked about in a store around the corner from the Oriental Pearl. He was a calligrapher. Kelly really wanted our names in Chinese, and he was the best man for the job, so the waiter said. He asked us for our names, and then showed us a couple of designs. We decided upon one with the symbol for “love” in color, with “Germans”, “Brandon”, and “Kelly” below, and symbols for “happiness” and “long life” also included. He even included a frame for us. For $20, it was a pretty good deal; I’m sure it will find a place in our foyer.

We also found a pretty table runner in another of the shops. It is a bright green color, and has bamboo leaves emblazoned upon it. We already have a place for this as well.

After looking around a bit more, I finally confided in Kelly that my ribs had been hurting. I assume it was partly from dehydration and partly from walking around, but they had been bothering me. She took pity on an old man and we made our way back to the California cable car line.

Once back at the hotel, Kelly dressed up quickly and headed to the Top of the Mark. She had wanted to get some photographs of the city at sunset, and the Top of the Mark has a dress code after 8:00. So she put on her little black dress and headed up. I told her to refuse any drink offers she got from kind strangers. J She came back a few minutes later, after taking several more shots of the skyline.

We knew we had to wind down early, so we decided to lounge around in the robes the Mark Hopkins provides to all their guests, and just take it easy for the rest of the night. We finished up our video tour and called it an early night.

May 13, 2005

We got up at 6:38 a.m. this morning, eight minutes after our wake-up call was supposed to be supplied. But it was fine; we still had plenty of time. We packed up and headed down. Kelly took a couple more pictures: our room number, and the concierge, who both of us agreed had been very helpful during the course of the trip. We boarded our shuttle van to the airport, and we were on our way, leaving the city forever linked with our first wonderful days as husband and wife – San Francisco.

We arrived in Atlanta a little ahead of time, only to find that our flight to Jacksonville had been delayed for several reasons. By the time that we boarded and took off, we were about thirty minutes delayed.

We arrived in Jacksonville and looked for our baggage – which was not to be found. We inquired and discovered that the baggage didn’t have time to make the transfer, and so was placed on the next flight. We hurried over to the food court to grab dinner. The food options at JAX are sparse anyway; however, it was even more so in this case. Everything but the Sbarro had closed. So, Sbarro it was!

While eating, we decided that we would drive to Niceville tonight regardless of the luggage situation, as we were both ready to get there and didn’t want to do the hotel thing again. We ate and came back to the baggage claim carousel and began the tortuous wait for our luggage, wondering if we were going to get to wear the same thing twice in a row or not. We were relieved some twenty minutes later to see the luggage come on the belt, and we got everything up and headed to the car. Some five hours later, we were in Niceville, Florida, and our time alone on our honeymoon had come to an end.